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People of WordPress: Collins Agbonghama

Posted December 30, 2021 by webcommsat AbhaNonStopNewsUK. Filed under Community, Features, Interviews.

In this series, we share some of the inspiring stories of how WordPress and its global network of contributors can change people’s lives for the better. This month we feature a website builder from Nigeria, who uses the open source WordPress platform to support his family and to share learning with others in his home country and beyond.

Collins Agbonghama

Creating a life in the WordPress Ecosystem

Collins Agbonghama started his journey to becoming a web developer by reading the football news headlines on a friend’s mobile phone. His fascination with development and learning continued to grow, and he now makes a living using WordPress and the web.

Read on to discover his story, which shows with creativity and determination you can create products and make a living using WordPress. 

Starting web building on a phone

Collins Agbonghama headshot photo

Collins began his exploration of the internet while attending Secondary School in Nigeria, or High School as it is known in some other countries. 

A friend at the school had a simple mobile phone which could browse the internet. Collins had his first introduction to the World Wide Web through access to this device. He became hooked by reading headlines on a sports site about a famous English Premier League Football Club, Chelsea, a soccer team which he has long supported.

“Being a very inquisitive person, I wanted to learn how the web works as well as have my own website. I was able to buy a classic mobile phone through the menial jobs I did after school,” he said. 

His first website was a wapsite or Wireless Application Protocol site optimized for mobile devices. 

He took to Google to learn how to actually build a site. He discovered he needed something called an ‘email address’ to sign-up for site builders. Google Search came to the rescue again, and he created the first email account for his first website.

A desire for a website was the catalyst for further learning, starting with HTML and CSS from an online provider. His interest in building sites with more advanced tools grew, and then he came across WordPress. 

Using his savings, he bought the cheapest hosting plan from a local Nigerian web host. He installed WordPress and started writing tutorials for a mobile device platform. He built the site, created the lessons, and started his entry into WordPress all on a mobile phone. 

This led to him having the confidence to start building sites for others, and he was able to earn a small income from that. 

Collins said: “I couldn’t go to the university because of my precarious financial situation. I continued to do menial jobs during the day and started learning PHP in the evenings and at night using my mobile phone via online learning platforms.”

He was later able to get an old laptop, which helped him access ebooks to learn more and practice his coding. 

Keen to share this learning, he started blogging about what he was learning on his website.  

Collins said: “I later took up a job teaching children at a school primarily because I got tired of the menial jobs and wanted to earn enough to take care of my internet data plan. After a while, I became fairly proficient in PHP and even took up a job to build a school management system.”

Using WordPress to make a living

Collins’ blog wasn’t making money through advertisements, but he discovered opportunities to write tutorials for other platforms. 

“I started writing PHP and WordPress development tutorials and got paid a few hundred dollars per article. In Nigeria, that’s quite a lot of money. I was able to improve the life and wellbeing of my family and myself,” he said.

After getting into a higher education program to study computer science, his life dramatically changed. He decided to stop writing and began to focus on building and selling WordPress plugins. His first one was a user and profile plugin for WordPress sites.

“Thankfully, after a year, it started making enough revenue for me to live pretty comfortably here in Nigeria because the cost of living here is relatively low,” he said

Today, Collins has several plugins which have given him a sustainable source of income. He’s also a Core and Translation volunteer contributor to the wporg.ibadboy.net Open Source project.

I am thankful for WordPress because without it, I’m really not sure I would have been able to live a decent quality life.
Who knows what would have become of me?

Collins Agbonghama

“I am also thankful for the community. I have made lots of friends that have been very supportive and helpful in my journey.”

He added: “I tell people, life won’t give you what you want. You demand from life what you want. You make these demands by being determined and never giving up on your dreams and aspirations.

“If you are poor, perhaps because you came from a humble and poor background, it is not your fault. You can’t go back in time to change things. I implore you to be strong, determined, and work hard.”

Meet more WordPress community members in our People of WordPress series.

