WordPress.com to WooCommerce

April 2, 2019 marks one year since I started “officially” at Automattic. The past twelve months have been a terrific journey — speaking with thousands of WordPress.com users, seeing their challenges firsthand and working with developers on priotizing issues.

I can confidently say I love what I am doing here, but I figured I needed to experience other parts of support at Automattic as well.

Automattic has this process called rotations — wherein, you can jump to another team doing similar work with a different product. I will be doing just that in Q2 of 2019; I am moving from WordPress.com support to WooCommerce support for three months.

Rotations are not limited to Happiness (support) division, but there are rotations within product teams as well.

There’s also another process called support rotations, wherein new hires would start their first two-weeks in Happiness division. It does not matter where one’s core work lies; whether one is a designer, developer, working in finance, or working in any role, one would be spending the first two-weeks answering customer queries on email and live chat.

I have experience in working with WordPress sites (both WordPress.org and WordPress.com) but I cannot say the same about WooCommerce.

I have known WooCommerce as a plugin to build e-commerce stores at the outset, but it does have a massive potential to do things beyond simple stores. I am looking forward to learning more of WooCommerce extensions, WooCommerce apps, and bring back these lessons to my home team.

New .blog subdomains in WordPress.com

I am very excited about this. When I first wanted to create websites/blogs on WordPress.com, an year ago, most of the subdomains I wanted were already used up by other users. I am not surprised given how many millions use WordPress.com every day.

This is changing – you can now choose .blog subdomains for free on the signup flow, gaining yourselves new site addresses like jack.photo.blog, dan.tech.blog. The entire list of .blog subdomains available, is on the page I have linked to earlier.

If you are an aspiring photo blogger, tech enthusiast, cook, nomad, travel blogger or want a plain, private family blog, go, get your favourite subdomain now!

You can help test the new WordPress Editor on WordPress.com!

WordPress block editor, codenamed Gutenberg, is launching soon for the general public. At the same time, Automattic’s developers are hard at work on launching the new WordPress Editor on WordPress.com’s Calypso. While the work is underway, it’s available for testing and we would love to hear your feedback!

  • Visit the new WordPress Editor on Calypso – create post or create page.Create a blog post, or page, with the available WordPress Editor blocks.Preview the post.Publish the post. Ensure the published view looks the same as how it did on the WordPress Editor.

Like how it’s coming along, or is something off? Share your comments on this post!Β You can check the Gutenberg website for an inspiration of what you can build with the new WordPress Editor, or check this third-party demo showing the possibilities of Gutenberg – it is a few months old and a lot of things could have changed in the meantime! The Gutenberg codebase lives here if you are interested to contribute.

WordPress.com now has a nice little feature to download all media library files

Ever wanted to download all the media library files from your WordPress.com site in one go?

This is now possible.

  • Open the settings section of your WordPress.com site.
  • Click on the Export button.
  • Use the shiny new Download button next to the Export media library section.

This should download all your media library files (images, videos, documents and other files supported by WordPress.com) in one go.

This was originally a Automattic Grand Meetup project by my colleagues, which James has written about here.

I have also contributed a teeny-tiny bit to this work, and I am so happy with my first decent PR on Calypso! πŸ™ƒ

At this time, this feature works for all WordPress.com sites, expect for the ones that are on the WordPress.com Business plan and have at least one third-party theme/plugin installed on it. The feature might be available for these sites as well, soon.

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.

Moving from Tumblr to WordPress.com

It was just yesterday when I was rambling about how Tumblr offers custom domain mapping for free while WordPress.com does not. I am a huge fan of WordPress for the open-source contributions it has done to the world. Having used self-hosted WordPress sites for years, I am recently blown by how much has changed in the past few years on WordPress.com.
Automattic has shaped WordPress.com into a powerful medium since what I knew about WordPress.com a few years back.
Here are key reasons why I moved away from Tumblr to WordPress.com.

  • Rich ecosystem. Interesting niche content that I can follow, subscribe to.
  • Community forums. I love volunteering as a customer support member. Look at my participation with Google Top Contributors program. Also, a SUMO member with Mozilla, Support Support member with Firefox.
  • Having been with self-hosted WordPress sites for long, adopting WordPress.com is easy and WordPress.com’s dashboard can serve as a single place for my new WordPress.com site and all other self-hosted WordPress sites I own.
  • Clean mobile apps. Tumblr has one too, but I just don’t feel content in the Tumblr environment.

I am on the WordPress.com personal plan and it costs Rs 2400 per year. Decent enough. Not free as Tumblr though. But, helps connect with the right WordPress bloggers in the community.
Let me see how my experience with WordPress.com goes! If you have questions, ask on WordPress.com community forums and look out for my answer! πŸ˜‰