Introducing a new design for the WordPress apps

The WordPress mobile apps are the best way to manage your site from anywhere. If you’re already using the app, you might have noticed a new visual design that’s been rolling out. That rollout is complete in WordPress 17.1, which is available today for both Android and iOS. If you’re not already using it this is the perfect time to give it a try!

Our new visual design as seen on iPhone and iPad.

We add new features and improve the WordPress apps in every release, but our visual design hasn’t changed much in the last few years. Over the last few months we’ve thought about how to modernize the design of the apps. As we’ve implemented features like Dark Mode, we’re taking advantage of new components made available in the latest versions of iOS and Android.  

Bigger, bolder headers call out key product areas and create a distinction between the top level tabs and deeper levels of the apps. A new color palette pairs a more neutral background that lets your content shine with brighter blues that make interactive elements even more noticeable. A new serif typeface is a nod to WordPress’s roots in writing and publishing.

Dark Mode is available on both iOS and Android devices.

We hope you enjoy these updates as you use the apps and we’d love to hear your feedback. Reach out to us from within the app by going to My Site, tapping your photo on the top right, tapping Help & Support, and then selecting Contact Support.

What’s New in the Block Editor: New Page Layout Picker, Better Block Transformation Options, and More

Here’s a peek at the latest changes in the block editor — subtle-yet-practical enhancements that help you create beautiful posts and pages more efficiently:

  • New page layout picker experience.
  • Convert text and images into Columns block.
  • Improved spacing options for social links and buttons.
  • Streamlined behavior of the writing prompt.

Let’s dive in!

New Page Layout Picker

Page layouts are pre-designed templates that make creating beautiful pages a breeze. In this update we focused on improving the layout picker, making it easier to quickly browse different categories and select your layout.

Convert text and images into Columns Block

Transforming one block into another is a nifty trick that can greatly improve the editing experience. With the latest update, text (and images too!) can be automatically converted to a Columns block with the click of a button.

Select two or more blocks (these could be Paragraph, Heading, Image, etc.), click on the grouped block icon, and select “Columns” from the list of transformation options. The number of blocks selected will correspond to the number of columns.

Improved spacing options for Social Links and Buttons

Get creative with new ways to arrange your social links and buttons. This update brings you greater control over spacing and unlocks some neat layout ideas.

The correct alignment will be visible once you finish editing the Social Icons block.

Streamlined behavior of the writing prompt

You’re probably familiar with the writing prompt that greets you every time you start a new post or  page. Until now you’d also see it on every new line in your document. We’re happy to report that’s no longer the case! To streamline the writing process the prompt will now only appear once. There will be no subsequent prompts with every new line — just space for you to write your thoughts without distractions.

You keep building, we’ll keep improving

We can’t wait to see what you build with the improved block editor. In the meantime, we’ll keep new updates coming your way.

Happy editing!

Introducing Milestone Notifications

Your website is a product of your hard work and passion. Therefore, when your site hits a milestone — it shouldn’t go unrecognized. To make it easier for you to keep track of your site’s achievements, we’ll be rolling out a new celebratory notification that will alert you when your site reaches or surpasses a certain number of views

We hope these celebrations are meaningful and motivational for you and that they inspire you to take time to pause, reflect, and celebrate. 

If you have the WordPress app on your mobile, we also have a little surprise for you each time you unlock a milestone! Be sure to update your WordPress app to the latest version. If you don’t have the app yet, download it for free on both Android and iOS.

We’d love to hear your feedback! Reach out to us from within the app by going to My Site, tapping your photo on the top right, tapping Help & Support,  and then selecting Contact Support.

WordPress.com Design Update for a More Intuitive Experience

We’re excited to tell you more about WordPress.com’s new navigation experience. The update makes managing your entire site more intuitive and creates consistency across all parts of WordPress.com. This update also allows you all to take advantage of the wider WordPress open source community, creating the same admin menu as WordPress.org that you see referenced in lots of documentation and tutorials.

As we continue to grow, we’ve heard that navigating WordPress.com could be confusing because of different sidebars layouts, menus, etc. We listened to your feedback and ran usability tests on new designs to improve the experience.  

Updated Sidebar Menu Design in WordPress.com

This design update combines sidebars and menus that were mismatched and streamlines them into one dashboard that’s consistent for everyone.

For many of you, there will be little to no change in how you use WordPress.com. For those of you who access advanced features, you can easily enable wp-admin as your default view in your Account Settings. We’re surfacing most menu items from third-party plugins and themes by default. You can learn more about interface and account settings here.

