And so it begins. The first Beta release for WordPress 6.1 is out. The test team compiled an excellent call for testing with all the instructions on the features coming to a WordPress instance near you. Following it, would be a high-impact way to contribute to the open-source project, if you are searching for opportunities like that.
The rest of the news you’ll find below.
Developing Gutenberg and WordPress
WordPress 6.1 Beta 1 Now Available – It’s going to be another great release with some great new features for the block editor, the site editor and themes developers and also various new ways to extend the user experience for plugins and themes. To learn more about the release team and schedule for WordPress 6.1
Brian Alexander and team published the post Help Test WordPress 6.1 with instructions on how to set up your test environment, a list of features to test with details instructions. They also have a few testing tips for you. Going through the test scenarios, is actually a great way to learn about the new features fast, and contribute to WordPress.
🎙️ Latest episode: Gutenberg Changelog #90 – New Testing Call for the FSE Program, Gutenberg 16.7 and WordPress 6.4 with Tammie Lister as special guest, hosted by Birgit Pauli-Haack
Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks
Nathan Wrigley interviewed Rich Tabor, early block adopter, now design director at Extendify in the 296 episode of the WPbuilds podcast: 296 – Gutenberg, FSE, Block Themes (Variants), Blocks, Rich Tabor on the whole lot
“Fun aside: I started, and nearly finished, Wei on the flight back from WordCamp Europe. A couple years ago, this would’ve taken weeks — at least.” Rich Tabor said. You can find Tabor’s block themes, Wei and Wabi, in the WordPress repository.
On the Torque Social Hour, Mike McAlister explains Why WordPressers should start building real sites with FSE.
Two new tools are available for faster development for the WordPress block editor. Victor Ramirez and the team of Abstract Agency have been working on two tools and made them available for developers on WPTests
The Block Unit Test in an update on Rich Tabor’s early and now closed plugin. After you install the plugin is adds a page to your site with every Gutenberg block and their variations, so you can ensure your theme fully supports the latest version of the block editor.
A word of caution, these are early stages on the plugins, but they are already saving you a lot of time, testing themes for the block editor.
The resources for the Build your First Block Theme workshop, held by Daisy Olsen at WordCamp US are now available for any developer interested in following this workshop autonomously. Repo and slides.
I use Full Site Editing in WordPress for the first time is the recording of Mike Wilkinson’s experience of first using FSE and his thoughts on it.
Carolina Nymark explains How to add box-shadows with theme.json to your theme. The ability to add box-shadows to blocks is a new feature in Gutenberg 14.1 and in the upcoming WordPress 6.1 release, but you can only enable theme through the theme.json file. As this is the first version, they don’t have any interface representation in the site editor yet.
Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners
Sarah Gooding reports that Twenty Twenty-Two Is the First Default Block Theme to Get Tagged as Accessibility-Ready
“The accessibility-ready tag can be applied to themes in the directory that have successfully completed an accessibility audit for the minimum requirements established by the Themes team. Theme authors are encouraged to exceed those requirements, which are laid out in a tiered set of required and recommended guidelines.” Gooding wrote.
She also found two more block themes with the accessibility-ready tag:
After BrightMode, Brian Gardner also submitted Design Mode theme to the WordPress Directory. He described it like this: “It is stylish and sophisticated, and the minimalistic design is perfect for freelancers and agencies looking to showcase their services and work.”
Sarah Gooding has the skinny for you in Design Mode: A Free Portfolio Block Theme Designed for Freelancers and Agencies
AI-generated images for WordPress
My exploration into Image AI and WordPress continues. A few days ago, I read Sarah Gooding’s article New Block Diffusion Plugin Creates AI-Generated Images from Text Prompts, covering a new plugin by Kevin Batdorf that uses the open-source Stable Diffusion AI and brings it to the content creators using WordPress. The plugin is called Block Diffusion. “This plugin interfaces with the Replicate API and allows you to run open-source models via their cloud API. Add the block to a page and select a model to enter your API token.”
I tested it against the plugin, I have been using: Imajinn – Magical AI Image Generation like DALL·E. The latter gives me more images, allows for more style settings, and offers improvements like additional variations or face correction, similar to Midjourney’s creation process.