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Yesterday, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and Gutenberg Lead Architect Matías Ventura took the stage in Madrid, Spain and offered the WordPress community a recap of 2023’s progress as well as a look ahead to what’s coming in 2024 and beyond. If you missed the livestream, it’s well worth watching.

Below, you’ll find the State of the Word video, a short recap of the keynote address, and finally the Q&A session video.

Watch State of the Word 2023

Highlights from 2023

Before getting into the future of the WordPress project, Matt and Matías shared a bit about the progress made in 2023. The high points, especially as they relate to WordPress.com:

  • On May 27th, WordPress turned 20. What a milestone to celebrate! How rare it is to find something that has lasted on the internet for 20 years.
  • The WordPress community hosted 70 WordCamps in 33 countries. WordCamps are events for anyone using or building with WordPress—which includes you! Read our team’s recap of WordCamp US.
  • Openverse won the Open Education Award for Excellence. Openverse is an open-source media library where you can easily access free-to-use images, audio, and more. This library is available right from WordPress.com whenever you insert an image.
  • WordPress launched its incredible Playground tool. This feature allows you to deploy a WordPress environment right within your browser. This is a game-changer for developers and in the future may help beginner WordPress users test new plugins or features. Learn more about WordPress Playground here.
  • Twenty-Twenty Four, WordPress’s new default theme, is now available. Fully customizable, this theme was designed to be flexible, versatile, and applicable to any website. 
  • The Site Editor’s capabilities soared this year. On the writing front, we saw the addition of footnotes, distraction free writing mode, and much more. On the design front, we saw more intuitive styling, easier customizations, and a huge number of new themes available. Scroll through our blog archives to explore these various updates.

Where WordPress is headed next

  • Seamless migration. In 2024, WordPress will seek to “unlock the web” with a focus on migration tools. Whether coming from another WordPress host or another platform altogether (like Wix or Squarespace), WordPress is working to make those transitions as painless as possible. Learn more about the Data Liberation project here.
  • Real-time collaboration. Multiple users will be able to edit content and design at the same time, with changes synced in real-time.
  • Next-level patterns. The work on patterns accelerated in 2023 and will grow to new heights in 2024, which includes features like more powerful syncing, more customization, and improvements to the site-wide implementation of patterns.
  • Performance improvements. Typing, uploading media, publishing—all of these actions will happen 2-3 times faster in the upcoming WordPress releases.
  • Dashboard/admin refresh. The backend of your site will get a makeover, taking on more of the look and feel of the Site Editor throughout the course of 2024.

Q&A session

After the main presentation, Matt took a number of questions about WordPress and the open source project as a whole:

There were a number of questions that came in during the Q&A portion that Matt wasn’t able to address due to time constraints. Matt instead answered those in a blog post yesterday, which you can check out here.

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