Gutenberg 15.7, WooCommerce Blocks 10.1, and 299 block themes –Weekend Edition #253


It was a short week for me, yet fully packed with updates. After assembling a loaner sleeper sofa bed, my husband and I spent our first night in the new apartment. We called it the MUC-Life Achievement #2. If you are interested, MUC-Life Achievement #1 was getting the Internet into the place and the router to work. Apart from the sofa bed, we took out a loan from friends and family for two chairs, two tables, a small set of plates, silverware, and kitchen tools. Now we are ready to camp out at our apartment until our furniture arrives from the US.

In the meantime, planning for WordPress 6.3 and 6.4 is in full swing. I expect to read more about both release cycles in the coming days. A new Gutenberg plugin version is now available and new block themes were released.

That and more you’ll find below in the round-up of news. Don’t consume it all in one sitting, the next Weekend edition won’t arrive until May 20th, 2023, due to my travel schedule.

Be well and enjoy.

Yours, 💕

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Gutenberg 15.7 is now available via the WordPress plugins repository.

You can read more about the highlights in the release post What’s new in Gutenberg 15.7? (03 May). “For the latest release of the Gutenberg plugin, contributors continued improvements to existing UI and UX for content creators, site owners working on their own site, or theme developers creating new themes. Users will find small changes for streamlined workflows, fixed bugs, and refined responsiveness, just to name a few. ”

For the WPTavern, Sarah Gooding reported on additional features in Gutenberg 15.7 Adds Site Logo Upload to Inspector Controls.

🎙️ 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

Rae Morey of The Repository reported: The WordPress Marketing Team this week launched From Blogs to Blocks, an initiative designed to encourage folks to reflect and act on their personal connection to WordPress in the lead up to its 20th anniversary on May 27.

Sarah Gooding has the details: WordPress Marketing Team Launches “From Blogs to Blocks” Campaign Ahead of 20th Anniversary

Anne McCarthy published the Summary of Build a Block Theme exploration, The high-level conclusions by McCarthy are:

  • Using the Site Editor alongside the Create Block Theme plugin supercharges the experience, mainly by filling in gaps around font management and offering more nuanced creating/exporting options.
  • With these added features, the Site Editor is both left to shine as a theme building tool and the current known pain points impacting regular site building come to the surface, like needing more clarity around where layers of styles are coming from. 
  • This all underscores how addressing key points of current feedback about the base experience of the Site Editor, including on mobile, will cascade to improve broader use cases, like using it as a theme building tool.
  • Basic options for mobile, like undo/redo or top toolbar options, remain painful and made up the majority of bugs found.

Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners

The first theme from the Community Theme Project was released. Stacks can be used for creating slide decks and is available in the WordPress theme directory. The description reads: “Stack your story. This theme is designed specifically to create slide decks that can be used as a presentation. The “Stacks” pattern can be included on any page or post.”

Sarah Gooding gave it a swirl and posted her review on the WPTavern: WordPress Themes Team Releases Stacks: A Community Theme for Building Slide Decks

The Community Themes project began on March 10, 2023, with over 20 members of the theming community joining the kickoff meeting. The goal of the gathering was to gauge interest in creating block-based themes under the official banner, much like the default themes that ship with core.

For the latest edition of the Torque Social Hour, Doc Pop invites Brian Gardner to talk about Frost Theme Comes To The WordPress Repository. On the heals of former WPEngine engineer, Mike McAlister’s OllieWP beta release, Brian Gardner published Frost Theme, and it became the 299th block theme. The separate website demos all the additional features, like patterns, layouts, styles and variations that come with the theme. It’s certainly more than a simple theme and could be a base theme to build expressive sites on top of it.

Screenshot Frost WP

The theme and design team at Automattic also three new block themes:

Storia, helps creators to tell a visual story with 6 style variations, which mostly change the background color, and three patterns.

Hey, is a minimalist, personal blog theme, in two style variations and five equally minimalistic patterns.

Paimio is a minimal blogging theme inspired by architects and designers Alvar, Aino and Elissa Aalto.

