Manage Plugins in the WordPress Mobile Apps

We’re happy to announce the addition of a frequently requested feature in the WordPress mobile apps: plugin management! With the 9.1 update for the iOS and Android apps, WordPress.com Business plan sites with plugins and self-hosted WordPress sites with Jetpack can now manage their plugins right in the app.

Instead of going to your dashboard in a web browser for every little plugin change, you can now browse your site’s plugins in the WordPress mobile apps, and activate, deactivate, and update plugins right from your phone. You can also manage auto-updates, remove most plugins, and find a link to the plugin’s page on WordPress.org for quick reference.

Try It Out

To find plugins in your app, make sure you’ve updated to version 9.1+ and have the Jetpack plugin (version 5.6+ required). Once you’re updated, you’ll see a new “Plugins” area under “Configure”.

Send Feedback

If you have any questions or feedback on managing plugins in the apps, reach out to our in-app support team by tapping Me → Help & Support → Contact Us.


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/manage-plugins-in-the-wordpress-mobile-apps/

The WordPress.com Year in Review (and Resolutions for 2018)

Some years go by slowly — not because they’re busier, but maybe there’s just more out there in the world to stop and notice. We hope the WordPress.com and Jetpack community offered you some of those moments this year.

Maybe it was a helpful chat with someone on our Happiness team, or maybe you discovered a cool new feature that made business or blogging even easier. Perhaps you read something on WordPress.com that inspired you. We just want to say thanks for being here, and we’re excited to see what you all accomplish in 2018 and beyond.

Below are some highlights from the year in WordPress.com — and make sure you check out WordPress.com Discover to see more favorite moments from 2017. Happy New Year!

Viral Hits and Notable Moments

• TIME, powered by WordPress.com VIP, announced its Person of the Year — The Silence Breakers.

• WordPress.com blogger Hospey used an online resume to score an internship with Chance the Rapper:

• Baby Ellie became the youngest person to thru-hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail! She made the trip with her mom Bekah and her dad Derrick, who wrote about their adventure.

• One user got a nice surprise: JK Rowling tweeted their blog post:

• Robert E. Kelly and his family became worldwide celebrities when his appearance on the BBC was interrupted by his children. “We are just a regular family, and raising two young children can be a lot of work. Because of that, it seems that the video has resonated with parents around the world,” he wrote on his blog.

• Over at Longreads, Laurie Penny wrote the site’s most popular story of the year — The Unforgiving Minute.

• We wished a happy 11th anniversary to Smitten Kitchen, one of the web’s most popular and longest-running food blogs.

• INFJoe, the cartoon persona of artist and blogger Aaron Caycedo-Kimura, released his book Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life.


The Year in Building Your Business

This year we worked to make it even easier to create the perfect website for business and ecommerce — from fashion to fitness, salons to school fundraisers.

In March we introduced unlimited themes for Premium and Business plan users so you can experiment with more designs — including the new Radcliffe 2 theme for small business. We made it easy for you to collaborate in Google Docs and publish straight to WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites. In May we launched Business plan support for third-party plugins and themes, giving you total control over customizing and monetizing your site:

Of course, no website is an island: it’s more important than ever to distribute your blog posts and pages across social media, so in July we introduced social media scheduling, allowing you to plan tweets and Facebook posts far in advance and resurface popular posts from your archives:

social scheduling

Then in August, we made it even easier to earn money from your site with the new Simple Payment feature:

To top it all off, we teamed up with Rebrand Cities to bring 10,000 small business online, and we partnered with inspiring folks like Creative Mornings and legendary designers like Michael Bierut and Marian Bantjes to create new sites with students in Appalachia as part of Project A3.


The Year in Photos (and Making It Easier to Post the Perfect Shot)

You published some incredible images and illustrations in 2017! Take a look:

Ascending the Andes

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb – Nelson Mandela.” Thirdeyemom ascended the Andes, and captured this stunning photograph.

Illustrations by Jeremy Graboyes

We fell in love with the illustrated work of Jeremy Graboyes, a Washington, D.C.-based artist who specializes in pen-and-ink and watercolor.

Child laborers of Bangladesh

Photographer Sophia Hsin documented the child laborers of Bangladesh. The Vancouver-based Hsin is using the project to raise awareness among consumers about how some products enter their food chain.

Street photography in Puerto Rico

Omar Z. Robles brought dance and street photography together. Robles captures moments with dancers around the world, from the streets of Cuba to Hong Kong. (Above: dancer Courtney Stohlton in Puerto Rico.)

We also wanted to simplify the process of sharing your gorgeous images: You can now connect your Google Photos account and insert images straight from Google, as well as export photos from Lightroom straight to WordPress.com.


The Year in Publishing on the Go

mobile apps

Photoblogging is even better with a world-class mobile app. We made a ton of improvements to WordPress for iOS and Android, with a brand new editor, new features to manage your site, and a whole lot more.


