Website Builder Blogs

Support the Fight Against Inequality: Resources and Ways to Act

WordPress.com News -

The past few months have been tiring for everyone. As the coronavirus spread across the globe, most of us thought that we were going to live with the uncomfortableness of shelter-in-place for a few months before things could return to normal. We thought that what would consume most of our free time was TikTok videos, Animal Crossing, Netflix, and maybe a reignition of hobbies. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Fast-forward to today. Society has not returned to normal and instead, we have had more time to engage on the topic of race on a global scale — specifically, how unfairly Black Americans are treated in American society. We are not only bearing witness to how disproportionately the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Black and Brown Americans, we are seeing the injustices and violence Black Americans face daily in an amplified manner. Whether it’s having the cops called on you following a simple and reasonable request in the park, going jogging in your neighborhood, or being asleep in your own home, the world is watching and finally responding to these injustices. From Eric Garner to George Floyd, the list of people we grieve over is far too long. We are hurt, confused, frustrated, angry, and just tired. We are tired but never done. How can you support your Black colleagues and friends? Give them a bit more time, space, and compassion.Understand that some of them are whiplashed and at a loss for what to do.Let them come to you with causes you can support.Collectively agree on a way of showing wordless support, like an emoji for example: How can you support this movement? Understand that this movement is not history, nor will it soon be over. We need to fight for equality until life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are available for all. Here is a list of places you can amplify, donate to, or sign petitions for change: Donate Donate to any of these organizations and petitions to show support and help advance the agenda for equal representation and justice. Nationwide Bail FundReclaim the BlockBlack Visions CollectiveThe Official GoFundMe of George Floyd’s FamilyJustice for Regis Official FundEqual Justice InitiativeNAACP Empowerment ProgramBlack Lives Matter Network Sign Sign any of these petitions to show support for change and accountability in our judicial system. Color of Change PetitionOfficial Petition for Breonna Taylor Justice for Tony McDade PetitionJustice for Ahmaud Arbery PetitionJustice for George Floyd Petition Do Call, tweet, and send posts on your social networks to your elected state or local officials and demand equal justice today. Educational resources Dedicate time to learn more deeply about institutionalized racism in America, and how to safely take action against it. This Anguish and Action post from the Obama Foundation includes a “Get Informed” section with anti-racism articles and resources.This detailed list of anti-racism resources includes articles, books, TV shows, and movies.This post by Barack Obama reflects on how to make this moment the turning point for real change.This Anti-Defamation League guide offers practical tips on how to engage young people in conversations about race and racism.This post compiles resources and links on ways to support and fight for an anti-racist future together.Just Mercy is an important read by lawyer and Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson. Mental health resources Ethel’s Club – A Black-owned and -operated social club that offers access to Black therapists and a multitude of creative events for People of Color. Crisis Text Line – A different approach to crisis intervention, Crisis Text Line offers you help when you text 741-741. You’ll be able to chat with someone who is willing to listen and provide you with additional resources.Shine Text –  A Black-owned self-care app through which you can sign up to receive cheerful texts and tips every day. Therapy for Black Girls – A Black-owned directory to help you find Black therapists in your area. BEAM Community – A Black emotional and mental health collective committed to the health and healing of Black communities.Self-Care Tips for Black People Who Are Struggling With This Very Painful Week – A resource on VICE with tips that may provide a bit of relief. Tips for protesting Knowing your rights – An indispensable resource from the ACLU.How to protest safely and legally – Remember to wear a mask in order to protect yourself!How to help someone who’s been tear-gassed Lastly, let’s celebrate solidarity and beauty when we see it: The international community is watching and protesting alongside us across the globe.Protesters doing the cupid shuffle.Protesters take a knee and raise their fists in Upper East Side, New York.Protesting in Harlem, New York.In New York City, chief police officer kneels with protesters. Stay safe out there!

Not Sure How to Get Your Blog Off the Ground? Join Our New Workshop.

