Looking to take your WordPress website to the next level? You’re in luck! Our WordPress.com webinars are designed to help you create and customize your site with ease, and they’re incredibly popular among site owners. Plus, they’re completely free to attend!
Check out these upcoming webinars, which are conducted live by our knowledgeable Happiness Engineers:
Compelling Homepages: Create a Custom Layout with the WordPress Block Editor
Your site’s homepage is its highest-traffic page, so making it count is crucial to the success of your site. Join us to learn how to create a professional-looking and engaging homepage using the WordPress block editor. Our experts will teach you how to build an effective visual hierarchy and design attention-grabbing calls to action.
Tues Apr 18 at 9:00pm CEST | 3:00pm EDT | 12:00pm PDT
Wed Apr 19 at 7:00pm AEST | 2:30pm IST | 11:00am CEST
Thurs Apr 20 at 9:30pm IST | 6:00pm CEST | 12:00pm EDT | 9:00am PDT
Your site header is an essential element of your brand identity. In this webinar, we’ll explore the importance of your site header and show you how to create a unique, brand-aligned header using the WordPress.com Site Editor. You’ll learn how to select, customize, and replace header templates, add and edit your site title, logo, and navigation menus, and troubleshoot common issues.
Tues Apr 25 at 9:00pm CEST | 3:00pm EDT | 12:00pm PDT
Wed Apr 26 at 7:00pm AEST | 2:30pm IST | 11:00am CEST
Thurs Apr 27 at 9:30pm IST | 6:00pm CEST | 12:00pm EDT | 9:00am PDT
Don’t miss these opportunities to level up your WordPress skills and create a website that reflects your vision. Our WordPress.com webinars are incredibly popular, and for good reason. Register now for these free webinars, and bring your questions for our live Q&A sessions.
We can’t wait to help you bring your website to life!
LUBUS, a development agency specializing in WordPress and Laravel, faced challenges with variable hosting costs and maintenance for their clients. They needed a solution that offered fixed costs, high performance, secure web hosting, and reliable service and support. LUBUS decided to test WordPress.com and, after witnessing positive results, confidently recommended it to their clients.
The migration to WordPress.com led to faster site load times, improved stability during traffic surges, and significant cost savings of 50-90% for clients. This allowed LUBUS to concentrate on its core services and offer a more straightforward solution to its clients without the need for DevOps budgets or ongoing maintenance costs. WordPress.com provided an all-in-one solution, ensuring a stable, secure, and cost-efficient experience for LUBUS’s clients.
We recently spoke with Ajit Bohra, the Founder and WordPress Engineer of LUBUS, a development agency specializing in WordPress and Laravel. LUBUS, established in 2008, creates high-quality websites for clients in India and across the globe. They have experience building a wide variety of websites, including healthcare, renewables, publishers, telecommunications, music news, online stores, and more.
Their commitment to delivering “friendly solutions” in WordPress website development led them to seek a solution that provides their clients with:
A website with fixed costs and no hard limits
A high-performance, secure web hosting platform
A host managed and maintained by WordPress experts
Reliable service and support
LUBUS chose to test WordPress.com and, after witnessing positive results, confidently recommended it to many of their clients.
The LUBUS Story
LUBUS has a team of 12 WordPress designers and developers, serving 8 to 10 new clients annually. About 60% of their clients retain LUBUS’s maintenance and consulting services after the initial site development and launch.
Previously, they hosted clients on AWS (Amazon Web Services) and similar cloud hosting services. While these solutions were suitable for clients who required more complex control, they presented difficulties for many others.
The Challenges and Needs of Various WordPress Website Clients
LUBUS aimed to provide the best service to their clients while keeping their workload focused on core offerings.
Stable Costs and Hosting
For many clients, particularly those in emerging markets or with smaller budgets, the variable billing costs of providers like AWS were often disruptive. These clients needed to budget for exact costs without unexpected charges at the end of a pricing period. Some clients experienced large traffic spikes that either caused their websites to crash or resulted in increased costs to cover additional resources. Neither scenario supports effective growth and scaling.
Ajit Bohra, the LUBUS founder, shared an example where they migrated a heavy metal client’s website to WordPress.com. When the band Metallica shared one of the client’s articles, the site effortlessly handled the traffic surge without incurring additional costs or experiencing any performance issues.
