State of the Word, Gutenberg 14.7, Box Shadow and more – Weekend Edition 238


Going through the latest Gutenberg release, and seeing what is in store for the next one, I feel, fantastic progress has been made on Phase 2 of the block editor. WordPress will be in great shape to start the next phase: collaborative editing. If you are keen to learn more, I suggest you watch next week’s State of the Word. As always, it will be recorded, and you can watch it at your leisure.

I’d be interested in your take of the keynote as well as the Q & A that will be held afterwards. I hope you write with your thoughts.

Until next week, be well!

Yours, 💕

Layout. Layout. Layout

Reserve your seats! The next Gutenberg Live Q & A will take place on January 11th, 2023 at 5pm ET / 22:00 UTC .

Layouts are a fundamental part of how block themes work: Layout allows us to define the width of our post content, and arrange blocks horizontally or vertically, right or left aligned, inside container blocks. In terms of block styling, Layout is a complex feature because it affects child blocks in ways that go beyond CSS inheritance.

In this show, Isabel Brison, Andrew Serong and Justin Tadlock will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the Layout features for site builders, and they will be available to answer your questions. Isabel Brison will also give us a demo of various layout scenarios. Join us!

This is also a preview on Isabel Brison’s talk at WordCamp Asia in February 2023

Lana Miro collected 16 Best WordPress Podcasts to Listen To (Top Selection). She wrote about the Gutenberg Changelog: “This podcast is not just about WordPress in general but specifically about the Gutenberg block editor. In each episode, host Birgit Pauli-Haack and a guest discuss the latest version of Gutenberg and any related issues. They do all the hard work of curating news of Gutenberg’s development and then present it with infectious enthusiasm.” Thank you, Lana  💞

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Gutenberg 14.7 release

Gutenberg 14.7 was released this week, with 165 merged PRs by 48 Contributors, 9 were first timers! And it’s packed with quite a few features, some of them still experimental. You see big improvements to the navigation block, a media selection from the inserter and more controls for the inner blocks of flex layout blocks. Other core blocks received some small refinements that make the overall experience more consistent.

Daisy Olsen, lead for Gutenberg 14.7 plugin release, wrote in the post. What’s new in Gutenberg 14.7? (7 December), “It introduces a new experimental tabbed sidebar, colors to help identify some block types in list view, and improvements to the Page List block to make it easier to manage page links in your content.”

Olsen highlighted the following features:

Yesterday, Daisy Olsen and I recorded the 77th Episode of the Gutenberg Changelog. It was such a great pleasure to discuss the release and what’s coming next for the block editor. The episode will arrive at your favorite podcast app over the weekend.

🎙️ 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

Anne McCarthy, who runs the FSE Outreach program held this week’s Hallway Hangout: Let’s chat about the Future of Custom CSS with block themes and posted the recording and a summary.

In another update from the FSE Program, Anne McCarthy is seeking volunteers to use for capturing bugs . After using Instant WP for spinning up test site for call for testings, Anne McCarthy will expand the program to pilot using Volunteers will “help determine how it can be used to better WordPress’ bug finding and fixing feedback loop.”

The WordPress Developer Blog is still in beta. The editorial group is working on getting more posts published. If you want to write a blog post that would help WordPress developer be successful building themes or plugins or bespoke site for client, browse through the topic Ideas, that have already been submitted.

Alvaro Gómez posted about Introducing the Block Editor in the Support Forums; only a few core-block will be allowed. “Users will be able to easily insert links, share code or embed screenshots. Using Blocks will also enable new possibilities, such as using patterns for common responses to allow for faster answers. ” he wrote. If I read it right and the current editor in use “predates TinyMCE”, then this might be the first update to the forums editor since the start of the website in 2003.

For now, it’s available via a test site, and you are invited to try it and share your feedback on the meta trac ticket.

Sarah Gooding also reported on this update: The Block Editor Is Coming to WordPress’ Support Forums

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

In her article WooCommerce Blocks 9.1.0 Introduces Products Block in Beta Sarah Gooding reports on the latest release of WooCommerce Blocks. “The plugin serves as a place to iterate and test new blocks, and this release introduces the new Product Query-powered Products block in beta. (…) The new Products block is based on the core Query Loop block. WooCommerce Blocks contributors are aiming to replace all the plugin’s current product-displaying blocks with this one.”