Contributors

Thanks to Michael Geheren (@geheren), Abha Thakor (@webcommsat), for writing this feature, to @MeherBala (@meher) for follow-ups and photo-editing, and to Chloe Bringmann (@cbringmann) and Nalini Thakor (@nalininonstopnewsuk) for the final proofing. Thank you to Collins Agbonghama (@collizo4sky) for sharing his Contributor Story.

Thanks to Josepha Haden Chomphosy (@chanthaboune), Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) and others for their support of this initiative.

The People of WordPress feature is inspired by an essay originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia, which highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers. 

#HeroPress #ContributorStory

WordPress 5.9 Beta 4

Posted December 21, 2021 by Jonathan Bossenger. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.9 Beta 4 is now available for testing!

This software version is still under development. Please do not run this software on a production site; install it on a test site, where you can try out the newest features and get a feel for how they will work on your site.

You can test the WordPress 5.9 Beta 4 in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the beta version here (zip).

Option 3: When using WP-CLI to upgrade from Beta 1, 2, or 3 to Beta 4 on a case-insensitive filesystem, please use the following command sequence:

Command One:

wp core update --version=5.9-beta4

Command Two:

wp core update --version=5.9-beta4 --force

The current target for the final release of 5.9 is January 25, 2022, which is only five weeks away. Your help testing this beta is vital: the more testing that happens, the more stable the release, and the better the experience for users and developers—and the entire WordPress community.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 3, 20 bugs have been fixed. Here are a few of the changes you will find in Beta 4:

  • Bundled Theme: Fixed duplicate CSS rules in Twenty Twenty-One theme (#53605).
  • Customizer: It’s possible to switch to a block theme from within Customizer (#54549).
  • Themes: Provide guidance to users seeking to preview block themes on WordPress versions below 5.9 (#54575).
  • REST API: The get_theme_item method should respect fields param (#54595).
  • Editor: Block Patterns: “Featured” category & patterns missing from inserter (#54623).
  • Login and registration: Add a filter to allow to disable the Login screen language dropdown – (#54675).

How You Can Help

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is vital for polishing the release in the beta stage and a great way to contribute. 

Please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums if you find a bug. If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Got questions? Here are some answers

In the coming weeks, follow the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.9-related developer notes that will cover these items in detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 326 tickets and 108 new features and enhancements in WordPress 5.9. More bug fixes are on the way with your help through testing.

Props to @cbringmann, @psykro@hellofromtonya@marybaum@webcommsat, @audrasjb, @costdev and @meher for contributions to this post.

Highlights from State of the Word 2021

Posted December 16, 2021 by Anjana Vasan. Filed under Events, WrapUp.

State of the Word 2021, the annual keynote from WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, happened on December 14. The hybrid event took place in New York City with a small audience (proof of vaccination required). As Matt said, “we had people join by plane, train, and automobile.” Those who didn’t make the trek to the live event watched the livestream from wherever they call home, all around the world. 

It was an exciting moment for the WordPress community which also celebrated its first in-person WordCamp in Sevilla, Spain, after a lengthy hiatus for in-person events.

You can view the full recording, complete with captions and transcripts on WordPress.tv.

It was thrilling to see so many meetup organizers host watch parties worldwide. Twenty-eight watch parties were held across eleven countries, with more than 300 RSVPs.  

Similar to past State of the Word events, Matt covered a broad range of topics. This year was no different. WordPress’ past, present, and future were in the spotlight, with highlights on the growth of the contributors, language translations, recent release milestones, and educational initiatives, to name a few.

Audience members and livestreamers alike viewed product demos showcasing upcoming features that will be the hallmark of WordPress 5.9, such as full site editing, block patterns, global styling options, and enhanced image controls.

Matt took the opportunity to remind everyone of the WordPress roadmap which includes native multi-lingual support and real-time collaborative site editing. He also pointed out that anyone can contribute to WordPress’ progress through a number of different initiatives ranging from creating new features and testing to helping spread the word and educate others.

Matt emphasized the way that open source software gets better by reminding everyone that “The more people that use a program like WordPress, the better it gets.”

Broader topics covering the tech landscape including web3, merger and acquisition activity, as well as the growth and support of open source software, rounded out the energetic presentation. 