While you’re in Account Settings, give your WordPress.com interface a new color scheme. You can now choose a color for your dashboard.

Thanks for the continued feedback to make WordPress.com more intuitive to use for all. And we’re not done yet – we’ll continue to listen and evolve as WordPress.com grows. Happy WordPressing!

Publish and Update WordPress Posts Directly From Ulysses

If you use Ulysses for Mac, iPad, and iPhone, you already know that this Apple Design Award-winning writing app offers a focused, pleasant writing experience. You might also know that Ulysses publishes to WordPress with just a few clicks or taps. If so, you’ll be happy to hear that the newest version improves the already-smooth integration between WordPress and Ulysses.

For anyone who might be unfamiliar with the writing tool, Ulysses provides a distraction-free Markdown editor that is customizable to fit your style. Its powerful features help you organize your writing projects and be more productive. When you are satisfied with the content you’ve written, Ulysses can export the text into several formats. Most importantly, it is easy to publish your creation directly to your WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress site.

Let’s take a closer look at how publishing from Ulysses to WordPress works. First, you will need to connect Ulysses to your WordPress account. If you are a WordPress.com user, you will simply input your user name and password. WordPress self-host users will also supply the URL of the WordPress site. Once the connection is made, Ulysses will also sync with your other devices. You’ll now be able to turn any text you write in Ulysses into WordPress blog posts via the app’s export feature. 

Ulysses is unique because it automatically transfers not only images and text but also other settings and characteristics. Some of its smart features include: 

  • Your text’s first heading will become your post’s title.
  • Keywords you attached in Ulysses will become tags or categories if they match your blog’s tags or categories.
  • If there’s an image attached to your text, it will become your post’s featured image.
  • If there’s a note attached to your text, it will become your post’s excerpt.

You can, of course, edit any of these smart settings during publishing. Furthermore, you can set your post’s slug and choose to publish instantly, schedule for later, or upload as a draft. This video walks you through the process.

And now for the big news — with the latest Ulysses version, you can also update previously published posts directly within the app, which adds even more convenience to your publishing workflow. Consider this common scenario: 

Sometimes when blogging, a typo or other issue escapes our notice, and we only spot it when looking at the published post or the post’s preview. Until now, Ulysses users needed to switch to WordPress to edit or publish the post a second time. With the latest version, that process is unnecessary. Editing text in Ulysses now enables you to update the corresponding WordPress blog post right within the app. During the publishing workflow, Ulysses will highlight the changes you’re about to make.

Ulysses’ newest version improves its time-saving integration with WordPress, making publishing and revising WordPress posts even more convenient than before.

Here’s a fun bonus! To celebrate this latest integration update, Ulysses is giving away five (5) free one-year licenses! To win, simply comment below, letting us know that you’d love to try the Ulysses app. Remember: this is an Apple product, so it only works with Mac, iPad, and iPhone. The first 5 people who ask for it in the comments will win. We’ll send the name and email address you supply when you comment to Ulysses and they’ll contact you with the details on how to claim your one-year license.

Introducing new Stats widgets for iPhone

You may already know that WordPress mobile apps are the easiest way to manage your WordPress site any time, anywhere.  Helpful features in the apps include our Stats widgets, which make it simple to keep an eye on your site’s activity without even opening the app. We recently rebuilt our widgets for iOS 14, and we’re happy to announce that they’re available now in WordPress 16.9.

Now, your WordPress Stats can live right on your iPhone or iPad’s home screen, always visible and up to date when you unlock your device. With one tap, the widgets will open WordPress straight to the Stats page for your site. They are available in a variety of sizes, from small ones that give you a bite-sized piece of information at a glance, to large ones that give you a comprehensive look at your site activity. 

Three types of widgets are available: Today, This Week, and All Time.

The Today widget focuses on the most up to date information: how many views, visitors, likes, and comments has your site received today? This Week lets you compare your daily stats from the past week to see the rise and fall of your site’s activity. All Time shows the total number of views, visitors, and posts on your site as well as the views from your best day ever. 

If you have multiple WordPress sites, you can edit a widget after placing it on your home screen to choose which site’s stats you want it to display. You can even mix and match multiple widgets to create a dashboard that shows you how all your sites are doing at once.

Widgets adapt to Dark Mode when it is enabled on your device.

The new widgets are available for WordPress.com sites as well as WordPress sites using Jetpack. Once you’ve updated to the latest version of WordPress on your device, you can use these instructions to add a widget to your home screen. Your device must be running iOS 14.0 or higher to use the new widgets. If you use an Android phone, widgets are available there, too.