A Warm Welcome to WordPress!

Did you know that nearly 30% of all sites on the internet are powered by WordPress? Here’s just a small sampling of the new sites we welcomed to WordPress.com, Jetpack, and WordPress.com VIP in 2017:


Resolutions for 2018

We resolve to keep working to make the web a better place — and work with all of you in the WordPress.com community to keep building your dreams.

What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? Tell us in the comments.


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/the-wordpress-com-year-in-review-and-resolutions-for-2018/

Update Your Avatar on WordPress.com

We’ve given one of our favorite features a boost! You can now manage your profile photo, or avatar, right on WordPress.com. This avatar, powered by a service called Gravatar, is the image that represents you online — a thumbnail that appears next to your name when you interact on blogs and websites. With this recently refined feature, you can upload, edit, and update your avatar at wordpress.com/me.

Your avatar shows up in many places on WordPress.com. For example, you’ll see it on your site next to your blog posts:

And when you like someone’s post:

Or when you comment on a post:

As you can see, your avatar helps to establish your identity and credibility on WordPress.com — but also across the internet. It will also appear on other websites that use Gravatar, like Stack Overflow and Hootsuite. This means that you don’t have to re-upload the same photo multiple times across the web.

How to Update Your Avatar

While logged into your WordPress.com account, go to wordpress.com/me or click your profile icon at the top-right corner of the screen. You’ll see the edit screen for your profile:

From here, you can either click on your photo to change it:

Animated GIF showing clicking the button to change the Gravatar

Or drag and drop a new photo from your computer:

You can also edit the photo — rotate, flip, or crop — before setting or changing it:

Animation showing editing image

When you’re happy with your image, click Change My Photo and you’re all set!

We’ve also made this update for the desktop app. If you have questions, refer to the Gravatars Support page or contact Support for assistance. We look forward to seeing your faces around the web!


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/update-your-avatar/

A New Media Picker for the iOS WordPress App

Sometimes it’s the extra touches that make all the difference; on your website, that’s the photos and video that give your content life.

You asked for streamlined access to your media library and the camera and photos on your device, to make uploading and inserting photos and videos easier. We hear you loud and clear! A freshly-updated media picker is now available in version 8.5 of the WordPress app for iOS.

What’s New

The new media picker was designed to allow quicker access to your media right from the new Aztec editor. Now you can insert videos and photos without leaving the editor. Click the plus sign — just like in the desktop editor:

 

The picker’s toolbar has buttons that provide full screen access to media already on your device, the camera, and your site’s media library.

ios_media_picker_toolbar

Whether you need to insert a photo you’ve already uploaded, capture a new video with your camera, or peruse all the special moments already on your device to find the perfect pic, you’re covered.

Open Source and Proud of It

Giving back to the software development community is part of Automattic’s DNA. That’s why our Android and iOS apps are 100% open source and will remain that way. In fact, the new media picker is a stand-alone iOS library that can be used in your own projects. We encourage you to try it out!

Thank You!

The Mobile team truly appreciates all of our wonderful users. Our goal is to build tools to help you make your site the best it can be. We look forward to your feedback and hope you enjoy the new media picker as much as we do.


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/a-new-media-picker-for-the-ios-wordpress-app/

Add A Simple Payment Button To Your WordPress.com Premium Or Business Site

May 2016: Hajj Flemings, CEO of Rebrand Cities with renowned photographer, Shawn Lee, in a redesigned school bus en route to working with small business owners in Detroit.

Earlier this year, while working in Detroit with small business owners and the Rebrand Cities team, it became clear that entrepreneurs and publishers are looking for a simpler way to accept credit and debit card payments on their sites.

Our Happiness Engineering team — the guardians of our customers — also weighed in, and we knew that we wanted to make an existing process simpler. So we set a design goal of bringing a 15-minute-long process to under a minute — especially for a customer that has never used PayPal before.

So a small team of engineers and designers came together to solve that problem with the intent of releasing a “Version One” with which we could start to understand how a simpler payment button could be used by our customers. It’s currently limited to our Premium and Business Plan members while we tune and refine how it can work best.

Here’s how it works: Open a new post, select “Insert Content,” then choose “Add Payment Button.” You’ll fill out the details for what you’re selling, add the email address for your PayPal account (where the money will be sent), and that’s it! Now your readers can send you a payment with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account.

Read more about how to get started with the new Simple Payments feature for Premium and Business Plans on WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites.

***

It’s easy to think that making simple things is, well, simple. But that’s never the case. Austin, Texas-based engineering leader Bob Ralian led the product team that pulled this live, working prototype together in record time. I had the opportunity to observe the design team in action working with the engineers, and the following is a brief interview with Bob on how all the pieces came together.

JM: So tell me a little about yourself, Bob!

