Oh wow, catching up on 4 weeks of Gutenberg and WordPress news is an almost impossible task, especially with a major WordPress release happening in between. This edition includes mostly release information and developer notes. Furthermore, I am excited about the new themes that arrived at the Theme directory, plugins and documentation.
I hope you are well, and getting ready for the Holidays and the new year.
Developing Gutenberg and WordPress
WordPress 6.4 is out
The release is the culmination of immense effort and passion from over 600 contributors across at least 56 countries, including 170 first-time contributors! Although the Font Library and two new blocks were punted to 6.5, and despite the short release circle, it absolutely features rich. Release lead, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, shared more details in the release post. WordPress 6.4 “Shirley”.
Sarah Gooding reported on the release: WordPress 6.4 Introduces Twenty Twenty-Four Theme, Adds Lightbox, Block Hooks, and Improvements Across Design Tools.
Gutenberg YouTube, Jamie Marsland explained WordPress 6.4 in 250 seconds.
Developer relevant changes that came to WordPress with its latest release can be found in the WordPress 6.4 Field Guide, compiled by Abha Thakor together with the docs release team. Here are the block editor-specific Dev Notes
- Miscellaneous Editor changes in WordPress 6.4
- Updates to user-interface components in WordPress 6.4
- New `registerInserterMediaCategory` API
- Introducing Block Hooks for dynamic blocks
- WordPress core is now using Playwright for all browser-based tests
- Improvements to Template Loading in WordPress 6.4
- Rename (almost) all blocks from the editor
- Duplicate and rename patterns and more
- The Dimensions design tool control’s layout is much improved (55060).
- The Template Part block now falls back to the current theme is there is no
themeattribute provided (55217).
- A ton of CSS Level 4 viewport-relative units are now supported for more flexible control over various sizing options (54415).
getEntityRecords()calls now return pagination totals in the returned data (55164).
Sarah Gooding also reported on the release: Gutenberg 16.9 Lets You Rename (Almost) Any Block, Adds Experimental Form and Input Blocks.
Hector Prieto managed the release of Gutenberg 17.0. In his release post What’s new in Gutenberg 17.0? (9 November) , he wrote: “This release focuses on maintenance with improvements in performance and accessibility, along with a few new features.” and highlighted:
- Command Palette: improved contextual suggestions when editing patterns
- DropdownMenu: a glimpse into the next-gen WordPress components
- LinkControl visual cues
- Iterating on Accessibility and Performance
Last Friday, I had the tremendous pleasure of chatting with Jessica Lyschik through all the releases, but mainly the Twenty-Twenty-Four default theme. The episode of the Gutenberg Changelog is already available online.
Jessica Lyschik and Margarita (Maggie) Cabrera were the co-leads for the development of the Twenty-Twenty-Four default theme. Beatrix Fialho created the first designs. From the pops list of the import ticket I counted 83 contributors in total. That’s a massive participation from the community.
The first feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Two quotes from X (former Twitter)
Product Manager, Hashim Warren tweeted: “Played with the new WordPress “Twenty Twenty Four” theme for a few hours. Then quickly switched my site to use it. The first time I’m using the default WordPress theme on a project I care about. Really great work there”.
Rae Morey, editor of The Repository newsletter tweeted her comments as well: “Holy crap, WordPress 6.4 and Twenty-Twenty Four are a match made in heaven! Props to everyone who contributed. Saying goodbye to my page builder. ” and then “The updated editing experience is a game-changer. Previously, I found it so confusing to know where to start when I enabled a block theme. Yesterday, I redesigned my whole site in a day with Twenty-Twenty Four. Here site is: therepository.email“.
You can download the theme:
- Download the theme from the WordPress Theme repository
- Explore the Blogger demo
- Browse the Artist/photographer demo
- Review the patterns that come with the default theme
Topher DeRosia reviewed the theme for Winning WP: WordPress Twenty Twenty Four Default Theme Video Review – How Good Is It? and shows you how to customize the theme.
Wes Theron introduced the Twenty-Twenty-Four Theme. The idea behind Twenty Twenty-Four was to make a default theme that could be used on any type of site, with any topic.
Carlo Daniele shared his view in his post: Twenty Twenty-Four: The New Minimal Multipurpose Default WordPress Theme. “More than a theme, Twenty Twenty-Four is a collection of templates and patterns that, combined, enable you to build a wide variety of websites.” he wrote.
