My two new favorite WordPress app features: Free photo library, Save for Later πŸ“±

WordPress mobile apps has been improving with every update, and the latest two updates to the Android version (I am an Android user!) have added two features that I have been using a lot lately. The two new features are:

  • Free photo library that was launched on WordPress.com, now integrated on the WordPress Android app.
  • Ability to save posts to read later

Free photo library on WordPress.com mobile apps πŸ“Έ

The free photo library originally launched on WordPress.com, and is available on the post/page editor screen as shown below.

Free photo library on WordPress.com
The free photo library on WordPress.com allows you to choose from over 40000 CC0 images from Pexels.com, for free.

This feature originally launched in January of this year, and in May of 2018, the same feature was launched on the WordPress.com Android and iOS mobile apps.

It allows you to pick from over 40000 CC0 images from Pexels.com. I recently started a photo blog, and have been republished these photos on Pexels.com as well. I cannot wait to see these my photos from Pexels.com being used by bloggers across the world, using WordPress.com’s free photo library. πŸ’–

Save posts to read later πŸ“

Quick update: This is not available on iOS as yet. 😬
My other favorite feature that was launched on the latest version of WordPress.com mobile apps is the ability to save posts to read later. There is a shiny new “Save” icon for each post, on the homepage, when you launch your app. When you click on it, it gets added to a new list on your app, called “Saved posts“.
You can access this list anytime to read the posts that you have saved. This works offline as well!
I have a Feedly Pro subscription as well, but since I joined Automattic, I find myself using WordPress.com Reader a lot more to cover all the latest news. The “Save for Later” feature has only improved that experience by one notch. πŸ‘Œ
Both the features are available on the the WordPress.com Android app and the WordPress.com iOS app. The free photo library is available on both the mobile apps, but the “Save for Later” feature is available only on the Android app at this time.
Go, download the app and check these out! Tell me what you think about it in the comments! 😁

WordPress is now 15 years old πŸ’–

🎁On the 27th of May, 2003, the first version of WordPress launched for the general public.
I didn’t use WordPress until 2010. I first discovered WordPress when I was in my 10th grade. That’s when I started using WordPress, for tech blogging.
It has been a beautiful experience since, converting my ideas to products and services, with WordPress. I am not a coder, but WordPress has made most of my dreams come true. These, otherwise, wouldn’t have been possible.
WordPress is not just a software. It’s an idea, an idea to help democratise publishing. “We want users, regardless of device or ability, to be able to publish content and maintain a website or application built with WordPress.” —Β accessibility page on WordPress. The community’s belief in this idea has made WordPress successful over the years.
In the past 15 years, WordPress has made many dreams come true. Many businesses thrive on WordPress. At the time of writing this post, WordPress powers 30% of the internet. 30% of all the websites on the internet run on WordPress!
Everyone’s success wouldn’t have been possible without WordPress. WordPress wouldn’t have been possible without the WordPress community, and I salute them.
πŸŽ‚Thank you, #WordPress. Thank you for changing my life. πŸ’–

The Rain – Netflix TV show

Last week, I binge-watched “The Rain” and I can say I am looking forward to the second season already. I am not a big fan of apocalyptic movies, but this one was good. This one might probably be the first one that I have watched through the end.

The Rain is all about a brother and sister, along with a bunch of other survivors, fighting their way through the mess in a post-apocalyptic world. The story’s gripping and moves fast, covering a lot of new scenes and keeps the viewers hooked to their screens.
It’s a Danish thriller, based in the city of Vordinborg. The beginning feels rushed, but the primary actors’ characters seem to develop around the middle episodes. The tale portrays the story of how the lead actor, Simone, fights all dangers, to protect her younger brother from all harm. At the same time, the tale depicts how everyone is very protective of each other, throughout the story. There are parts where something doesn’t make any sense at all, but I wouldn’t expect anything spectacular out of a thriller, apocalyptic, or horror show.
Available on Netflix: The Rain.
It was an interesting watch, and I would recommend watching once.

I am joining Automattic

I have an exciting news to share today.
I am joining Automattic as a Happiness Engineer. Automattic is the company behind WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce and many other tools that you use every day. As a Happiness Engineer, I will responsible for creating happy, passionate and loyal customers.
Without doubt, this is a role that I have been looking forward to, for many months now. This is an exciting journey and I couldn’t be more proud of having come so far.
I am grateful for all my colleagues at Automattic, at Freshworks Inc, and my parents, for having been supportive of this all along. Thank you for being there!
Learn more about Automattic. We’re also hiring!
 

I am now a dotblogger

Choosing a brand new name for your personal website, or for your business can be challenging, especially when your favorite top-level domains (TLDs) are unavailable.
.blog can help you change that.
.blog is fairly new.
.blog is eye-catching and easy to remember.
It’s a fairly new namespace thatΒ allows everyone to be a publisher on the internet, with their favorite name.

The word blog has expanded from being almost just like personal journals to really sort of indicating, a more interesting website. In a world where everyone is a publisher on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc, more businesses are starting to realize as well that, conversation that happens in the comments of a Instagram photo, or people tagging each other, or things like that, is often what drives a lot of value. Now, it is a conversation. It is social. But, you are not going to build the next big thing, purely on someone else’s domain. You need to have your own domain. — Matt Mullenweg.

It’s almost like 500 years ago, everyone in the world have their own printing press and could publish as much as they want. That is the opportunity that we have today. — Matt Mullenweg.

I now have a brand new address at arunsathiya.blog.
I am now a dotblogger. Join me on this journey. Secure yours now.
Or, become a .blog registrar.
It’s one click away.

