Some years go by slowly — not because they’re busier, but maybe there’s just more out there in the world to stop and notice. We hope the WordPress.com and Jetpack community offered you some of those moments this year.
Maybe it was a helpful chat with someone on our Happiness team, or maybe you discovered a cool new feature that made business or blogging even easier. Perhaps you read something on WordPress.com that inspired you. We just want to say thanks for being here, and we’re excited to see what you all accomplish in 2018 and beyond.
Below are some highlights from the year in WordPress.com — and make sure you check out WordPress.com Discover to see more favorite moments from 2017. Happy New Year!
Viral Hits and Notable Moments
• WordPress.com blogger Hospey used an online resume to score an internship with Chance the Rapper:
• Baby Ellie became the youngest person to thru-hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail! She made the trip with her mom Bekah and her dad Derrick, who wrote about their adventure.
• One user got a nice surprise: JK Rowling tweeted their blog post:
• Robert E. Kelly and his family became worldwide celebrities when his appearance on the BBC was interrupted by his children. “We are just a regular family, and raising two young children can be a lot of work. Because of that, it seems that the video has resonated with parents around the world,” he wrote on his blog.
• Over at Longreads, Laurie Penny wrote the site’s most popular story of the year — The Unforgiving Minute.
• We wished a happy 11th anniversary to Smitten Kitchen, one of the web’s most popular and longest-running food blogs.
• INFJoe, the cartoon persona of artist and blogger Aaron Caycedo-Kimura, released his book Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life.
The Year in Building Your Business
This year we worked to make it even easier to create the perfect website for business and ecommerce — from fashion to fitness, salons to school fundraisers.
In March we introduced unlimited themes for Premium and Business plan users so you can experiment with more designs — including the new Radcliffe 2 theme for small business. We made it easy for you to collaborate in Google Docs and publish straight to WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites. In May we launched Business plan support for third-party plugins and themes, giving you total control over customizing and monetizing your site:
Of course, no website is an island: it’s more important than ever to distribute your blog posts and pages across social media, so in July we introduced social media scheduling, allowing you to plan tweets and Facebook posts far in advance and resurface popular posts from your archives:
Then in August, we made it even easier to earn money from your site with the new Simple Payment feature:
To top it all off, we teamed up with Rebrand Cities to bring 10,000 small businesses online, and we partnered with inspiring folks like Creative Mornings and legendary designers like Michael Bierut and Marian Bantjes to create new sites with students in Appalachia as part of Project A3.
The Year in Photos (and Making It Easier to Post the Perfect Shot)
You published some incredible images and illustrations in 2017! Take a look:
“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb – Nelson Mandela.” Thirdeyemom ascended the Andes, and captured this stunning photograph.
We fell in love with the illustrated work of Jeremy Graboyes, a Washington, D.C.-based artist who specializes in pen-and-ink and watercolor.
Photographer Sophia Hsin documented the child laborers of Bangladesh. The Vancouver-based Hsin is using the project to raise awareness among consumers about how some products enter their food chain.
Omar Z. Robles brought dance and street photography together. Robles captures moments with dancers around the world, from the streets of Cuba to Hong Kong. (Above: dancer Courtney Stohlton in Puerto Rico.)
We also wanted to simplify the process of sharing your gorgeous images: You can now connect your Google Photos account and insert images straight from Google, as well as export photos from Lightroom straight to WordPress.com.
The Year in Publishing on the Go
Photoblogging is even better with a world-class mobile app. We made a ton of improvements to WordPress for iOS and Android, with a brand new editor, new features to manage your site, and a whole lot more.
A Warm Welcome to WordPress!
Did you know that nearly 30% of all sites on the internet are powered by WordPress? Here’s just a small sampling of the new sites we welcomed to WordPress.com, Jetpack, and WordPress.com VIP in 2017:
- The new Chicago Review of Books
- It Gets Better Project
- Mother Jones
- Hachette Book Group
- Smithsonian’s Freer | Sackler
- Men’s Journal
- Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
- US Weekly
- Sneaker News
- Harry’s Five O’Clock
- Women in the World, in association with the New York Times
- Jet Blog
- CNN: Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown
Resolutions for 2018
We resolve to keep working to make the web a better place — and work with all of you in the WordPress.com community to keep building your dreams.
What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? Tell us in the comments.