The Best of WordPress.com in April

The 2017 default theme is here, plus: inclusive design, editing tools, Swag Store, and must-follow sites.

You’re off to a strong creative start in 2017! Here are a few recent updates and stories from the WordPress.com community in April that we wanted to share with you.

What’s new

This Year’s WordPress Default Theme, Twenty Seventeen, Is Now Available

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“Great looking theme!” – Jason Thornberry

Independent Publisher 2 Is Here

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The Independent Publisher theme has long been beloved for its simplicity and legibility, and we’re happy to announce that it has been improved, ever so slightly. Read our interview with the designers, Caroline Moore and Kjell Reigstad.

Check Out the New Look, Products, and Features of the WordPress Swag Store

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For a chance to be featured on the website, post WordPress swag pics to Twitter and Instagram using #WPSWAG. Use code WPSWAG for 20% off all items. (Offer ends May 12.)

Longreads Just Turned 8 Years Old. Here’s What the Next Eight Years Look Like

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Longreads is rapidly becoming the best place on the internet for personal essays, and there are ambitious plans to do even more. Read more on our plans, and contribute to the Longreads story fund — WordPress.com will even match your contributions.


Designing for [X]: inclusion

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Better conceptualizing, designing, building, and improving how to meet the needs of underserved users is a core part of how we work at WordPress.com, and that was the focus of April’s Design and Exclusion (#DesignX) conference (check out the complete video and transcript at x.design.blog).

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How can we help entrepreneurs working in cities around the world? That’s the challenge Hajj Flemings explored in an April essay for Design.blog. He shares some of the insights which came out of the 100 Project Hackathon — a project tasked to build nine small business sites in a 48-hour period in Detroit.

Perspectives: ‘But Wait, Is Your Last Name Filipino?’ (Samantha Hankins)


In your toolbox: inspiration + insights

10,000 Kilometers: Quintin Lake on Walking and Photographing Britain’s Coastline

Flock of Sheep, Gammon Head, Devon.

Two Aprils ago, Quintin Lake set off from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The journey? To walk 10,000 kilometers around the coast of Britain. We caught Quintin just before he embarked on a 15-day adventure around the edge of Snowdonia, North Wales. Read about Quintin’s epic walk along the sea.

Quotables: “If you really love writing, it’s like eating. You can’t live without doing it.” – The writing life of Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore (Harvard Gazette).

Case Study: A collection of portraits, street scenes, and details from Bangkok.

Try it out: Importing Google Docs → WordPress.com.


Now following

“WordPress was the best… I’m very happy to be back.” — welcome back, Leo Laporte!

Check out Amazon CTO Werner Vogels’s new site, Werner.blog.

Hang out with us on Instagram and tag your ‘grams with #DiscoverWP.


That’s all for now!

What did you love about your own work in April? Comment with a link to a post you’re proud of, or something new you learned about designing your site. Feeling motivated? Download the WordPress app on iOS and Android.


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33 Comments

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  1. Margarita Noriega

    Reblogged this on Margarita Noriega and commented:

    Here’s some of the awesome stuff going on at WordPress.com.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. desertcurmudgeon

    I discovered quite a few amazing WP bloggers this month, and somehow attracted quite a few followers to the silly nonsense I post on my page. Here’s a post that seemed to generate a good deal of interest: https://twovoicesinonetransmission.com/2017/04/27/are-friends-electric/

    Liked by 7 people

  3. anotherwisemonkey

    This is great. I particularly like the blog about walking around the U.K.

