- Share It Again: New Social Media Features for Premium and Business Users
- New Themes: TextBook and Dara
- New WordPress.com for Lightroom Makes Publishing Your Photos Easy
- WordPress.com in 2016: A Year in Review
- Introducing VR and 360° Content for All WordPress.com Sites
- A Refreshed Reader for 2017
- New Theme: Ixion
- Your Site, Now in Other Languages: Introducing the Google Translate Widget
- Register Now for WordCamp US
- .blog Domains Are Now Available to Everyone!
Sharing your posts on social media is a great way to ensure your site or blog gets traffic. Our Publicize feature makes it easy to automatically share your new posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. But what about your previously published posts? For posts that are always relevant or valuable to new readers, you may want to share them again -- weeks, months, or even years later. That’s why we’re excited to introduce a new re-sharing feature for our WordPress.com Premium and Business users. Now, you can share your previously published posts on social networks -- with custom messaging for each social network too. Just go to the Blog Posts section of your site, select Share, and you’ll see the new sharing menu for reposting to your social accounts: Then you’re all set! A BRIEF WORD ON SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY: Make sure your posting schedule and frequency of posts take into account your followers’ needs and expectations. For example: with social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, we do not recommend sharing the same post over and over -- your account should contain a mix of links to your blog, your thoughts, and comments, all spaced apart. People around the world browse social media 24 hours a day, so repeating content in distant time zones helps widen your audience, but know that users may not appreciate seeing the same link multiple times. You can learn more about growing your audience and specific tips for highlighting your archives in Blogging University. We’re excited about these new features, and we hope you enjoy it. Filed under: Social
Hello there! Today I'm announcing the latest additions to our collection of free themes: _TextBook _and_ Dara._ TEXTBOOK Designed by Allan Cole, _TextBook_ is aimed at helping schools, colleges, and other non-profit organizations to distribute and archive information in an easy way. It includes a Featured Content area that you can use to highlight key posts or pages. It also supports Testimonials, which are ideal for showcasing quotes from alumni, staff, students, and others. _TextBook_ also has a responsive layout that adapts to fit many kinds of screen sizes, like mobile devices, tablets, and laptop or desktop computers. Like what you see? Learn more about _TextBook_ by checking out the theme's showcase! DARA Designed by Caroline Moore, _Dara_ is a bold and bright business theme. With prominent Featured Images, a slider to showcase your work, and support for Testimonials from happy clients, _Dara_ is ready to get to work for your company. Learn more about _Dara_ by checking out the theme's showcase! Filed under: Themes
We know a lot of WordPress.com users loving sharing their photos, and we know a lot of you use Adobe’s Lightroom. Now we’ve made it even easier: with our new Lightroom plugin you can export direct from Lightroom to WordPress.com. Just select one or multiple photos from your Lightroom library, hit export, and save them to your WordPress.com Media Library. Download the plugin from the Lightroom to WordPress.com plugin page. GETTING STARTED You’ll be asked to login to WordPress.com to get started. After that, you’re all set. Export your photos direct to any of your sites by selecting them in Lightroom: Click the Lightroom export button, select your site, and export! You have the full power of Lightroom under your control, as well as the standard export settings. If your photos have titles or captions this information will be passed along too. The photos will upload to WordPress.com in the background and you can get on with something else. Once uploaded they will be available in your media library for use in posts and galleries. WordPress.org users can also use the plugin-just make sure you have Jetpack installed in order to use it. Full details about downloading and using the plugin can be found on the Lightroom plugin page. Enjoy! Filed under: Admin Bar
It's been a year of highs and lows, but one thing is certain: all of us at WordPress.com's parent company Automattic are proud of what this community has accomplished in the past year. Your work is supported by a company of more than 500 people in over 50 countries, dedicated to democratizing publishing. We hope we've helped to bring your ideas, your creativity, and your businesses to life on the web. To celebrate 2016, we're excited to share our Automattic Year in Review -- where you'll find stats and fun facts about all of our work over the past year for WordPress.com, as well as WooCommerce, WordPress.com VIP, Jetpack, .blog, and more. Spoiler alert: WordPress.com users published more than 595 million (!) posts and more than 457 million (!) comments in 2016. That's pretty incredible, so pat yourselves on the back. We're also thrilled to put the spotlight on just a few WordPress.com success stories from the past year -- including writers like Stephanie Land and Tiffany Martinez, and publishers like People.com and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Thanks to all of you for making WordPress.com such a special community. Check out the Automattic Year in Review -- and see you in 2017! Filed under: Automattic, Milestone, WordPress.com, Wrapup
