Introducing WordPress.com for Google Docs: A New Way Forward for Collaborative Editing

We are happy to announce WordPress.com for Google Docs, a new add-on that lets you write, edit, and collaborate in Google Docs, then save it as a blog post on any WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected WordPress site. Your images and most formatting will carry over too. No more copy-and-paste headaches!

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To get started, just go to the Google Web Store page and click to install it.

You will be prompted to give our plugin access to post on your behalf, and then you are ready to write.

When you’re ready to save a Google Docs draft as a blog post, go to the Add-ons menu and open WordPress.com for Google Docs. A sidebar will appear where you can add WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected sites.

Click the Save Draft button — when it’s saved, a preview link will appear so you can see how it looks on your site. Edit the post in WordPress.com to make any small tweaks, then hit publish when you’re ready to go live!

You can find the source code on GitHub if you want to take a closer look at how things work. And, of course, this post was composed in Google Docs and posted with the WordPress.com Add-on for Google Docs.

Import Your Medium Posts to WordPress.com

With the recent news about Medium’s change in business model we’ve been receiving a number of requests from users on how to import their content to a WordPress.com site. We’re excited today to share our new import tool for moving from Medium to WordPress.com.

Medium Import Instructions

First, visit the Medium settings page, scroll down to Export Content, and select Download .zip to start the export process from Medium. You should receive an email from Medium with an export of your posts in an archive .zip file.

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Next, head over to the import tool on WordPress.com and click Start Import in the Medium row:

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This is where you will upload the .zip file you downloaded from Medium. Simply drag the file into the import window, or manually navigate to it. Click Continue once the file has been uploaded. The import will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

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You will receive a notification from us when the import completes. All of your Medium content will now appear as posts on your site under the original date of the post, along with their original tags. Also, published posts will be automatically marked as published on the site but drafts will remain unpublished. You can also run the import tool multiple times to retrieve newer posts without duplicating your old ones.

Happy blogging!

 

New WordPress.com for Lightroom Makes Publishing Your Photos Easy

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:

select images in lightroom

Click the Lightroom export button, select your site, and export!

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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.

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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!

Express Yourself with New WordPress Stickers for iOS and iMessage

The newest version of iOS for iPhone and iPad includes the ability to send stickers to your friends with the iMessage apps — and now you can share your love of WordPress with them, too!

WordPress World is a free iMessage Sticker app for iOS 10, and it includes your favorite emotive Wapuus (the WordPress mascot), Drakes (Automattic’s mascot), and related product logos. And more stickers will be coming soon! You won’t want to miss out on the fun.

Download the app directly or search for “WordPress World” in the Apple App Store. The app can be found in both the App Store app and the App Store within the Messages app.

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A Faster Mobile Web: WordPress.com Updates for Accelerated Mobile Pages

Earlier this year we were proud to announce that WordPress.com users’s sites would automatically support Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) — a new open-source project spearheaded by Google to dramatically improve the performance of web pages on mobile devices.

Now, here’s the big news: Google has just announced that it is bringing AMP pages to all of its global search results — and WordPress.com users’ sites will be ready.

Our latest update to WordPress.com gives you even more control over your site’s look and feel on AMP pages. Just go to your My Sites section, go to Settings > General and look for the AMP section. There you’ll be able to customize your AMP design, including the header text color, link colors, and a dark or light color scheme.

AMP Design Settings

If you prefer to disable the AMP pages, there is also an option to turn off the feature.

Disable/Enable AMP

For users with a self-hosted WordPress site, you can also download our free AMP plugin. Go here to install it.

Tens of millions of WordPress sites now have AMP pages, with page load speeds up to 89% faster than normal in some cases. It’s great for your readers and followers, as faster loading times mean they’ll get to your content sooner, even when they’re on the go. We’re excited to have you try it out!