The one-hour multimedia presentation was followed by an interactive question and answer session where Matt fielded questions that were submitted ahead of the event, as well as questions from the livestream and studio audience.

Discover everything that was covered by watching the official event recording and join the ongoing #ILoveWP conversation on Twitter!

Special thanks to @dansoschin for review and edits!

WordPress 5.9 Beta 3

Posted December 14, 2021 by Jonathan Bossenger. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.9 Beta 3 is now available for testing!

This software version is still under development. Please do not run this software on a production site; install it on a test site, where you can try out the newest features and get a feel for how they will work on your site.

You can test the WordPress 5.9 Beta 3 in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the beta version.

Option 3: If you use WP-CLI to upgrade from Beta 1 or Beta 2 to Beta 3 on a case-insensitive filesystem, please use the following command sequence:

Command One:

wp core update --version=5.9-beta2

Command Two:

wp core update --version=5.9-beta3 --force

The current target for the final release of 5.9 is January 25, 2022, which gets closer every minute. Your help testing this beta is vital: the more testing that happens, the more stable the release, and the better the experience for users and developers—and the entire WordPress community.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 2, 14 bugs have been fixed. Here are a few of the changes you will find in Beta 3:

  • Editor: Add FSE infrastructure from Gutenberg plugin into Core (#54335).
  • Formatting: Allow PDFs to embedded as objects (#54261)
  • Language switcher on the login screen (#43700)
  • REST API: Add navigation areas REST API endpoint from Gutenberg plugin (#54393)
  • Themes: Live Preview button bug (#54578)

How You Can Help

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is vital for polishing the release in the beta stage and a great way to contribute. 

If you think you’ve found a bug, please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. That’s also where you can find a list of known bugs.

For even more ways to test, you can also refer to this official Full Site Editing post from @annezazu.

Got questions? Here are some answers

In the coming weeks, follow the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.9-related developer notes that cover these items in detail. So far, contributors have fixed 316 tickets in WordPress 5.9, including 100 new features and enhancements. More bug fixes are on the way with your help through testing.

Props to @psykro@estelaris@hellofromtonya, @marybaum@webcommsat@cbringmann@costdev, and @audrasjb for contributions to this post.

Filed under #release, #5.9, #beta

WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

Posted December 7, 2021 by Jonathan Bossenger. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.9 Beta 2 is now available for testing!

This software version is still under development. Please do not run this software on a production site. Instead, install it on a test site, where you can try out the newest features to get a feel for how they will work on your site.

You can test the WordPress 5.9 Beta 2 in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the beta version here (zip).

Option 3: When using WP-CLI to upgrade from Beta 1 to Beta 2 on a case-insensitive filesystem, please use the following command sequence:

Command One:

wp core update --version=5.9-beta1 

Command Two:

 wp core update --version=5.9-beta2 --force 

The current target for the final release of 5.9 is January 25, 2022, which is just seven weeks away. Your help testing this version is a vital part of making this release as good as it can be.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 1, 24 bugs have been fixed. Here are a few of the changes you will find in Beta 2:

  • Block Editor: Remove navigation areas (#54506)
  • Block Editor: Navigation block view JavaScript error (#54456)
  • Block Editor: Block template theme error related to child themes (#54515)
  • General: Fixing existing links to Customizer when the Site Editor is enabled (#54460)
  • Media: Media library showing only the selected image (#53765)
  • Media: Fatal error uploading media on PHP8 (#54385)
  • REST API: Add Global Styles REST API endpoints from Gutenberg into Core (#54336)

Also, note that some users testing 5.9 Beta 1 faced some fatal errors upon upgrade. In turn, these errors revealed the need for some extra work on the filesystem and upgrader. Those fatal errors are no longer a problem, and the enhancements will be part of version 6.0.

How You Can Help

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is vital for polishing the release in the beta stage and a great way to contribute. 

If you think you’ve found a bug, please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. That’s also where you can find a list of known bugs.

Where can I get more information?