WordPress.com News -

Starting a blog is easy and free on WordPress.com. But what if you’re new to blogging? If you need guidance on best practices, actionable tips on how to grow your audience and find inspiration to write, and constructive feedback from experts and fellow bloggers, you should join us at Blogging: From Concept to Content. It’s a three-day, hands-on, intensive workshop that will take you from “I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing?” to “I’m a blogger!” Date: June 16–18, 2020Time: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PDT | 8:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m. MDT | 9:00 am-1:00 pm CDT | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT| 14:00 – 18:00 UTCLocation: Online via Zoom and private blogCost: Early Bird Price — US$99 until 23:59 UTC on June 8, 2020. Regular price — US$179 from June 9 – June 15, 2020.Register now: https://wordpress.com/blogging-basics-workshop/ Featuring guest speakers and WordPress.com experts in areas like content and writing, SEO, design, and digital marketing, the workshop will include daily assignments and interactive discussions. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to interact directly with the instructors as well as with Happiness Engineers. At the end of the workshop, you’ll walk away with: A ready-to-launch blog.An editorial calendar for the next 8–12 weeks.A well-stocked toolkit of tips and techniques to continue to develop your blog and grow its reach.Finally, and at least as important: a community of new blogging friends to learn from and grow with long after the workshop has ended. We created this workshop for new bloggers who crave a structured, step-by-step approach to creating a blog that reflects their vision and voice, and who don’t want to waste time looking for answers all over the web. Be prepared to dive in and do the work! You won’t regret this investment, and you’ll be in great company. Seats are limited to facilitate interaction between participants and instructors, so register now to save your slot. By registering this week, you’ll take advantage of our Early Bird Price of US$99 through June 8, after which the regular registration price of $179 will take effect. See you then!

