A Block Pattern Party in more ways than one – Weekend Edition 187


Did you get to watch the fantastic presentations about the block-editor at WordCamp US? No? I am sure they will be posted on WordPress TV in no time. I’ll keep and eye out. The best presentations from my perspective?

  • Helen Hou-Sandi talked about the adventure building WhiteHouse.gov site within 6 weeks. Her look behind the scenes and the thoughts behind the front page header block build, was a great case study, why to use blocks and not ACF. (Recording on YouTube)
  • Kjell Reigstad showed some wonderful creative examples how you could use Block Styles for some funky and new way to display blocks. Most with no JavaScript, all in CSS. (Recording on YouTube)
  • Rich Tabor did a phenomenal job diving into the seven realms of Full-Site Editing and Theme building, with an exponentially spruced up slide deck and a very soothing voice. We were all more relaxed about the huge changes to come. (Recording on YouTube)

That was only one day, yesterday, but more things happened in Gutenberg land. What have you been working on? I want to know. Hit reply and tell me:-)

We have some great posts and videos for you. Did I miss one or two? Let me know that too.

I’m excited to see you next week at our Live Q & A on theme building.

If you are not a theme builder, maybe you are interested in our upcoming Live Q & A on block building with members of the BuddyPress team.

Be well, 💕


PS: Huge Thank you to Rob Cairns for a conversation among friends about my start at Automattic, the beginning of the Gutenberg Times and catch-up on Full Site Editing. Listen to Episode #154 of The SDM Show by Stunning Digital Marketing.

PPS: Monday, 10/4 at 9am EDT / 2pm UK Time, I’ll join Nathan Wrigley, Michelle Frechette and Rob Cairns on the WPBuildsThis Week in WordPress Show. It will be live streamed on YouTube.

PPS: Don’t miss the fantastic Page Builder Summit! Oct 18 – 22, 2021 – Schedule below.

Gutenberg Development and Team updates

Gutenberg 11.6 was released. Now you can lock certain blocks, edit the site logo image file within the Site Logo block (yay!) and child themes have now basic support for full-site editing and Global Styles. Nik Tsekouras has the details for you in his release post: What’s new in Gutenberg 11.6 (29 September).

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2021” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in Gutenberg development: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly.

Kelly Hoffman posted about the upcoming improvements to the Gallery block. The silent video loops through many variations of how you can now configure the images in the gallery block. The total revamped Gallery Block is built from individual image blocks, that bring their features into the gallery: you can style each image differently, link each single image to a different URL, apply different duotone filters per image and crop images to fit into a pattern and more.

You can enable this Gallery block from the Gutenberg plugin’s Experiments page. If you want to see what happens when your existing gallery change into the new Gallery Block, you click on “Update” button of the the Block’s Toolbar (new in 11.6).

The refactored Gallery block is slated to come to WordPress with the 5.9 release. If you are a plugin or theme developer, Glen Davies published a Dev Note last month.

Maggie Cabrera publish the 67th Gutenberg + Themes Round-up post from the Themes team with a list of ongoing discussions on Full-Site Editing, Global Styles, and Design Tools. Just as examples:

There are quite a few more aspects listed, and they all could use your thoughts and ideas. It’s the place to be part of the discussion and influence development and designs.

Shaun Andrews posted the recording and summary of the Design team’s Show & Tell meeting. The meeting is mostly meant to catch up all design contributors on various stages of their work.

In this meeting

  • Tammie Lister talked about Block Support and how it is handled for individual blocks, in theme.json and block.json
  • Javier Arce shared his designs for editing background in an image block images, and
  • Channing Ritter discussed her exploration around Theme switching in the Site Editor.

Full Site Editing and Themes

There are now many conversations about Full-Site Editing and how can site builders, agencies, designers and freelancers get a handle on the various pieces, that make up Full-Site Editing. Anne McCarthy published a longer post on Sharing Approaches for Adoption of Full-Site Editing in the WordPress ecosystem. She suggested a gradual adoption with increasing levels of complexity and maturity”. Quite an interesting read.