We hope our new widgets make it even easier to keep up with your site’s activity. We’re always thinking about how we can make the apps more useful for you. What other kinds of widgets would you like to see in WordPress? Let us know in the comments!

What’s New in the Block Editor: Edit Your Images, Drag and Drop Blocks and Patterns, and More

From time-saving features to enhancements in your favorite blocks, these block editor improvements will help you build posts and pages on your site, no matter what you publish:

  • Crop and rotate your images with built-in editing tools
  • Drag and drop blocks and patterns for more control
  • Display a list of your pages with the new Page List block
  • Match your brand palette with an improved Social Icons block
  • Strategically place your CTAs with a better Buttons block
  • Manage your preferences in a refreshed panel

Let’s take a closer look.

Crop and rotate your images with built-in editing tools

Tired of switching between WordPress.com and an editing tool like Photoshop or Canva to make quick fixes to your images? There’s no need to leave the block editor to crop or rotate your photographs — you can now make changes with a few clicks in the toolbar that appears above the image.

Your original image is always saved in your Media Library, so you can crop and re-crop until you get it just right.

Drag and drop blocks and patterns for more control

Here’s a usability win: you can now drag and drop blocks and block patterns from the Block Inserter on the left directly into your editor canvas on the right. This gives you finer control over where you place new content on a post or page.

Display a list of your pages with the new Page List block

Say hello to the new block on the block: the Page List block! Let’s say you want to show a list of all of your recipe blog’s pages on a single page so readers can see an overview of your culinary content. You can use the new Page List block to automatically compile and display a hierarchical list of all your site’s published pages.

Match your brand palette with an improved Social Icons block

Does your current site background make certain social icons invisible or difficult to see? Do you want to customize the colors? With updates to the Social Icons block, you can now set custom colors for the icons and the icon background by using the color picker or specifying a HEX color code. Match your business or brand palette if you wish!

Strategically place your CTAs with a better Buttons block

A strong and visual call to action, or CTA, encourages interaction on your site, whether you’re a tax consultant seeking new leads with a Contact Me page or an online meditation teacher presenting your membership tiers on a Services page. Using the Buttons block, you can align your CTA buttons on a page, either horizontally (in a row) or vertically (stacked in a column). You’ll see this new vertical option in the block’s settings, so you can switch between layouts with ease.

Manage your block editor preferences in a refreshed panel

We’ve repackaged various options and settings for your block editor into a separate panel, sorted into four sections: General, Appearance, Blocks, and Panels. We hope this more streamlined panel helps you set up your block editor exactly as you want it.

Keep building with the block editor. We’ll keep improving it.

The block editor is continuously growing and improving as a result of your feedback — thank you. We can’t wait to see what you build next with it. In the meantime, we’re working hard behind the scenes, with more updates to come!

Introducing WordPress Stories: A New Way to Engage Your Audience

Since the early days of Snapchat, which made the format so popular, Stories have become a powerful way to engage audiences on social media. Today, over 500 million Instagram accounts use Stories every day. Now, you can publish Stories on your website — a place where you truly own your own content.

With Stories, you can combine photos, videos, and text to create an engaging, tappable, full-screen slideshow that your visitors will love. You can conveniently publish Stories from your phone, giving you more ways to keep your site fresh and optimized for your increasingly mobile audience.

Introducing WordPress Stories: A New Way to Engage Your Audience



Stories are the perfect format for: 

  • Step-by-step guides 
  • Recipes and cooking tutorials
  • Updates on your DIY or art projects
  • A behind-the-scenes look at your latest product

The Stories you know, but better

WordPress Stories are different in a few ways. 

Stories are published on your site as a blog post, which means they can be viewed, liked, and commented on by your site visitors, just like any other blog post. Your Stories have a permanent URL that can be shared and linked to from other platforms. And if you’re using the Publicize feature on your WordPress site, your Story can automatically be shared with your social media fans and followers, expanding the reach of your content. 

We know it takes a lot of effort to create great content. Unlike the Stories you’re familiar with on other social platforms, Stories on your WordPress site won’t disappear after 24 hours! This means you can edit or add to your Stories long after you first publish them. 

Ready to try it out? 

Introducing WordPress Stories: A New Way to Engage Your Audience



You can start using Stories on your site today with the free WordPress app for Android or iOS. The Stories feature will be available for iPad and in the desktop block editor in the near future. 

For a detailed, step-by-step guide, visit the Story Block support page.

Turn Your WordPress.com Blog into a Podcast with Anchor

Blogging on WordPress.com is all about sharing your unique voice, and starting today, you can extend that to another platform: Anchor. We previously shared some tips and tricks for getting started with a podcast on WordPress.com and are thrilled to share this new option.

