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The Month in WordPress: October 2021

November 4th, 2021

October 2021 brought a lot of new things to WordPress, from release updates to new versions of Gutenberg. More notably, in the latest episode of WP Briefing, Executive Director Josepha Haden reminded us about the importance of freedom in open source platforms like WordPress.

Free speech has with it a lot of responsibility, just like being a part of a community. Governments or communities, or in our case, this software is built by the people who show up.

For WordPress, at 42% of the web, every small choice we make can cause huge changes in the way that people experience the web today and tomorrow.

Josepha Haden, Executive Director of the WordPress project

Last month was yet another chapter in this journey. So keep reading to learn what’s new.

WordPress 5.9: All proposed updates will likely be included

  • We announced the go/no-go for WordPress 5.9 features in mid-October. The release will probably include all the proposed features—though not all of them are ready yet, they should be by the proposed release date (December 14, 2021).
  • WordPress 5.9 will include a new default theme called Twenty Twenty-Two! The theme’s foundation will be strong, and the unpredictable yet reliable behavior of birds inspired the intentionally subtle design. 
WordPress Default Theme Twenty Twenty-Two released with WordPress Version 5.9

Interested in contributing to WordPress core? Join the #core channel, follow the Core Team blog, and check out the team handbook. Also, don’t miss the Core Team’s weekly developer chat on Wednesdays at 8 PM UTC.

Gutenberg releases: 11.6, 11.7, and 11.8 are here

We released three new versions of the Gutenberg block editor between the end of September and October:

  • Version 11.6 brings site logo cropping and rotation, block-level locking, improvements to Query Pagination block, support for child themes and thunks, template focus mode, and enhancements to the writing flow.
  • Gutenberg version 11.7 includes bug fixes and polishes to the navigation block and editor, global styles and full site editing (including a handy back button that lets you quickly return to the site editor), and columns block support, among other improvements.
  • Finally, Gutenberg 11.8 is the second to last version to make it into the WordPress 5.9 release, and it comes with plenty of developments to the editing experience: featured Block Patterns, new animations for a few elements (like Dropzone and Insertion Point), spacing tools for heading blocks, and a lot more.

Want to get involved in developing Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. For details on the latest updates, follow the “What’s next in Gutenberg” post.

WordCamp US returned virtually this year with more than 3,600 attendees

WordCamp US 2021 was on October 1, and it was online for the first time. The event drew more than 3,600 attendees, 27 sponsors, and 18 remarkable speakers on topics ranging from accessibility and sustainability to e-commerce, to name a few.

Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” is expected to be held as a separate event later this year, rather than being part of WordCamp US.

If you missed the live event, you can still watch the Yukon Track and the Columbia Track of WordCamp US 2021.

Team Updates: Polyglots monthly newsletter, a new Performance team, and more

Sign up for the Polyglots monthly newsletter, if you haven’t already.

Feedback/Testing requests: Deadline for redesigned Gutenberg landing page is November 5, 2021

WordPress.Org redesigned Gutenberg page

Share your feedback on the new Gutenberg landing page design in Trac or by commenting on the blog post by November 5, 2021.

Keep an eye out for WordCamp Spain, Sâo Paulo, and Taiwan 2021

We had several WordPress events in October, and several more to look forward to the rest of the year:

Don’t miss the following upcoming online WordCamps: WordCamp Spain 2021, WordCamp Sâo Paulo 2021, and WordCamp Taiwan 2021!

Have a story that we could include in the next ‘Month in WordPress’ post? Let us know by filling out this form.

The following folks contributed to October 2021’s Month in WordPress: @anjanavasan, @harishanker, @rmartinezduque, @callye, @webcommsat, and chaion07.