Celebrating Pride Month with Out in Tech

WordPress.com News -

Happy Pride Month! Last year, I shared resources and highlighted organizations doing awesome work in the LGBTQ+ community. This year, I’m excited to tell you more about Out in Tech, an organization that Automattic has partnered with for the past four years. I’m proud to say that this year, the Queeromattic Employee Resource Group — an employee-led collective for LGBTQ+ initiatives at Automattic — is co-sponsoring this partnership for the first time.  “We’re a global nonprofit community of 40,000 members working toward a world in which LGBTQ+ people are empowered, well-represented in the tech industry, and have full agency, from intern to CEO,” says Gary Goldman, the Senior Program Director of Out in Tech. As the Queeromattic Lead, I’ve been fortunate to benefit from the wonderful and empowering community Out in Tech has created through their Qorporate Roundtables, vibrant Slack community, and virtual hangouts in light of COVID-19. It brings me great joy to share more about Out In Tech with you all in this recent interview with Gary.  Q. Tell us a bit about yourself! How do you identify? How did you get started with Out in Tech? I identify as a cisgender gay man. Before Out in Tech, I worked as a United Nations consultant for five years in data management. During that time, I was a volunteer for Out in Tech as head of the New York chapter. It has been a dream come true to transition to being a staff member and work for my actual favorite organization out there.  Q. Can you share any exciting things Out in Tech has planned for Pride? The unsung heroes of the LGBTQ+ community are the activists working on the ground in the 70+ countries where being queer is illegal (and sometimes even punishable by death).  On June 20, we’ll be building WordPress.com websites for 10 incredible organizations in these countries; they’re planning on using these sites to advocate for policy change, grow their community, and fundraise.We’re also hosting a virtual Pride series the second week of June for those working in customer experience (June 10) as well as a day of workshops for folks currently navigating the job market (June 13).  To learn more, visit outintech.com. Q. Is there one person you’ve helped over the years (or a project you’ve worked on) that stands out in your memory? I’ve noticed that a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ tech community have been eager to leverage their skills to make the world a better place.  Derrick Reyes was an early recipient of the Out in Tech Coding Scholarship. Since graduating, they’ve been leveraging their new skills to create an incredible company called Queerly Health, which helps you find and book LGBTQ+ friendly health and wellness practitioners. It was a real full-circle moment to welcome them as a panelist at an Out in Tech event back in January.  Q. Has partnering with Automattic helped your work? This partnership has made all the difference in Out in Tech’s work, and that’s not an understatement. When I was a United Nations consultant, I traveled to dozens of countries where being LGBTQ+ is outlawed, and where activists needed a digital platform to amplify their voices.  WordPress turned that vision into a reality.  Since 2017, the Out in Tech Digital Corps has built over 100 WordPress.com websites for activists in 50+ countries.  Automattic provides these activists with hosting, themes, and domains free of charge. We also have Automatticians support us technically during the Digital Corps build days — a special shout-out to Mindy Postoff, who has been to over 10 build days!Simply put, Out in Tech is powered by Automattic, and we’re incredibly grateful to Marlene Ho, Megan Marcel, and Matt Mullenweg for making it all happen.  Q. In this time when organizations have pivoted to digital events, can you tell us about your virtual events and other ways to participate in your community?   Out in Tech’s mission is to create opportunities for our members to advance their careers, grow their networks, and leverage tech for social change. During COVID-19, we’re still doing just that — but digitally.  Every week, members have an opportunity to hear from dozens of companies that are actively hiring and to network with each other during Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) socials and even RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing parties. We also have virtual events featuring prominent LGBTQ+ tech leaders, such as Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage Capital, and Jeff Titterton, the chief marketing officer of Zendesk.  When it comes to leveraging tech for social change, 100 volunteers built websites for organizations in Senegal, Uganda, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe (among others), and we’re doing it again in June. This spring, our mentorship program connected 83 LGBTQ+ youth to tech mentors for eight weeks. They’re graduating at the end of this month, and we hope some of you reading this will hire them as interns! Q. What do you look for when partnering with organizations and LGBTQ+ activists around the world? Out in Tech accepts applications from LGBTQ+ groups on every continent on a rolling basis. When our Digital Corps leadership team reviews applications, they assess four main criteria:  Does the LGBTQ+ organization have a good reason for needing a website? This can range from needing to crowdsource input from the community to applying for grants. Do they already have a website and just need a revamp? We only select organizations who either do not have an existing web presence, or whose website is very challenging to navigate. Has the organization been around for more than one year? We want to ensure that the groups we support are established and are going to stick around for the long haul after we build their shiny new website. Does the organization have at least a few volunteers to keep the website active and up to date once we deliver a user guide to them? We regularly track and monitor which sites are active and how they’re being used.  This helps us to continuously improve our efforts to unite the global LGBTQ+ community. Community is so important, especially in these times, and I’m doubly thankful for people like Gary who have helped the LGBTQ+ community remain strong. What organizations are you celebrating this month? How are you creating community from afar? Share in the comments below! At WordPress.com, we strive to be a platform that democratizes publishing so that anyone can share their stories regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world. This month is a great reminder for why we work hard to expand the open web.