Maintenance and Worry-Free Hosting
In the absence of managed hosting, clients either had to maintain the environment themselves or pay LUBUS for maintenance. This extra time and cost were prohibitive to clients and diverted LUBUS from its primary focus.
“We needed to move away from DevOps and concentrate on our core services. We searched for a straightforward solution that clients could manage themselves without DevOps budgets or ongoing maintenance costs. We aimed to provide clients with a reliable hosting service we could endorse without hesitation, ultimately resulting in satisfied clients. We found that service with WordPress.com,” explained Ajit Bohra, LUBUS founder.
Why LUBUS Chose to Migrate Clients to WordPress.com
Ajit and his team members often attended WordCamps, where they conversed with WordPress.com representatives. Eventually, Ajit felt confident enough to trial WordPress.com with a budget client who wanted to manage their site independently in the future. Factors that contributed to his decision to test WordPress.com included:
Eliminating security concerns for both LUBUS and the client
Removing worries about performance or speed
The platform’s development by the same team behind the open-source WordPress application
Clients feeling confident enough to manage their own site, knowing they’re protected by Jetpack backups, activity logs, and backed up by excellent WordPress.com support
Giving clients an option for a lower and more reliable cost model.
The Migration Process
LUBUS found the migration process smooth and cost-effective, significantly reducing DevOps and maintenance expenses.
As LUBUS migrated more clients to WordPress.com, they continued to experience smooth, error-free migrations. Even in challenging situations, the WordPress.com Happiness Engineers (support team) resolved issues efficiently, providing a positive experience for LUBUS.
The Results: Speed, Stability, and Cost Savings
We were eager to learn LUBUS’s thoughts on their experience with migrating clients’ sites to WordPress.com. Here’s what we discovered.
Although LUBUS focuses on well-developed sites optimized for fast load times, developers cannot control the server’s TTFB (Time to First Byte). TTFB measures the time it takes for the first byte of the page to load in the client’s browser, reflecting the server’s responsiveness. On average, LUBUS observed a 60-70% improvement in TTFB speed after migrating sites to WordPress.com. This improvement can mean the difference between users staying on the site or leaving due to frustration with load times.
Some hosting providers hinder a client’s website success and growth. When a site experiences a traffic surge due to a successful marketing or social campaign, some hosts either fail to allocate the necessary resources to keep the site running or charge substantial fees for the extra resources. In both cases, the client’s potential gains from the traffic surge are negatively impacted.
LUBUS clients appreciate that WordPress.com aims to help them succeed rather than penalize them for their success. With high-performance CPUs and automated burst scaling, clients can trust that their sites will withstand traffic surges without incurring additional costs.
LUBUS founder Ajit Bohra stated, “Many of our clients saved a considerable amount of money, ranging from 50% to over 90%, on hosting charges after moving to WordPress.com. This significant savings offers a tremendous boost for clients, especially in countries like India, or those with basic sites, blogs, webzines, mid-level traffic eCommerce sites, and startups.”
The End Result
“There are many reasons we recommend WordPress.com to clients.
—Clients want us, and their hosting provider, to simplify their lives. —We don’t want clients to be intimidated by WordPress, and WordPress.com makes it much easier for them to adapt. —Clients are skeptical about relying on plugins for tasks that should be managed by hosting, which WordPress.com does. —Clients want everything in one place, such as support, domain, content, marketing tools, and hosting. —Clients want to know their site will be stable, secure, and cost-efficient.
WordPress.com makes it simple to meet our clients’ needs.”
—Ajit Bohra, LUBUS founder
WordPress.com + Your Agency = Satisfied Clients
WordPress web design and development agencies are discovering the power of WordPress.com hosting and the benefits it offers to their clients. With full-stack performance, robust security, and developer-friendly features, WordPress.com provides agencies with a platform they can confidently recommend to their clients. Discover what we can do for your agency.
Looking for a development agency focused on providing friendly solutions to big or small ideas? See how Lubus can help you.
The earlier reported outage has been resolved. Twitter is working again for Jetpack Social and all other functionalities that depend on Twitter. All Jetpack Social connections to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be used as usual.
