New Gallery Block, Convert Blocks, Business News and more Weekend Edition #164


Despite the new spread of the coronavirus in Europe and the problems around vaccinations, I am quite hopeful to be able to travel again in the second half of the year and visit the homeland after two years. Patience is a virtue.

Today, we have a full roster of content for developers, content creators, theme authors, implementers and contributors. Again I am awed by the astonishing creativity in the WordPress space!

Remember, you don’t need to read it all in one sitting. It’ll keep the whole week!

Yours 💕

Full-Site Editing + Themes

WPTavern has a podcast again! The WordPress Juke Box. For the inaugural episode host Nathan Wrigley interviewed. Among other things, Josepha Haden Chomphosy talked about her benchmark for the Go/NoGo decision to merge Full-Site Editing into core for the 5.8 release in July. Find additional thoughts in my post: Full-site Editing MVP: Can I Build a Landing Page?

Anne McCarthy posted the fourth call for testing: Building a restaurant themed header, with instructions to use columns, navigation block and other features for the header template part.

There is a lot of movement on the Gutenberg Repo and the Themes Team keeps a list of relevant issues and discussions for theme developers. Maggie Cabrera published the round-up post Gutenberg + Themes: Week of March 25, 2021. It’s an excellent reading list if you need to dive deeper in the upcoming changes for your theme or your customer. One of the issues caught my eye: the discussion and work around block alignment settings for themes. The current way predates the revamp of the Inner Blocks. There is some work to be done, streamlining the styling for themes. Join the discussion on GitHub.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index” 
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. The index 2020 is here

If you love to take a sneak peek at the new version of the Gallery block, heed the call for testing by Glen Davies: Gallery Block Update – Call for Testing. The refactored version is now using single image blocks inside the Gallery block. You can us all the great features: individual links per image, block styles, choices for size and editing capabilities. If you also use a plugin with your site, like CoBlocks, you can still apply the great filters and animations to your gallery block. In his post, Davies walks you through the few features and asked to test all the many facets of the new Gallery block.

On the WPTavern, Justin Tadlock explains how this new change can make a lot of difference on how gallery layouts will be built. Among other ideas, he pictures that among images, a Pull Quote block could be added. Refactoring Gutenberg’s Gallery Block To Support Nested Images.

I posted my first impression as a comment and created a bug report on GitHub when my images lost all their styling when I added the gallery block to a group. I suggested making it possible to apply block styles to more than one image at a time, and that the gallery block / image block copies the respective Alt texts from the media library. Both suggestions made it into the project board.

Block editor for content creators

Liam Dempsey asked his Twitter followers for recommendation of Block plugins. He collected all the suggestions in this blog post: Community Recommendations for Gutenberg Blocks in WordPress.

Amie Suzan at at Virfice reviewed the Blocksy Theme and gives 18 Unavoidable Reasons to Build Sites With It. The theme received some attention after Chris Lema revamped his site using the block editor it now runs on the Blocksy theme. Justin Tadlock at the WPTavern also found the Blocksy theme to provide a solid block editor experience

🌐 WPRepo | Website

Anders Norén published a new free theme in the WordPress Repository, named Eskell, inspired by the Swedish graphic designer Olle Eksell. In his introduction to the theme, Andres wrote: “(…) the star of the show in Eksell is the archive page, which features a masonry grid of posts and a category filter that updates the grid with posts from the selected category without a hard reload.” In includes full color settings and dark mode for devices that support it. He continues: “The Blank Canvas Template hides everything on the page except the blocks you add to the Block Editor content. That gives users the freedom to create entirely custom pages, with whatever blocks they want. It feels like a little preview of what we’ll be able to do once Full Site Editing is merged into WordPress Core.”

Justin Tadlock published a review Eksell theme creates art with blocks and a follow-up article on the WPTavern.

🌐 WPRepo | Website | Demo

Should you switch to the block editor?

Benjamin Intal from Stackable posted Why You Should Switch to the Gutenberg WordPress Editor. He wrote: “In this article, we enumerate some reasons why the Gutenberg WordPress editor might be your new primary choice for page building. Read on, and we might just convince you to give Gutenberg another shot.”