Improved Navigation in the WordPress Apps

WordPress.com News -

An app should be intuitive to use, so you can do what you need to do while you’re in a hurry or on the go. The newest versions of the Android and iOS mobile apps are reorganized based on how you actually use them. Publishing and finding what you need have never been faster, so you can spend less time hunting and tapping — and more time creating and engaging. How did we decide on these changes? We analyzed our apps for pain points and hard-to-do tasks. We looked at the data and talked to people about which features are most important to them. We interviewed WordPress users and showed them prototypes. All these changes come from you — thanks! Fewer tabs for faster focus We’ve simplified the app into three main sections focused on the key things you do every day: managing your site, finding and reading great content, and keeping up to date with notifications. Your account, where it should be People expect to find account information and settings in the upper-right corner, so that’s where it is now: get to your profile and account by heading to the My Site screen and tapping on your photo. It’s where you expect it to be when you need it, and out of the way when you don’t.  Start drafting, right now There’s one button to tap to create new posts or pages. It’s big. It’s pink. It’s got a plus sign on it. It’s always there on the My Site screen, waiting. Tap it and type away! The links you use the most, right at the top There are a lot of things you can do with your site, but there are some things you do more often than others — check stats, edit posts, upload photos. We made links to those actions big, and we put them at the top of the My Site screen, right under a more prominent site name and logo. Content discovery, your way You’ll now see great content from the sites you follow as soon as you open the Reader. Use the top tabs to switch between different streams of content, or narrow things down with the filter bar if you’re only interested in specific sites or tags. To see the improvements, make sure you’ve updated your app. The WordPress mobile apps are free and available for both Android and iOS devices. If you have any questions or feedback, reach out to us directly from the app — in My Site, tap your profile image → Help & Support → Contact Us. Many of you are increasingly building your sites and reading other sites on mobile devices, so we’re constantly looking for ways to make our apps easier to use. Look out for upcoming changes that streamline site management and further refine the reading experience!

Working Remotely Isn’t Just About the Work

WordPress.com News -

With COVID-19, the business world has come to a fork in the road: Down one route, shuttered offices. Down the other, companies embracing remote work, showing us how businesses can survive — and thrive! — with a fully remote workforce. And that includes fostering strong team bonds and employee relationships; just because there’s no physical break room or water cooler doesn’t mean companies can’t create opportunities for colleagues to connect. Not all businesses can operate with remote employees, and the world’s frontline workers don’t have the luxury of dialing in from home. But for those companies that can function without a central office, there are myriad benefits to a distributed workforce. Automattic has always been fully distributed, and we’ve learned a lot about how to build a productive and happy remote workforce over the past 15 years. (CEO Matt Mullenweg is sharing many of these lessons and chatting with other folks running distributed companies on Distributed.blog and on the Distributed podcast.) Lots of companies find themselves suddenly switching to a remote work environment, and there’s a learning curve. One of the things that can be seen as challenging is social interaction on the job, which plays a vital role in productivity and mental health. When employees build friendships and strong interpersonal relationships, they enjoy their work more and do a better job overall. And if you’re reading this, thinking you don’t know anyone whose work improves when they have strong social bonds among colleagues, you do now — it’s me! As an extrovert, I get energized when I’m able to see people and faces, especially in person, but also online. I’m a conversational learner, too, so ideas stick better in my brain when I have the chance to discuss and brainstorm topics in real time with teammates. These days, it seems teleconferencing software is as commonplace as coffee shops in Seattle. “Zoom” has become part of our vocabulary, helping us to remain close with family and friends (albeit not physically), and it’s become fodder for marketing and advertising campaigns. It’s also our preferred conference tool at Automattic, and we use it for a wide range of work gatherings, like town halls and team meetings. But that’s not all we use it for. Knowing that social communication is vital to ensuring a strong culture of camaraderie, we use Zoom to hang out together: We host open mic nights, break out our pencil crayons and color collectively, or do some chair yoga with one another. We’ll also grab a beverage of choice — coffee, beer, Soylent, tea, a crisp rosé — and join a happy hour. In addition to maximizing online communication tools, we strengthen our collegial relationships offline. For example, we take advantage of the fact that we are distributed all over the world and send postcards to one another. Whatever we do, we do it because we know that social connection is important. That we’re not going to work in the same physical office just means that we have to be more intentional about making the time, and carving out the (virtual) space, to connect with coworkers. To help inspire other businesses with newly distributed workforces, we’ve put together a resource that lists the many ways we communicate socially at Automattic. You can find it on this page.