We are working with Twitter directly to ensure this service keeps running without interruption.
Update: We have regained access to the Twitter API, and Jetpack Social should be fully functional on all sites again!Please read our latest post here and reach out to support if you continue to have issues.
On April 3, Twitter suspended WordPress.com’s access to the Twitter API without warning. As a result, Jetpack Social — the built-in tool that we use to auto-share your posts to social media — is currently broken for Twitter. This means that auto-posting to Twitter via WordPress.com is not actively working.
Thankfully, this issue is isolated to Twitter, which means that Jetpack Social connections to other platforms are unaffected. Rest assured that you can continue sharing to Tumblr, Facebook, and LinkedIn without interruption.
You’re most likely to encounter this when publishing a new post. You’ll see this alert in the pre-publish sidebar:
Reconnecting won’t work at this time, nor will trying to establish a new connection.
We want you to know that we’re on top of this and working hard to find a solution. We’ll keep this post updated as we get more information.
In the meantime, if you haven’t checked out Tumblr recently, now is a great time to do so! While some social media companies have made recent decisions that adversely affect users’ experience, we’re constantly adding great new features and amping up what’s possible on Tumblr.
We know that social sharing is vitally important for spreading the word about your work, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes. Thank you for your patience as we work to get everything back up and running.
Are you taking your first steps in selling a product or service online and don’t know where to start? Be sure to register for our upcoming WooCommerce 101 webinar, where our expert Happiness Engineers will walk you through everything you need to know about setting up an online store with WooCommerce and WordPress.com managed hosting.
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Time: 16:00 UTC | 18:00 CEST | 12pm EDT | 9:00am PDT
Who’s invited: business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, service providers, store owners, and anyone else who wants to sell a product or service online.
Whether you’re an e-commerce veteran or this is your first business, join us for the inside scoop on launching a store that’s fully customizable, completely yours, and ready to grow from the start. In this live webinar, our Happiness Engineer will demonstrate how to:
Instal Woo on your existing WordPress site
Use the setup wizard to get up and running fast
Set up simple products, basic shipping, and tax support
Collect payments through WooCommerce Payments and other gateways
No previous e-commerce experience is necessary, but we recommend a basic familiarity with WordPress.com to ensure you can make the most from the webinar. A Q&A session will follow the walkthrough, so be sure to bring any questions you might have! Seats are limited, so register now to reserve your spot. See you then!
Has your desktop been looking a bit drab lately? If so – or if you’d just like to show a little WordPress love – we’ve got just the remedy: 30 one-of-a-kind WordPress desktop wallpapers to breathe new life into your backgrounds.
Download and install
To add a wallpaper to your desktop:
Click on any image to open a fullscreen carousel
Right-click the image if you’re using Windows or Linux, or command-click on a Mac
The wallpapers are a homage to some of our favorite artists, with a nod to the freedom, innovation, and creativity of open-source software.
We put these together with an entirely open-source AI tool called Stable Diffusion. Like WordPress, Stable Diffusion is all about helping more people to create, experiment, and share, while having the freedom to access and contribute to the code making it all happen.
Over to you
We’d love to hear what you think, and if you have any favorites. Of course, please feel free to remix, use these on your blog, or share your work in the comments!
One of the biggest benefits of our Business and Commerce plans is that you can add additional WordPress plugins to enhance the functionality of your website.
Below, we’re highlighting two of the newest additions to our plugin marketplace, now available at a hefty exclusive discount for WordPress.com users.
Create courses with Sensei Pro
Automattic, the same company behind WordPress.com, creates Sensei LMS. We’ve collaborated to bring our Learning Management System and course creation tools to WordPress.com sites in one seamless experience.
With Sensei Pro, you can create online courses with quizzes, certificates, cohorts, and detailed student reports. Lessons are edited just like WordPress posts or pages, so you will already know how it works.
You can enable the distraction-free Learning Mode to provide students with an optimized mobile-friendly learning environment that keeps your course content front and center.
Videos are often a big part of online courses. WordPress.com sites also come with our VideoPress service, which lets you upload videos directly to your site without dealing with a third-party tool or embed codes. Especially important for video courses, you can mark a video as “private” to ensure it won’t be downloaded or linked to, and will only be available to course students.