In his post, Munir Kamal gives you an Overview of WordPress Group Block. He explains the two powerful variations, Stack and Row blocks, and the various features available in the Block Toolbar as well as the sidebar. Especially the Layout options and Positions are fairly new additions to the Group block and if you haven’t worked with them, this is a great introduction to learning more about it.

Benjamin Intal, the founder of the Stackable plugin, launched the new site: WPBlockTips where he and Alex Yap post WordPress Tips in general and abouot the block editor specifically. They also invite the community to submit their tips as well. The articles are mostly short and sweet answering common user questions like: How to Switch Between Visual and Code Editor or How to Create a Custom Post Template. Check it out.

WooCommerce Blocks released a new version. In the WooCommerce Blocks 10.1.0 Release Notes, Alexandre Lara, JavaScript wrangler at Automattic, highlighted:

  • Theme-level Global styles for Cart and Checkout blocks,
  • the product counter filters revamped,
  • the new patterns,
  • Global Styles support for Product Stock Indicator, and
  • more customizations for Mini Cart

Check it out. The full changelog for the release is also available in the post.

WooCommerce Blocks. New Pattern for Product category views

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Jonathan Bossenger, developer educator and Emily Rapport, designer and agency owner from Chicago, collaborated on the designs for a new block theme, called Sendig.

Bossenger will start on May 9th, 2023 at noon UTC, to build the theme matching the designs on his weekly live stream on Twitch. Starting next week, Bossenger will also share his code on GitHub and should you miss an episode, you can always catch it on the rerun on his YouTube Channel. You can learn more about the Genesis of this collaboration and project via the post: Introducing Sendig – a new WordPress block theme

Tammie Lister, early design lead of Gutenberg, published post called The future of the term theme. “There are many sources for styling beyond just the theme. You can draw from a full site editing setting, a pattern, a custom block style, a copied-in style, or a generated pattern. The theme is the bundler, the package – the wrapper that all this great stuff gets put in to share and activate. That is what ‘the theme as the package’ means, it is the method to carry everything, and it’s almost a de-escalation of the term.” she wrote.

Later in the post, Lister also raises the issue of confusing terms and that there should be more distinct, more granular filters than just the one called “block themes”. It suggests that all block themes are the same, yet, not all themes come with patterns or style variations or many block styles. Maybe now with almost 300 block themes in the repository, adding additional feature filters might need to contemplate.

Sarah Snow published a short video tutorial on Importing widget areas from a classic theme to a block theme. The 6.2 WordPress release brought an exciting new feature that allows you to import widget areas from a classic theme into a block theme with a few clicks of a button. Find out how in this tutorial!

Are you a theme developer on a quest Converting a classic theme to a block theme? Contributors updated the documentation page with the same name. You can read on how to enable block features. Specifically:

The additional resources list assists you with deciding on your the next steps.

Doc Pop discussed what’s new in WordPress 6.2 with Automattic-sponsored contributor Justin Tadlock on the latest episode of the Press This podcast, and touched on what’s coming up in the next collaboration phase of the Gutenberg project. They discuss the improvements to the Site editor, the new Stylebook, Custom CSS for blocks and Global Styles.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2022” 
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. The index 2020 is here

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Brian Coords introduced the WordPress Icons Library, as a searchable guide to the complete icon library from the block editor. He tweeted: “The WordPress Block Editor comes with an SVG icon set that replaces the old Dashicons icon font (sorry, no palm tree). You can use these icons when building custom blocks or extending the functionality in the block editor.” Coords aimed at a simple reference site, including a “click to copy” feature, so developers can quickly grab the icons they need.

Ryan Welcher updated his YouTube Channel with the recording of his latest Twitch Streams.

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

Questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Don’t hesitate to send them via email or send me a message on WordPress Slack or Twitter @bph.

For questions to be answered on the Gutenberg Changelog, send them to

Featured Image: Chicago River South Branch from the Cityscape Bar by Chris Smith – found on

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