Hey WordPress,

it’s time to take back our community.

The WordPress community is largely a Twitter community. With all of the uncertainty on Twitter, many are wondering what will happen to the network of WordPress peers, experts, developers, designers, and marketers they’ve cultivated over the years.

Powered by individuals, connected as a community.

Read the original article about OpenPress on Ollie →

Simply put, OpenPress adds functionality and an interface to your website that enables you to run your own micro publishing platform using readily-available WordPress technology.

Your website, and the content you’re publishing, can then be connected to a network of other websites that are also using OpenPress. The result is a network that is powered by individuals, but connected as a community.

This concept is framed around solving how the WordPress community, specifically, connects and shares content.

Instead of going to a platform like Twitter to write updates and share valuable content, you do it directly from your website. Your content remains yours, and can be shared and consumed within the WordPress community of OpenPress users. (This will be a familiar concept for those of you who know about the fediverse.)

The OpenPress interface

Every WordPress website that runs OpenPress gets a dedicated page where the OpenPress interface is displayed (e.g. yoursite.com/openpress). This interface provides a way for you to create and share content for your audience, and also to consume content from those you follow.

Your Profile page

Your Profile page displays a public feed of your “Updates”, which is short-form content like tweets. Followers can interact with your Updates by leaving comments or trackbacks.

Your Profile

Your Profile page displays a public feed of your Updates. You can also choose to display links to long-form content from your blog.

Your profile photo and bio are pulled from your site’s WP profile.

Your Profile photo and bio are pulled in from your site’s WordPress profile area in the WordPress admin. You’ll continue to see this pattern: we’re leaning on as many existing WordPress features as possible to reduce the complexity and increase familiarity and feasibility.

Your Profile page displays Updates by default, but you can also opt to display your blog content here as well. This makes content discovery much more organic, keeping your short-form content and long-form content readily-available to your audience.

The Publish page

The Publish page is where you create your Updates. By pulling in block editor components for the content editor, we can provide a familiar, content-rich editing experience within this new interface.


The publishing interface lets you create content just like you do in the post/page editor.

By using components of the block editor, we can get rich content editing out of the box.

Change the kind of content you’re posting by choosing a different Update Type.

Your Updates can be published immediately, scheduled, or saved as a draft to work on later. Sounding too complex? These features are already built into WordPress. 💥

The Update Feed page

The Update Feed is where you consume and interact with content from users you follow. You can comment on Updates from your followers, add reactions, and manage the accounts you follow here.

Update Feed

Your Update Feed shows Updates from the users/sites you’re subscribed to. You can subscribe to a site’s Updates, but you can also subscribe to their blog content, which you’d see in the Content Feed.

Notice there are no ads or other business-oriented decisions playing out in your feed. Your feed is yours, and free of junk. It only shows what you want it to show (in whatever order you want to see it).

The Content Feed page

The Content Feed is where you can browse long-form content from the accounts you follow. When they add new content to their blog, it shows up in your content feed.

Content Feed

Your Content Feed shows blog content from the sites/users you are subscribed to. This makes it easy to collect long-form content that is most valuable to you.

This gives you a highly-curated feed to learn about the topics that are most important to you. It creates a separation between the minute-by-minute content that happens in Updates (which is valuable, but perhaps sometimes distracting) with a dedicated space to focus, learn, explore, and share content.

The Explore Feeds page

The Explore Feeds page is where you can find other sites and users who have connected to the OpenPress network. By providing a way to filter users, you can dig down to what interests you most.


The Explore page lets you find WordPress creators you can connect with and learn from. Categories help you drill down to what’s interesting to you, and you can search for specific people using the search box.

This page gives you an opportunity to connect specifically with WordPress creators, educators, and leaders without having to wade through a bunch of Twitter accounts or lists to find them.

This also gives more exposure to new or underrepresented community members, giving them a chance to grow their network, find new opportunities, and connect with community members in a more meaningful way.

Because we’re focusing this on our community, we can shape the experience around our needs.

Focusing on feasibility

In this initial concept, I purposefully didn’t introduce specific technology to make a concept like OpenPress work because there are a dozen different ways to achieve it within WordPress. (For what it’s worth, React, the REST API, RSS, ActivityPub, and the block editor can go a long way to achieve this.)

More importantly, technology wouldn’t be the barrier to making something like this work. The real barriers are on the macro level: feasibility, volunteers, adoption, and maintenance.

Starting the conversation

These things are tough, and I don’t claim to know every nuance about building something like this or the implications of doing so. This is just a (technology-informed) design concept, and hopefully kindling for a more in-depth discussion. There are tons of smarter people than myself who have started this work, and I hope to hear from them!

What would it look like to start connecting millions of websites, users, and content that power half of the web in a more purposeful and open way?

One thing I do know is WordPress, and I’ve long-thought that we may be underutilizing the sheer reach and capability that we have in our hands on a daily basis with the software. What would it look like to start connecting millions of websites, users, and content that power half of the web in a more purposeful and open way? It’s a fascinating proposition.

At the very least, I hope the OpenPress concept has provided a chance to look at what the next step could look like for our diverse and uniquely-valuable WordPress community.

Is it hopeful thinking? Is it just a glorified RSS feed? Is it so crazy that it might just work? I could also see OpenPress existing as an open-source WordPress network of professionals. With so much talent floating around our community, we have the power to create any future we want.

If you’re interested in following along, please sign up for the newsletter below. I’ll send you updates about where the project is, and ping you for feedback about what you want to see happen next with our community.

Mike McAlister from Ollie