Even better, with Sensei’s Interactive Videos block, you can create pause points with additional content to any video. For example:
Add a quiz question in the middle of a course video.
Add a contact form to the end of a sales video.
Show links to additional resources to a blog post video.
Add Interactive Videos to any WordPress page or post. They are not limited to courses or lessons.
In addition to the Interactive Videos, Sensei also comes with interactive and educational content blocks, including:
Using these blocks, you can craft compelling content that captivates and keeps your readers engaged. Whether writing an educational blog post or creating a sales landing page, you can add these blocks to any WordPress page or post.
Sensei Interactive Blocks — interactive videos, accordions, image hotspots, flashcards, and task lists. Creating courses is not needed to be able to use these blocks. Get Sensei Interactive Blocks here.
We’re excited to announce that Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, has acquired the popular WordPress plugin ActivityPub.
This innovative plugin brings a whole new level of social networking to your website by integrating it with the wider federated social web. When installed, the plugin allows you to easily share your content and interact with users on Mastodon and other platforms that also support the ActivityPub protocol.
Just as Automattic aims to do with all of our products, this plugin helps to decentralize the web, break down silos, and foster a more connected online ecosystem.
Why you should use the ActivityPub plugin
If you’re a blogger or content creator who wants to reach a wider audience, the ActivityPub plugin is perfect for you. Just as Jetpack Social — another one of our great plugins! — automatically shares content to large social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, ActivityPub automatically allows anyone on a federated network to follow your blog’s posts, which will show up in their Home feed. The federated networks include:
Responses on those platforms show up in your WordPress post’s comments, allowing you to interact directly with readers across the fediverse, streamlining engagement and creating a more cohesive online presence.
Moreover, in using ActivityPub for WordPress, you’re supporting the open source movement, promoting transparency and collaboration, and empowering users to take control of their online experience and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive internet landscape.
How to install ActivityPub for WordPress
Installing the ActivityPub plugin is a breeze, even if you’ve never added a plugin before.
3. Once activated, you can click “Manage plugin,” which allows you to choose the type of content that will show up in fediverse feeds — if you’re not quite ready for that, you can always access it later under “Settings” → “ActivityPub.”
At Automattic, our philosophy has always been to democratize publishing and make the web a better place. In our acquisition of ActivityPub for WordPress, we’re doing that for the social web.
WordPress.com is an organization — like others within Automattic — that is heavily invested in Open Source and the democratization of the web. We genuinely believe that everyone should have control over their presence, their data, and even their social experiences. That’s why we’re really excited about some of the work Bluesky is doing.
What is Bluesky?
We’re building a new foundation for social networking which gives creators independence from platforms, developers the freedom to build, and users a choice in their experience.
Think about all of the different pieces tied to any one of your social accounts:
Your username – how people identify you in that platform
The content you’ve created
The media you’ve uploaded
The conversations you’ve had with others
Your connections to influencers, brands, and businesses
Purchases within a specific platform
Now, imagine being able to bring all of that with you when you get frustrated with changes on one social network and rediscover the magic of one you had *almost* forgotten about.
This is exactly what Bluesky is trying to accomplish with its AT Protocol, and we can’t way to see how it evolves.
That’s so cool! Why is that cool?
So glad you asked!
We’re all probably familiar with the “blue checkmark of officialness” used across may social platforms. It’s essentially a way for users to identify the real accounts for famous and notable people/brands/things.
Bluesky lets you claim a domain that you own as your username/handle, and they automatically verify it by checking your domain for a simple text record. That may soundcomplicated, but it’s actually quite simple — especially on WordPress.com.
Think of it like any kind of certificate you might get, which often requires a signature from you as well as from some sort of official before it’s considered a verified document. It’s just like that, except that instead of collecting dust, this unlocks a digital superpower: a consistent way for anyone to find the real you (potentially) anywhere on the web.
How do I add a text record to my domain?
I’ll cover some simple steps for those of you who manage your domains here on WordPress.com. If you have domains registered elsewhere on the web you will have to check that registrar’s documentation. If you’d rather just manage it here, you can check out the steps to transfer it over.
