The WordPress.org Homepage is Getting a Redesign

A WordPress.org homepage redesign is now in the works with a strong focus on marketing to new users. As the face of the open source project, the site is long overdue for some design attention. Mark Uraine, a designer at Automattic, posted on the Make/Meta blog about how quickly the project is coming together:

“During the Contributor Day at WordCamp US, the Marketing Team sat down with a project in mind — the homepage of wordpress.org,” Uraine said. “Since the new design style is making an appearance in various places across the site, there was a desire to reboot the homepage as well.”

Uraine posted the group’s original sketches as well as a screenshot of the initial draft on desktop and mobile. The screenshot doesn’t include the site’s header and footer, which will be added when the design is implemented. The team has also created a Codepen Prototype, which demonstrates the fixed background featuring high profile WordPress sites that visitors see as they scroll.

“Keep in mind that this is only version 1.0 and we’re planning on launching and iterating quickly,” Uraine said when asking for feedback from the community. “Otto has offered his help to get this implemented. After a few technical revisions, I’ll be passing it over to him for implementation and providing support where I can.”

The redesign focuses on social proof (market share and showcase examples) as well as WordPress’ features and extensibility:

“Extend WordPress with over 45,000 plugins to help your website meet your needs. Add an online store, galleries, mailing lists, forums, analytics, and much more.”

Since Uraine posted the design draft, commenters have been weighing in with revisions to the site copy, which hasn’t yet been finalized. A few contributors have also suggested including A/B testing, although no specific metrics have been determined. The redesign is moving fast, so make sure to jump in on the Make/Meta post if you have feedback on the draft.

WordPress is getting more strategic about its marketing in 2017. Matt Mullenweg announced during the 2016 State of the Word that he is bringing a new product-based leadership to core development and is assembling a Growth Council to coordinate strategy with organizations invested in WordPress’ growth.

“I think in the past WordPress got by on a lot of marketing happenstance,” Mullenweg said. “We can become a lot more sophisticated with our messaging and presentation on WordPress.org to bring people in and tell the story about what makes WordPress different.”

17 Comments


  1. Sweet, about time, too!

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  2. – and doesn’t it look lovely! My god isn’t that a huge imporvement already?! It’s about time too – can’t wait to see the final version. Superb news! :)

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  3. I for one am hoping to see a reorganization of the content that’s on WordPress.org. Too many drop-down and side menus. The menu hierarchy and the content on most pages needs to be revisited. However, the design itself looks refreshing.

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    1. Absolutely, that’s about time.

      However, I am wondering about this:
      The makeover of the Plugin Directory is not live yet, and a lot of user feedback was completely ignored. And it’s not only me, a lot of users/ feedback-givers feel, that ignoring such overwhelming was intentionally, for whatever reason(s). In this context, I see a makeover of the .org homepage a bit too early, especially when it’s coming from the same designer and/ or team (?). Let’s hope for the best, but I really have my doubts here.

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  4. Funny enough this reminds me of the ancient K2-design that followed the classic Kubrick design by Michael Heileman and Chris J. Davis. Is WordPress coming full circle here?

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  5. After reading your article Sarah, It made me think it would be a good idea to match the WordPress.org homepage to the current year default theme.

    This would give purpose to the design of the new theme every year and showcase it to new and old WordPressers.

    What are everyone else’s thoughts?

    P. S. I have followed you guys for a while now and this is my first comment. Keep up the great work, I love reading the emails coming in to keep in touch with stuff happening in the community.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by to comment! I’m not sure the default WordPress theme would serve the purpose as well as a custom design, especially in those years where it is a more blog-oriented theme.

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  6. looks good, i hope the map will have some indicators on it otherwise seems superfluous.

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  7. That looks amazing, but Recode.net is no longer running WordPress. They were acquired by Vox Media and moved to their proprietary platform, “Chorus”.

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    1. Update: I contacted @Mapk on Twitter and he quickly updated the mockup on Codepen.

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  8. The fixed background, horizontally-panelled, endlessly scrolling website has now become a blight on the internet – it lacks spontaneity or any imagination, invariably comes from a template and has had its day. Credit to those people willing to offer a new design, but please move on !

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  9. I think it’s wonderful that a redesign is in the works. I wonder if a competitive design process or some other means to get different perspectives could mean something extraordinary. Above all, cleaning out and archiving the tons of outdated and confused forum support posts should be the next priority. The old forum structure and content is a mess.

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  10. It’s about freakin time.

    Now, if they consider creating a “premium” theme directory (free themes of course) that can compete with the likes of the big theme marketplaces like theme forest, mojo, etc. Yes, I know there’s an existing directory at .org, but to be honest, it horrible beyond belief. The preview, the information made available (or lack of) on the theme details page, no real emphasis on really showcasing the theme and giving the end-user important info upfront.

    But…I digress, the .org front page is definitely a big improvement.

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  11. Ouch. Kind of an early 2015 vibe. And truth be said – completely disregards the end-user. Uses every bad cliché in current web “design”. Hate to say it, but WP could learn a few things from Drupal for a change.

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    1. Like what? I’m not interested in getting into a apples and oranges discussion on Drupal v. WordPress, but what is it exactly about the admitted alpha iteration of the proposed WP.org redesign leads you to think that Drupal’s nothing special layout offers a single pointer we should learn something from?

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