WordPressVIP post takes us Behind the scenes of News UK’s rampant speed to value. News UK is the powerhouse behind some of the UK’s most famous news, media, and lifestyle brands. Its reach ranges from the highly respected the London Times to the hugely popular Sun. In the more detailed case study, you’ll learn from the editor’s perspective how the usage of the block editor has streamlined content production, increased productivity and fosters a culture of innovation between teams.

On the WPBuild podcast A-Z of WordPress this week, Nathan Wrigley and David Walmsley tackled the letter G – Gutenberg. If the early controversy in 2018 had you shy away from trying it out, but now you heard so much positive about it, this episode will give you an update on how people are using the block-editor now and what’s in store for 2021.

Let Allie Nimmons of WPBuffs tell you Why and How to use the WordPress block editor. It’s an excellent introduction and tutorial with dozens of links to learn more.

For those of us who are worried about migrating a ton of content from classic editor and short codes to block editor, Darshan Sawardekar, lead web engineer at the web agency 10up, has good news. This week, he announced the release of the Convert to Blocks plugin. Convert to Blocks converts your content to blocks on the fly and those changes will be saved when you update the post. It’s not a Bulk Converter, it only converts content once it is opened in the block editor.

🌐 WPRepo | GitHub

A couple of months ago, the WPTavern published the article How To Bulk Convert Classic WordPress Posts To Blocks?. Justin Tadlock listed two more plugins for the purpose: Bulk Convert to Blocks (still in development) and Bulk Block Converter, last updated a year ago. We used it at a recent project and it worked very well.

Business News around Gutenberg


WPTavern has the scoop: Extendify recently aquired plugin EditorPlus and joined forces with Munir Kamal and his team around Gutenberg Hub. Back in November 2020, they also acquired Redux Framework, and hired its creator, Dōvy Paukstys, part-time.

Plugins now owned by Extendify:

People behind Extendify

Chris Lukbert and Artur Grabowski, co-founders of Extendify, are former Automattic employees. So is Tammie Lister, Extendify’s Head of Design. Lister has been a major WordPress contributor on the Gutenberg block-editor as co-lead since the beginning in 2017. She participated in one of our first Live Q & As in November 2018 with her Gutenberg co-leads Joen Asmussen and Matias Ventura. You can also read more about Lister on HeroPress: Discovering Your Place.


GoDaddy is sponsoring George Mamadashvili to contribute on the WordPress Gutenberg project full-time. Mamadashvili was one of the developers behind the cool blocks published under the brand of SortaBrilliant in 2018 and 2019. Recently, he released Toggles, an accordion block for FAQs, and other use cases. You can also use it to hide spoilers in Movie or Book reviews.

Developing for the block editor

Matt Watson published his 5th tutorial Create a Customizer Panel using Gutenberg Components for developers. You should read his previous posts before tackling this one.

On WordPressTV you’ll find Chris van Patten‘s The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to the Gutenberg Data API. The Data API is how you get data in and out of Gutenberg, track changes across blocks, and execute events around the editor.

The WordCamp India presentation by Grzegorz “Greg” Ziółkowski Block Development with scaffolding helps you get started building a single block plugin with the create-block-script.

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s master 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 Events

April 6, 2021 9 am EDT / 14:00 UTC
WPCafe: Building the Twenty Twenty-One with Caroline Nymark and Mel Dwan-Choyce, live on YouTube

April 6, 2021 9 am EDT / 14:00 UTC
WPCafe: Building the Twenty Twenty-One with Caroline Nymark and Mel Dwan-Choyce, live on YouTube

April 15, 2021 6:30 pm EDT / 23:30 UTC
South Florida Mega Meetup “New Site Builder Edition”

April 15 – 17, 2021
WordCamp Centroamérica 2021

April 27 and 28th
Expand 2021 – a virtual event hosted by GoDaddy that brings the web design and developer community together to share ideas and experiences, make connections and support each other.

May 24 – 27. 2021
WordSesh 2021
Speaker submissions are due on Monday! (March 29th)!

On the Calendar for WordPress Online Events you’ll find a list of the upcoming WordPress Meetups, around the world, including WooCommerce, Elementor, Divi Builder and Beaver Builder meetups.

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