Browser Notifications on WordPress.com

Today we’re launching a feature that will show instant notifications for new comments and likes — even when you are not actively using WordPress.com. Browser notifications give you a real-time sense of your readers’ reactions, allowing you to stay more engaged with your audience. Notifications will show up in Chrome or Firefox in the same location where each browser normally displays notifications. They will appear whether or not you have WordPress.com open, as long as your browser is running.

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Browser Notifications for WordPress.com as seen in Chrome

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Browser Notifications for WordPress.com as seen in Firefox

You’re in complete control. You can enable browser notifications from the notifications page of your personal settings. If your browser supports them, you’ll see an option at the top of the page to enable browser notifications.

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Browser notifications are supported in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox — if your browser isn’t up to date, make sure you update to the latest version.

 

A Faster Mobile Web for All WordPress.com Users: AMP Is Here

Your sites are about to get even faster on mobile devices: starting today, WordPress.com sites support Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – a new initiative spearheaded by Google to dramatically improve the speed of your pages loading on phones and tablets.

The best part? WordPress.com users don’t need to do a thing. AMP works automatically, loading a lightning-fast version of your posts. This means readers will get your content even faster on mobile when they come to your site from Google search, or news apps like Nuzzel.

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To see AMP in action on WordPress.com, check out this article, or see a Google search demo at g.co/amp.

Speed matters on the web. AMP is an open-source framework that allows browsers and apps to load your sites quickly on mobile devices. See the AMP site for more details on how it works. We’re proud to be a partner in this initiative.

And if you have a self-hosted WordPress site, we’ve got you covered too. Here’s a free AMP plugin – click here to install it.

Expect to see more apps and sites embracing AMP in the weeks and months to come – and as a WordPress.com publisher, you’re ready right now.

Field Notes: The Codex Hackathon 2016

Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do in the community. This week, I share my experience at the Codex Hackathon.

We’re big fans of publishing here at WordPress.com. From fantastic content created by our blogging community and news from our WordPress.com VIP partners, to longform articles on Longreads, we love helping publish the best content on the internet.

In that spirit, Automattic sponsored the Codex Hackathon last month. The event brought together over 160 people who are passionate about reading to the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA. Librarians, writers, editors, programmers, and designers came from all across the globe to collaborate on small weekend-long projects to visualize the future of reading. Mel Choyce, Kelly Dwan, Kat Hagan, and I attended from Automattic, and we were eager to meet and collaborate with the like-minded crowd. It’s not often that such a diverse group has the opportunity to drop everything and come together around something they love.

Photo by Elisa Mala

Photo by Elisa Mala

The weekend kicked off with a series of short presentations on Saturday morning. Attendees learned about tools (like the WordPress.com API!) and saw examples of publishing challenges for inspiration. Those of us who came with pre-imagined project ideas shared them with the group, and those who didn’t could either join a team, or participate in a brainstorming exercise. The attendees mingled and shared ideas, and project teams started forming.

I joined a team, while Mel, Kelly, and Kat pitched in with design and development help across many different projects. The rest of Saturday was spent meeting new people, brainstorming, sketching, designing, and writing code. Our Codex hosts kept us well-fed throughout, and the atmosphere was exciting and inspiring. Teams worked well into the evening on Saturday, and were up bright and early on Sunday to polish our projects.

The Codex Hackathon, Group Photo

Photo by Elisa Mala

The event culminated in a set of short presentations from each team. It was thrilling to see the different ideas people worked on. Due to the incredibly short weekend timeline, many projects were still in the conceptual phase, but we were treated to quite a few application demos as well. You can check out the full list of projects at the Codex Hackathon 2016 projects page. Some of my personal favorites:

  • Stanza: A tool to deliver a playlist of poems tied to a person’s mood and emotion.
  • LitCity: Literary context, delivered into the real world through location-based phone notifications.
  • Cover Design History: The beginnings of a website dedicated to book cover design.
  • HippoReader: A tool for programmatically simplifying the language in a given text, to make it readable even by those with a elementary English language skills.
  • ReadMember: A web-browser extension to help you keep track of the things you read online.