BR: I’ve been building websites and web applications for the better part of 20 years, and I’ve worked at Automattic for four years. I’ve done a mix of engineering, team management, and project management. I live in Austin, Texas, with my wife, three kids, and two dogs.

JM: How does an engineer think versus how a designer thinks?

BR: As an engineer I usually think in terms of what I have and what I know. I can work within a system, take different pieces and turn them into something new. Take duct tape, dental floss, and a rubber band, and turn it into a bicycle. Or I can look at a process and think through how I can make it better. But I’ve found that designers are able to create something totally new out of nothing. They’re not intimidated by a completely blank slate. It’s a superpower that I greatly admire!

JM: They sound very similar!

BR: I think we’re motivated by the same things. We want to make something that people like and appreciate and makes their days a little better. Really, we just want our users to be happy and enjoy what we’re building.

JM: An unusual amount of planning went into this little button — it started in Detroit with a group of designers and then was packaged into a variety of concept sketches and little movies. Does all that up front work really pay off? If so, how?

BR: We spent a lot of time with customers, particularly small business owners, to learn about what they need from their websites. We learned that many of them just want a simple way to take payments. So we used that as our guiding principle, make it as simple as possible for these business owners to add a payment button to their site.

JM: What’s an “MVLP”? I heard the designers use that term with the engineers.

BR: MVLP stands for “minimum viable lovable product.” It means that rather than taking a long time to build a complicated product behind a curtain, we try to build small, simple features and launch them early. It’s ready when it solves a real user need and we can feel proud of it – something we can love. Then we let our customers tell us what they want next and how to make it better. This keeps us focused on building for real user needs.

JM: As an accomplished musical artist yourself, how does “love” play into the engineering of products?

BR: To me it’s all the same; composing a song, writing a blog post, building a new feature, or making something with my hands. I just really love the process of “making things.” Bringing something new into the world is an act of love. It’s an act of vulnerability and generosity. It’s saying to the world “We did our best, and we really hope this makes your life a little better.”

JM: Thanks Bob! Our huge thanks to the engineers who built it; Jason Johnston (who led the project), Artur Piszek, Damián Suárez, Don Park, Jarda Šnajdr, Payton Swick, and Rastislav Lamoš! And special thanks to designers Takashi Irie and Dave Whitley for thoughtfully crafting the experience design for this very first MLVP of the Simple Payment button.


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/now-add-a-simple-payment-button-to-your-wordpress-com-premium-or-business-site/

WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes

For many years, WordPress.com has been a simple way for people to create their own beautiful WordPress website in minutes.

But that simplicity came with a tradeoff — WordPress.com did not offer built-in support for the thousands of third-party plugins and themes that helped make WordPress the world’s largest and most open web publishing platform.

Now, we’ve made a significant change to the WordPress.com Business plan: you can access and add third-party plugins and themes built by the WordPress community. It’s the simplicity, speed, and expert support that you’ve always loved about WordPress.com, plugged in.

People love WordPress because it is totally customizable. With support for plugins and third-party themes, WordPress.com Business users will be able to connect their sites to great email and social media tools, ecommerce solutions, publishing and subscription services, and more.

This is a big step for us, and there’s a lot more work to do — over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be working with partners and developers to help make the experience even easier for you to install and use these plugins and themes on WordPress.com.

And every WordPress.com Business user gets real-time concierge support – live chat with one of our Happiness Engineers and we can help you make the most of these new features.

WordPress is the world’s most popular web platform, and we’re proud to keep this community growing and thriving. Thanks for your continued support.

wordpress_business_wide4-half


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/wordpress-com-business-now-supports-plugins-and-third-party-themes/

A Brand New Editor for the WordPress Mobile Apps

Now that so many of us carry around tiny pocket-size computers, more and more of our internet time happens on phones and tablets — not just browsing, but creating. You’ve been asking for a better publishing experience in the WordPress app to make mobile publishing smoother. Today we’re introducing a new editor for iOS and Android, codenamed “Aztec.” It’s speedy and reliable, works with posts and pages, and is ready for beta testing!

What’s New?

At first glance, the Aztec editor might look like the old editor — which means you already know how to use it, with no learning curve.

What’s different, exactly? A lot:

  • The overall user experience is smoother and snappier, with improved scrolling and faster image insertion.
  • Spellcheck now works reliably.
  • The addition of Undo and Redo tools means you can easily fix mistakes or move between different versions of your text when writing (and re-writing!).
  • Dictation! Now, you can draft your thoughts without typing.
  • Full support for accessibility technologies like iOS’ VoiceOver and Android’s TalkBack.

It’s not just better for people on phones: Tablet users will feel more at home, too. We designed Aztec with external keyboards in mind, making it feel almost like a word processor.

Interested in the full list of features and improvements? Here you go.

