Building with Blocks, Hyping Headers, 52 Themes and more – Weekend Edition 204


As many, I look with horror at the tanks and troops marching into the Ukraine. My heart goes out to all the people there, especially WordPress contributors. In Friday’s issue of The Repository, Rae Morey wrote on Standing by WordPress Folks in Ukraine with more details. We are here for everyone affected. If you need any kind of support, please reach out, and we’ll do our best to help as much as possible. Please stay safe!

If it feels hard to focus on work and projects, you are not alone. It’s ok. Take care of yourself.

Yours, 💕

PS: If you are a developer, I hope to see you at the next Gutenberg Developer Hours on March 8th 11:00 ET / 16:00 UTC withe fabulous Tammie Lister, Fabian Kägy, and Grzegorz Ziolkowski as expert panelists.

In the post, February 8th Gutenberg Developer Hours – Session Evaluation I published the results from the participant survey. You can read all the comments and suggestions on the Core Make Blog.

WordPress and Gutenberg releases

Gutenberg 12.6 Release

Have a look at the Release notes by Andy Peatling What’s new in Gutenberg 12.6? (16 February) with the highlights:

Justin Tadlock headlined his post Gutenberg 12.6 Enhances Transforming Blocks, Adds Read More and Post Author Bio Blocks, and Enables Social Icon Labels

Gutenberg Changelog #61 Gutenberg 12.6, Planning for WordPress 6.0 and Universal Blocks Grzegorz Ziolkowski and I introduce Mary Job as the new co-host and discuss Gutenberg 12.6, Planning for WordPress 6.0 and Universal Blocks.

Hosting the Gutenberg Changelog episode #61:
Mary Job, Grzegorz Ziolkowski and yours truly.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that Mary Job joined me as co-host on the Gutenberg Changelog podcast. We first met at the online JavaScript For WordPress conference and I can’t believe it’s been four years already. Among other things, Mary Job has been a WordPress community organizer in Nigeria for many years, and works as support engineer with Paid Membership Pro plugin.

Earlier this week, Gutenberg 12.7 RC was made available, and you can download it from GitHub

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

WordPress 5.9.1 and 6.0

Coordinated by Jean-Baptist Audras and George Mamadashvili WordPress 5.9.1 was released on February 22, 2022, and provide 85 bug fixes over all components: Twenty-Twenty-Two Theme, Global Styles, Navigation block, Media Library, Gallery block, other blocks and theme.json. Estela Rueda provided a list of all the PRs announcing the release candidate.

Chloe Bringmann published in her WordPress 6.0 Planning Roundup the preliminary WordPress 6.0 schedule:

  • Feature freeze March 29th, 2022
  • First Beta release on April 12, 2022, 
  • First Release candidate May 3rd, 2022 
  • Final release on May 24, 2022

The release squad shows still a few open slots. If you consider joining the release squad, read up about responsibilities and leave a comment on the post.

  • Editor Tech 
  • Triage Lead 
  • Test Lead
  • Design Lead
  • Accessibility Lead

Updates for Site builders and Content Creators

Anne McCarthy just published new instructions for testing Full-site editing in their FSE Program Testing Call #12: Hyping Headers. The instructions guide you to customize a header using everything from the navigation block to template part focus mode. Then you will reuse this personalized header in a different template.

You’ll also explore how patterns are integrated into the experience, new dimension control options, and improved UX for the navigation block.  Deadline for your feedback is March 16, 2022.

Prithu Thakuri explores in her article on WPMayor WordPress Full Site Editing (FSE): The Features and their Impact on Users and Businesses. She first explains the four components of the full-site editing experience and then for each WordPress user group she summarizes what impact there might be and how best to handle old and new projects regarding adoption.

In WPTavern’s new series “Building with Blocks”, Sarah Gooding shared How to Build a vCard Website with a Video Background. She estimated you could accomplish the task in under five minutes, using a blank canvas template or theme, a few core blocks and a background video from a service like Pixabay.

In the SDM Show Episode 197: The Move to Gutenberg and The Roadmap to WordPress 6.0, Rob Cairns sat down with Matias Ventura, lead architect of Gutenberg at Automattic, and me to discuss Cairn’s site move to Gutenberg/Blocks from a WordPress Page Builder. We also took a closer look at the roadmap WordPress 6.0.

Training and Learning

The newest Learn.WordPress workshop: “Building Sidebars With the Site Editor” with Sarah Snow in which you learn how to use the site editor to add a sidebar automatically to any post, page, or template.

Full Site Editing Courses published on

A total of 29 Lessons will get you up and running with the new Site Editor, template editor and Styles controls for your website.

Sometimes, intuition is not enough to master a new set of technology tools. Occasionally, you need to read the manual or have someone show you what is possible to figure out what you want to do with it.

Block themes

Fifty-two (52) block themes, ready for full-site editing, are now available in the WordPress repository. The latest additions are

If you used any of them, let me know how they worked out for you!

According to Ana Segota, the block theme Bricksy received an update:

  • handwritten images are replaced with a script font for easier customization
  • added Dark Mode, in case the Gutenberg plugin activated.

