Introducing a new design for the WordPress apps

Posted by download in Software on 19-04-2021

The WordPress mobile apps are the best way to manage your site from anywhere. If you’re already using the app, you might have noticed a new visual design that’s been rolling out. That rollout is complete in WordPress 17.1, which is available today for both Android and iOS. If you’re not already using it this is the perfect time to give it a try!

Our new visual design as seen on iPhone and iPad.

We add new features and improve the WordPress apps in every release, but our visual design hasn’t changed much in the last few years. Over the last few months we’ve thought about how to modernize the design of the apps. As we’ve implemented features like Dark Mode, we’re taking advantage of new components made available in the latest versions of iOS and Android.  

Bigger, bolder headers call out key product areas and create a distinction between the top level tabs and deeper levels of the apps. A new color palette pairs a more neutral background that lets your content shine with brighter blues that make interactive elements even more noticeable. A new serif typeface is a nod to WordPress’s roots in writing and publishing.

Dark Mode is available on both iOS and Android devices.

We hope you enjoy these updates as you use the apps and we’d love to hear your feedback. Reach out to us from within the app by going to My Site, tapping your photo on the top right, tapping Help & Support, and then selecting Contact Support.

What’s New in the Block Editor: New Page Layout Picker, Better Block Transformation Options, and More

Posted by download in Software on 15-04-2021

Here’s a peek at the latest changes in the block editor — subtle-yet-practical enhancements that help you create beautiful posts and pages more efficiently:

  • New page layout picker experience.
  • Convert text and images into Columns block.
  • Improved spacing options for social links and buttons.
  • Streamlined behavior of the writing prompt.

Let’s dive in!

New Page Layout Picker


Page layouts are pre-designed templates that make creating beautiful pages a breeze. In this update we focused on improving the layout picker, making it easier to quickly browse different categories and select your layout.

Convert text and images into Columns Block

Transforming one block into another is a nifty trick that can greatly improve the editing experience. With the latest update, text (and images too!) can be automatically converted to a Columns block with the click of a button.

Select two or more blocks (these could be Paragraph, Heading, Image, etc.), click on the grouped block icon, and select “Columns” from the list of transformation options. The number of blocks selected will correspond to the number of columns.

Improved spacing options for Social Links and Buttons

Get creative with new ways to arrange your social links and buttons. This update brings you greater control over spacing and unlocks some neat layout ideas.

The correct alignment will be visible once you finish editing the Social Icons block.

Streamlined behavior of the writing prompt

You’re probably familiar with the writing prompt that greets you every time you start a new post or  page. Until now you’d also see it on every new line in your document. We’re happy to report that’s no longer the case! To streamline the writing process the prompt will now only appear once. There will be no subsequent prompts with every new line — just space for you to write your thoughts without distractions.

You keep building, we’ll keep improving

We can’t wait to see what you build with the improved block editor. In the meantime, we’ll keep new updates coming your way.

Happy editing!

WordPress 5.7.1 Security and Maintenance Release

Posted by download in Software on 15-04-2021

WordPress 5.7.1 is now available!

This security and maintenance release features 26 bug fixes in addition to two security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 4.7 have also been updated.

WordPress 5.7.1 is a short-cycle security and maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.8.

You can download WordPress 5.7.1 by downloading from WordPress.org, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.

If you have sites that support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

Security Updates

Two security issues affect WordPress versions between 4.7 and 5.7. If you haven’t yet updated to 5.7, all WordPress versions since 4.7 have also been updated to fix the following security issues:

  • Thank you SonarSource for reporting an XXE vulnerability within the media library affecting PHP 8.
  • Thanks Mikael Korpela for reporting a data exposure vulnerability within the REST API.

Thank you to all of the reporters for privately disclosing the vulnerabilities. This gave the security team time to fix the vulnerabilities before WordPress sites could be attacked.

Props to Adam Zielinski, Pascal Birchler, Peter Wilson, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Alex Concha, Ehtisham Siddiqui, Timothy Jacobs and the WordPress security team for their work on these issues.

For more information, browse the full list of changes on Trac, or check out the version 5.7.1 HelpHub documentation page.

Thanks and props!

The 5.7.1 release was led by @peterwilsoncc and @audrasjb.

In addition to the security researchers and release squad members mentioned above, thank you to everyone who helped make WordPress 5.7.1 happen:

99w, Adam Silverstein, Andrew Ozz, annalamprou, anotherdave, Ari Stathopoulos, Ayesh Karunaratne, bobbingwide, Brecht, Daniel Richards, David Baumwald, dkoo, Dominik Schilling, dragongate, eatsleepcode, Ella van Durpe, Erik, Fabian Pimminger, Felix Arntz, Florian TIAR, gab81, Gal Baras, Geoffrey, George Mamadashvili, Glen Davies, Greg Ziółkowski, grzim, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), Jake Spurlock, Jayman Pandya, Jb Audras, Joen A., Johan Jonk Stenström, Johannes Kinast, John Blackbourn, John James Jacoby, Jonathan Desrosiers, Josee Wouters, Joy, k3nsai, Kelly Choyce-Dwan, Kerry Liu, Marius L. J., Mel Choyce-Dwan, Mikhail Kobzarev, mmuyskens, Mukesh Panchal, nicegamer7, Otshelnik-Fm, Paal Joachim Romdahl, palmiak, Pascal Birchler, Peter Wilson, pwallner, Rachel Baker, Riad Benguella, Rinat Khaziev, Robert Anderson, Roger Theriault, Sergey Biryukov, Sergey Yakimov, SirStuey, stefanjoebstl, Stephen Bernhardt, Sumit Singh, Sybre Waaijer, Synchro, Terri Ann, tigertech, Timothy Jacobs, tmatsuur, TobiasBg, Tonya Mork, Toru Miki, Ulrich, and Vlad T.

