WordPress.org hasn’t seen a redesign since 2016, when it went from sketches to prototype to live in a matter of a couple weeks. In six years, the software has undergone a metamorphosis by adopting a new block paradigm that should be reflected in its website. Contributors are now looking at giving the homepage and download page a design overhaul that showcases its new capabilities.
“Since then, WordPress has seen a lot of changes, including the Gutenberg editor, Full Site Editor, block themes, and more,” Automattic-sponsored marketing team rep Nicholas Garofalo said. “All of these have revolutionized WordPress in the past few years, and the brand is starting to modernize and evolve as well.”
Earlier this year WordPress.org launched design updates for the news and Gutenberg pages. “There’s a ton of room to expand and evolve this look as we turn our attention to other parts of the site,” Garofalo said.
The designers working on the project are particularly interested in hearing from WordPress.org users about what they want to see on the homepage, which means everyday users are welcome to contribute their thoughts and suggestions.
The Download page used to prominently feature the download button at the top of the page, but sometime in mid-January 2021, it was pushed further down below recommended hosts. This was presumably to help people who want to set up a self-hosted site but don’t know where to get started but doesn’t make sense for those who came there to download the software. A transparent approach to redesigning this page would be appreciated, as changes like this are not always publicly documented.
So far, only a handful of full-time contributors have weighed in on the upcoming redesign in the comments of the post.
“I’d love to see the design showcase the modernization of the site editor and layout capabilities – even going so far as to do things many haven’t seen before, while also taking a moment to use words to describe why WordPress is so important in site-building,” Automattic-sponsored marketing contributor Dan Soschin said. “It provides freedom, empowerment, and democracy in publishing. And what’s more, you can be technical or not technical, and still achieve all your goals.”
Soschin also suggested that the Download page offer more of an explanation on what it takes to self-host WordPress by either posting steps or directing visitors to guides and resources.
Automattic-sponsored design team contributor Javier Arce had a unique idea of making the page with patterns in sections that users can copy and paste into their own websites.
“Since the website is made using WordPress and it’ll have a refreshed and modern look, I think it would be very cool not only to advertise that fact (‘hey, so this fantastic site you are on right now was made entirely with the software you came here to download!’)… but also to allow people to grab the patterns used for each section… maybe even from the page itself, in a sort of self-referential nod to the platform,” Arce said.
Several contributors commented requesting the homepage highlight the community, “since the vibrant, active WP community is such a huge differentiator,” Automattic-sponsored marketing contributor Jonathan Pantani said.
“Aside from the power of the software itself and what it can do, there’s the whole community of people that have been coming together regularly to share in a movement,” Automattic-sponsored marketing contributor Lauren Stein said. “This currently feels like it’s downplayed. I think it would be wonderful if it were highlighted more.”
This project needs more diverse input from contributors across the ecosystem and regular WordPress users who visit the website. If you have thoughts or suggestions, you can comment directly on the post and watch for future discussions on WordPress’ design, marketing, and meta blogs.