Andres Noren published and introduction to his new block-based Theme “Tove” in which he lets you look behind the scenes. I found remarkable the comparison of this new theme with his latest classic theme:

“Tove contains a theme.json file that specifies supported settings and styles, HTML template files and template parts used by the Site Editor, a couple of stylesheets, placeholder image assets, a folder with block patterns, and a functions.php file to enqueue assets and register block patterns and styles. That’s Tove. Not a single line of JavaScript, and other than the functions.php file and a empty index.php file, no PHP either.

Compare that to Eksell, my latest (and probably last?) free classic theme. Eksell has 1 700 lines of PHP in its functions.php and template-tags.php files, five PHP classes in five files, and over 1 000 lines of JavaScript (not counting the CSS variables ponyfill). “

You will get an opportunity to connect with Anders Noren on Thursday together with Ellen Bauer and Carolina Nymark when we discuss going from classic themes to Block-based Themes on our Live Q & A. Get your seat now!

WPBlockPatterns.com is a site where you can compare, how the Patterns available in the WordPress.org directory perform with each Full Site Editing theme. On the first page of the site, you see the list of the block patterns from the directory. Once you click on the name of the pattern a new window opens, and you can then select the theme from a drop-down box on the top right.

Andrew Starr, owner of UX Themes and author of the Hansen theme, created the site and Justin Tadlock connected with him for more details: Preview WordPress Block Pattern and Theme Combinations via New Site.

Tammie Lister started a new project: A Block Pattern a Day. On her new site, Patternspiration, she will publish a new pattern every day to explore all the possibilities with Block Patterns, and to get an idea on what tooling would be needed around it. Definitely a place to watch.

Anne McCarthy published the 10th call for testing out of the Full-site editing outreach program and calls you to join the Pattern Party, too! You are invited to test all the Theme Blocks, some already in WordPress 5.8 and some to come in WordPress 5.9 and create patterns with them. “This test is focused on pushing these lovely Theme Blocks to their limits to better determine what to prioritize and what features might remain to be documented. “ McCarthy wrote.

Developing for the new wave of WordPress experience On Tuesday, Oct 5 at 01:30 PM CST, join Post Status CEO, Cory Miller, as he interviews Rich Tabor, Head of Product at Extendify, about the future of publishing with WordPress. Definitely a show worth watching!

WordPress Meetup London met this week, and during their 2nd hour they held a Roundtable on Full-Site Editing hosted by Dan Maby guest Paul Lacey, Diane Wallace and Anne McCarthy.

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s main (trunk) branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

Using Gutenberg as Content Creator

Istiak Rayhan shared with you the 10 Interesting Gutenberg Features You May Not Know About. Rayhan pointed out most of my favorite features of the Block editor. He is also one of the authors of the Ultimate Blocks plugins, so it’s not a surprise to see it listed.

Instead of the Document information page, I would pick the List View next to it as the more useful tool for your workflow. You can identify blocks from their nested view and drag and drop them at a different spot of your post.

Rayhan followed up with a Beginner’s Guide for Gutenberg. I bookmarked his post to share it with others looking to get started with the block-editor.

Page Builder Summit

Page Builder Summit is coming back and will be happening October 18 – 22, 2021. Nathan Wrigley and Anchen Le Roux just published the schedule

Here is the list of Gutenberg / Block-editor presentations

  • Forging the Future with Full Site Editing with Anne McCarthy (10/18 – 9am EDT)
  • The Future of Building WordPress Websites with Brian Gardner (10/18 – 12pm EDT)
  • What does Full Site Editing Mean for Page Builders? with Joe Casabona (10/19/ 9am EDT)
  • Customizing WordPress Block Editor for Client Projects with Birgit Pauli-Haack (10/19/ – 10 am EDT)
  • Mastering modern WordPress with Full-site Editing & Custom Blocks with Rob Stinson (10/20/ – 5am EDT)
  • How to Build Any Page Layout Using Kadence Blocks with Jake Pfohl (10/20/ – 12pm EDT)
  • Building a Custom Blog Archive with Blocks with Mike Oliver (10/21/ 11am EDT)
  • RIP Page Builders with Chris Lubkert (10/19 – 1pm EDT)

The schedule is not out yet. Sign-up for the waitlist to receive notifications.

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Featured image: “Fire wood” by rossbelmont is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Thank you so much, Michael. Hope your new work is all you have hoped for!