Introducing Milestone Notifications

Posted by download in Software on 14-04-2021

Your website is a product of your hard work and passion. Therefore, when your site hits a milestone — it shouldn’t go unrecognized. To make it easier for you to keep track of your site’s achievements, we’ll be rolling out a new celebratory notification that will alert you when your site reaches or surpasses a certain number of views

We hope these celebrations are meaningful and motivational for you and that they inspire you to take time to pause, reflect, and celebrate. 

If you have the WordPress app on your mobile, we also have a little surprise for you each time you unlock a milestone! Be sure to update your WordPress app to the latest version. If you don’t have the app yet, download it for free on both Android and iOS.

We’d love to hear your feedback! Reach out to us from within the app by going to My Site, tapping your photo on the top right, tapping Help & Support,  and then selecting Contact Support.

People of WordPress: Tyler Lau

Posted by download in Software on 13-04-2021

WordPress is open source software, maintained by a global network of contributors. There are many examples of how WordPress has changed people’s lives for the better. In this monthly series, we share some of the amazing stories that are lesser-known.

Embrace Who You Are and Your Journey

In this People of WordPress contributor story, we chat to Tyler Lau from the US on his relationship building work in marketing and his WordPress journey.

Read on to discover his story which shows it is often what you have learned from negative experiences in your life that can make you a major asset to a product team.

Tyler Lau stood in front of a colorful mural

An Entrepreneurial Mindset

Tyler recalls he always had a knack for spotting a enterprise ideas. As an industrious seven-year-old, he was already finding ways to make sales during the school breaks. 

While many entrepreneurs have similar stories, Tyler’s path took many turns before he discovered and thrived in the WordPress community.

He was drawn to both the software and the community that surrounds it from his search for personal and professional freedom. He ultimately was able to combine his various business interests and people skills into professional marketing work.

Using your skills to uncover your journey

Tyler Lau pictured sat on a chair using his mobile phone in his social media work

Tyler’s current role is as a Marketing Relationship Builder, based in Kansas, USA. His responsibilities span across all digital properties and products, leveraging his broad set of business and people skills.

These skills are amplified by his creativity and adaptability. Tyler says that one reason he is always looking for new projects is his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a diagnosis he received in 2005.

In an industry built by programmers and developers who often have a strong sense of focus, Tyler felt that someone with ADHD wouldn’t be seen as a natural fit. He found the WordPress community to be a place where everyone can find the right spot for their unique skills. Tyler’s skill is people, and this has translated into many opportunities and responsibilities in his work life. His skills have also helped him give back to the WordPress community as a speaker and volunteer, and through multiple contributor days.

Relationship-building as a career

Most of Tyler’s experience was in the restaurant industry, and his resume did not exactly point to a career in tech. But the service industry actually prepared him well for everything he has taken on since.

When he is at work events, he meets people from across the world and builds connections with them. As an extrovert, he enjoys this and couldn’t imagine a job where he was isolated from getting to know others and relationship-building.

Understanding people and being able to operate in any setting are key competencies. Social skills and tact are useful for community building in the WordPress space too, and in Tyler’s life at different times it has been necessary for survival.

The true meaning of freedom

In the WordPress community, the concept of freedom comes up often. WordPress is built on GPL, free software, and open-source values. Practically speaking, anyone can work remotely or be their own boss to gain more freedom in work and life. Tyler feels that he never fitted into a traditional work mould. With his strong focus on freedom, he found this resonated with the freedom and opportunities he believes WordPress provides him and thousands of others.

Tyler describes how in 2013 his ‘inner opportunist’ got him into trouble. After dropping out of college following a brain aneurysm, he needed capital to fund his first startup. He shares that he found a quick but unlawful way to make money. Alongside this between shifts as a waiter, he worked on prototypes for his first product. The company was growing fast, and to protect his patents and take research and development to the next level, he had to work hard. Everything came to a halt when some of the actions he took resulted in being sent to prison.

He says that meeting other inmates reminded him that he was in a much better situation than most. He was educated, well-off, loved, and knew he had a future once he was released. He found that many inmates never graduated from high school and were computer illiterate. While inside, Tyler taught subjects like science, math, writing, reading, and social studies. He found that due to the lack of skills and support, many inmates would struggle upon release. He believes getting the mental health support and job training needed to thrive after prison is not easy for many.

There’s more to freedom than just being on the outside. You also need a sense of agency and enfranchisement,” says Tyler. He considered his sense of purpose and support network were plenty to keep him going and was ready to take on his next (legal) business challenge as soon as he could.

Going forward positively 

Tyler Lau portrait picture

The idea that your past doesn’t define you and you can choose to embrace it, is a key driver for Tyler.

He describes himself as an outlier in many ways. He recalls how politics influenced his life from the day he was born. Tyler’s father is a semi-dissident Chinese visual anthropologist, his mother is an art professor who left her home country of Japan to break free from traditional Japanese gender roles. Tyler feels he inherited a lot of this fearlessness.

I’ve never fitted in, and yet this is what makes me able to adapt to most situations and relate to just about anyone. I embrace my eclectic, dissonant past and see beauty in the person those experiences shaped me to be,” says Tyler. 

Now, he’s able to put those skills to good use in the WordPress community and beyond. 

He says: “Regardless of your physical abilities, mental health struggles, upbringing, and even your run-ins with the law, no one is excluded from carving their place in the WordPress industry”.

Contributors

Thank you to Tyler Lau (@tylermaximus) for sharing his #ContributorStory.

