Tag Archives: WordPress.com

Create With Confidence and Better Blocks

The evolution of the block editor is packed full of features and UI improvements.

Date: March 26, 2020

Written by: Ramon

In the last few years, the teams working on the block editor have learned a lot about how people build sites now and how they want to build sites in the future.

The latest version represents the culmination of these discoveries, and the next stage in the editor’s evolution.

With better visuals and more advanced features, it’ll keep designers, developers, writers, and editors productive and happy, and — tension-building drumroll — it’s in your editor right now!

What’s new

With a comprehensive visual refresh, a plethora of new features, and dozens of bug fixes, the new block editor comes with a lot to unpack.

What follows is just a small (but delectable) sample of the many ways we’ve upgraded your editing experience. (You can get the full list of goodies in the release notes.)

We hope you enjoy.

A revamped editor UI

The first thing you’ll notice is the slick UI. Buttons, icons, text, and dropdowns are all sporting a contrast boost, with bolder colors and more whitespace between buttons, text labels, and menu items.

The world is made of blocks
The new block editor’s UI

As you navigate through the editor’s menus, individual items are clearly highlighted, allowing you to quickly identify what you’ve selected.

Active menu items have distinct highlights

The block toolbars are now simpler, displaying the most commonly-used features. For example, paragraph blocks show only bolditalic, and link formatting buttons. You’ll find all the extra options in the dropdown menu.

The block toolbar options are simpler and uncluttered

What’s more, instead of listing blocks within a fixed-height container, the block inserter now spans the height of the window. You’ll now see more blocks and block categories at once with less scrolling.

Block inserter spanning the full height of the window
The block inserter spans the full height of your screen

Introducing block patterns

With the block editor as your canvas you can design almost any layout you can imagine – but building intricate page structures should never get in the way of your creative process.

Here’s where the blocks really shine: along with individual blocks, the editor now includes block patterns, a library of predefined and reusable block layouts, that you use on any page or post.

To check out the list of available patterns, click on the block pattern icon (on the top right) to reveal a collection of pre-built layouts:

Block patterns are groups of individual blocks combined to create elegant layouts

Pick the pattern you want to use, and it will appear in your editor ready for you to customize with your own content.

Right now, you’ll find a few introductory patterns – Two Columns of TextTwo Buttons, Cover, and Two Images Side by Side – but we’ll be adding more and more patterns as they’re available. When the block patterns API opens up to third-party authors, you’ll also be able to develop and share your own.

(Have an idea for a great pattern? The block editor developer community is actively seeking ideas. The more ideas they receive, the better your editor will be!)

Colors, colors everywhere

When it comes to words and columns, websites aren’t newspapers: things don’t have to be black and white.

Use the new Text Color selector tool to change the color of sentences, and even individual words and letters. Highlight the text you’d like to change, then click on the arrow dropdown and select “Text Color.”

Select “Text Color” from the options
Pick the color of your word or character

To change the background colors of your columns, select the column and head to the sidebar, to Color settings.

Columns get background colors too!

The road ahead is paved with blocks

There’s still a long way to go, and the editor’s community of contributors hasn’t given its collective keyboards a moment’s rest. Work on polishing UI elements like the sidebar and dropdowns continues along with advancements to block patterns and other exciting features.

Are there ways we could improve the site editing experience even more? Please let us know! We’re always keen to hear how we can make the web a better place for everyone.

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WordPress.org vs WordPress.com what’s the difference.

What’s the difference between a self-hosted (WordPress.org) site and a site hosted on WordPress.com?

WordPress is a free open source blogging software that powers many blogs and sites; over 60 million users have chosen WordPress to create and run their homes on the web. These WordPress.org users have self-hosted sites in other words, users download and install the software on a web server, and pay a fee generally $7-12 a month to a web host, such as Bluehost or Go Daddy, to keep it up and running.

WordPress.org users with self-hosted sites can upload themes, upload plugins such as Jetpack, run advertisements, edit the database, and even modify the PHP code that powers their sites. While a self-hosted site requires more technical knowledge to set up and run, you have complete control over it.

