Give the Gift of WordPress.com!

For a holiday gift that’s absolutely brimming with possibility, look no further than our brand new feature which allows any reader to gift a WordPress.com subscription renewal to their favorite website.  

As a website owner, this is a way to allow your most ardent fans to show their gratitude for all the hard work you’ve put into your passion project over the years. 

As a reader, this is a way to show a bit of thanks to your favorite creators — be they bloggers, artists, small business owners, or even your pesky-but-loveable little brother who’s finally trying to give his site some attention. 

This feature will be displayed as a black banner across the top of the site, from which readers will be able to click “Gift” and then be taken right to a checkout page. 

Easy as that!

As of today, we’ve rolled out this feature to a small number of sites, but that number will be growing every day as we continue to test and iterate. For now, gifting is available on sites that are within 54 days of their annual subscription expiration date or within 5 days of their monthly expiration date. Soon, however, it will be available much more widely.

How to activate the gifting banner   

You can activate this new feature in about 15 seconds: 

  1. From your admin dashboard, navigate to General Settings (Settings → General)
  2. Scroll down, just a bit, to the “Accept a gift subscription” section 
  3. Click the toggle to accept gifts 
  4. Click “Save settings”   

After you’ve activated the banner, be sure to spread the word by writing a post about how your readers can help you out in a brand new way!  

A few more important details

Gifting applies to whichever plan the website is currently on. For example: a subscription gift for a site on a 1-year plan will be for the entire amount of a 1-year plan renewal; a gift to a site on a monthly plan will be in the amount of 1 month on their current plan tier. (Note that gifts are made in the site owner’s currency.) 

Once a gift is paid for, both the website owner and the person who gave the gift will receive an email confirmation. 

You can find even more nuts and bolts here. 

We Heard You Wanted to Add SSH Keys

In September 2022, we released SSH for Business and eCommerce sites. SSH (secure shell protocol) allows you to access your site from the command line and use tools such as WP-CLI to manage your site, plugins, users, and more.

Our users loved the feature — but they wanted more. So we’re pleased to announce that we’ve added the ability to add SSH keys to your account to make it even easier to connect to your site. Read on to get started.

How to Setup and Use Your SSH Key

  1. Copy your public SSH key to your clipboard.
  2. From your WordPress.com dashboard, go to My Profile.
  3. On the My Profile page, click on Security.
  4. Click on the SSH Key option available in the Security Checklist.
  5. Paste your SSH Key to the Public SSH Key field.
  6. Click on the Save SSH Key button.
  7. Select the site you wish to connect from the My Sites option.
  8. From your dashboard, go to Settings → Hosting Configuration.
  9. Under the SSH Access section, use the SSH Keys field to select the desired key.
  10. Click on the Attach SSH Key to Site button.

Once your SSH key is attached to the site, you can use it when authenticating over SSH.

Detailed instructions on how to add an SSH key to your account are available now in WordPress.com Support.

Build Your Next Site on WordPress.com

Adding SSH keys is yet another way of integrating WordPress.com with your preferred workflow, whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced command-line superstar.

What else would you like to see in your terminal? How can we make WordPress.com an even more powerful place to build a website? Leave us a note or submit your ideas using our short feature request form!

Black Friday: All of Our Deals in One Spot

You’re already familiar with WordPress.com, but did you know we’re part of a larger family of amazing products? Automattic provides a range of online solutions, from ecommerce shops to course-creation software to audience survey tools, and much, much more. No matter what’s on your website wishlist this year, we’ve got you covered.   

After all, the best Black Friday deal isn’t a disposable gadget or a trendy clothing item; it’s something that will help you grow, and will grow along with you. Your website isn’t just a website — it’s the foundation for everything you hope to achieve.

Below you’ll find all the deals we’re offering across our online ecosystem.     

WordPress.com: 40% off 2-year plans 

Best-in-class WordPress hosting. Unparalleled support. All the SEO, security, and design features you need, built right in. For a limited time, get 40% off any new 2-year plan — just use the code blackfriday2022 at checkout to take advantage of this discount. (Be sure you’ve selected the “Two year” option from the dropdown menu on the checkout page.)