Thanks to Larissa Murillo (@lmurillom), Surendra Thakor (@sthakor), Olga Gleckler (@oglekler), Meher Bala (@meher), Yvette Sonneveld (@yvettesonneveld), Abha Thakor (@webcommsat), Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune), Chloé Bringmann (@cbringmann) and Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) for working on the People of WordPress series.

HeroPress logo

This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Meet more WordPress community members in our People of WordPress series.

#ContributorStory #HeroPress

WP Briefing: Who Is WordPress?

Posted by download in Software on 12-04-2021

In this episode, Josepha explores the five groups within the WordPress ecosystem and provides a high-level example of how they interact and support one another. As always, stay tuned for the small list of big things and a contributor highlight.  

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

References

Transcript

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of some of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project and the community around it, as well as get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go!

In the first episode of this podcast, I said that there’s a lot that goes into WordPress, that’s really hard to see. One of the hardest things to see about the WordPress project as you get started is the overall structure. There is quite a bit of documentation that can clarify the basics: the names of teams, what they work on, and where, and when they meet. The way that they influence and support each other can really feel like a bit of a mystery. So today, I’m going to break down the WordPress community into five big groups; I want you to keep a couple of things in mind. 

Firstly, these are high-level and based on my observations. Each of these groups can be further broken down into subgroups. So while you may not feel represented in this exact five, you are included if you were to dig a little bit deeper. The second thing to keep in mind is that the makeup of these groups is pretty fluid. Many community members find themselves in more than one group, but generally not far off. Some group two folks end up in group three, depending on the situation, people in group four can also end up in group five, and so on. As with so many things that I share, I’m not trying to insist that one size fits all. I’m not trying to put the WordPress community into a box. This is just a basic framework to understand how it all fits together. Alright, are you ready? I’m ready. Let’s do it!

Okay, I have a broad definition of the community, which I have mentioned before. I believe that the community is anyone who has interacted with WordPress, whether they know it or not. So, I’ll start from way out there and work my way in that first group; we’re going to call our Visitors

Visitors are people who arrive at a WordPress site to gain information or engage in an activity. Sometimes they know it’s a WordPress site, but most of the time, they don’t. The second group are Users, people who use WordPress as their CMS. So, that’s website builders, website designers, small businesses, content creators, and the list goes on and on. The third group I like to refer to is the Extenders. Those are people who extend WordPress through the creation of blocks, themes, plugins, and more. There are also people who teach WordPress to others through WordPress podcasts, and newsletters and tutorials. The fourth group I refer to as our Contributors is the people who contribute to the open source software and the infrastructure supporting it, but not necessarily the same people who contribute directly to their own product. And then there’s group five, Leaders. Those are people who help drive the vision and strategy for WordPress; the most notable member of that group is of course, Matt Mullenweg. And I’m also in that group. 

Each of these groups directly influenced the groups on either side. For example, a WordPress user is affected by both visitors and extenders. Imagine a content creator who shares their passion for photography through a WordPress site; this photographer may have visitors that need to purchase photos. In response, the user now has a need to make it possible for visitors to purchase photos on a site. So they go to what we consider the extenders, people who have built a plugin that supports that need. And as a result, that user can install that on their site. And they have have satisfied the need of the visitors to their site, the people who now can purchase photos. 

There are a lot of examples like this in the WordPress project. Every small pattern that you see is mirrored in the larger patterns across our ecosystem. And every large pattern you see in the ecosystem can be seen among our teams. It’s pretty cool to look at really. So, why should this matter to you? From a very practical standpoint, this matters for anyone who’s trying to learn more about contributing to the WordPress project. These five groups mirror very closely the five steps of volunteer engagement that we see across the ecosystem and from a more philosophical standpoint, it’s just kind of nice to know who your neighbors are. Without the influence and support of the groups around us, it can be hard to know whether we’re on the right track or not. So take a look to your left and look to your right, and get to know your partners in this project.

That brings us now to our community highlight, the segment where I share a note about contributors who have helped others along the way, or WordPress success story. This week’s highlight is from @CoachBirgit, Birgit Olzem, a longtime contributor and a friend of mine. Her success story goes like this. 

WordPress has allowed me as a mother of five to leave a toxic marriage for good. 

Later, the community picked me up when I became seriously ill. 

So I can say from the bottom of my heart, that working with WordPress has saved my life.

And now our small list of big things. I’ve got three things for you this week. I think that they’re all very important. And I hope you check them all out. The first one is a reminder that word camp Central America is coming up on April 15 and 16th. If you have not registered for tickets, you still have time, I will share a link to the registration page and the schedule in the show notes below. 

The second thing on our small list of big things is that the Gutenberg 10.4 release is coming out later this week on April 14th. It’s an important release because it’s when we take a look at the current iteration of full site editing tools that we have, and decide if it’s ready to get into the WordPress 5.8 release. There’s a post that has a little more information about that which I will share in the show notes below as well. If you haven’t checked out the Gutenberg plugin lately, obviously I think it’s a good idea to do that in general, but definitely a good idea to check it out now. 

The third thing on our list today is a reminder to check out our most recent block pattern tutorial, I’ll share a link to that in the show notes. It’s this kind of tips and tricks, tutorial, the “show me how to do it,” kind of thing in the style of CSS-Tricks. If you or anyone that you know might be interested in sharing a similar style of tutorial, there’s a link to a form in that show notes as well so that you can share with us your name and the topic that you’re interested in. We’ll take a look and see if it’s something that we definitely need to make sure our users know how to do. So, that my friends is your small list of big things. 

Thank you for joining in today for the WordPress briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!

The Month in WordPress: March 2021

Posted by download in Software on 03-04-2021

This way of iterating improves WordPress and ties back to one of my favorite open-source principles. The idea that with many eyes, all bugs are shallow. To me, that means that with enough people looking at a problem, someone is bound to be able to see the solution.