Brought to you by the same folks who work on WordPress, WordPress.com is a free hosting platform that makes it very easy for anyone including you to publish online. If you have a blog hosted on WordPress.com, all of the technical stuff is taken care of setting up and backing up your site, updating the software when we release new versions, blocking spam, keeping it secure. Because your site is on our servers, you don’t have to worry about your site “going down.”

Also, as you’ve probably noticed, WordPress.com users are automatically part of a larger community: in the Reader, you can discover new content on various topics, read handpicked editorial selections, and find and follow like-minded bloggers.

Here at en.blog.wordpress.com, we focus on announcing new WordPress.com features and highlighting the best from this community. If you’re interested in learning more about self-hosting your blog or site, go to WordPress.org, visit the WordPress.org blog, and read about the differencesbetween WordPress.org and WordPress.com on our Support site.

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Jetpack 2.1 for wordpress.org

Date: January 7, 2013

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Written by: Cheri Lucas Rowlands

After we announced media changes on WordPress.com, some of you asked when these new WordPress.com features would be available for self-hosted WordPress sites.

Well, wait no more! The latest features brought to WordPress.com such as tiled galleries and slideshows are now available for WordPress.org users with self-hosted sites through the Jetpack 2.1 release. You can now show off your images in gorgeous photo mosaics and slideshows that integrate seamlessly with the Carousel module.

In addition to these media features, WordPress.org users who have installed the latest Jetpack release will notice updates to the Photon, Infinite Scroll, Publicize, Sharing, and Contact Form modules, while the Custom CSS editor has also been updated. For a complete list of changes, see the Jetpack changelog.

What is Jetpack?

Jetpack logo
Jetpack by WordPress.com

Jetpack is a free plugin that connects to WordPress.com and allows users with self-hosted WordPress sites to enable the awesome features available to WordPress.com users, like Stats, Comments, Contact Forms, Sharing tools, and more. In the past, WordPress.com features weren’t available on self-hosted WordPress installs.

Jetpack brings the best of WordPress.com to users of self-hosted WordPress sites in one super plugin; it’s quite convenient, as you don’t have to bother with several separate plugin installations.

Interested in learning more? Visit the Jetpack site.

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WordPress.com and Fiverr partner to launch wordpress.com fundamentals course

Looking for a step by step video course on how to build a website? We’ve got you covered.September 11, 2019

Marjorie

Written by: Marjorie

Getting your new business website ready for launch? Want a little hand-holding — a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a WordPress.com site from start to finish, that you can work on at your own pace and on your own time? “WordPress.com Fundamentals,” a comprehensive video course created with our friends over at Fiverr, walks you through all the fundamentals in 90 minutes.

The course covers the basics of setting up a business website, but anyone new to WordPress.com can benefit from lessons on how to create an account, set up a site, customize a theme, publish content, and share it on social media. It was developed by WordPress.com Happiness Engineers with years of experience guiding thousands of new WordPress.com customers in chat, email, forums, and concierge sessions, so you know you’re getting expert guidance from people who know every WordPress.com tip and trick.

The entire course is just $31, which includes unlimited access to all the course materials, quizzes, and downloadable resources. Take it all at once, or learn at the pace that works for you — the course is divided into bite-sized chapters that you can refer to as many times as you need.

Students are also eligible for a discount of 25% on WordPress.com plan upgrades! So if you’ve been hesitating to explore the advanced features in the Premium, Business, or eCommerce plans, the course gives you both a great introduction to the ease and power of WordPress.com and a lower-cost way to try them out.

To get started, head over to the course page on the Learn from Fiverr websiteClick on the green “Buy Course” button, and follow the prompts to create an account and purchase the course. And until the end of September, get 30% off the course fee by entering coupon code learnwordpress at checkout.

And if you do take the class, let us know what you think. Fiverr will send out a survey to all students after completing the class, so be sure to fill it out. We want to know what works for you, what you’d like to see more of, and where we can improve.

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A new way to earn money on wordpress.com

With Recurring Payments, your supporters become your sustainers, and a reliable income stream frees you to push your creative boundaries.

November 12, 2019

Artur Piszek

Written by: Artur Piszek

It’s hard to be creative when you’re worried about money. Running ads on your site helps, but for many creators, ad revenue isn’t enough. Top publishers and creators sustain their businesses by building reliable income streams through ongoing contributions.