Side-by-Side Snappiness

We ran a copy and paste test on iOS with 500 paragraphs of text on an iPhone 6s. The pasted text appears instantaneously in the beta Aztec editor, while the current editor takes two minutes to render it:

Next, we edited an image-heavy post using WordPress for Android to see the scrolling speed improvement — there’s no contest. The current editor is on the left, the beta Aztec editor on the right:

Can I Try It?

Please do! The Aztec editor is a beta version, which means we’re eager for your feedback so we can improve any weak spots before the official launch. When you install the latest WordPress update (8.0 for iOS, 7.8 for Android), you’ll see a pop-up window inviting you to try it out the first time you head to your site — tap “Try It” to activate the new editor. If you missed the popup, tap on Me and then App Settings to switch to the beta editor.

“Beta” means “not 100% ready for everyone;” there are a some things we’re still working on, and others we really want your opinions on. You can see what elements we’re focused on by tapping Me, then App Settings, and tapping the info circle button next to “Editor beta release notes & bug reporting.”

What’s Under the Hood?

The current editor uses a technology called a “web view” which got us 70% of the way to a great editor — but the last 30% of the experience was less than ideal. Aztec brings us closer to the 100% mark. It’s designed using technologies provided by Apple and Google, so it feels like part of the operating system: seamless.

(For more nitty-gritty: the iOS app uses TextKit and NSAttributedStrings, while the Android app uses android.text.Spannable. If you’re a developer — or are just curious — and want to know about the work going into Aztec, we’ve written about it on Make WordPress Mobile.)

All of the code is open-sourced and you can use it in your own application. Contributors are very welcome, and we look forward to any feedback on the project via GitHub or on Make WordPress Slack.

Feedback, Please!

You can give us feedback about the new editing experience in the editor window itself, so you can share your thoughts as they come to you. Tap on the Beta button in the post title area and then tap the Bug button in the navigation bar.

We’re standing by for your thoughts!


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/a-brand-new-editor-for-the-wordpress-mobile-apps/

You Can Now Schedule Your Social Media Posts from WordPress.com

Keeping up with social media can feel like a full-time job these days — and for many it is. Posting your content on Twitter and Facebook during specific hours, and keeping things evenly spaced out, means that you need to tend to your profiles pretty often.

We wanted to make it easier for WordPress.com users to create great content on their websites — and share it across different social media networks.

The new Advanced Social Media feature for Business and Premium plan users (and for Jetpack Professional and Premium users) lets you schedule specific times that your content will be automatically shared on places like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also preview your social updates before sending them, so you know exactly how it will look when it goes out.

With Advanced Social Media, you can:

  • Resurface older “evergreen” posts to share them to your newer followers.
  • Plan your social media posts in bulk to save time.
  • Craft messages specifically to fit the profile or network where you are posting.
  • Preview upcoming tweets, Facebook posts, or LinkedIn updates.
  • See the previous shares of the post.

You can access all of these features by selecting the “Share” button under a post in your posts list.

Share Tab Open

When you select “Share” you can share a post immediately or select the calendar to pick a future time:

Share Calendar Open

To make sure you get the best result, use the “Preview” button:

This is just one of the many social media features we’ve built into WordPress.com to help you share your best work with others. We hope you enjoy, and happy tweeting!


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/you-can-now-schedule-your-social-media-posts-from-wordpress-com/

WordPress.com Teams Up with Rebrand Cities to Bring Local Businesses Online

Cities are collections of neighborhoods — and neighborhoods are powered by small business. From coffee shop owners to fitness instructors, therapists to thrift stores, it’s the people we see in the storefronts next door who build and reinforce the unique character of our cities.

At WordPress.com, we want to support local businesses as they grow their own communities (and their revenue!) on the open web. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Rebrand Cities, a project founded by Hajj Flemings to bring small businesses online, in pursuit of an audacious goal: 10,000 new websites for 10,000 small businesses and to tell their stories.

Eighty-one percent of people research a business online before making a purchase — but of the 28 million small businesses that drive the American economy, 46 percent still operate without a website. We want to change that.

Rebrand Cities, a national civic design and brand project, is a multi-disciplinary collaboration with residents, community stakeholders, and local governments to strengthen the fabric — both concrete and virtual — of our cities. We’re starting with Detroit, Miami, Newark, and Philadelphia.

Our collaboration kicked off in Detroit, where we hosted a hackathon to work with local entrepreneurs. You can see the results of that collaboration here:

We’ll be announcing more cities soon. For more information on how your business can participate, go to Rebrand.city.

Upcoming City Info Sessions and Exploratory Events

  • Detroit, MI: July 12, 2017
  • Newark, NJ: July 14, 2017
  • Portland, OR: July 17- 20, 2017
  • Philadelphia, PA: July 25, 2017


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/wordpress-com-teams-up-with-rebrand-cities-to-bring-local-businesses-online/