These words from Josepha Haden Chomphosy on the How WordPress Improves episode of the WP Briefing Podcast point to the factors that differentiate building software in an open-source environment. Our updates this month are closely tied to the philosophy behind those core principles of open source software. 


WordPress 5.7 released

WordPress version 5.7 “Esperanza,” came out on March 9. The release offers fresher admin colors, several improvements to the block editor, single-click HTTP to HTTPS migration, and a new Robots API. Read more about it in the release post, the field guide, and the talking points post for meetup groups. The Core Team has also started work on WordPress 5.8 pre-planning.

Want to contribute to WordPress 5.8? Join the WordPress #core channel in the Make WordPress Slack and follow the Core Team blog. The Core Team hosts weekly chats on Wednesdays at 5 AM and 8 PM UTC. 

Gutenberg Version 10.1 and 10.2 are out

Contributor teams released Gutenberg Version 10.1 on March 3 and Version 10.2 on March 17.

Version 10.1 showcases significant improvements to reusable blocks, a clearer image toolbar, and spatial options for the social media block. Version 10.2 offers block pattern options to display contents from the query block and removes writing prompts from empty paragraphs in the editor. It also adds width adjustment for spacer blocks in horizontal parent blocks and the ability to transform media and text blocks into columns.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. The “What’s next in Gutenberg” post offers more details on the latest updates. Don’t miss the monthly Gutenberg tutorial on How to make block patterns!

Full Site Editing updates

March saw a plethora of updates to the Full Site Editing project!

Proposal launched for a WordPress contributor handbook

A proposal has been kicked off on building a project-wide WordPress contributor handbook. The handbook will have content around the WordPress project’s underlying philosophies and commitments, along with shared expectations on working together and building products. It will also contain modern open source best practices for WordPress. 


Further Reading

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it using this form.

So you want to make block patterns?

Posted by download in Software on 30-03-2021

If you’ve ever built something for the WordPress block editor — a theme or a plugin — you may have also heard about block patterns.

Looking at the patterns that come bundled with WordPress, I thought it would be nice to dedicate to them a short post. They’re pretty nice, useful shortcuts when you know them, but there’s a good chance you may not know what they are or why you might want to use them.

What’s a block pattern?

Patterns are collections of pre-arranged blocks that can be combined and arranged in many ways making it easier to create beautiful content. They act as a head-start, leaving you to plug and play with your content as you see fit and be as simple as single blocks or as complex as a full-page layout.

They live in a tab in the block library. You can click or drag and you’re able to preview them with your site’s styles.

Basically, a block pattern is just a bunch of blocks put together in advance:

	<!-- wp:group -->
<div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"><!-- wp:separator {"className":"is-style-default"} -->
<hr class="wp-block-separator is-style-default"/>
<!-- /wp:separator -->
<!-- wp:image {"align":"center","id":553,"width":150,"height":150,"sizeSlug":"large","linkDestination":"none","className":"is-style-rounded"} -->
<div class="wp-block-image is-style-rounded"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img src="https://blockpatterndesigns.mystagingwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/StockSnap_HQR8BJFZID-1.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-553" width="150" height="150"/></figure></div>
<!-- /wp:image -->
<!-- wp:quote {"align":"center","className":"is-style-large"} -->
<blockquote class="wp-block-quote has-text-align-center is-style-large"><p>"Contributing makes me feel like I'm being useful to the planet."</p><cite>— Anna Wong, <em>Volunteer</em></cite></blockquote>
<!-- /wp:quote -->
<!-- wp:separator {"className":"is-style-default"} -->
<hr class="wp-block-separator is-style-default"/>
<!-- /wp:separator --></div></div>
<!-- /wp:group -->

That’s also how you create them: just use the block editor to configure a smattering of blocks to your liking, and the hard part’s over.

How do I get them in the block library?

There’s more documentation in the handbook, but what it boils down to is this:

<?php 
/*
Plugin Name: Quote Pattern Example Plugin
*/

register_block_pattern(
	'my-plugin/my-quote-pattern',
	array(
		'title'       => __( 'Quote with Avatar', 'my-plugin' ),
		'categories'  => array( 'text' ),
		'description' => _x( 'A big quote with an avatar".', 'Block pattern description', 'my-plugin' ),
		'content'     => '<!-- wp:group --><div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"><!-- wp:separator {"className":"is-style-default"} --><hr class="wp-block-separator is-style-default"/><!-- /wp:separator --><!-- wp:image {"align":"center","id":553,"width":150,"height":150,"sizeSlug":"large","linkDestination":"none","className":"is-style-rounded"} --><div class="wp-block-image is-style-rounded"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img src="https://blockpatterndesigns.mystagingwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/StockSnap_HQR8BJFZID-1.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-553" width="150" height="150"/></figure></div><!-- /wp:image --><!-- wp:quote {"align":"center","className":"is-style-large"} --><blockquote class="wp-block-quote has-text-align-center is-style-large"><p>"Contributing makes me feel like I\'m being useful to the planet."</p><cite>— Anna Wong, <em>Volunteer</em></cite></blockquote><!-- /wp:quote --><!-- wp:separator {"className":"is-style-default"} --><hr class="wp-block-separator is-style-default"/><!-- /wp:separator --></div></div><!-- /wp:group -->',
	)
);

?>

👆 That’s a snippet of PHP, which means you can drop it in a WordPress plugin, or perhaps more simply, paste it into the functions.php file from your theme. Done:

For patterns that include images, it’s worth thinking about where those are stored. The TT1 Blocks theme (which is a fancy name for “TwentyTwentyOne Blocks”) stores images in the theme library.

Now what?

