WordPress and the Fediverse

Alex Kirk
Alex Kirk

What is the Fediverse?

  • Federated (Social) Services
  • Federation: someone else hosts your data but it's your choice who that someone is
  • To get started, you need to specify your server
  • A little more complex than centralized services

Why Federation?

  • Centralized services are a single point of failure
  • A single person or company can suddenly change the rules, APIs, etc.


Centralized with spy


Federated with 3 Servers

Federated with spy

Examples of Fediverses

  • Twitter → Mastodon
  • Facebook → Friendica
  • Instagram → Pixelfed
  • Slack , Discord , WhatsApp , Signal , ...
    → Matrix
  • E-Mail
  • Blogging: WordPress.com , Substack ,
    Medium , self-hosted

Protocols of Fediverses

  • Mastodon, Friendica, Pixelfed: ActivityPub
  • Matrix:
  • E-Mail: SMTP, IMAP
  • Blogging: RSS
  • Often 2 protocols / variants:
    server-to-server, server-to-client (offline!)

Twitter → Mastodon

  • Twitter recently made a lot of changes, cut off apps, increased API prices, etc.
  • In the tech community, many people migrated to Mastodon
  • Mastodon is a gGmbH (non-profit company) in Germany, owns the trademark
  • Mastodon is open source software that talks ActivityPub



How do I start to use the Fediverse?

  • Before you can start, you need to choose a server
  • Often everyone flocks to the best known server
  • → danger of re-centralization!
  • username@server becomes your identity.
    Choose wisely!

Types of Mastodon Servers

How to choose a Mastodon Server?

  • A server is sometimes also called "instance"
  • You choose the "@server" in username@server → it becomes your identity
  • Why Topic related or Country related?
  • → Local timelines

WordPress Related

Mastering the Fediverse

  1. Share to the Fediverse
  2. Be part of the Fediverse
  3. Be the Fediverse

1. Share to the Fediverse

  • Use the Fediverse as a multiplicator
  • Write a post on WordPress, share to the Fediverse → more visitors
  • Many plugins: Mastodon Auto Share, Mastodon Autopost, Share on Mastodon
  • How? You might know it from Twitter: You connect your WordPress with your Mastodon account

1. Share to the Fediverse

  • When you post something, a post ("note") on your Mastodon account is created
  • Typically: Title + URL
  • → that note will be shared with all your followers on Mastodon
  • The sender is your (hosted) Mastodon account

1. Share to the Fediverse

1. Share to the Fediverse

Setting it up

2. Be part of the Fediverse

  • Teach your WordPress speak the same protocol as Mastodon: ActivityPub
  • ActivityPub plugin
  • Your WordPress post is your post on Mastodon
  • People don't follow your Mastodon account but they follow your blog
  • Your identity = @username@my.blog

2. Be part of the Fediverse

  • People directly follow your WordPress, you tell them to follow @username@my.blog
  • When you post something, it directly sends your post to all your followers
  • Thus, WordPress keeps track of your followers
  • The posts come from @username@my.blog
  • You use Mastodon to follow others and write status posts

2. Be part of the Fediverse

2. Be part of the Fediverse

Setting it up

3. Be the Fediverse

  • Follow people on Mastodon, without having to choose your server (your blog is your server)
  • Friends plugin + ActivityPub plugin
  • Like a Mastodon instance, with your own identity
  • @username@my.blog

3. Be the Fediverse: Friends

3. Be the Fediverse

Use Mastodon Apps

  • Nice apps exist for Mastodon on many platforms
  • You can also use them with your own WordPress!
  • Enable Mastodon Apps plugin
  • Makes your blog talk the Mastodon API
  • Tusky, Ivory, Pinafore, Elk, Mona, ...
  • (Works also well without ActivityPub+Friends for shared blogs and/or a slim posting experience)

Mastodon Experience

ActivityPub plugin by Matthias Pfefferle

  • People from Mastodon directly follow your blog
  • Your blog can be followed like a Mastodon account
  • When someone replies, it arrives at your blog as a comment on the post
  • Your blog maintains your list of followers
  • https://wordpress.org/plugins/activitypub

Friends plugin by Alex Kirk

Friends: People Focussed

Feed view of Jim Nielsen

Friends: People Focussed

Status feed view of Jim Nielsen

Friends: People Focussed

Admin view of Jim Nielsen

Enable Mastodon Apps plugin by Alex Kirk

Enable Mastodon Apps Settings

Enable Mastodon Apps settings

Super Easy to join the fediverse

  • Your own WordPress + plugins
    ActivityPub, Friends, EMA
  • Use the Mastodon apps
  • Identity: @username@my.blog

Mastodon tidbits

  • No lock in: You can move to another server and take your followers along
  • You need to host it yourself for a nice address (e.g. with masto.host; No virtual hosts, see #2668)
  • Complex software stack (Ruby, Postgres, Redis, ElasticSearch) → use your own WordPress?


  • Real-time chat, end to end encrypted
  • Aims to replace Slack; also WhatsApp, Signal, etc.
  • Federated, using homeservers
  • Multi-messenger with Matrix possible today with Beeper (join the waitlist)

Matrix and WordPress

Matrix and WordPress: Chatrix

Matrix and WordPress: SSO

Blogging is also federated

  • Openness: anyone can follow your RSS feed
  • Comments have a spam problem → will certainly also arrive in the Fediverse
  • Web of trust → connect WordPresses?
  • IndieWeb, Gemini (Small web)


  • The Fediverse has many facets
  • ActivityPub is recently the best known protocol
  • WordPress fits well into the puzzle
  • You can choose to which degree you want to integrate WordPress