Virtual Reality is coming to WordPress.com! As of today, you can create and publish your own VR content on any WordPress.com site, starting with 360° photos and 360° videos (beta), and you can view regular photos and panoramas in VR. Our goal is to make publishing VR content as simple as publishing text or photos to the web -- just add VR content to your site and anyone with a web browser can instantly enjoy it. Let's start with some examples. Click the "play" button on any picture below and our VR viewer will load. On a regular desktop browser you can then "look around" using your mouse, including in gorgeous full-screen mode. On a phone browser or a webVR enabled desktop browser, you'll see a VR button in the bottom right -- select it and our viewer will render the content in full 3D mode inside your VR gear. So far we've tested with Cardboard, Gear, Daydream, Rift, and Vive. 360° PHOTOS:
Here's a panorama that the Mars Pathfinder took:
We're already seeing examples of how VR can help tell stories. The Harvard Gazette is starting to use 360° photos to convey their stories, for example in Confronting the Refugee Crisis. Augmenting your own posts with VR content is simple: Upload VR content to your WordPress site just like you would with any other content, decide if you want to present it in 360 or cinema (panorama) mode, and publish it using the "vr" shortcode:
[vr url=path-to-photo.jpg view=360]or
[vr url=path-to-photo.jpg view=cinema]Detailed instructions are here. An easy way to start taking 360° photos today is to use the Google Street View app (for iOS and Android). We can't wait to see how WordPress.com users will use VR to tell their stories! Filed under: Embeds, New Features, Photos
Reader is WordPress.com's town square, where you can follow your favorite sites and read them in a distraction-free environment. We've been working on a refresh for months, and we're thrilled to share it with you today. For readers, we hope these changes will surprise and delight you, adding more diversity to your stream and exposing you to posts you’ll love. And for writers, we want to put your awesome work in front of a whole new audience. A SIMPLIFIED DESIGN We want Reader to feel like a magazine you can cozy up with, so we've streamlined the design, featuring clean text on a simple white background. We've also increased the information density so you can see more of the sites you love with less scrolling. NEW POST LAYOUTS There's a huge variety of content in Reader. We want to make sure it looks great no matter what, so the layout now responds to what's in the post. For example, posts with lots of imagery will get the Gallery layout, which highlights the first four images. A post with an image and very little text will get the Photo layout, letting the visuals take center stage. Want to see more of the photo? Click or tap and it will expand in place. Reader is now better at choosing which media to show — like many of you have requested, it’ll start looking for media at the top of each post. If the first media is a video, we'll show it in the stream — just click the image to watch. Writers don't have to do anything new to use these layouts. Reader will automatically select the layout that makes your post look its best. SPIFFED-UP TAG PAGES Tag pages are a great place to find a variety of voices on a subject you care about. In addition to the new post layouts, each tag page now features an image from one of the top tagged posts. This makes the pages more fun, and it's another chance for your posts to get noticed (hint: tagging your posts and including a large image is always a good idea). Every header image has a credit that links to the post, of course. You know you can follow tags, too, right? Click FOLLOW TAG at the top of any tag page and it'll be added to your Tags list in the sidebar. RECOMMENDED POSTS There are millions of amazing posts flowing through WordPress.com every day that you never see, and we want to bring a few of them to your attention, so we're adding a bit of serendipity. We call it Recommended Posts. This new section will show up in Reader intermittently — more for new members, less for existing members who already follow a lot of sites. You can also see Recommended Posts on the Search page. The recommendations are selected by a unique collaboration between editors and algorithms. As a new member, your recommendations will mostly come from our Editors' Picks. As you follow, like, and comment on blogs, the algorithm will recommend other posts we hope you’ll like. If a recommendation looks promising, click or tap to read it. If you enjoy it, click the star to like it, and we'll keep that in mind for future recommendations. And if you don't like a recommendation, click the X icon to dismiss it, and we'll keep that in mind, too. Writers, just keep doing what you're already doing and your work could get recommended, too! ------------------------- As always, this is a work in progress. These changes will be coming to the WordPress mobile apps soon, and we'll be tweaking and improving along the way. We've got some really exciting stuff coming up. Give the refreshed Reader a try! WordPress.com members can find it in the usual spot. Not a member yet? Join us. What do you think of all these updates? Let us know in the comments. And thanks, as always, for being part of the WordPress.com community. Filed under: Features, Reading, WordPress.com
Howdy all! Today I'm happy to present a new free theme in our collection: IXION Designed by Mel Choyce, _Ixion_ is a clean and professional theme for schools, non-profits, and organizations. Put your most exciting news front and center with a custom header image and a call-to-action button, highlight your three most noteworthy accomplishments on the home page, or use Testimonials to showcase your organization's satisfied students or customers. _Ixion_ is responsive, meaning it will adapt to screens and devices of all shapes and sizes. Intrigued? Learn more about _Ixion_ by checking out the theme's showcase! Filed under: Themes
Internationalization is very important to us, and we're striving to make sites across WordPress.com accessible to all, such as your international followers and multilingual readers. Today, we're thrilled to introduce the Google Translate Widget, which allows you and your site visitors to instantly translate your content into 103 languages currently supported by Google Translate.