Our new Recurring Payments feature for WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites lets you do just that: it’s a monetization tool for content creators who want to collect repeat contributions from their supporters, and it’s available with any paid plan on WordPress.com.

Let your followers support you with periodic, scheduled payments. Charge for your weekly newsletter, accept monthly donations, sell yearly access to exclusive content — and do it all with an automated payment system.

With recurring payments, you can:

  • Accept ongoing payments from visitors directly on your site.
  • Bill supporters automatically, on a set schedule. Subscribers can cancel anytime from their WordPress.com account.
  • Offer ongoing subscriptions, site memberships, monthly donations, and more, growing your fan base with exclusive content.
  • Integrate your site with Stripe to process payments and collect funds.

Enable Recurring Payments in three steps

Start accepting ongoing payments in just five minutes, without any technical background. 

1. Connect (or create) a Stripe account

WordPress.com partners with Stripe, one of the internet’s biggest payment processors, to make sure transactions are fast and secure. You’ll need a Stripe account to use Recurring Payments. 

Head to your Earn page and click Connect Stripe to Get Started — we’ll walk you through the setup and help you create a Stripe account if you don’t have one.

2. Put a Recurring Payments button on your site

Recurring Payments takes advantage of the powerful block editor. To start collecting revenue, open a post or page, click the (+) to add a new block, and insert a Recurring Payments button.

3. Customize the details of the recurring payment

You can create as many payment plans for your site as you’d like—different currencies, amounts, payment frequencies, and names, so you can offer different tiers or subscriptions.

You can also choose one of your previously created plans when you insert a new button.

Bravo!

You just set up Recurring Payments for your site. Now your fans can support you, just like they do on Longreads.com and around the web.

For more detailed setup instructions, visit the Recurring Payments support page.

So many options to grow your supporter base

With Recurring Payments, you can turn your content into revenue, accept donations, or fund your next big idea. 

  • Sell access to members-only newsletters.
  • Collect club membership dues automatically.
  • Let fans fund your next art project.

Some people even collect rent with recurring payments!

It’s easier than ever for your visitors to support your site

Recurring Payments make it easy to purchase a subscription or become a supporter on any WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected site — your subscribers will be able to use the same payment information and manage all their subscriptions in one place. To do that, they’ll just need a WordPress.com account.

During the checkout process, they will enter their email address. If they already have a WordPress.com account linked to that address, we will associate the purchase with that account. If they don’t, we’ll create an account for them. When they complete the purchase, they’ll receive an email with more info and login instructions for their new account.

The transaction is between you and your subscriber. WordPress.com only facilitates the processing and management of the subscription. We don’t save your subscribers’ credit card information, either — it’s stored by Stripe, the payment processor, so that the charge can renew automatically. Your subscribers can manage, edit, or cancel their recurring payments on their own, without your intervention, by visiting Me > Manage Purchases > Other sites.

A competitive fee structure helps you share your work far and wide

Recurring Payments is available on all paid plans, for both WordPress.com and Jetpack-connected sites. You pay a percentage of the revenue your site generates through Recurring Payments, which varies depending on your plan. As you collect more subscribers, you might consider switching to a different plan in order to retain more revenue.

WordPress.com PlanJetpack planRelated Fees
WordPress.com eCommerce —None
WordPress.com BusinessJetpack Professional2%
WordPress.com PremiumJetpack Premium4%
WordPress.com PersonalJetpack Personal 8%

In addition to the fees you pay us, Stripe collects 2.9% + $0.30 for each payment made to your Stripe account.

Make the most of our collection of monetizing tools

Recurring payments is the latest addition to the monetizing tools available on WordPress.com. Here are the other tools you can find by visiting WordPress.com/earn.

  • Use Simple Payments to take one-time payments, or to sell digital or physical products with minimal configuration.
  • Add WordAds to run advertisements on your site, and earn revenue from your traffic.
  • Move to WooCommerce when you’re ready to create a full shopping experience for visitors — it’s the most customizable online-store platform on the web, with thousands of extensions.

Ready to add Recurring Payments? Head to your site’s Earn section right now.

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