Built By WordPress.com: Free 1-year plan

Whether you want to build an online store or completely redesign your website, Built By WordPress.com is here for you. Click on the link below to tell us more about your project or business. Don’t forget to mention “Black Friday 2022” to get the first year on our Business plan for free! 

Built By WordPress.com Express: 30% off 

No need to stress the details: Our WordPress experts can build your site for you from the ground up. Take 30% off a website build and get your site launched in 4 business days or less. Use the code blackfriday22 at checkout.

Domains: Up to 90% off popular extensions 

Want a new domain? Enjoy incredible savings of 50% to 90% off for the first year. We have many great extensions to choose from, all priced at $5 USD or below for Black Friday. 

Choose from .blog, .me, .art, .store, .link, .click, .online, .shop, .life, .live, .world, .guru, .today, .info, .pro, .agency, .boutique, .directory, .run, .solutions, .wtf, and many more!

WooCommerce: 40% off all themes and extensions 

Now’s the perfect time to launch or level up the online store of your dreams. With 40% off all WooCommerce themes and extensions, you can turn your WordPress site into a powerful platform for ecommerce. 

Jetpack: 20% off all products and bundles 

There’s never been a better time to secure your website with real-time backups, automated malware scanning, and powerful spam protection. This weekend, get 20% off all Jetpack products and bundles. 

Fun fact: If you’re a WordPress.com customer, Jetpack is already built into your site at no additional cost!  

Crowd Signal: 50% off plans and upgrades 

Gather feedback and insights from your customers with polls, surveys, feedback buttons, quizzes, and more. Get 50% off new plans and plan upgrades through Monday. 

Sensei: 40% off all products 

Create and sell courses that would make your favorite teacher proud. Get 40% off all Sensei products, including Interactive Blocks, Sensei Pro, and Sensei Agency.

WP Job Manager: 30% off

A job board plugin like no other. Get our Add-on Bundle for 30% off to collect resumes, promote job listings, and more.

New Patterns: Subscriptions, Link in Bio, Wireframes, and More

Have you used Patterns on your site yet? 

These prebuilt, customizable templates combine professionally-designed blocks for specific uses like stylized quotes, contact page layouts, and product listings. But that’s just the beginning. All told, we have more than 275+ Patterns you can insert into your pages and posts at the press of a button.

If you’ve never used Patterns before, they’re like any other site element: Access them by hitting the “+” button at the top left of the page or post you’re working on, then selecting the “Patterns” tab. You can also click on the “Explore” button to bring up our entire library of Patterns, organized by category. 

Think of them as sophisticated slices of web design for your posts and pages. You can drop them in as-is, or customize them to your liking. Even better, we’re adding more all the time.

Here are just a few of the most recent arrivals to the Pattern library.


Newsletter Subscriptions

WordPress.com has newsletter capabilities built right in. All you need to do is add a Subscribe Block! Readers who enter their email address will get notified when you publish new posts. To make those Subscribe Blocks look a bit jazzier, we’ve added a number of newsletter-focused patterns to our library.

Find these and more in the “Newsletter” category.

Link in Bio

We’ve added a handful of visually stunning Patterns for your link-in-bio pages and sites. Pick one, customize as desired, add your links, and you’ve got a brand new way to let your readers know what’s new.

Find these and more in the “Link in Bio” category.

Wireframes

Wireframe patterns are those that have less of a design element built-in and allow you to start with a blank slate. Your imagination can run wild this collection of patterns. (Remember, though, every pattern is fully customizable.)

Find these and more in the “Wireframe” category.

Explore All of Our Patterns!

Even if you don’t have a specific need in mind, take a look around the full Patterns library. We have options for featured products, menus, events, coupons, footers, and more.


Patterns can be an incredibly useful resource for your design toolbox. Customize, experiment, and turn inspiration into eye-catching reality.

If you need help with Patterns, check out our more detailed guide

And be sure to let us know in the comments how you’ve used Patterns on your site and any ideas you have for new ones. We’re always working on more — so stay tuned!

Embed a Pocket Casts Player in Seconds With Our New Block

The library of blocks in the WordPress editor is always growing, providing websites with fresh and intriguing features on a regular basis. Our most recent update will appeal to podcasters, bloggers and Pocket Casts fans alike and we are thrilled to share it with you today.