    I’m proud of developing my creative writing craft this spring, and there’s still just time (deadline April 30th) for feedback on this draft of my submission to an anthology, all constructive criticism welcome!

    https://anotherwisemonkey.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/paulie/

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Amy L Sauder

    I noticed many of my writer friends didn’t know of editing tools available for their story, so I made a timely post on that. I’m quite proud for noticing and filling a need in my little blogosphere and had a number of extra visitors for it: https://amylsauder.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/11-tools-for-editing-your-book/

    Liked by 4 people

  5. pghjoseph

    https://pghjoseph.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/my-blog-recently-set-two-new-records/

    On April 9, 2017, I saw a blog post about two of the records that my blog had set a few days earlier. One day, my blog got viewed 43 times in one day … and, back in March, my blog got viewed 167 times in one month. I felt great whenever I wrote that blog post.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. BCSContent

    Reblogged this on BCSBook Reviews and News and commented:
    So cool

    Liked by 3 people

  7. supergirladvent

    I am glad to announce that I am truly appreciative of the help I received from the WordPress staff. I have been trying to upgrade the content of my blog and enhance the look. When I had problems with the wordas program the WP staff responded quickly through the chat thingy. Yay!
    This month, I have noticed more traffic because I’ve been posting more. Also, I have become more familiar with setting up my categories and pages. It’s a work in progress.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Victoria K Gallagher

    The past couple of years have been a nightmare and my writing suffered. At one point I hadn’t posted something for almost a year! I wrote 2 stories this month that reflected my state of being. One is serious and the other one is mildly amusing. 2 posts in a month??? I was over the moon to get that first one out! So, 2, is an achievement!!

    I’ve been really stuck!

    Discovering ‘Giving back’ on Community Pool and First Friday has been a real pleasure. I’ve found some great content and hopefully helped some bloggers too.

    And WP Blog has introduced me to the new theme: ‘Publisher 2’ which I’m planning to try out and give my blog a spring clean and make over.

    So for me, April has brought some great achievements and opened new avenues for direction. I’m enjoying the month so far 🙂

    https://victoriakgallagher.com/2017/04/08/heal/

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Quintin Lake

    Thanks for featuring my stroll around the UK! Completed the coast of Wales last week https://theperimeter.uk/route-map/

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Miss Dino

    This month on WordPress has bee. Great and exciting! What’s also really cool is that school is almost done and next year I’m going to be switching schools to a bigger one. It’s going to be definitely scary, but I hope it’s all goods

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jmnowak

    I’ll be checking Lake’s blog for sure as I’m a keen TV docos viewer about Britain’s wonderful coasts, the latest being with actor Robson Green (started last night).
    I’ve been very impressed with creating and posting from my Win10 phone. So far it’s working well and is very easy. Thanks WP engineers! 💋

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Myra- watercolor and lettering artist

    Hi I have been working on my blog and have a few questions. I have a free blog but what do I do to create a new domain? I have no idea and all this is so confusing? Do I upgrade a domain? Do I move my website to a new place like hostgator? Thanks for the help.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Faith

      Hi Myra,
      I’m not an expert at WP but I have a bit of info. When you click on the ‘My Sites’ button (mine is at the top left of my browser) it should take you to the administrative section of your blog. There you’ll see a menu that includes Stats, Plan, Blog Posts, Pages, etc. Further down on that menu, is an option that says ‘Domain.’ If you click there, WP will guide you through choosing a personal domain name (it can end it .com, .org, .biz, .blog, etc.) and setting up a custom email @ that domain as well, if you wish. There are payment options and you just provide your card information. G Suite and WordPress have made it pretty simple. Hope that helps!
      Faith

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Toortsie

    I an Afrikaans speaking and writes mostly in Afrikaans.
    In April I did two English blog posts and enjoyed both of them very much.
    The one that I picked to paste here, is about a great breakthrough for Prof Tim Noakes. https://toortsie.com/2017/04/22/congratulations-prof-timothy-noakes/

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Faith

    April has been a wonderful month on WordPress. I participated in several of the weekly photo challenges through the Daily Post and joined in on the Community Pool page. Getting to interact with other bloggers is so rewarding and I appreciate all of the tools to connect that WP provides. Cheers to you admins for the hard work!
    This piece that I wrote a few weeks ago is one that I feel proud of: http://wp.me/p2yrSE-Ds , but I welcome feedback on any of my posts!
    – Faith

    Liked by 3 people

  15. hotelblogger1

    Thanks Margarita and all of the WordPress crew, – You guys and girls make it so easy to blog, simple, intuitive, creative and smart responsive websites, exactly what we (the customer) need and at very good value for money!