Add a Post Carousel and Embed a Podcast Player in Seconds with Our Two Latest Blocks

WordPress.com News -

The WordPress editor keeps expanding its library of blocks, adding new and exciting functionality to websites on a regular basis. After a crop of new business-related blocks last month, our most recent additions will appeal to three communities we hold close to our heart: podcasters, podcast lovers, and bloggers. Use the Podcast Player block to spread the word about your favorite episodes Podcasts have been an unstoppable cultural force for several years now — and the format seems to have only grown in popularity in recent months, as so many of us are at home and looking for entertainment and (occasionally?) enlightenment. Are you a podcaster? Add the Podcast Player block to share your passion project with your visitors, embedding your podcast’s latest episodes on any post or page on your website. If you haven’t launched a podcast (for now, anyway), but are still an avid listener, you can now embed episodes from others’ shows within your own content so readers can listen to them without ever leaving your site. Once you choose the Podcast Player block from the available blocks in the editor, you won’t need any special codes or embed links. The only information you’ll have to provide is the podcast’s RSS feed URL (not sure where to find it? The information will be readily available on your preferred podcast platform.) Here’s what the podcast player will look like on your site — the example below features the latest episode on the Distributed podcast, hosted by Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg: Episode 20: Adam Gazzaley on the Distracted Mind During a Crisis – Distributed, with Matt Mullenweg Episode 20: Adam Gazzaley on the Distracted Mind During a Crisis {"attributes":{"url":"https:\/\/distributed.blog\/category\/podcast\/feed\/","itemsToShow":1,"showEpisodeDescription":false,"showCoverArt":true},"title":"Distributed, with Matt Mullenweg","link":"https:\/\/distributed.blog\/","cover":"https:\/\/i1.wp.com\/distributed.blog\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/05\/distributed_cover.jpg?fit=3000%2C3000&ssl=1","tracks":[{"id":"podcast-track-1","link":"https:\/\/distributed.blog\/2020\/04\/29\/adam-gazzaley-distracted-mind\/","src":"https:\/\/distributed.blog\/wp-content\/uploads\/2020\/04\/distributed-episode-20-with-adam-gazzaley.mp3","type":"audio\/mpeg","description":"Matt Mullenweg speaks with neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaley, co-author of the book The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, about how our brains work, particularly during times like the current pandemic. How does the brain handle internal and external stimuli, and what do we know about the effect of practices like meditation, exercise, nutrition, and sleep?","title":"Episode 20: Adam Gazzaley on the Distracted Mind During a Crisis"}],"playerId":"jetpack-podcast-player-block-1"} ( function( instanceId ) { document.getElementById( instanceId ).classList.remove( 'is-default' ); window.jetpackPodcastPlayers=(window.jetpackPodcastPlayers||[]); window.jetpackPodcastPlayers.push( instanceId ); } )( "jetpack-podcast-player-block-1" ); You can customize the Podcast Player block in a number of ways, from specifying how many of the most recent episodes to display, to deciding whether or not you’d like to show each episode’s description. Whether you feature your own podcast or someone else’s, you get to design the listener’s experience on your site. Learn more about adding and customizing the Podcast Episode block. Keep readers reading with the Post Carousel block Sooner or later, both veteran bloggers and newer creators encounter a similar issue: publishing frequently helps energize your audience (and gives you an SEO boost, too), but also makes older posts tougher to find. The Post Carousel block comes to the rescue, providing an easy gateway to the treasures in your blog’s archives. Add the Post Carousel block to any post or page on your site to encourage visitors to explore more posts (by default, the block will display your most recent ones). For a post to show up in the carousel, it needs to have a featured image; the idea is to engage and entice readers with strong visuals they’ll want to click on. To get a taste of the carousel in action, here’s one highlighting the five most recent posts on the WordPress.com Blog: Add a Post Carousel and Embed a Podcast Player in Seconds with Our Two Latest Blocks by Jerry Jones May 22, 2020 Expert Advice: SEO and Content Marketing by Kasey Steinbrinck May 21, 2020 10 Ways to Make Your Site More Accessible by Cheri Lucas Rowlands May 21, 2020 Say Hello to the WordPress Block Editor by Dave Martin May 18, 2020 Coming Soon: Make Your Site Private Until You’re Ready to Launch by Adam Zieliński May 15, 2020 For a more curated experience, you can customize what the post carousel shows. A post about your cauliflower taco recipe might call for a carousel showing other recipes that share the “vegan” tag or category. If you run a multi-author online magazine, consider presenting other stories by the same contributor. You can also configure how many items each carousel displays and whether it automatically slides from one featured post to another (among other options). Learn more about adding and customizing the Post Carousel block. We hope you give these two new blocks a try — leave a comment if you have any questions, or if you’d like to share a link to a post where you’ve already used them.