In the coming weeks, follow the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.9-related developer notes that cover these items in detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 305 tickets in WordPress 5.9, including 110 new features and enhancements. More bug fixes are on the way with your help through testing.

Props to @psykro, @estelaris, @hellofromtonya, @marybaum, @webcommsat, @cbringmann, @davidb, @audrasjb, and @pbiron for contributions to this post.

The Month in WordPress – November 2021

Posted December 2, 2021 by Anjana Vasan. Filed under Month in WordPress.

Despite the holiday season being around the corner, the WordPress project didn’t slow down. In a recent episode of WP Briefing, Executive Director Josepha Haden shares the first thing she wants people to notice about WordPress, which is also the heart of this open source project:

Now, the first thing I want people to see on that site is that WordPress has not only 18 years of learned knowledge that every single new user benefits from, but that it also has thousands of really smart people making sure it works and gets better every day.

Josepha Haden, Executive Director of the WordPress project

As always, contributors across various teams are working hard to ensure the upcoming release of WordPress 5.9 doesn’t disappoint. With State of the Word 2021 coming up soon, there are many exciting things in the works. Read the November 2021 edition of the Month in WordPress to learn more about what’s happening.


WordPress 5.9: Expected to release on January 25, 2022

  • The Core Team announced the WordPress 5.9 Revised Release Schedule, and the release is now planned for January 25, 2022.
  • WordPress 5.9 Beta 1 was recently released and is available for testing. This version of the WordPress software is under development. Check out the release post to learn more about what’s new in version 5.9 and how you can help testing. 
  • Check out “A Look at WordPress 5.9” for a first peek into the exciting features included in this major release.
  • WordPress 5.8.2, a security and maintenance release, was out on November 10, 2021. This release includes two bug fixes and one security fix.

Are you interested in contributing to WordPress core? Join the #core channel, follow the Core Team blog, and check out the team handbook. Also, don’t miss the Core Team’s weekly developer chat on Wednesdays at 8 PM UTC.

Gutenberg releases: 11.9 and 12.0 are out

Two new Gutenberg versions have been released!

  • Version 11.9.0 brings new Gutenberg blocks for working with post comments, a fullscreen pattern explorer modal, further iterations on the Navigation block, and many other improvements.
  • Gutenberg 12.0.0, released on November 24, improves the Block Styles preview and includes featured image block visual enhancements, a site Editor welcome guide, official JSON schema updates, and much more.

Want to get involved in developing Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. Follow #gutenberg-new for details on the latest updates.

State of the Word 2021: Join a watch party in your local community

State of the Word 2021 Announcement, which will take place on December 14 between 5 pm and 7 pm ET (22 - 00 UTC).

Add the event to your calendar so you don’t miss State of the Word 2021! Want to ask Matt a question during State of the Word? Please send your questions ahead of time to ask-matt@wordcamp.org or ask them live during the event via YouTube chat.

Team updates: Nominations for some team representatives are still underway

We want to hear from you! Suggest your 2022 goals for the Global Community Team by December 6, 2021.

Feedback/Testing requests: Test WordPress 5.9 Beta 1; Take the 2021 Annual WordPress Survey to share your experience

  • WordPress 5.9 Beta 1 is now available for testing and we’d like to hear from you! Testing is vital to ensure the release is as good as it can be—it’s also a great way to contribute. Read the comprehensive guide, “Help test WordPress 5.9 Features,” to learn how to test WordPress 5.9 Beta 1 and report any bugs.
  • There’s an open call for testing for WordPress iOS 18.7 and Android 18.7.

The 2021 WordPress Annual Survey is out! Please respond to the survey, so your WordPress experience is reflected in the results.

Keep an eye out for WordCamp Taiwan and Sevilla, along with several WordPress workshops in December 2021

Give back to open source. Please donate to the WordPress Foundation’s mission this holiday season.


Have a story that we could include in the next ‘Month in WordPress’ post? Let us know  by filling out this form

The following folks contributed to November 2021’s Month in WordPress: @anjanavasan, @harishanker, @rmartinezduque, @callye, @jrf, @webcommsat, and @nalininonstopnewsuk

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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