Last day at Freshworks Inc.

Today was my last day at Freshworks Inc. While I had been anticipating this day to be the most exciting day, it’s not.
I wish I could take my team from Freshworks Inc. to wherever I am moving next on my journey.
To sum it up, I feel bad and sad about the last week at Freshworks Inc. I had a fun ride though, and got to work with the best talents in the industry. I will definitely miss everyone I got a chance to work with.
It feels lonely over here. But, I guess I will have to get accustomed to this now, if I am sure about remote jobs being my primary choice.

Attending a WordPress meetup for the first time

Today was an eventful day. I mean, January 30 of 2018. I attended my first WordPress meetup ever at Mumbai. #WPMumbai was hosting a WooCommerce workshop for women, and was hosting a speech by Andrew Spittle of Automattic and Artur Piszek of Automattic, on the same day.
I attended the speech sessions and everything I learned over there was incredibly valuable. Andrew spoke on how the customer support team at Automattic works – the company the powers WordPress.com, Jetpack, Simplenote, Longreads, WooCommerce, Gravatar, VaultPress, Akismet and Polldaddy among the most popular names.
Artur Piszek spoke on Jetpack’s Simple Payments module, which allows anyone to get started with collecting online payments. Simple Payments enables anyone to become a seller online and works with PayPal to collect payments. It’s available for use for WordPress.com Premium plan users and above, or for self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org) sites that are on the Jetpack Premium subscription.
Right after the speech sessions, we had a networking session over snacks and it was amazing to speak with Automatticians in real-life. I spoke to Andrew who gave me an outline on how the hiring process works at Automattic, and clarified a few doubts I had around it.
I also met Karen Arnold at the venue. Karen is the lead of the Happiness Hiring team and oversees the Happiness Engineer applications.
I also got a chance to meet other Automatticians based out of India, Nagesh Pai and Gala Khyati. They’re Happiness Engineers at Automattic. The Happiness Engineer team members are responsible for answering customer support questions and ensure that all users across all the Automattic products have a happy user experience.
I also got a chance to say hit to Alex Gounder who has been a major driving force in growing WordPress in India. Meeting him reminds me of Aditya Kane is a close friend of Alex, and I have worked with Aditya Kane in the past. We used to write at Devils’ Workshop, a tech blog by rtCamp. Aditya is probably the only person I know in the WordPress community, whom I haven’t met yet. I hope to see him at #WCMumbai which is happening on the 17th-18th of March, 2018.
I also met Meher Bala, who is a freelancer WordPress developer and is another major driving force for WordPress’ growth in India.
To summarise, #WordPressMumbai meetup was extremely valuable and I am really glad I went to the meetup. Having been a WordPress enthusiast for over 8 years, I never got a chance to attend meetups and WordCamp events, thanks to school and college days. Now that I have graduated, it’s time to explore the WordPress communities in India better, and this is the only the first step of the process.
2 flights later, it’s time to hit the bed. Goodnight, WordPress!

WordPress users, did you know that Jan 28 is "Thank a plugin developer" day?

I learned something today. I learned that Matt Mullenweg officially named Jan 28 as the “Thank a plugin developer” day, 9 years ago. Back in 2009, on the same day, the co-founder of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, coined this day.
WordPress in itself is a free open source software that’s aimed at enabling everyone to get started on building websites with ease. Being a truly open source software, it also enables people to make a living out of it. Over 32% of the total respondents in a survey conducted by WordPress responded that they make money with WordPress and that it helps them run their daily lives.

WordPress is not successful all by itself. It’s largely driven by the theme developers and plugin developers that contribute their coding skills to building a better WordPress experience for all users. WordPress will never be the same as it is now, without plugins.
Back in 2009, when WordPress 2.7 had come out, WordPress plugin repository had just crossed 4000 plugins. Today, it has over 53000 plugins! Some of the most popular ones like Jetpack, Akismet, Yoast SEO and Contact form 7 are used by millions across the world, all many WordPress setups and many WordPress.com sites, which help in a range of activities including SEO, publishing, sharing, customization and more.
WordPress life would never be the same without plugins. There’s no doubt that plugins haven’t improved your life, and on that note, take a minute and “Thank a plugin developer” today.

If you are traveling abroad, enable 2FA for your internet accounts now!

One of my friends is leaving to Finland tonight, and I encouraged him to enable 2 step verification (2FA – 2 factor authentication) for all his online accounts as soon as possible.
He’s moving to a new country, is going to login from new IP addresses and there’s a fair chance that the service would block his attempts to login, primarily for his account’s security.
There’s going to be SMS sent to his mobile number, only to see that he cannot use it, because he does not have access to the mobile number in a foreign country.
That’s when tools like Authy, Duo and Google Authenticator come handy. One can setup 2 step verification for any TOTP-based 2 step verification process and carry the codes securely using Authy apps for Android, iOS or Google Chrome.
Learn what 2 step verification is, and how to setup Authy for common accounts on this post I wrote.

Facebook is limiting link customization ability, Here's what you should know

Facebook is reportedly dropping support for customizing link previews you don’t own. Going forward, you will have to verify your domains on Facebook Business Manager to be able to customize a link’s title, meta description or image when you sharing the link to Facebook.
Facebook is doing this to prevent misuse of link customization for domains you don’t own. This effect goes live from Dec 18, and this blog post has detailed description on what you should do to verify your domain.
If you are a website owner, publisher or a webmaster in general, you should read that post and act on it as soon as possible.