The thing about a block pattern is, as soon as you insert it from the block library, it stops being a cohesive unit — now it’s just a smattering of blocks, detached from the pattern you created and meant to be customized to your liking. It’s a shortcut, not a template. That also means you don’t have to worry about switching themes or deactivating pattern plugins: the blocks you already inserted won’t go anywhere.

That being said, if you like this one pattern so much you want to use it again and again, with no customization at all, you can make it into a reusable block:

Reusable blocks are created, as the name implies, to be reused. The feature is a great way to store small bits of commonly used snippets that you can edit in one place to update in all. “Follow me on Twitter,” “Article series, or “Subscribe to my podcast” are great examples of that.

What makes a good block pattern?

Patterns, as they ship today, are limited by the features available. If the block editor doesn’t allow you to customize letter-spacing, your block pattern can’t either. While the Global Styles project will expand what’s to blocks, in the meantime, we have to work with the available tools.

Even then, with the most basic ingredients — color, photography, typography — it is possible to do a lot:

Three columns with images and text
Media and text with image on the right

I designed these patterns to potentially land in WordPress core, which all have a few properties in common:

They share a theme.

You can think of a pattern as a section of a website: it is meant to be part of a whole, and so it works best when it can exist in the context of other patterns that share the same theme. There are a few sharing a Nature theme in the patterns above, a few sharing an Art theme, and others sharing an Architecture theme. When seen together, it becomes easier to see how you might be able to piece together multiple pages of your site, one page at a time.

They share a minimalist color palette.

By being parts of a whole, patterns will inevitably land in a context that uses different colors. With a reduced color palette, there’s both a better chance of fitting in and less to customize to make it just right.

The best patterns do things you might have not done otherwise.

Whether that’s images offset to create a unique silhouette, or just using less visible features (like fixed positioning in the Cover block), it’s a way to surface creativity.

Tip: You can use any block in your patterns, including blocks that came from a plugin. And if that block is in the block directory, it will prompt you to install it with one click if it’s missing from your self-hosted WordPress:

Here’s a plugin for you

<?php 
/*
Plugin Name: Quote Pattern Example Plugin
*/

register_block_pattern(
	'my-plugin/my-quote-pattern',
	array(
		'title'       => __( 'Quote with Avatar', 'my-plugin' ),
		'categories'  => array( 'text' ),
		'description' => _x( 'A big quote with an avatar".', 'Block pattern description', 'my-plugin' ),
		'content'     => '<!-- wp:group --><div class="wp-block-group"><div class="wp-block-group__inner-container"><!-- wp:separator {"className":"is-style-default"} --><hr class="wp-block-separator is-style-default"/><!-- /wp:separator --><!-- wp:image {"align":"center","id":553,"width":150,"height":150,"sizeSlug":"large","linkDestination":"none","className":"is-style-rounded"} --><div class="wp-block-image is-style-rounded"><figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img src="https://blockpatterndesigns.mystagingwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/StockSnap_HQR8BJFZID-1.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-553" width="150" height="150"/></figure></div><!-- /wp:image --><!-- wp:quote {"align":"center","className":"is-style-large"} --><blockquote class="wp-block-quote has-text-align-center is-style-large"><p>"Contributing makes me feel like I\'m being useful to the planet."</p><cite>— Anna Wong, <em>Volunteer</em></cite></blockquote><!-- /wp:quote --><!-- wp:separator {"className":"is-style-default"} --><hr class="wp-block-separator is-style-default"/><!-- /wp:separator --></div></div><!-- /wp:group -->',
	)
);

?>

In case you want to make patterns, this example plugin features two of the patterns you saw above. Drop it in your plugins folder and they should show up in your block library.

Installed pattern under “Text” Category

Feel free to tweak it, customize it, and make it yours. It’s GPL, after all!


Thank you @joen for the help writing this post.

WordPress.com Design Update for a More Intuitive Experience

Posted by download in Software on 30-03-2021

We’re excited to tell you more about WordPress.com’s new navigation experience. The update makes managing your entire site more intuitive and creates consistency across all parts of WordPress.com. This update also allows you all to take advantage of the wider WordPress open source community, creating the same admin menu as WordPress.org that you see referenced in lots of documentation and tutorials.

As we continue to grow, we’ve heard that navigating WordPress.com could be confusing because of different sidebars layouts, menus, etc. We listened to your feedback and ran usability tests on new designs to improve the experience.  

Updated Sidebar Menu Design in WordPress.com

This design update combines sidebars and menus that were mismatched and streamlines them into one dashboard that’s consistent for everyone.

For many of you, there will be little to no change in how you use WordPress.com. For those of you who access advanced features, you can easily enable wp-admin as your default view in your Account Settings. We’re surfacing most menu items from third-party plugins and themes by default. You can learn more about interface and account settings here.

While you’re in Account Settings, give your WordPress.com interface a new color scheme. You can now choose a color for your dashboard.

Thanks for the continued feedback to make WordPress.com more intuitive to use for all. And we’re not done yet – we’ll continue to listen and evolve as WordPress.com grows. Happy WordPressing!

WP Briefing: Talking Full Site Editing with Matías Ventura

Posted by download in Software on 29-03-2021

In this episode, Josepha is joined by Matías Ventura, also known as “the spark behind the vision of Gutenberg.” Josepha and Matías discuss full site editing and answer your questions, from “is full site editing a standalone plugin?” to “will full site editing break my current site?”

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

References

Transcript

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of some of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project and the community around it, as well as get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go!

Josepha [0:41]: This month, we have a bonus briefing, so I’ve asked my dear friend and colleague Matías Ventura to join me. Matías was recently called “the spark behind the vision of Gutenberg.” With full site editing coming our way in 202, I asked if he would join me for a quick Q&A. Welcome, Matías. 

