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Inspiring the global community

The atmosphere was electric at WordCamp Europe (WCEU) 2023 in Athens, Greece, as WordPress celebrated its 20th anniversary and the opportunity to gather in person for inspiration and engagement. More than 2,500 individuals from 94 countries came together in person or through the live stream to participate in a remarkable three-day event (plus Contributor Day) filled with talks, networking, and learning opportunities. The event concluded on June 10 with a captivating keynote address by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and Gutenberg Product Architect Matías Ventura, who highlighted the advancements and upcoming milestones of the WordPress Project.

One significant update shared during the keynote was the successful reactivation of WordCamps. This time last year, we organized eight in-person WordCamps, and by the end of 2022, the number had risen to 23. Thanks to the enthusiasm and involvement of the WordPress community, we are already on track to organize 25 WordCamps in the first half of this year alone. 

Josepha also emphasized the importance of the upcoming Community Summit on August 22-23. This in-person gathering brings contributors together across the WordPress open source project, fostering cross-project discussions vital for future growth and sustainability. For more information, visit the official Community Summit website.

Discussing the Five for the Future (5ftF) program, Josepha highlighted the impressive growth in active contributors and company pledges over the past year. She also underscored the expansion of the WordPress ecosystem, citing examples like Openverse, which now provides access to nearly 800 million images and audio files, all easily accessible in the Site Editor. 

Another exciting addition to the WordPress repertoire is WP Playground. This new feature allows users to build WordPress applications instantly in the browser without needing a PHP server. This tool provides a swift and seamless experience, reducing the installation time from five minutes to a near-instantaneous 500 milliseconds. The application of WP Playground may seem like magic, but its practical application promises tangible and revolutionary benefits for WordPress users.

Matías Ventura then took the stage to share updates on Gutenberg. Through a visually stunning video built entirely with blocks, he showcased the six-year development journey and the transition from words to blocks to a final design. The upcoming WordPress version 6.3 will mark the completion of the first two phases of Gutenberg, consolidating all these features into a cohesive and user-friendly experience. He also highlighted the introduction of features such as the Wayfinder tool, Style Book, and the ability to save patterns, further empowering users to own their web presence and voice.

Following the keynote presentation, the WordPress leadership engaged in a lively Q&A session with the audience, further illustrating the continuous evolution within the WordPress Project. This session highlighted how the WordPress community innovates, iterates, and continually improves to create a better platform for today and tomorrow.

Join the global community and be part of the WordPress journey toward a brighter future!

Special thanks to @cbringmann and @eidolonnight for review and collaboration.