Yes, I am so happy to be back in Florida, and I enjoy the warmth of the sun, and the palm trees. ☀️ ⛱️ 🌴. Earlier this week, I was sitting outside chatting with my girlfriendsin Naples, FL, squinting into the setting sun. After sunset all we needed was a normal sweater to keep us comfortable as opposed to the 15 pounds of clothes, I had to put on in Whistler to spend five minutes outside.
Alas, the break is over. It’s down to the wire. We are a little over a week away from the WordPress 5.9 release on January 25th, 2022. If you haven’t caught up with all the new features, the Field Guide is now available on WordPress.org. Last week, I also published a reading list on block themes and full site editing for End-users, site builders and theme developers/designers.
The training team around Learn.WordPress released a ton of additional Social Learning events, that should make it easier for users to learn more about the Site editor, the Theme Blocks and the Styles interface. You’ll find the list of 12 upcoming event at the end of the newsletter. Big Thank you to Destiny Fox Kanno, for researching and compiling the list!
With that I leave you to the rest of the news around the Block editor.
PS: Join us on Monday night at the virtual WordPress Meetup Boulder event about What’s new in WordPress 5.9 and a panel discussion with Brian Garnder, Courtney Robertson and yours truly.
General Information on WordPress’ Block Editor
The founders of WPExperts.io, Saad Iqbal and Ahmed Salah, put on their magic hats and explained in their post “How Gutenberg will revolutionize the WordPress industry in 2022“.
Anne McCarthy joined DocPop and Nick Diego on the Torque Social Hour. They discussed WordPress 5.9 delay of the release, about accessibility, locking Blocks and also how the customizer is to work for with block themes or not.
On the WPTavern, Justin Tadlock gave an overview of What Are Block Themes? What You Need To Know Before WordPress 5.9 for those WordPress users, who only heard recently about Block Themes and Full site editing. It’s a great post to share with your clients, and users, that are just now getting interested in the WordPress 5.9 features.
Tools for Site Builders and Content Creators
Justin Tadlock at WPTavern reviewed Automattic’s Livro Is a Minimal Block Theme for Writers. Is a minmalistic block theme. It also is a bit opinionated on certain features and designs, but nothing that wasn’t possible to fix within the new site editor.
Jamie Marsland was a guest at the latest Do The Woo Podcast and discussed with Anne Maria Radu and Bob Dunn BobWP Woo Product Pages wtih Blocks and Full Site Editing customizations
Also, in Customizer Will Disappear for Some Block Theme Users With WordPress 5.9, Tadlock outlines how the Customizer is not going to go away.
Only when you activate a Block Theme. And only if you don’t have plugins installed that tap into the Customizer for additional feature settings. If you don’t change your theme, all your customization will stay in place and you won’t loose any Custom CSS code.
The first FSE course is live on Lean.WordPress.org: Simple Site Design with Full Site Editing. “This course will review the interconnected features that make up full site editing (FSE) and how they are going to help you create beautiful site designs without needing to use any code.” Check it out!
In her post What to expect in WordPress 5.9 from Gutenberg, Tammie Lister gives you a high-level overview of the features that make up Full Site Editing and will arrive at a WordPress instance near you, provided you activate a Block Theme.
In this video WooCommerce and Full Site Editing Jamie Marsland gives you a first look at what the team at PootlePress has been working on for the past two months. You get a sneak peak of the Single Product template that comes with the WooCommerce Blocks plugin.
Extendify launched a new pattern library plugin by the same name. It’s theme agnostic and includes a “library of reusable website patterns and full page layouts can be assembled to rapidly build beautiful websites.” You can read a longer review on the WPTavern site
Claire Brotherton published post Gutentor: A Popular and Powerful WordPress Page Builder Plugin. She reviewed building full page layouts with this plugin for various purposes and explains their screens. You can try the plugin yourself for free and install it directly from the WordPress plugins repository.
Between the holidays, Anne McCarthy expanded her Connecting the Dot YouTube Series with the video Level up with Query Loop block. This video focuses on how using the Query Loop block can both help you level up your content and streamline your workflows, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. “In this case, I recreated a page from a site I run letslifechat.com/lifechat-starters/ and showed off some of the neat things you can do to customize what I created further. ” McCarthy wrote.
Justin Tadlock reviewed in his post Creating Speech Balloons With the WordPress Block Editor the Liquid Speech Balloon plugin available in the WordPress repository. Its feature help you create conversations or quotes mimicking the text message interfaces. It’s a neat little add-in to the block editor. Tadlock offers a lot of detail and use cases. Check out his review
Theme building for Full Site Editing.