We all had a blast at the event, and thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone. The Codex Hackathon left us inspired to keep building ways for you to publish your own great content here at WordPress.com and beyond.

Check out the Codex Hackathon website to keep up to date on more Codex events, and read through our getting started guide if you’d like to start building something cool with the WordPress.com API.

If building publishing tools for a more democratic web sounds like your idea of fun, we’re hiring!

The 2015 WordPress.com Year In Review!


Here’s an incredible fact: together, you published more than 660 million posts on WordPress.com in 2015, and made more than 655 million comments.

That’s a whole lot of joy, laughter, tears, insight, and thoughtfulness. And it’s just one part of a huge global community of people — WordPress now powers more than 25% of the internet — with interests ranging from the news shaping our world to personal stories that shape our own families and lives.

We talked about the serious and the mundane, the silly and the sorrowful; we talked about creativity, sports, marriage, parenthood, politics, love, romance, differences, divisions, and identity.

From all of us at Automattic to everyone in the WordPress.com community: it’s been a thrill to watch, participate in, and support your work.

Here’s a quick roundup of notable moments from 2015:


Viral Hits of 2015

 Kiran Gandhi, running the London Marathon.

Kiran Gandhi, running the London Marathon.

I thought, if there’s one person society won’t f— with, it’s a marathon runner.

—Kiran Gandhi, who ran the London Marathon while free-bleeding, in the viral post, “Sisterhood, blood and boobs at the London Marathon.”

We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.

—Gretchen Kelly of Drifting Through on “The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About.”

There is no After – happily ever or otherwise. There is only today. Just today – During.

—Lisa Durant (Can Anybody Hear Me?) in “The After Myth,” on losing weight, and facing questions about identity along the way.

For mothers in the workplace, it’s death by a thousand cuts—and sometimes it’s other women holding the knives. I didn’t realize this—or how horrible I’d been—until five years later, when I gave birth to a daughter of my own.

—At Fortune, Katharine Zaleski writes an apology to the moms she used to work with.

Five-year olds shouldn’t straight line.

Why did this one?

Because of gun violence in the city.

—The story of “A Senseless Death,” from don of all trades.

Girls can do anything that boys do but it turns out that sometimes they get killed for it.

—In “Being a Girl: A Brief History of Personal Violence,” Anne Thériault (The Belle Jar) traces a lifetime of gendered assault, harassment, and threats starting at age six.

Curry isn’t a product of the math; he’s so good that he has his own math. Indeed, the math is so far in Curry’s favor that the Warriors — and even basketball in general — may not fully understand what they have yet.

—At FiveThirtyEight, Benjamin Morris looked for a mathematical answer to the question: just how good is Stephen Curry?


Covering World Events

Photo by Lionel Beehner

Photo by Lionel Beehner

From the tragedy of the EU refugee crisis to the community coming together to uplift each other following attacks in Paris and Beirut, WordPress.com bloggers offered unique perspectives on what happened around the world in 2015:

“Most never thought they’d be in this position.”

—From Lionel Beehner’s visit to the Zaatari refugee camp. More blogs featured in “On the Run: Blogging the European Refugee Crisis.”

We don’t have to be united. We don’t have to agree. We don’t always have to “stand together,” even. That’s precisely what makes us strong, and that’s precisely what makes our way of life worth defending.

—Drew Messinger-Michaels (Everybody’s Talking at Once) on the Paris attacks. Featured in “Don’t Be Who ISIS Wants You to Be”: Bloggers on Paris and Beirut.

This is a day for celebrating equal treatment by the law, and equal recognition by the state.

—Lela Urquhart, at Tropics of Meta, on the history of marriage. Featured in the roundup “#LoveWins! LGBTQ Bloggers Make Their Voices Heard.”