Matías [0:56]: Hello, hello! Thanks for inviting me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Josepha [1:00]: Well, I’m delighted to have you. And I think that we have a lot of excellent questions. All right, so Matías, we actually ended up with questions in about three different groupings. And so I’m going to start with the “what is it about full site editing,” sorts of questions that people had. We’re gonna work our way into “what are we doing with it?” and then “how are we planning on getting this out the door?” Then, a couple of big picture questions that people asked. We’re just gonna leap right in this full site editing part of the Gutenberg plugin, or is it a standalone plugin?

Matías [1:39]: Okay, we’ll start with the basics. Full site editing is part of the Gutenberg plugin right now. I think it’s important to mention that full site editing is like an umbrella for several projects that we’re working on. They are all aiming to bring blocks into more parts of your site so that editing becomes easier and more expressive, and so on. So full site editing right now encompasses adding a ton of new blocks. I think we have around 20 new blocks coming in, including navigation query, site, title, logo, etc. There’s also the interface to interact with templates outside of the content; that’s another big part of the full site editing project. We also have a lot of new design tools included, many of these have been released in previous major releases, but they still comprise a strong part of what full site editing is. We also have something called Global Styles, which aims to allow people to configure the visual aspects of blogs across the entire site, not just on any individual blog. And of course, then there’s a whole layer of how we utilize these tools. It can get complex because there are many layers and projects that need to come together. So yeah, all of these are accessible through the Gutenberg plugin right now.

Josepha [3:07]: Yeah. So it’s not a standalone plugin. If you wanted to check out full site editing the site editor experience as it is now, you would just have to make sure you had the Gutenberg plugin on your site. Right?

Matías: Yes, correct.

Josepha:  So a couple of the questions related to this are how exactly do I enable it on my site? And what is the easiest and safest way to try this on my site? And I think the answer is, is right in there. It’s in the Gutenberg plugin. And so if you have that plugin, you don’t need the testing plugin or anything else to make that work, right?

Matías [3:51]:  No, you like, you might need to install a theme like Twenty Twenty One blocks that unlock some of these new interfaces that we just talked about. Like other of these pieces are available for anything. But some of these, like the interface to edit templates, right now only talk with things that know how to express their desire. 

Josepha [4:14]: And I think we have less than 10 themes right now that do that, but I’ll leave some links to at least 2021 blocks in the show notes. And then, if there are another one or two themes that I can find, I can add those in there as well. 

So you have to have the Gutenberg plugin; you have to have a theme that works with that site editor kind of experience. And then you’re safe to try everything out. It shows up in your left toolbar just like any other thing, like if you were working with plugins, or if you were adding a post or anything else, right?

Matías [4:51]: Yes, correct. And so, some of these details are being worked on right now. Like how and where you access things, and so on. These things are subject to change, but right now, you have this site editor beta in the sidebar when both you have the plugin running and a theme that’s capable.

Josepha [5:10]: Yeah. Excellent note. If you are running this on a production website, I would recommend you not do that unless you are very, very good with WordPress. It’s a really safe and easy thing to test and try out. But because it is still in beta, I recommend always putting it on a test site. I have a couple of different test sites that I run on myself. Another question that I had was, “will full site editing slow down my site?” And I think we have some refreshed performance tests coming out about that. And maybe they’ll be out by the time we publish this podcast.

Matías [5:49]: Yeah, I mean, like the performance has been one of the major focuses for the whole project. In many cases, it should speed up things because we’re like, I think one of the big pieces that these projects bring into the picture, especially for themes, is that it allows only the necessary assets to be loaded on the front end. For example, if for a given page, there are, I don’t know, 10-15 blocks being used, you would only get the CSS and scrapes and so on related to those blocks. This can cut down on a lot a ton of CSS that themes used to end queue on a side, particularly if you were trying to customize many widgets and so on, like a lot of themes have the full styles or multiple widgets, even third party plugins, and so on. So one of the advantages of having this blog system is that we can know at the time of rendering what blogs are being used and only load those assets. 

Josepha [6:50]: Excellent. Another big question that we have is, “does full site editing work with the classic editor? And does it work with other builders?” I think that’s a really big answer if you’re going to get super deep into it. But I think that the short answer is yes, it does. Is that fair?

Matías [7:08]: Yeah, I don’t think it touches a bit on that full site editing is not like a single thing. There are multiple projects around it. So again, like the template editor that only deals with blogs, it doesn’t have a lot to do with a classic editor. But the classic editor use for both doesn’t change anything at all; like the same way that when the block editor was introduced, it didn’t change how you could still write posts in the classic editor. You will still be able to do that.

Josepha [7:41]: And if you are brand new to WordPress person, or, I mean, I guess at this point, you don’t have to be super brand new. If you’re fairly new to WordPress person and have no idea what we’re talking about when we say the classic editor, you don’t really have to worry about it either. You don’t have to go and find out what that is; the block editor that you have right now works perfectly for what you’re trying to do. So if you don’t know what I mean when I say classic editor, don’t worry about chasing it down either. 

I think that this last question we accidentally answered earlier, but I’m going to go ahead and ask it anyway since I received it. “I keep hearing that you can use the site editor with the 2021 theme. But I don’t seem to be able to. What am I missing?” I think the answer is that there’s the Twenty Twenty One theme shipped with the WordPress release 5.6. And then there is the Twenty Twenty One blocks theme; those are two different themes. The link to the Twenty Twenty One block theme is going to be in our show notes this time around. And so, if you have been trying to use the full site editor with Twenty Twenty One and not succeeding, try the link to the one below. And I bet that that will work for you.

Matías [8:50]: Yes, that’s correct. 