    Like

  16. jmcideas

    Hello man
    I adopted for a first try ‘WordPress.com for Google Docs’
    It’s works well for this first try 😀
    Aim, I would like to know how to launch the application from an icon on my desktop
    Please, tell me how to do
    THKS
    (Currently, I’m running not the direct way!)

    Like

  17. Kellybeefit

    I’m new to blogging and April has been a real learning curve for me, I loved reaching out to like minded people both writers and fitness enthusiasts. My favourite part was having a fellow Martial Artist give me a great comment on my blog post What Is Martial Arts, https://beefightingfit.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/what-is-martial-arts/

    Literally in love with combining my two passions at the moment writing and fitness through martial arts.

    Kelly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. oscaronlineme

    I love writing books, I wrote a quick book about knowing yourself, also I continue doing my behind clapping push ups.
    oscaronlineme.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  19. VerbalFeels

    This is great!

    Like

  20. revolution385

    This is great…

    Like

  21. Teslim Opemipo Omipidan

    Sincerely, WordPress is the best. Though I currently lost half of my 3,500 pageviews after getting a custom domain, but WordPress still remains the best. Here is my best post for the month of March. It has over 400 views per day: https://oldnaija.com/2017/03/23/the-real-story-of-ishola-oyenusi-nigerias-deadliest-armed-robber/

    Liked by 3 people

  22. aHorseForElinor

    I’m intrigued by the update to Independent Publisher. Next time I’m couch stuck I want to play around with the design and see if it can fit my site!

    In April, I’ve been thrilled with the continued support on my page, and I’ve been really happy with the photos for a change. So fun to continue seeing more followers! I’m working on including more “personal” stories in my journey – not always easy to do, to tell you the truth. Sometimes I find it easier to keep it short, but the posts of course generate more response when the writer sort of “opens up.” 🙂

    Like

  23. Biblicon

    The most important to me was your putting the toolbar on the HTML editor. This has helped me tremendously and saved no end of trouble. At first there was a heavy price, that it took ages to update, but in the past few days you have sorted that out, and I have no complaints or worries there. It is still not finished — the toolbar does not yet include special characters or colours, both of which I would like, but the scroll bar at the end that does not yet work shows that you are working on it and I look forward to the completion of that toolbar. It saves me entering into the visual editor, which does damage. I like the HTML editor very much. Thanks.

    Like

  24. anniejanae

    Mostly find WordPress’ Themes make a great place for sharing nature photos, though I do like the idea of creative writing some time, I’ve advanced at neither lately besides only working on editing of a few posts in April that needed some attention. I have enjoyed a few the Longreads over the years – liked that scenic one “10,000 Kilometers … Walking/Photographing Britain’s
    Coastline” just featured here too.
    Other than that, I haven’t been making the rounds too much these days, so I am hopefully going to try catching up with a few blogs I follow too.

    Like

  25. batousan2014

    This month started well after a fabulous March; the decision to write about California was a risk and it wasn’t one of my better efforts. But I was happy with this one: https://purplechiblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/supreme-payback-shadowed-gorsuch-nomination/
    even if it didn’t draw much attention.

    Like

  26. goodnessndikeh

    Just started blogging a few days ago and am posting my novel titled “things I should have said” in a 3 series post per chapter. I hope to get some feedback on what you think about it. http://goodnessfiction.wordpress.com Thanks.

    Like

  27. aalbantani09

    What a great theme!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. deepanilamani

    Thanks for the new information. I too have the independent publisher theme 🙂

    Like

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