 


WordPress.com Bloggers with Books

BooksSome of the most talented, creative people in the world are part of this warm, cozy WordPress.com community — here’s just a few who announced new books in 2015:

Jenny Lawson

New York Times bestselling author Lawson (also known round these parts as The Bloggess) published her second book, Furiously Happy — CBC named it one of its Best of 2015 and Entertainment Weekly called it “a strange but beautiful fusion of mental health awareness and understanding that, while serious in parts, will have you snorting into your coffee or laughing loudly on the subway.”

Patrick Wensink

The author of five books released Fake Fruit Factory this year, and NPR named it one of 2015’s best.

Rachel Roddy

Roddy (of rachel eats fame) published her book Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome, and it will be released in the U.S. in 2016.

CN Lester

Lester (A Gentleman and a Scholar) will have a book out in November 2016 with Virago Press (Little, Brown), titled Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us.

John Scalzi

The sci-fi author (Whatever) published his latest book, The End of All Things, in August.

Jennifer K. Armstrong

In 2016 the pop culture writer will release her next book, Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything, an examination of the history and cultural impact of Jerry Seinfeld’s beloved TV series.

Alexander Chee

The author behind Koreanish is publishing his next novel, The Queen of the Night, in 2016.

Randall Munroe

The xkcd creator offered up his latest, Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words.

Kevin M. Hardcastle

The author released a new short story collection, Debris, in September.

Mary Laura Philpott

The author and illustrator published Penguins with People Problems in June.


Notable Quotes & Bloggers in the News

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“No one tells you that you will break down and bawl and abandon your cart in the cereal aisle at Safeway because what woman, what mother, doesn’t know what her children want for breakfast.”

—Teri Carter, in The New York Times, on “A Stepmother Losing Her Marbles.”

There is no joy now without a shadow of bittersweet sorrow, but I experience my feelings more fully; as if a dial has been turned and my emotions amplified — the good and the bad.

—Hannah Richell, in Harper’s Bazaar Australia, on grief and losing her husband.

Let me tell you something you already know: Your housekeeper spies on you.

—Stephanie Land (stepville), in Vox, on her experience cleaning houses for rich clients.

Perhaps this is what MTV has brought us in thirty seasons of hot-tub parties and blurry night-vision footage of under-the-sheets trysts that everyone regrets in the morning—it has helped train us to see our daily lives as a continual acting out of identity in public.

—Amanda Ann Klein (judgmental observer) on “Thirty Seasons of ‘The Real World’” in The New Yorker.

Murders over money, over women: In any other neighborhood, we would call the killers youths committing crimes. In neighborhoods like Englewood and Auburn Gresham, we call them gang members, a label that has very real consequences.

—Jason Harrington (Taking Sense Away) wrote on Chi-raq and the changing nature of gun violence in Chicago for The New York Times Magazine.

“The Facts” distills the essentials of the How to Be a Girl series into a primer of sorts , the perfect starting point for newcomers who want to find someone under the age of 6 who can give them a master class in personal growth.

The Atlantic on Marlo Mack (gendermom), whose podcast was named a Best of 2015 pick, and who was featured on Longreads earlier this year.

Over the century since its creation, the Periodic Table of Elements has been studied almost as much, if not more, comprehensively than the Harry Potter universe. It is far past time that the two academic schools of thought were combined.

—Lauren James, at The Toast, with “The Hogwarts Houses of the Periodic Elements: A Critical Analysis.”

“I try but I can’t think of a single aspect of having cancer, start to finish, that isn’t an act in a pantomime in which my participation is guaranteed however I believe I choose to play each scene. I have been given this role. . . . I have no choice but to perform and to be embarrassed to death.”

—Jenny Diski, writer for the London Review of Books, profiled in The New York Times Magazine this year.


Our Community, IRL

StoryNightFrom the Press Publish conference in Portland and Phoenix, to the Longreads Story Night in San Francisco and New York, our community got together in person to celebrate our work, share advice, and seek inspiration from writers and editors like Christine Lee, Mary Laura Philpott, John Herrman, Ananda Leeke, and more.

