Following an action-packed December, 2020 is off to a fine start with some new releases and announcements. Read on to find out what happened in the WordPress project in January.

Release of Gutenberg 7.2 & 7.3

Gutenberg 7.2, the first Gutenberg release of 2020, was deployed on January 8th and included over 180 pull requests from more than 56 contributors. This was followed soon after by Gutenberg 7.3. New features include a new Buttons block, support in adding links to Media & Text block images, improvements to the Navigation and Gallery blocks, performance improvements, and accessibility enhancements. These releases also included many additional enhancements, fixes, new APIs, documentation, and more.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Proposal for an XML Sitemaps Feature Plugin

In June last year, a team of contributors proposed a feature plugin that would bring standardized XML sitemaps to WordPress Core. Since then, the team has been working to bring this to reality and have now published a working plugin to demonstrate this new capability.

The plugin is still in development, but the included features already provide much-needed functionality from which all WordPress sites can benefit. You can install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard or download it here.

Want to get involved in bringing this feature to Core? Follow the Core team blog, report any issues you find on GitHub, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

A New Block-Based Themes Meeting

The Theme Review Team has announced that they will be holding bi-weekly meetings in the #themereview channel focused on discussing block-based themes. If you are interested in discussing themes within the context of Gutenberg’s full-site editing framework, this will be the place to do so! The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 5, at 16:00 UTC.

Want to get involved with the Theme Review Team or become a reviewer? Follow their blog, and join the #themereview channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading

  • The Core team has started work on WordPress 5.4 and kicked off their planning with a summary post. You can follow all the v5.4 updates by watching the version tag on the Core team blog.
  • The inaugural WordCamp Asia event is taking place in February. This will be the largest WordPress event in the region, bringing together around 1,500 WordPress enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Two WordPress community leaders, @chanthaboune and @andreamiddleton, were nominated for CMX awards due to their work on the WordPress project, with @andreamiddleton winning the award for Executive Leader of a Community Team.
  • A feature plugin has been proposed that introduces lazy-loading images to WordPress Core, which will be a huge step forward in improving performance all across the web.
  • The Core team has put together an extensive and informative FAQ to help new contributors get involved in contributing to the project.
  • One key priority for Gutenberg is the ability to control the block editor. There are already a number of APIs that control the experience, but there is a lack of consistency and missing APIs. A method to address this has been proposed.
  • The Design team published detailed information on the recent design improvements in Gutenberg.

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