The recording of the first session Creating a block-based theme with Daisy Olsen and Ryan Welcher is now up on YouTube.
- Theme.json – 00:10:58
- Parts/Templates/Patterns – 00:13:00
- Starting the theme + theme.json – 00:23:00
- Creating our first template + custom page template – 00:29:30
- Defining a color palette, available fonts, Default font – 01:02:39
- Finding CSS variables defined by theme.json – 01:15:50
- Setting the site background color + primary text color- 01:18:30
- Styling elements – 01:26:08
- Talking about the Query Block – 0:1:29:43
Bookmark the playlist, session 2 and 3 follow.
Dave Smith gave a technical overview for the new Navigation block, that will be released with WordPress 5.9. Specifically he covered how the block saves its data and how decoupling this from the block’s presentation helps to make the block more powerful. You’ll find full details in the DevNote, also composed by Dave Smith.
Carolina Nymark updated her post on how to add full site editing features to classic themes with the latest information and tools. “The only two features not available to classic themes are the site editor and the global styles interface. You can add template editing to the theme and keep widgets and the customizer.” she wrote.
Extending the Block editor and building Custom Blocks
Fabian Kägy, developer with 10up, core contributor and friend of the Gutenberg Times, published a proposal on GitHub Discussions Proposal for opening the editor interface to more extensibility and asked for our input ideas and insights. Kägy list examples for suitable extensions, like allowing Posts without titles, allowing for semantic settings next to core settings or greater controls for the placement of panels in the sidebar of the editor. I learned quite a bit from Riad Benguella’s comment, especially about the fact that any extensibility feature built now also has to promised backwards compatibility for the future and that might hold the current development and explorations of the editor back.
If you are a plugin developer, it would be great if you could chime in on the GitHub discussion especially if you haven’t found a way to tap into the code base of the block editor as you used to with the Classic Editor.
Jason Bahl walks you through the latest update of his work on supporting Gutenberg Blocks in WPGraphQL and demos in his video the Query on post and block data. The code for the new WPGraphQL Block Editor integration can be found on GitHub. As Bahl mentiones in his video, this integration is in very early stages but he will explore some more to support Gutenberg blocks for Headless WordPress.
A long-standing request for an API that allows for locking blocks and patterns is now coming to WordPress 5.9. Read more from Sarah Gooding in here post WordPress 5.9 to Introduce New API for Locking Blocks with links to DevNote and documentation.
12 WordPress Social Learning Events (and Meetups)
January 17, 2022 3 pm ET / 20:00 UTC
Advanced Layouts with the Block Editor with Wes Theron via WordPress Social Learning Spaces
January 17, 2022 8 pm ET / 1:00 UTC
What’s coming in WordPress 5.9 Panel discussion with Brian Gardner, Courtney Robertson, and Birgit Pauli-Haack via WordPress Meetup Boulder, Co
January 19, 2022 3:00 PM ET / 20:00 UTC
Zero to Block Theme Series #2: theme.json with Daisy Olsen and Sarah Snow via WordPress Social Learning Spaces
January 20, 2022 – 7 pm ET / 00:00 UTC
WordPress “Mega Meetup”: Block Patterns, WordPress 5.9
South Florida WordPress Meetup Group
January 21, 2022 – 7 pm ET / 00:00 UTC
Breaking it Down: Blocks, Patterns, And Templates with Roxy Kohilakis via WordPress Social Learning Spaces
January 23, 2022 – 4 pm ET / 21:00 UTC
WordPress: the Next Generation with Sallie Goetsch via The East Bay WordPress Meetup Group
January 24, 2022, 6 pm ET / 23:00 UTC
What Will WordPress 5.9 Mean for You? with Ray and Peter Ingersoll via WordPress Hartford, CT
January 26, 2022, 6 pm ET / 23:00 UTC
Intro to Templates and Template Parts (Full Site Editing) with Wes Theron via WordPress Social Learning Spaces
January 28, 2022, 3 pm ET / 20:00 UTC
Demo: Build Your Homepage Using Full Site Editing with Roxy Kohilakis via WordPress Social Learning Spaces
February 4, 2022, 3 pm ET / 20:00 UTC
Beginner’s Guide to Full Site Editing with Roxy Kohilakis via WordPress Social Learning Spaces
February 11, 2022 – 3 pm ET / 20:00 UTC
Breaking it Down: Blocks, Patterns, And Templates with Full Site Editing with Roxy Kohilakis via WordPress Social Learning Spaces
February 14, 2022 – 4 pm ET / 21:00 UTC
Exploring Theme Blocks with Wes Thoren via WordPress Social Learning Spaces