Here’s a breathtaking moment from our Longreads Story Night in New York, with The New York Times Magazine’s Nikole Hannah-Jones:


The All-New WordPress.com Goes Live

NewWordPresscomThis past year marked the 10th anniversary of WordPress.com, and we celebrated by working behind the scenes to radically improve the experience. In November, we flipped the switch on an all-new WordPress.com: faster performance, a brand new editor, desktop apps for Mac, Windows, and Linux, the Discover Editors’ Picks showcase, and so much more.

It was all part of a new open-source project we codenamed Calypso, and we are thrilled that this is just the beginning. We’ll continue to make improvements so publishing is simple, seamless and fast — on any device.


A Warm Welcome for Woo!

AutomatticWoo.jpgEcommerce continues to grow in importance for people building their own sites and businesses, and this year one of the biggest names, WooCommerce, officially joined our parent company Automattic. Together, we’re excited to do even more to make it easy for businesses (large and small) to create and manage beautiful online stores.


WordPress: Now Powering More than 25% of the Internet

25-percentWordPress.com is just one piece of a huge, open-source WordPress community, and together we hit a new milestone in November: WordPress is now powering more than 25% of all sites on the Internet.

The full history of WordPress is now documented in a new book, Milestones, released on GitHub in December.


New on WordPress in 2015

NewonWPcomA lot of notable companies and publishers created new sites on WordPress.com and WordPress in 2015. Here’s a few:

Feminist Frequency & The Online Safety Guide

The groundbreaking site and nonprofit organization, created by Anita Sarkeesian, is now part of the WordPress.com family, and we were proud to work with her on a new project: The Online Safety Guide for protecting against online harassment.

RED.org

We worked with the global AIDS charity (RED) on their new site. The organization is aiming to help “deliver the first AIDS-free generation in over thirty years.”

Kill Screen

The videogame arts & culture magazine launched a successful Kickstarter this year to reinvent their print magazine, and we helped them reinvent their site on WordPress.

The New York Review of Books

The legendary literary publication, founded by Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein in 1963, joined the WordPress community in December 2015.

Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings

Popova’s treasure trove of interestingness has been on WordPress for a long time, but this year she unveiled a fresh new design.

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

The award-winning blogger, bestselling author, Food Network TV star, and longtime WordPress publisher brought her site to WordPress.com in 2015.

Upvoted

Reddit turned its massive community into an editorially (or “Redditorially”) curated magazine on WordPress.com.


Join Us! Help Make the Web a Better Place

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We had quite a growth spurt this year: 139 new people joined WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic in 2015, and all of us are dedicated to helping you express yourself, share your passions, or build your business.

We expect 2016 to be a big one, too: Come work with us!

The New WordPress.com App for Windows Is Here

You asked, and we answered—quickly! Just weeks after unveiling the all-new WordPress.com and desktop app for Mac, we’re thrilled to introduce our new Windows app.

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Now you can manage your sites, write and publish, and even customize your site and view stats from a dedicated app in your Windows Start Menu. Use it for your sites on WordPress.com, as well as for self-hosted WordPress sites. (For the latter, you’ll just need to have the Jetpack plugin installed to connect your site.)

And just like the rest of WordPress.com, the new Windows app is simple, seamless, and blazingly fast.

Download the app

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The new Windows app includes:

  • The My Sites dashboard for managing multiple sites, whether WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress with Jetpack.
  • The new WordPress.com Editor, with in-app previewing and draft auto-saving.
  • The Reader, which lets you follow and read any of your favorite sites, and the all-new Discover, which recommends outstanding content from across all of WordPress.
  • Insights and Stats, which show you exactly how your site and posts are performing.
  • In-app notifications, so you can see comments, likes, and new follows all in one place.

This, of course, is just the beginning. We’re excited to have you try it out, and thanks for all your continued feedback and support. 

Learn more about the new WordPress.com in the video below. Since its launch you’ve already published upwards of 3 million posts using the new editor!