Languages currently supported by Google Translate.HOW IT WORKS To enable automatic translation on your site, add the Google Translate Widget in your Customizer by going to MY SITE(S) → CUSTOMIZE → WIDGETS. Once enabled, your site visitors will be able to access a dropdown menu in your sidebar or footer and automatically translate the content into 100+ languages.
A blog post in English.
The blog post above, automatically translated into French with the Google Translate Widget.Additionally, you can also send readers to a specific language version of your site by adding a language translation code -- such as "?lang=de" for German -- to any page URL. You'll find the steps to activate the widget and use language translation codes in our Google Translate Widget support doc. AVAILABLE FOR JETPACK The Google Translate Widget is also included in version 4.4 of Jetpack so you can enable automatic translation on your WordPress site, too. Install the latest version of Jetpack on Jetpack.com. We're excited to offer this tool to all of our users -- and make it easier for you to reach and connect with a wider audience around the world. Filed under: International, Localization, Widgets, WordPress.com
The second annual WordCamp US, the biggest WordCamp in North America, is next month! Join us in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 2-4 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. WCUS features three tracks. Sessions include “Five Newsroom Tips for Better Website Content,” “How to Overcome Your Fears and Start Sharing Your Knowledge,” “Open Source Creativity,” “Finding Your Voice by Blogging,” and “Diversity and the Design Team.” Check out the full schedule to find your favorites -- there are topics for everyone, from developers and designers working on WordPress every day to content creators and people just starting out. To close out the conference, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg will deliver the annual “State of the Word,” sharing the latest in WordPress news, offering his thoughts on the future of WordPress, and answering questions from the audience. Tickets are $40 and include: * admission to both days of the conference (December 2 and 3), * access to sign up for Contributor Day (December 4), * exclusive swag, * lunch each day, and * an invitation to the epic after-party. Register for WordCamp US today! Filed under: Community
Today’s the day! Now you can search for the .blog domain of your choice and associate it with your WordPress.com site. As we announced in May, the launch of .blog, a new top-level domain extension, means there are millions of easy-to-remember addresses now available for your website. Pricing for .blog domains will start at around USD$30 per year, with some premium names offered at higher prices. WHICH .BLOG WILL YOU CHOOSE? Whether it’s your brand, your business, or your own name, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from. To search for a .blog domain name for your WordPress.com blog or website, go to My Sites > Domains and search for the .blog domain name you’d like. WHY .BLOG? There’s always one big question that comes up when users start creating a site on WordPress.com: “What should I call it?” Finding the right name is hard enough -- it’s even more difficult to find one that works for you and is also available. This is why we’re excited about these new .blog domains. It’s intuitive, descriptive, and it creates millions of new naming options for your WordPress.com sites. FIND YOUR .BLOG DOMAIN! Here’s more from WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg about why he’s excited about .blog: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS I ALREADY HAVE A CUSTOM DOMAIN ASSOCIATED WITH MY WORDPRESS.COM SITE. CAN I ADD A .BLOG DOMAIN? You can add as many domains as you want to your blog. One of those domains will be the Primary Domain: all your other domains will redirect to the primary one. Visitors can get to your blog using any of the domains you added, but the address they see in their browser’s address bar will always be the primary domain. Get started at My Sites > Domains. IS IT A REQUIREMENT TO GET A .BLOG DOMAIN ON WORDPRESS.COM? Not at all. You can keep your WordPress.com site just as it is, or if you choose, add a .com, .me, or other popular domain name at My Sites > Domains. This is just an additional way to customize your WordPress.com blog. I HAVE A FREE DOMAIN CREDIT WITH MY WORDPRESS.COM SITE - CAN I USE IT TOWARDS PURCHASING A .BLOG DOMAIN? Yes! Get started by going to My Sites > Domains and search for the .blog domain of your choice. I DON’T USE WORDPRESS.COM -- CAN I GET A .BLOG DOMAIN NAME? Absolutely. .blog domains are available for all websites and you don’t need to have a WordPress or WordPress.com site to purchase a .blog domain. You can easily sign up for a .blog domain at get.blog, or register a .blog domain through your favorite domain provider. THE .BLOG DOMAIN I’M LOOKING FOR ISN’T AVAILABLE! Some domains require premium pricing and aren’t available to register on WordPress.com (but feel free to check get.blog for them), or were registered or reserved in earlier timeframes (such as early applications during Landrush). There are still millions of .blog domains available to register and we’re confident you’ll find one you love. Filed under: New Features, WordPress.com