Expert Advice: SEO and Content Marketing

WordPress.com News -

You’ve launched your website or started a blog. Congratulations! Now it’s time to attract an audience. You built a website to reach people with your art, ideas, or products and services. We’ve created a free online session to help you do just that.  Register for our next 60-minute webinar, Traffic Control: How to Find and Grow an Audience for your Website, to get advice and guidance on attracting the right people to your site. Date: May 27, 2020Time: 10:00 a.m. PDT | 11:00 a.m. MDT | 12:00 p.m. CDT | 1:00 p.m. EDT | 17:00 UTCCost: Free | Register nowWho’s invited: Content creators, online publishers, and small businesses looking for the best ways to build an audience of loyal customers and dedicated readers. Topics will include: Understanding your audience.Demystifying SEO.How to optimize your site for local visitors.What does “quality content” really mean?Using email, social media, and paid advertising.How to take advantage of WordPress.com’s marketing tools for audience growth. Hosts Chris Smith and Kasey Steinbrinck run their own sites and both have worked with a variety of businesses to help them optimize their websites and create strong content. They’ll help you choose what to focus on so that you can make the most of your time.  After working as an SEO specialist for many years, Chris supports WordPress.com customers with expert advice as a Happiness Engineer. Kasey started his career as a TV news producer and entertainment writer before becoming a content marketer and an independent blogger. Today he works on WordPress.com’s content strategy. The 60-minute webinar will include detailed instructions on WordPress SEO as well as a Q&A session. Seats are limited so register today to reserve your spot.