Note: You will need an invitation to join to the private beta of Bluesky before you can set up an account and use this feature.
Step 3: Identify the domain you want to use and click on the vertical elipses on the right. Click “view settings.”
Step 4: Click on the arrow to the right of “DNS Records” to expand the information. Click on “Manage.”
Step 5: Click the “+ Add Record” button at the top of the screen.
Step 6: Change the record type from “A” to “TXT.”
Step 7: Add the Bluesky information to your record.
Add _atproto in the “domain name (optional)” field.
Add the Bluesky “Value” in the “Text” field.
Step 8: Click the “Add DNS record” button.
I’m always pleasantly surprised by how fast our DNS is. In this case, I was able to verify the record in the Bluesky app less than 30 seconds after I saved it on WordPress.com. Here’s what the app looks like while you’re setting up, after it’s verified, and after you officially update your handle.
If you made it this far, you’re at least a little bit interested. Let us know what piqued your interest in the comments!
At WordPress.com, we’re always pushing our platform to do even more so that you can create, design, and publish amazing things with ease. Our newest features go a little deeper into the settings, making them particularly suited to those who call themselves tinkerers. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a pro, get in there and play around anyway! You’re more capable than you think, and if you break something our team can always get it back — we’ve all been there.
And in this case, a little experimentation can reap big rewards. All it takes is a small change or two to make a huge difference in how people see (and interact with) your website.
Let’s jump in and take a look.
Make your site’s buttons pop
Giving your buttons a shadow effect is an easy and powerful way to give your pages some extra panache. Now, new preset options available in the Styles menu let you apply that across your site.
From the Styles sidebar, click “Blocks,” and then “Buttons.” From there, you’ll see four options for how to style your buttons. This feature is only available on block themes.
When to use this feature: You’re a master of the CTA (call to action) and you put a button at the end of every blog post asking readers to watch a YouTube video, listen to a podcast, or buy a book. You’ve been thinking that those buttons are looking a little stale and flat. Use the new shadow presets to invigorate your default buttons with a depth and freshness that wasn’t there before.
Reuse a beautiful design
Not only can you copy and paste text from one block to another, you can now copy the entire styling of a block — colors, typography, and anything else — and paste it to another block of the same type.
From a block’s settings menu, select “Copy Styles.” Then once you add a new block, select “Paste Styles” from the settings menu to transfer all those design goodies.
When to use this feature: You’ve spent some time playing with gradients and type settings to make a Quote Block look really nice, and it’s paid off — now you want to bring that primo styling over to a Quote Block on a different page. Rather than recreating the steps you took, simply use “Copy Styles”/”Paste Styles” and get a gold star for efficiency.
Give readers a sticking point
A “sticky” component on your website is a piece of content (often a header + menu, though not always) that stays stuck at the top no matter how far down you scroll through a page or post. It’s a handy feature for visitors to your site, especially on mobile, where scrolling back up to a menu can be annoying.
There are other uses as well, such as an important announcement or promotion that you want visible at all times.
However, only a group can be made sticky rather than any individual template part. So you’ll first wrap your desired sticky blocks in a group, select that group, then access the “Sticky” option from the settings sidebar.
When to use this feature: Your website features long pages or posts that require a lot of scrolling. Maybe you’re a baby name consultant and have numerous lengthy lists of names. Utilize a sticky header and menu so that visitors don’t have to scroll all the way back up in order to quickly access the next category of names to peruse.
Twice as nice: copy your entire site!
Are you a professional in the web-building space? We’ve launched a new feature that allows you to easily copy the entirety of a site. Once you create your base template site, you’ll be able to spin up new client sites without starting entirely from scratch.
An important note: copying a site creates a new plan as well. For instance, copying a business site creates a new business plan at the same time.
From the wordpress.com/sites dashboard, click the three-dot menu, hit “Copy site,” go through a couple confirmation steps, and you’ll be set. This feature is available on Business and Commerce plans with Hosting Features active.
When to use this feature: You’re a solopreneur website builder and you often use previously built sites as inspiration for current builds. If you’re working on a new site and thinking about using a framework or feel that you’ve already created, copy the site with a single click and start the project with some of the work already done.
In Case You Missed It
If you missed our other recent updates, below is a quick snapshot.