Indiewebifying a WordPress Site – 2023 Edition

Last year, I wrote a post on how to Indiewebify a site…it was actually in response to a CSS-Tricks post, and a successor to previous posts I had written on the subject.  I’d suggest you read that article first, and return here, and I’ll go over where we are a year later, and what is to come.

We could always use more contributors to IndieWeb plugins, and there is so much to do. One of the biggest problems is probably that many community members, but not all, prefer classic WordPress to the current Gutenberg block editor, and this does hinder individuals who want to use the latest and greatest. For me, I just am not as interested in writing Javascript vs PHP code.

So, to summarize some things from last year, what has changed, and what is in the future.

The IndieWeb plugin offers an h-card template and widget. This would be the perfect place to add a block option if a contributor was interest. It adds tools to help you show your identity, and suggests other IndieWeb plugins you might try. Sort of a Jetpackesque idea.

It offers rel-me links, either visible or hidden. Now, other sites are using rel-me again…Mastodon, Pixelfed, etc. This allows them to also verify distributed identity…that one URL and another URL are the same person because they link to each other with links marked up with rel=”me”.

IndieAuth doesn’t have many new features to add, but it continues to be refined and improved for improvements under the hood. It allows you to log into a WordPress site using an IndieAuth endpoint…most commonly another IndieAuth enabled WordPress site, or for a client application to get a token to act on your behalf…most commonly a Micropub client.

Micropub, which is a plugin I intend to do some work on in the near future, allows you to publish content to your site using a Micropub client. The advantage of this is the Micropub server(built into the plugin), converts the Micropub vocabulary into a WordPress post. So there can and are a variety of bespoke applications that allow you to post any number of content types.

Webmentions, completing a long project, hit version 5.0 in April. The 5.X branch is a merging of the Semantic Linkbacks plugin and the Webmentions plugin, with a completely rewritten and updated codebase. The way webmentions were implemented prior to 5.0 was a direct copy of pingbacks and trackbacks. We have and continue to move away from that.

The IndieWeb is built on parsing of Microformats. Microformats are a specific and simple markup to HTML that allows a parser to gain context…and therefore render a reply, like, link preview, etc. The new Webmentions plugin has several fallbacks of less fidelity now, still favoring Microformats. If it is a WordPress site, it will try to render the information from the WordPress REST API. If it isn’t, it will try to get basic information from JSON-LD or meta-tags…This basic information is a summary, author(image and URL), etc., the service that bridges other sites to yours via Webmention and Micropub, has added some Bluesky support. Fed had come on to allow your site to interact with ActivityPub supported sites(like Mastodon).

WordPress has its own ActivityPub plugin, created and maintained primarily by the creator of many IndieWeb plugins, Matthias Pfefferle. I’m not personally involved in that as a contributor(he has more than enough interest elsewhere), but I’m a user of it.

Syndication Links displays links to other versions of a post..on any arbitrary site. It supports integrations with Bridgy and others to trigger the syndication to that other site.

A few other useful plugins….

  • Simple Location – if you want to add location awareness to posts, and static maps, this supports it and integrates well with other IndieWeb plugins, because I wrote it.
  • Tempus Fugit – A collection of time based website tweaks, such as adding This Day and This Week URLs and features.

If you do want to experiment with Blocks and the IndieWeb, you can try Jan Boddez’s Indieblocks.

If you prefer the Classic Editor, I still maintain the Post Kinds plugin for myself and others.


David Shanske

My day job is in training for an airline. I also develop Indieweb WordPress plugins so that others can take control of their online identity.

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