State of the Word, 2024 release schedule, WooCommerce 8.3 and more – Weekend Edition 274


Now the Fall has come to Munich, Germany and as the Floridian weather wimp, I have to go into hibernation like Mama Bear. To counteract the urge to crawl back into bed, I practiced some exposure therapy with at least 6,000 steps outside in full gear (tuck, gloves, cape, and shawl), even in the rain. It helped a little, and I am not afraid of the cold anymore. That’s my win for this week. I will let you know how it goes when snow falls. What are the small wins in your life right now?

I am sad that Sarah Gooding, after a decade writing for the WPTavern, is moving on to a new endeavor. She has been a great supporter of the Gutenberg Times, and an even greater supporter of the WordPress Community as a whole. Over three thousand articles. Day in, day out, she kept her ear on the pulse, separated the wheat from the chuff, and helped thousands of WordPress users understand how WordPress works, how businesses thrive in the open-source market and explained some of the more technical decisions and development to us mere mortals. She’ll be missed for sure, and we wish her a great start into the new adventures.

Gutenberg wise, there is some wonderful work being done. Learn more below and enjoy the newsletter.

Yours, 💕

On December 11, 2023, at 15:00 UTC, Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, will give the State of the Word keynote. This year for the first time ever not from the United States.

If you want to be there in person, join a watch party near you or watch the live stream, Dan Soschin has the details in his post. State of the Word 2023 – Madrid, Spain. For the Q & A session, you can send it your question via email or wait for the Slido APP QR code at the event.

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

In her post Proposal: 2024 Major Release Timing, executive Director and release lead of WordPress 6.4, Josepha Haden Chomphosy proposed the release schedule for 2024. She envisions again three major releases of WordPress:

  • 6.5 – Beta 1 on Feb. 13, final release on Mar. 26 (WordCamp Asia Mar. 7-9)
  • 6.6 – Beta 1 on Jun. 4, final release on Jul. 16 (WordCamp Europe Jun. 13-15)
  • 6.7 – Beta 1 on Sep. 24, final release on Nov. 5 (WordCamp US still TBD)

Giving a Gutenberg release cycle every other week, the last Gutenberg plugin version that will make it into the next WordPress version 6.5 is 17.7. That’s six more versions to get new features ready and tested before they make it into core. Speaking of testing, Andre Maneiro just released Gutenberg 17.1 RC 1 for testing.

Meanwhile, the work for WordPress 6.4 is not done: Femy Praseeth, release lead for documentation, published a Call for volunteers to help with 6.4 end-user documentation. It’s a great chance to apply your knowledge of how to use WordPress and help others to understand it too. You’ll find onboarding information, a list of tasks and links to the handbook in the post.

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

For the default theme, Twenty-Twenty-Four developers had three uses cases in mind and provided patterns and page layouts for bloggers, portfolio artists and small business owners. Jamie Marsland took them by their word and he created five new websites using Twenty-Twenty-four. In his video Is this the best WordPress Theme ever! he shows you how he built five sites, only using the built-in patterns, block variations and style variations. The examples, are one-page, a woo-commerce theme and also a small business website.

If you are looking for a second (or third or fourth) opinion on the Twenty-Twenty-Four theme, Matt Medeiros, feels you should Watch this before you try Twenty Twenty-Four theme for WordPress. Medeiros top four takeaways:

  • Groups allow you to style sections of content and turn them into reusable patterns.
  • The site editor lets you edit styles, templates, and parts for the whole site.
  • Template parts like headers and footers apply across templates.
  • The query loop block customizes how posts/content are displayed.

“While not yet perfect, Twenty Twenty-Four shows the direction WordPress is headed for easy site building without needing page builders or premium themes.” he wrote.

In his video, Mastering WordPress 6.4 in under 5 Minutes: every feature revealed, Dave Smith walks you through the key features of the new WordPress release: new default theme, image Lightbox, background image for group block, List view updates and enhancements to patterns management, vertical text orientation and adding buttons to the Navigation block. It’s a great overview if you want to know what’s new in WordPress 6.4 for content creators.

Using the site of the Museum of Block Art, Anne McCarthy demonstrated in this video the impact of the enhanced pagination that came with WordPress 6.4 to the Query block. Effortless Pagination: How a new WordPress 6.4 feature elevates the user experience.

Last week, we mentioned the new block theme by Ellen Bauer and Manuel Esposito.. Sarah Gooding gave it a review, ElmaStudio Releases Moog: A Free Block Theme for Blogs. “It features a minimal and bold layout with a responsive, masonry style grid on the homepage. Moog is well suited to blogs or even small magazine websites, with options to radically change the style with the click of a button.” she wrote.

A new version of WooCommerce is now available. Nigel Stevenson has the release notes for you. WooCommerce 8.3.0 Released. He highlighted:

  • For new installation, Card, Check-out and Order confirmation blocks are switched on by default.
  • For existing stores, the release provides an effortless migration using the page creation tool
  • Marketplace and Extension pages are revamped, and
  • the mobile app onboarding experience has been improved

Sarah Gooding shared more details in WooCommerce 8.3 Makes Cart, Checkout, and Order Confirmation Blocks Default on New Installations

On Learn.WordPress, Laura Adamonis posted a tutorial on How to create a menu with the navigation block. The description reads: “This tutorial will walk a user through how to create a menu with the navigation block in the site editor of updated 6.4. The tutorial will use the 2024 theme. It will also touch on moving menu items, creating a second menu, adding a button and a sub-menu”.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Brian Coords wrote in his post Custom Settings Screens in Block Themes about his approach and considering all API options available. Customizer and Settings API after suitable for the task, Coords selected the Gutenberg design language and components and their more contemporary look to get started.

Jamie Marsland is running a WordPress Block Theme Live Special on YouTube with Rich Tabor, on the 13th December, 20:00 UTC “If you are looking to get into WordPress Block Themes then this session is for you. Rich Tabor, Core Gutenberg Product Manager, is helping me explain the basics and more advanced features of Block Themes.” he wrote in the description.

 “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.

The latest recipe of Ryan Welcher’s Block Developer Cook Book, is about Connecting to Post Meta and you’ll learn to extract and update data from WordPress custom post meta, “adding a flavorful twist to your post meta management.” he wrote.

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

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Featured Image: “Blocks of ice ready for next years ice hotel” by Rose Robinson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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