Rich Tabor blogged about his Wabi block theme. “With Wabi, you may pick an accent color for each post and “theme” that content, providing a clever design layer to compliment the theme’s minimal style.”

Jamie Marsland uses the Wabi theme in his latest YouTube Video: This Gutenberg Block Theme is the future of WordPress

Ellen Bauer, ElmaStudio – creators of the Aino Theme, explains briefly in her latest Tiktok video the feature set that creates a full-site editing experience.

Plugins for the Block editor

Aurooba Ahmed is on a roll producing new plugins for the block editor almost every week. The newest plugin, Quick Post brings back the highly used Add New Post button to the top toolbar of the post editor.

Justin Tadlock’s review is available on WPTavern: QuickPost Plugin Allows Users To Create New or Duplicate Posts from the WordPress Content Editor

Developing for Gutenberg

Nathan Wrigley produces now weekly podcast episodes for the WPTavern Jukebox. In episode #14 he hosted Dave Smith, Isabel Brison and Joen Asmussen team members at Automattic and who worked on the new Navigation Block. Learn more about the guests’ various backgrounds, and a look behind the scenes of building one of the most important blocks for a website.

The second session of the Gutenberg Developer Hours saw 100 people register and 47 attending. The raw recording is available on YouTube. Huge thank you to our expert panelists and facilitators Joni Halabi, Daisy Olsen, George Mamadashvili and Nick Diego.

On Make Core block, I published a Proposal to Start a News blog on We worked on this in a team of a few people, before it was published. It now needs your comments, ideas, and support.

Around Themes and Site Design

The Theme team published again their roundup of current discussion, new features and updates in Gutenberg + Themes: Week of February 14th, 2022. For instance: You can now register patterns from directory with theme.json. (coming to the plugin in 12.7 version)

They also highlight a new page in documentation that provides a high-level intro to how styles work in the block editor: Explanation > Architecture sections for Styles.

Have a look at the full post

In the Theme team’s handbook, the page Converting customizer settings to block patterns has been updated by Carolina Nymark to showcase a conversion assuming a real-world example.

Channing Ritter from the WordPress Design team published her Design Share. Among other topics, she highlights work in progress for

  • Advanced template creation
  • Using featured images in various blocks
  • Pattern fills in overlays

Ritter stated that these team updates will be published on a bi-weekly basis. You could subscribe to the tag feed of #design-share in your feed readers

Check it out and chime in on various design questions.

Detail from larger mockup

Justin Tadlock picked up on a discussion on Twitter about how naming things might be confusing in the FSE WordPress space and clarified a few things in his post Block, FSE, Hybrid, Universal? What Do We Call These New WordPress Themes?

In her post, Gutenberg Contributors Explore More Advanced Template Creation Sarah Gooding followed a discussion started by James Koster on GitHub. She shared Koster’s video, and then quotes from the discussion around template creation for Custom Post Types. It would allow site administrators to eliminate a lot of hard-coded template PHP from their sites and provide a way for users to update their CPT templates themselves.

Carolina Nymark announced on Twitter that her Block Theme Generator provides now optional theme.json settings, and you can choose colors and content widths. She also updated the Advanced Theme version to include an example for global style variation.

Proposal for Standardized Design and CSS handling

Mark Root-Wiley posted a comprehensive outline of how styles could work with the block editor and full-site-editing. Standardized Design Tokens and CSS for a consistent, customizable, and interoperable WordPress future.

The accompanying proposal is discussed on GitHub: Proposal: Standardized block markup, theme.json design tokens, and CSS classes to improve interoperability. Only a couple of days old, the proposal attracted already thoughtful comments from developers. They also highlight issues previously raised on the repository that would benefit from a standardized architecture.

Justin Tadlock posted his thoughts on the WPTavern in The Case for a Shared CSS Toolkit in WordPress.

Custom Blocks and Tools

Sometimes, new and experienced developers get tripped up by Block Deprecation and Validation. Ryan Welcher took a Look at Block Deprecation Strategies in last week’s YouTube/TwitchStream session. He discussed how to deprecate changes in static blocks and showed how you can convert an existing static block to a dynamic one.

Leonardo Losoviz outlines in his post Using The WordPress Editor And CPTs To Configure Plugins how to use wp-admin to provide additional configuration UI for plugins users and creators.

In the developer focused part of WPTavern’s Building with Blocks series, Justin Tadlock walks you through the steps need to build a “Scotch Tape” Image Block Style. Block Styles are a great way to extend core blocks with CSS and give site owners more choices for their blocks.

With the new release of ACF Blocks, the plugin is now compatible with Full Site Editing. Using ACF Blocks is a popular way to create custom blocks without using React. “With 5.12, ACF Blocks work everywhere” wrote Iain Paulson.

Upcoming WordPress Events

Learn.WordPress Social Learning Spaces

WordFest Live starts March 4th, 2022

With 60 Session around the timezones of this planet is had also a session for you! I selected a few to get you curious.

Have a look at the WordFest Live schedule!

Featured Image: Photo by Topher DeRosia on WordPress Photos Directory.

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