Spread the word about your favorite podcasts and episodes with the Pocket Casts block

Are you a podcaster? Add the Pocket Casts block to any post or page on your website to let people know about your passion project and to embed the most recent episodes of your podcast. If you’re an avid listener but haven’t started your own podcast (yet, at least), you can now embed episodes and shows by other people within your own writing so that readers may listen to them without ever leaving your website.

You won’t need any special codes or embed URLs once you select the Pocket Casts block from the editor’s list of possible blocks. You will simply need to provide the episode’s or podcast’s URL.

Here’s what the Pocket Casts player will look like on your site — the example below features the latest episode on the Distributed podcast, hosted by Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg:

We truly hope you give the Pocket Casts block (and app) a try. Please comment below if you have any questions or would like to provide a link to a post where you’ve already used it.

Celebrating 200 WordPress.com Websites With Out in Tech!

In September, our team celebrated 200 WordPress.com websites built with Out in Tech, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating career and networking opportunities for LGBTQ+ folks in the tech industry. Since 2017, Automattic and WordPress.com have been proud partners of Out in Tech. Through our partnership, we work together with volunteers to build essential websites for LGBTQ+ organization across the globe.

In this video, you’ll hear from volunteers, Out in Tech organizers, and WordPress.com employees about the impact that these websites have within the larger LGBTQ+ communities that benefit from them. To learn more about the Digital Corps Hackathons or to get involved with Out in Tech, head to www.outintech.com.

Hot Off the Press: New WordPress.com Themes for October 2022

The WordPress.com team is always working on new design ideas to bring your website to life. Below you’ll find the four newest themes that we’ve added to our library, with beautiful options for food-based businesses, podcasts, and bloggers.

To install any of the below themes, click the the name of the theme you like, which brings you right to the installation page. Then simply click the “Activate this design” button. You can also click “Open live demo,” which brings up a clickable, scrollable version of the theme for you to preview.

Premium themes are free to use for any user on a Premium plan or above, or can be purchased individually by those with free sites or Personal plans.

You can explore all of our themes by navigating to the “Themes” page, which is found under “Appearance” in the left-side menu of your WordPress.com dashboard. Or, just click here:


Masu

Masu is a blogging-focused theme inspired by the traditional square wooden box used to measure rice in Japan. It has a warm tone and, naturally, features a square grid alignment.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Varese (Premium Theme)

Made for restaurants, bakeries, and other small businesses, Varese is a versatile and modern theme. It comes with a number of patterns, allowing you quickly design and build your pages and launch your website. With the support of OpenTable Block, get bookings and reservations to your business.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Spearhead Blocks

Spearhead Blocks is a podcasting starter theme. A modernized version of the original Spearhead, this theme allows you to easily customize and scale your podcast website as needed.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Munchies (Premium Theme)

Designed with portable business in mind, Munchies comes with patterns for food menus, a schedule for upcoming events, and more. Use this theme to share your story with your customers and to make it easier for them to connect with you.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Stay tuned for more updates about new themes, patterns, blocks, and other exciting product updates! And be sure to click below to take a look at the entire showcase of themes we offer:

Free New Course Coming Soon: Create Your Site With WordPress.com

Are you building a website for the first time? Returning to WordPress after a break? Just looking to get caught up on the newest Gutenberg features? 

You’re in the right place.

We’re excited to announce a brand new free course called Create Your Site

If you’re searching for a solid foundation for making a WordPress.com website, look no further. This is the perfect introduction for anyone with an idea: bloggers, business owners, or creators in any medium.

Join our waitlist today, and you’ll be first in line to find out when the course officially launches in just a few weeks.

This course includes:

  • A clear roadmap for building a WordPress.com site
  • Hands-on exercises broken down into step-by-step instructions 
  • A self-paced environment so you can learn at a rate that works best for you
  • A private community to discuss, collaborate, and engage with other students to network and swap feedback
  • Additional tips, resources, ideas, and feedback provided by WordPress experts

By the end of this course, you’ll know which specific actions to take to build your site with WordPress.com, as well as your next steps after that. After all, launching your site is only the beginning of your journey.