Anchor, part of the Spotify family, powers the most podcasts worldwide, with free tools to easily create, distribute, and monetize, no matter how you record — including podcasting with your WordPress.com blog!

Creating an Anchor podcast from your site is free and seamless. After all, you’ve already got a whole blog’s worth of written content to use. With Anchor, all that’s left is converting your words into audio, which can be as easy as using your blog to quickly record a text-to-speech version.

Blog-to-podcast benefits

Making a podcast out of your blog breathes new life into the work you’re already doing — you can make your unique blogging voice actually audible! By converting your blog into a podcast, you’re leveraging the power of audio to grow your brand, audience, and income — without any extra work. Hundreds of millions of listeners (and counting) consume podcasts every day, and they’re constantly looking for fresh voices and perspectives. Whether you have a built-in WordPress.com audience to bring over or not, an audio extension of your blog means another avenue for exposure — to your existing followers and new ones. And then there’s monetization: Anchor Sponsorships lets you read ads in your own voice during a break in your podcast; Anchor’s Listener Support feature, meanwhile, allows your biggest fans to support your work via a recurring monthly donation.

A podcast version of your WordPress.com blog also introduces an entirely different audience to your work, and frees listeners up to do what readers aren’t able to: multitask! There are, of course, many benefits to readers fully immersing themselves in the written content of a blog. But audio enables listeners to consume your work while performing everyday activities, like going for a walk, driving, cooking, or just relaxing. Last but not least, turning your blog into a podcast unlocks it for those who are visually impaired or may otherwise have difficulty accessing the written version.

Let your words do the talking

Connect your site to Anchor and your existing blog posts will import as episode drafts

Your blog can almost literally do the talking for you with direct text-to-speech, similar to an audio transcription of an article. This is a great option for blogs less dependent on top-notch production value and more focused on the content itself — such as well-researched news, sports, essays, and wellness stories. With text-to-speech conversion, your blog can be podcast-ready in a few minutes.


Converting your blog post to podcast-ready audio and distributing your new show takes just a few minutes.

Of course, if you want to create a podcast that highlights your actual speaking voice, you can record it by reading a transcript of your blog post, which will be imported directly into Anchor for easy access.

You can get more creative, too, by using your blog as a jumping-off point to host an audio discussion about the blog topic. Or let your blog serve as inspiration for a more traditional podcast, where you host and interview guests, record scripted segments, and much more, in ways amplified by audio!

Create a podcast today

There are a number of different ways to turn your WordPress.com blog into a podcast. The amount of work it takes can be surprisingly minimal — or more hands-on if you like. Whether you just want to create an audio version of your blog, expand your blog concept to a different platform, or simply try your hand (and voice) at a new medium, there’s a podcast structure for you. Most importantly, your written work means you’re not starting from scratch.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for creating a podcast on Anchor from your existing pages and posts on WordPress.com:

You can also convert all of your newly published pages and posts into podcasts as well.

If you’re looking for inspiration, a perfect example is TheDesignAir, whose blog covers aviation design and product news. Check out their text-to-speech podcast with Anchor:

Ready to turn your blog into an Anchor podcast for free? Get started by creating your Anchor account. Happy podcasting!

Build a Beautiful Site in the WordPress Mobile Apps with Predesigned Page Layouts

Your WordPress mobile app is a convenient way to create and manage your WordPress site. Now, you can design a new page right from your phone or tablet — and build the site of your dreams — with predesigned page layouts.

Introducing starter page layouts

Not all of us are designers, and building a page on your site with the layout in your mind can be intimidating and time-consuming — but it doesn’t have to be that way! Now when you create a new page on WordPress for iOS or Android, you can choose from premade layouts. You can also customize them to fit your needs, right from the block editor.

Choosing a layout

When you create a new page in the app, you’ll see a list of premade page layouts, including about pages, contact pages, team pages, services pages, and more. Whether you’re the owner of an online shop of sustainably made clothing, the founder of a newly formed digital magazine, or a financial strategist who’s just launched a consulting business, you can use these premade layouts to build the most essential pages on your website.

Once you find a layout that you’d like to try, tap it to select it. After you’ve selected a layout, you can either preview it or create a new page with the chosen layout.

Ready to try these new Starter Page Layouts? Be sure to update your WordPress app to the latest version. If you don’t have the app yet, download it for free, on both Android and iOS.

We’d love to hear your feedback on these new layouts. Reach out to us from within the app by going to My Site, tapping your photo on the top right, tapping Help & Support,  and then selecting Contact Support.