Josepha [8:51]: All right, excellent. Well, that brings us kind of into our second set of questions, which is about how we are doing it. The first one that folks have is “will full site editing be on by default in the next release. In this context, the next release is WordPress 5.8. But I think it’s a safe question to ask if full site editing will be on by default in the release that it’s planned for.

Matías [9:15]: Yeah, and for this, I need to go back to the same principle of many projects because there are many pieces of full site editing, and we have been merging them in major releases, particularly like the blocks and the design tools. There are more coming in that we want to make accessible as soon as possible. The full experience that requires a theme to opt-in to templates using blogs won’t be by default; it requires a specific theme running. A lot of these details we’re still like determining exactly what projects are ready to be merged and so on. But yeah, if you have a theme right now that works the way you want, it doesn’t change anything there. If anything, it adds some more capabilities and more customization tools, and so on. And the theme can also regulate how much they want to incorporate.

Josepha [10:13]: Matías, you’ve mentioned a couple of times in this podcast so far like this is a really complex and really complicated part of this work. And just for anyone out there who’s either encountering Gutenberg or full site editing or this podcast for the first time, I think a tiny bit of context that’s worth having here is that Matías and I have been working on this together in various capacities for like, five years. And Matías has probably been working on this for practically a decade. So, when we say that this is a really complicated problem, and when we say that this is a complex set of issues that we’re working with like, it is all that we have been thinking about for I want to say at least the last three or four years, but certainly it’s all that we have been trying to untangle for quite a bit of time before that as well. So we don’t take it lightly when we’re like, “this is complicated;” we mean it. It’s really complicated. And we’re trying our hardest over here as WordPress. 

The next big question, since we’re all stuck in the “it’s very complicated,” part of things is the question, “will this update break my current site?” Like, if I have a site that is updated and ready, and it’s exactly as I wanted it to be, and it took me two years to get there will full site editing, whichever release it’s in. Currently, 5.8 is what we’re planning for. Will that break anything on my site as I know it right now?

Matías [11:44]: No, not at all. One of the major things that the WordPress team, the WordPress community, always cares so much about, never to break things. Many of these things are stepping stones that you can adopt, as we’ve talked about full site editing. But for example, we also have a few concurrent projects around the widget screen and the navigation screen that are meant to bring blocks into existing interfaces. So again, the theme doesn’t need to change, and a lot of care is being put into making this more like you’re unlocking new features, and nothing really breaks or falls apart.

Josepha [12:23]: This update, like all the other updates, should have minimal, minimal impact on what you have to actively fix on your site. Every once in a while, a bug is gonna get by. We can’t say that we’re 100% perfect with not breaking things. But also, we always and I and I know that we’re planning on this for our remaining releases for the rest of the year. At the very least, I can’t imagine we’d ever change it. But after every major release, we always make a plan to have a minor release within the next one or two weeks. Because we know that a broken thing on a site is really incredibly impactful, even if you’re only 1% of the sites that had that happen to it. And so I think that’s true in this case, too. And getting that feedback back from all of the people who are actually using WordPress is the thing that makes us be able to kind of move quickly when we do see those problems. 

One of the questions that we have been getting is, “can I see a live preview without saving the changes that I made?” When I got this question, I didn’t actually understand it. And so I went and looked at a site without the Gutenberg plugin on it, and then a site with the Gutenberg plugin on it. And of course, on sites without Gutenberg, without the block editor, without full site editing, when you are looking to preview, you have the option to open up your preview in a new window. And you don’t have that with Gutenberg because it’s supposed to be a true WYSIWYG editor. A true what you see is what you get, editor. I think that the answer to this is, yes, you can see a live preview without actually saving the changes on the front end of your site. But you don’t actually have to reload anything. You don’t have to open it up in a new window. You don’t have to, like, actively click “please show me a preview” because what you see in your editing screen should be what you see at the end of your app as an end-user.

Matías [14:28]: Yeah, that’s the sort of the main gist to it. Yes, the site editor is built so that it always reflects the front end as truly as possible, so that’s one layer. Also, the preview tools should allow you to see in different devices like mobile breakpoints, and I don’t know if they will have breakpoints and stuff like that. There are a lot of things in the current interface that is just not enabled. There are some challenges in the sidebar. Because the site editor is not just focused on a single post, it’s focused on the entire site. So, there can be many, many changes that need to be shadowed for the site. 

If you’re changing the site title, some of the global styles, aspects, and so on need to be orchestrated. So, to see in the previewing new window, there are some challenges there to integrate. Again, the interface is not final yet; a lot of these things are still being tweaked and improved. There are many things from the regular post editor that are not enabled yet. But they will be enabled. So yeah, it’s a, I guess, it’s not a simple thing to answer. Because, again, the idea of previewing the site that’s core to the whole project is that you’re always interacting in the same way that when you’re in the customizer, you’re seeing the preview all the time. That’s the main scope of this project,

Josepha [15:54]: Excellent. Changes like that changes to your workflow can be really hard to get your mind around, especially if part of that existing workflow was there to create some confidence in what you’re seeing with your users. And so I understand. Now that I’ve researched that question a bit, I see where that’s coming from. Based on existing workflows and existing patterns that we have for ourselves in WordPress, will we need to have a theme to use the full site editor?

Matías [16:33]: I think we’ve already covered some of these. And again, they are tools that can work on any existing theme. There is other stuff that needs space-specific themes to opt-in into these tools, like blog templates and so on.

Josepha [16:50]: Yes, I think the question that we have next, because I see that the literal next question I have is actually something we have covered; just because we’re being pretty conversational about it, not because anyone already asked the question. So I’m actually going to skip to the last question of this section that I received. I got this next one via Twitter. The question is, “how do you view the role of themes once full site editing is fully rolled out and all the page elements (content, headers, widgets, footers, etc.) and all the views are managed via blocks and block patterns? Will things become typographic and block styles?”

