WordPress 4.9.6 Released

WordPress 4.9.6 has been released, and it provides new tools to assist with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. The update is recommended for everyone, because the GDPR protects all European Union citizens, regardless of where your site is based.

All users can safely update from Dashboard -> Updates or download and update manually, though you should probably backup first just in case, unless you’re already using VaultPress, which you really should be.

The release post will offer some how-to information, and more info will appear in your Dashboard when you update WordPress. Also, if you are a theme or plugin developer, do be aware that there are some important notes for theme and plugin developers.

The tools provided by WordPress only cover the data that WordPress itself collects. All of Automattic’s products have a general page for GDPR info, and WooCommerce has a very helpful guide on managing your store in compliant with the GDPR. If your theme or plugins collect any data, you should definitely check with their documentation or support for specifics on GDPR compliance.

Overall, these tools only assist you with compliance. It is up to you as your site’s owner to take the steps required to be compliant with the GDPR and any local variations that may be introduced.

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Automattic Meetup 2017

Like like last year, Automattic went to Whistler, British Columbia for our annual Grand Meetup. We had almost 600 employees spanning the globe, suddenly just spanning 2 hotels for the week. It’s great to build things in person with people you usually only communicate with via text. Sure, it’s a little bit overwhelming, but I always walk away with a few new friends.

We built and learned quite a bit this week, and though there are no specific announcements yet, please watch the Jetpack Blog, WordPress.com Blog, and WooCommerce Blog for exciting news. As for myself, and as usual, I have a fair amount of photos to share:

In case you’re wondering, those last few photos are of our very talented band of Automatticians.

For more photos, visit colleagues Lisa Schuyler, Stephen McLeod Blythe, Ryan Cowles, and many more on Instagram. If any of this looks interesting to you, we’re always hiring!

Photo of Ryan Cowles, Richard, and James Huff, by Lisa Schuyler

Photo of Ryan Cowles, Richard Archambault, and James Huff, by Lisa Schuyler

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Automattic Meetup 2016

This year, Automattic went to Whistler, British Columbia, my first time in Canada for more than a layover. We had almost 500 employees spanning the globe, suddenly just spanning 2 hotels for the week. It’s always great, if not perhaps just a tiny bit overwhelming, to see everyone in person once a year, and it’s wonderful to build great things in person.

A fair amount of such great things were indeed built, so keep your eyes on the WordPress.com Blog, Jetpack Blog, and WooCommerce Blog for news. Meanwhile, here’s my customary chunk of photos.

For more photos, visit colleagues Stephen McLeod Blythe, Lisa Schuyler, Kathryn Presner, Dan Hauk, Naoko Takano, Ryan Cowles, and Pam Kocke. If any of this looks interesting to you, we’re always hiring!

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Automattic Meetup 2015

This year, Automattic went back to Park City, Utah! The big difference this time? Our “almost 300” has grown to 400 employees spanning the globe, many joining us from the WooThemes acquisition earlier this year. With so many colleagues from around the world, it’s great to see everyone at least once a year, and build great things in person.

Some aforementioned great things were indeed made this year, keep your eyes on the WordPress.com Blog and the Jetpack Blog for news, but perhaps more interesting (or at least more fun) was the introduction a live band made up of some of my more talented colleagues. I don’t think the band will be producing any albums, but it sure made for a fun night! ūüôā

For more photos, visit colleagues Adam Heckler and Greg Stewart, and don’t forget that we’re always hiring!

James and Greg

James and Greg

Team Rads in Malta

Two weeks ago, Team Rads of Automattic met in Malta to focus our efforts on launching the inevitable WordAds 2.0 and to investigate unique marketing opportunities. We are an ever-growing distributed team, with three of us in California, one in Australia, one in Iceland, one in Portugal, and our newest team member in Italy, so we try to get together a few times each year to work out things that can’t be done over email, o2, and Slack.

Malta is an amazing country, and I really hope I can go back some time in the future to enjoy it as a vacation rather than just a business destination. We toured the island by bus and boat, and even visited the famous Blue Grotto. I also managed to take a few photos along the way.

Does any of this look interesting to you? Then I have some great news for you! If you want to work at Automattic, we’re hiring!

Team Rads in Malta

Automattic: The WooThemes Awakens

woomatticThere has been an acquisition. Have you felt it? Automattic has acquired WooThemes, a leading developer of WordPress eCommerce solutions. The acquisition was announced just a few minutes ago, and I’m very excited that we’ll have a hand in continuing to grow this powerhouse of eCommerce tools alongside 55 new colleagues.

If you’re already a user of WooThemes products, don’t worry, it’s going to be business as usual. We’re joining forces to continue building this great eCommerce solution so we can grow WordPress to power more than just 23% of the web.

We’re moving onwards and upwards, and if you want to be a part of that journey too, we’re always hiring.

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WordPress Logo MacBook Pro

mbptopWorking at Automattic comes with a lot of benefits, but at the moment, none are cooler than the one pictured above. After four years of employment, Automattic employees are allowed to have their next computer customized by ColorWare.

This particular model is a mostly black retina MacBook Pro¬†with a glowing WordPress logo in the center, and it’s ready for four more years with me at Automattic.

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Team Rads in Cairns

Last week, Team Rads of Automattic got together in Cairns to work on improvements to WordAds along with a few other surprises. We are a globally distributed team with three¬†in various¬†California¬†locations, one in Iceland, one in Portugal, and our newest team member in Australia, so it’s nice to get together in person a few times each year.

Cairns was lovely in November, and we managed to swim at¬†the¬†Great Barrier Reef,¬†explore a few of Australia’s rainforests including the Daintree Rainforest, and visit a wildlife sanctuary in Kuranda. I also managed to save a few photos from the trip.

Does any of this look interesting to you? Well, if you want to work at Automattic, we’re hiring!

Team Rads in Cairns

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Automattic Meetup 2014

This year, the Automattic company meetup was in Park City, Utah. We are a globally distributed company with almost 300 employees, so we pretty much have to get together annually to see faces, hear voices, and build great things. We’re putting the finishing touches on many of the things we build last week, so keep your eyes on the WordPress.com Blog for announcements. Some are actually already live now on WordPress.com, but since they haven’t been officially announced yet, I won’t spoil the surprise. ūüėČ

Here are a few more photos from the meetup. The majority are a from a short hike on the mountain high above our hotel.

Now that you’ve seen all of this, make sure that you apply, and maybe we’ll see you here with us next year!