What you’ll learn:

With a combination of short videos, step-by-step instructions, and detailed explanations (when necessary), we cover: 

  • Themes
  • Pages
  • Content 
  • Block Editor
  • Site Editor
  • Templates
  • Menus

You can move through the course as quickly as you like, or take your time to dig deeper. You can also repeat the course as many times as you like. Start with a practice site, build your very first site, or use it to build many more sites. The choice is yours!

The best part? At the risk of repeating ourselves: It’s free!

Join our waitlist for Create Your Site with WordPress.com, so you don’t miss the announcement when it opens for enrollment.

New Patterns: Headers, Footers, Link in Bio, and More

Have you used Patterns on your site yet? 

These prebuilt, customizable templates combine professionally-designed blocks for specific uses like stylized quotes, contact page layouts, and product listings. But that’s just the beginning. All told, we have more than 260 Patterns you can insert into your pages and posts at the press of a button.

If you’ve never used Patterns before, they’re like any other site element: Access them by hitting the “+” button at the top left of the page or post you’re working on, then selecting the “Patterns” tab. You can also click on the “Explore” button to bring up our entire library of Patterns, organized by category. 

Think of them as sophisticated slices of web design for your posts and pages. You can drop them in as-is, or customize them to your liking. Even better, we’re adding more all the time.

Here are just a few of the most recent arrivals to the Pattern library.


Headers and Footers

One of the most common questions our Happiness Engineers hear from users is how to customize a site’s header and footer areas. One way to easily and efficiently do that? Patterns. Note: Be sure to add these patterns to your header and footer template parts, which are found in the Site Editor (Appearance → Editor). A single update or change here will apply across all pages.

Find these and more in the “Header” and “Footer” categories.

Link in Bio Patterns

We’ve added a number of stunning Patterns for your link-in-bio pages and sites. Pick one, customize as desired, add your links, and you’ve got a brand new way to let your readers know what’s new.


Explore All of Our Patterns!

Even if you don’t have a specific need in mind, take a look around the full Patterns library. Galleries, contact pages, subscribe boxes, quotes: with so many options, you’re sure to find something that adds a fresh new wrinkle to your site.


Patterns can be an incredibly useful resource for your design toolbox. Customize, experiment, and turn inspiration into eye-catching reality.

If you need help with Patterns, check out our more detailed guide

And be sure to let us know in the comments how you’ve used Patterns on your site and any ideas you have for new ones. We’re always working on more — so stay tuned!

What’s New in the Editor: More Design Tools, Enhanced Lists, Easier Block Switching

Ever since the block editor was introduced in 2018, we’ve been pushing it to do more — and our latest crop of improvements will help you build posts and pages on your site with confidence, no matter what you publish:

  • More design tools for dozens of blocks
  • More control over lists with our improved List Block
  • Easier block-switching

Let’s take a closer look at each.

More Design Tools for Dozens of Blocks

We’ve added a variety of design tools to dozens of blocks. Depending on the block, you’ll now see typography, color, border, spacing, and layout options. 

To play around with these new design tools, select the block you want to work with and use the right-hand sidebar to access these sections. 

You’ll see a few controls right away, but with just a couple clicks you can go even deeper. Select the three dots on the upper right of each section to find even more options, or hit the red chain link button to allow control over borders and/or padding for each side or corner individually. 

Without a doubt, one of the most fun additions is having more border options on Image Blocks:

More Control Over Lists 

Our improved List Block means that lists are easier to manage from the toolbar. Every item and hierarchy in your list can now be manipulated as its own block. Rearranging, grouping, and nesting items has never been easier: 

Easier Block-Switching

The block transforms menu offers a quick shortcut to switch to a different block, depending on your content. As the number of blocks has grown and you’ve started using this menu more and more, it’s been made more useful by changing the organization of what’s displayed at the top. For blocks that support paragraph, heading, list, and quote transformations — which are, by far, the most used changes — we’ve now emphasized those blocks: 

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

The block editor is always growing and improving as a result of your feedback, so thank you — we can’t wait to show you what we’re building next. In the meantime, we’ll continue working hard behind the scenes, with more updates to come! Have ideas for how to improve the editor? Let us know in the comments.