Nick Diego and Justin Tadlock invited Jessica Lyschick and Maggie Cabrera to this month’s show of Developer Hours. The recording is now online on WordPress TV. Jessica Lyschik led the presentation, which was followed by a Q&A session. The presentation included a demo/walkthrough of Twenty Twenty-Four, showing what the theme is capable of. They also shared some background information and tips and tricks on the new features and how to make it your own.
Design team shared their work
The new design of the WordPress.org Showcase is a wonderful tool to help agencies and freelancers to point to when discussion the use of WordPress with their clients. It’s beautiful and the broad range of types of websites.
Sarah Gooding has the details in here article: WordPress Relaunches Showcase Powered by Blocks
- The design team also explored a few more ways for search and filtering for Openverse and explored ways of interacting with filters through syntax codes
- You can also find the Initial mockup of the user interface to control the image compression feature within the editor.
- The design of the new DropDown component, you can now also view as work in progress in Gutenberg 17.0 release.
- Work for the wp-admin design, has already started, and you can follow along with the progress of the data grid layout.
Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners
Kevin Batdorf created the Command Palette Tools plugin, with fun commands for the WordPress Command Palette. The plugin installed allows you to evaluate Math expressions or convert color on the fly and create multicolored confetti.
Manesh Timilsina submitted a new block theme Taza to the official WordPress theme directory, where it is still in review. A demo is available on. taza.wpmanesh.com. “Taza comes with a two-column layout including a sticky sidebar and a content area.” Timilsina wrote.
Ellen Bauer announced their new block theme for the WordPress repository, Moog. “Our new fun, creative free WordPress theme for blogging is released just in time for WordPress 6.4.” Ellen walks you. through it on YouTube: Fun Free New WordPress Block Theme for Bloggers
Anders Noren also released a new block theme in the WordPress Repository: Hideo. “It is a clean portfolio and blog theme with bold headings and subdued colors. It comes with 7 different theme styles and over 20 block patterns. Read his Introduction to Hideo blog post and view a demo on Noren’s website
Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks
New resource for block theme features: The new Features chapter for the Theme handbook includes docs for patterns, block stylesheets, block styles, and block variations. The longer-term plan for the pattern’s doc is to split this into multiple sub-docs, but it was decided to get v1.0 out first than to continue waiting until it was perfect (ship early and iterate).
Mike McAlister, designer and developer of the Ollie theme, reached out to Anne McCarthy to share some feedback about his recent block theme building experience, and they decided together to turn it into a hallway hangout to have it benefit the wider community and gather more insights. Anne McCarthy shared the recording and summarized the discussion in here post: Hallway Hangout: Let’s chat about the experience of building a block theme.
Justin Tadlock published a call for Discussion: How to handle custom settings screens in block themes for the theme review team to tackle the similar topic of settings screens in blocks themes. Your opinion is important. Comment on the post.
Sarah Gooding reported on the new chapter of the Theme Handbook: The new block-focused Templates chapter is now in the Theme Handbook. “The new chapter on block templating is just one part of a larger effort to overhaul the Theme Handbook for modern-day WordPress. Contributors are transitioning the focus from classic theming to block theming, with just one chapter in the handbook devoted to classic themes.” She wrote.
Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.
Thomas Roberts published the First edition of WooCommerce Blocks Extensibility Snaps – a monthly update to highlight things the WooCommerce developers have been working on. This edition covers the new WooCommerce Components and the custom fields for the Check-out block.
WordPress VIP has released a handy block governance plugin on GitHub that adds additional governance capabilities to the block editor (GitHub). The Readme file explains usage as well as customization from the default settings.
Ryan Welcher continued his Block Development Cookbook series with three more recipes:
- Block Context – Welcher took a deep dive into the world of how blocks can exchange and share ingredients, much like chefs passing along secret recipes in a kitchen, using the magic of block context.
- Variations – He dove into the kitchen to whip up various culinary WordPress block creations and explored the art of crafting block variations, just like adding diverse flavors to a dish.
- Multi-block plugins – Welcher shows how to uncover the recipe for crafting a WordPress plugin that serves up more than one custom block, just like creating a multi-course feast to delight your website visitors.
In case you missed earlier recipes, browse Welcher’s cookbook play list on YouTube
Justin Tadlock collected another edition of the What’s new for developers? (November 2023) round-up post. “Much of this edition of our monthly roundup will include changes that have already landed in WordPress 6.4. Read along if you’re still playing catch-up. You’ll also learn about some features that are still in development, so be sure to install and activate the latest version of the Gutenberg plugin to test them.” he wrote.
Questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Don’t hesitate to send them via email or send me a message on WordPress Slack or Twitter @bph.