Rich Tabor, theme and plugin developer, was exploring WordPress as a design tool. It’s the story of how he challenged himself to take one pattern, from one theme, and morph it multiple times — only using the design controls of the block editor. “Every font family/size, color, border, radius, image, video, and spacing value were all added in-editor.” And he also challenges you to give this a try:

  • Use only the Twenty Twenty-Three theme
  • Design a section of a page, then
  • morph it a couple of times using only the design tooling within the editor. 

Automattic’s Sensei LMS has released a new free block theme called “Course.” It is designed for creators and is built to work perfectly with all Sensei LMS features, including course lists, sales pages, and learning mode course templates. It is also open-source and available on, making it ideal for course creators, bloggers, coaches, small businesses, and even those using competitor LMS WordPress plugins. The theme is mobile-optimized and allows for customization to match your brand.

Jetpack 11.6 release added new features to its forms and SEO capabilities. It now has block pattern support for forms, making it easier to create them, and new SEO features allowing users to specify that certain posts or pages should not be indexed by search engines, and to set custom SEO titles for individual posts and pages.

#54 – Steve Burge on Where We’re at With Multi-Author Collaboration in WordPress with Nathan Wrigley. On this episode of the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern, the topic is multi-author collaboration in WordPress. Steve Burge discusses the current state of collaboration in WordPress, the challenges that come with it, and what the future holds for the platform. Burge also elaborates on the site editing phase of the Gutenberg project and how it relates to collaboration.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Justin Tadlock just published a new post on the WordPress Developer Blog: Leveraging theme.json and per-block styles for more performant themes. In a tweet he wrote: “This post dives into how to primarily lean into theme.json when styling your theme, taking advantage of the built-in performance enhancements that WordPress offers out of the box, such as only outputting CSS when it’s needed. All theme authors know that theme.json isn’t quite enough for every project. However, you can benefit from those same enhancements by loading per-block stylesheets. This is also great for integrating with third-party blocks without bulking up your CSS.”

 “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

In his article on the CSS Tricks, Adding Box Shadows to WordPress Blocks and Elements, Ganesh Dahal provides you with a tutorial and an example of how to add a `box-shadow` to the hover state of a button in `theme.json`. ICYMI: As of WordPress 6.1, it is possible to add styles to elements and blocks using `theme.json`, including pseudo-classes such as `:hover`. Ben Dwyer wrote the corresponding Dev Note: Styling elements in block themes

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

In his post, Access all block attributes structurally with the Gutenberg block editor, Dennis Snell wrote “about a small experiment to eliminate sourced attributes in Gutenberg posts. If you want to build a custom block editor, and you wish to avoid parsing HTML to get the full set of attributes, then it’s strikingly easy to do so: all it takes is disabling a few properties of each block’s attribute definitions.” Let him tell you more!

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

New videos

Torque Social Hour: Learning to use the Site Editor with Brian Gardner. On this week’s episode, Brian Gardner teaches Doc the fundamentals of editing a block-based WordPress theme with the new Site Editor. Brian designed one of the Style Variations that came in the new Twenty Twenty Three theme.


Upcoming WordPress events

December 12, 2022 – 10 am – 1:30 pm ET / 15:00 – 18:30 UTC
WP CreatorCon – a virtual event curated by Bluehost to bring together all WordPress creators of the world. It’s an event that will culminate the Bluehost Creators Awards.

December 15, 2022 – 1 pm ET / 18:00 UTC
State of the Word 2022 – Matt Mullenweg’s annual keynote.

January 11, 2023 – 5 pm ET / 22:00 UTC
Gutenberg Times Live Q & A: Layout, layout, layout
Panel discussion with Isabel Brison, Andrew Serong, Justing Tadlock and Birgit Pauli-Haack

February 17 – 19, 2023
WordCamp Asia 2023 

Learn WordPress Online Meetups

December 12, 2022 – 3 pm ET / 22:00 UTC
Creating a Call To Action with the Block Editor

December 14, 2022 – 7 pm ET / 24:00 UTC
Exploring Category Templates and the Query Loop Block Session 1

December 15, 2022 – 9 am ET / 14:00 UTC
Let’s code: Developing Blocks without React! – Review

December 21, 2022 – 7 pm ET / 24:00 UTC
Creating a Theme with the Create Block Theme Plugin Session 1

December 21, 2022 – 3 am ET / 8 am UTC
Creating a Theme with the Create Block Theme Plugin Session 2

Featured Image: “Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II” in Milan by Dennis Hipp via WordPress Photos

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