10 Ways to Make Your Site More Accessible

WordPress.com News -

Today, Global Accessibility Awareness Day, raises awareness around digital access and inclusion and improving the web experience for everyone. This year, WebAIM analyzed one million homepages for accessibility issues and found that 98% of websites had at least one WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) failure on their homepage, such as low-contrast text, missing image alt text, and empty links. These types of accessibility barriers make it difficult or impossible for some visitors — people who are blind, deaf and hard of hearing, and disabled, for example — to use your site. We encourage you to audit your site to ensure it’s accessible for all readers; the WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) can identify various errors on your site in seconds. Here are some web accessibility tips to get you started, and be sure to explore the guidelines and resources on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) website for deeper learning. Use an accessibility-ready theme You can choose from among a variety of designs for your site, but some themes have features that add complexity, making it harder for disabled people or visitors using screen readers to access your content. When choosing a theme, consider an accessibility-ready design, like Balasana, a free minimal theme for your business website; or Mayland, a free visual theme that’s great for photographers and storytellers. These themes have been checked by the Theme Review Team and pass basic accessibility requirements. Display your site title and tagline Many themes allow you to upload a custom header image, which is a visual way to brand your site, display the title of your blog, or promote the name of your business. But some themes may not support alternative text, or the written copy that appears in place of an image on a page if the image fails to load on your visitor’s screen. Instead of conveying your site title and tagline within a header image, display your site title and tagline text. Go to Manage → Settings, and at the top under Site profile, fill out your Site title and Site tagline. Then, head to Design → Customize, go to Site Identity, and check the box next to Display Site Title and Tagline. Structure your pages and posts with appropriate headings Add headings with the Heading Block to organize pages and posts and make it easier for readers to follow your content, which is especially important for longer pages and posts. Click on the “i” icon in the top toolbar of the block editor to view any errors and incorrect heading sizes. Select fonts and colors for legibility Fonts and colors are essential components on your site, adding personality and style and strengthening your visual identity online. Avoid font styles and sizes and color palettes that make your site difficult to read, and pay attention to contrast, or the difference between the darkness of your text and the lightness of your background. The block editor will display an error message in Color settings when it detects poor color contrast in the specific block you’re working on. Clearly describe your links When linking to another page or post on the web, make your linked text descriptive. For example, “click here” is not as effective as “learn how to apply to my writing workshop.” Include captions with your images When adding an image with the Image Block, add a description of the image in the caption underneath it. While captions are optional, they improve the experience for all readers by providing more context. Add alt text to your images Alt text is essential for people who are blind or use screen readers (they can hear alt text read aloud), or people who have disabled images for speed or bandwidth reasons. Alt text is also important for your site’s SEO — it helps search engines understand what your site content is about. When adding an image with the Image Block, go to the block’s settings on the right and add the alt text in the box under Image settings. Learn more about W3C’s image accessibility guidelines. Create easily clickable CTA areas With the Buttons Block, you can add call-to-action buttons to your pages and posts quickly. For those of you who design and embed your own buttons with Image Widgets, make buttons, icons, and other CTA elements with wide-enough areas that are easy to click or tap from different devices. You can apply this tip to text links as well. Tapping a linked hashtag or asterisk within a sentence, for example — especially on a small screen — may be difficult for some people. Include captions or transcripts for multimedia content If your site includes video content, consider adding captions or including transcripts (documenting speech, sounds, as well as actions seen on-screen). Podcast transcripts are also incredibly helpful; here’s a transcript of a recent Distributed episode with neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley. It’s best if video and audio content does not auto-play, but if that’s not possible, options to pause or adjust the volume should be obvious on the page. Never stop learning and improving This list is just an introduction to a few best practices and guidelines! If you’re interested in learning more, explore the resources on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) website. You can also explore ways to get involved in improving the accessibility of WordPress. Learn more about Global Accessibility Awareness Day and participate in online events, webinars, and podcasts.

Say Hello to the WordPress Block Editor

WordPress.com News -

On June 1 we’ll be retiring our older WordPress.com editor and transitioning to the more recent (and more powerful) WordPress block editor. Want to know how this may affect your site and what you can expect? Read on. If you’ve launched your WordPress.com site in the past year and a half you may have never seen our older editor and are likely already using the more recent WordPress editor. Those of you who have an older site, though, might recognize this editing experience: We know it can be frustrating to get used to an online tool only to see it change or go away. Retiring an entire editor — the place where you publish posts and pages on WordPress.com — is not something we would ever do on a whim. What inspired us to take this decision is the positive experience site owners have had with the newer WordPress editor. Why switch to the WordPress editor? Let us count the ways. The WordPress block editor was released over a year and a half ago. Since then, it has improved in numerous ways thanks to thousands of enhancements and fixes  — to the point that we’re certain it offers a far superior experience compared to the older WordPress.com editor. Not sure? You can take the WordPress editor for a spin. In case you’ve never encountered it before, here are only some of the features you’ll find in the WordPress block editor that aren’t available in the older WordPress.com editor. Over 100 content blocks for publishing virtually any type of page or postContent blocks can be mixed and matched to customize the content of any page or post. A growing collection of block patternsBlock patterns are simply collections of blocks pre-bundled together to form beautiful designs. Dozens of beautiful, built-in page templatesPage templates simplify the creation of common pages within WordPress by giving you a beautiful predesigned template to get started. Customizable styles directly within the editorYou can now customize the look and feel of your website by testing out different fonts directly within the WordPress editor. What other options do I have? We hope you give the WordPress editor a try — it’s been the editing experience of choice for millions since it arrived on the scene. That said, we know some of you might prefer to avoid this change. We’re offering two options for those who’d rather  stick with an older way of editing your content. 1) Use the Classic blockWithin the new WordPress editor you’ll find the Classic block, which replicates the functionality of the Classic editor — that’s the editor that used to be the default until several years ago, well before we introduced the WordPress.com editor. Here’s what it looks like: 2) Opt to use the Classic editorYou also have the choice to switch to the Classic editor. Here’s what it looks like, in case you haven’t seen this one in a while (or ever): We hope you enjoy the new WordPress editor — give it a try today to get a taste ahead of June 1!

Coming Soon: Make Your Site Private Until You’re Ready to Launch

WordPress.com News -

When you create a new site, you may want to personalize it before making it public. On WordPress.com, we give you a safe space where you can work on building and editing your site until you’re ready to share it with the world. Until recently, this Coming Soon mode was limited to new sites without plugins or custom themes installed. We realize, however, that many users — regardless of how long they’ve had a website on WordPress.com — might want to make updates, change the design, or add new functionality without making these changes visible to the public until they’re complete. Now, all sites have this Coming Soon option, and you can toggle it on or off as you wish. To set your site to Coming Soon, go to Manage in the sidebar, select Settings, scroll down to Privacy, and select the Coming Soon button. Be sure to click on Save settings for the change to take effect. While in this mode, site visitors will see a landing page with your site’s title. You and other logged-in people that you invite will see the full website. Logged-out viewLogged-in view To invite people to view your site while in Coming Soon mode, add them as new users from the Manage → People → Invite button. Users will need to at least be a Contributor to view the site in this mode. To make your site public again, go to Manage in the sidebar, select Settings, scroll down to Privacy, and select the Public button. Again, be sure to click on Save settings. Private sites for all If instead of sharing your site with everyone, you want to keep it private, and only available to invited members of the site — for instance, a private blog for your family, made up of photos and videos of your children or pets — you can use the Private option under Manage → Settings → Privacy. In this mode, instead of the Coming Soon landing page, logged-out visitors will see a more discreet prompt to log in. No matter what you want to do on your site — whether making a few tweaks, refreshing your site design, or building a fully fledged online store — use the Coming Soon feature to keep it private until you’re ready to unveil it to the world. We hope you enjoy this new feature!

Expert Advice: Business Fundamentals for Creative Professionals

WordPress.com News -

Are you an artist, photographer, or freelance writer? How about a website designer, master metalsmith, or musician? If you’re in any creative profession and would like to learn more about how to market and sell your services and work online, we’ve created a free webinar just for you. We’ve partnered with our friends at FreshBooks, the leading invoicing and accounting software for creative entrepreneurs, to offer tips on how to build your online store and automate your sales and accounting, leaving you with more time to focus on your craft. Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2020Time: 10:00 a.m. PDT | 11:00 a.m. MDT | 12:00 p.m. CDT | 1:00 p.m. EDT | 17:00 UTCCost: FreeRegistration linkWho’s invited: Artists, writers, musicians, website and graphic designers, photographers, marketers, and anyone else interested in learning how to sell their creative services online. Your hosts will be Jonathan Wold, Community Manager at WooCommerce, and Irene Elliott, Senior Community Manager at FreshBooks. Dustin Hartzler, a WooCommerce Happiness Engineer, will moderate questions. After the 45-minute presentation, we’ll open up the (virtual) floor for a 15-minute Q&A session. Attendee slots are limited, so be sure to register early to save your seat! But if you can’t make it, we’ve got your back. A recording of the webinar will be uploaded to our YouTube channel a few days after the event. See you then!

Pages

Recommended Content

Subscribe to Complete Hosting Guide aggregator - Website Builder Blogs