Matías [17:28]: I think this is a great question because it goes to the heart of, why are we doing all this. One of the main reasons is to empower users more. WordPress has been democratizing publishing for a while; this is another step into allowing themes to get more customization tools and more control over their site if they want to. I think the recent call for testing has focused on the 404 page, for example. That’s something that forever has been locked away from users. And it’s also something that, as a theme developer, and I used to develop themes a long time ago, that was one of the things where you decide what sort of approach you take for the 404 page. Maybe sometimes you want to have something more whimsical. Sometimes you need something more serious. And committing to one when you can have such a diverse and broad user base can be challenging. With these, it becomes as easy as offering a few different patterns for that template. Then the user will always be able to change the copy and modify something. So again, it opens up a lot of these things that used to be locked down. However, from a theme perspective, I think this doesn’t reduce the theme at all. If anything, it allows the theme to focus less on coding and functions and more on design expression and aesthetics. I don’t think that would ever be exhausted. That will always remain as diverse as humans are interacting with WordPress. And so it’s not that I don’t see it’s just as like, typographic and block styles. How do you express a template, how do you express the structure, what choices you quote, what choices you make as a theme builder? And of course, there are many degrees of control there. Because a site maintainer may not want the 404 template to be editable, that sort of control will always be present.

Josepha [19:38]: Yeah. And really fast. I have to add a caveat to a thing that you said in there. For anyone who’s listening keenly, you may have heard Matías say that the users can update any of the content there – any of the copy. In this context, we’re talking about users as in the people who are maintaining the site, not people who are visiting your site. Visitors to your site will not be able to change any copy on your page unless you’ve done something very interesting with your WordPress site, which is also fine if that’s what you prefer to do. By default, your visitors can’t change everything on your website, which is good news, frankly.

So I’ve got one logistics question, which I’m happy to take. And then one is kind of a big picture question that I also got from Twitter. “What about the classic editor block; what is going to happen to that? And when will we know?” So ages and ages ago, before COVID? I think so. Probably maybe a couple of years ago, Matt said that the classic editor plugin would be supported through the end of 2021. And that is still the case; there will be active support on that through the end of 2021. After that, it will not be actively supported anymore. It won’t be removed from any place that you can get access to right now. In a “this is the end of its lifecycle” sort of way, we just won’t have anyone who is currently committed to maintaining that plugin anymore. So that’s what’s happening at the end of the year. And yeah, at the end of 2021. The big question that we have is, “why is full site editing being so rushed?” I think this is a bit of a loaded question.

Matías [21:32]: Yeah, I think I think it’s still a fair question, though. I think we’re dealing with two things here. And one is ensuring that we release things in the best state possible. And also, some of the urgency is to offer tools that we know that people lack right now and that could really benefit from. Making that determination is very tricky. The full site editing project has been in the works for the last couple of years. If we count the initial phase of Gutenberg, that’s four to five years. We’ve been doing many calls for testing, which I think have been super useful to catch issues and reflect as a community on where things are going; how do we integrate with these? How do we use it? What are the shortcomings? What do we need to do? Based on all of these, we’ll continue to make decisions on when things become ready. We’re not committed to releasing something that’s not in a good state. And I think we will always be very careful about that. There are these two competing senses of the urgency – of getting some of these tools out, and because it also benefits from the feedback loops. I always say that, in many ways, the initial phase of Gutenberg, to me, is not finished. We took the initial two years to do the 5.0 release, the initial block editor, and so on. But, it’s still being improved at a very fast pace, among all the recent major releases improvements to the editor were included; that will continue to be the case. In many ways, phase one is not finished. And the moment we choose to release some of these tools or editing tools, it won’t be finished either. They will need to continue to grow, mature, and incorporate a lot of the feedback. Even the things that the ecosystem is building around. I’ve seen a few themes already that are incorporating a blank canvas template so that you can use them in some pages and take over and do everything with blocks. So even the community and ecosystem as a whole is also sort of paving the way for what needs to come.

Josepha [24:06]: I think from my perspective, and of course, I’m on the people side of things, the communication side of things, the logistics side of things; I have a frequently a very different view from what a lot of other folks are seeing. And so from my side of things, I have to say, I’m communicating about this change in a really broad way, which has not been happening since 2019 when we started the work. We’ve been communicating broadly with the WordPress community, but not with everybody who uses WordPress. So, I think that for a lot of people, this looks like a project that we started really actively working on in the last six months or so. And now we’re just racing toward a finish line. I think that there’s, there’s not been a lot of awareness of everything that’s gone into it. And so, on the one hand, it feels a little less rushed to me knowing the full length of the history on this. But also, as you said, I really think that this gets a bunch of tools to people who otherwise have not been able to accomplish these things in WordPress or otherwise. I am so anxious to get something to people who really can benefit from this change the most. And it’s the nature of the open source, right that like, one, as long as you have users, you’re going to have stuff you have to fix in your software. So we’re never really, really going to be done with this; there’s not going to be like a done point of WordPress. And the second thing is, I think it’s generally true that you don’t really start getting full user feedback until after you have launched your major release. I think that we see that a lot in open source software; you can bring in as many people as you think you can in your user tests heading up to it. And in your accessibility tests. And, in general, quality assurance tests. You can bring in a lot of people and still not have gotten the full understanding of the various niche use cases that your users will bring to you. Because at this point, we’re like 40% of the web. And that means that we’re serving this majority collection of increasingly minority voices and niche voices in the space. And so, a little bit I feel a sense of urgency; I feel a bit of anxiousness about trying to get this out there for one, to get the tools in the hands of the people who can benefit the most from them, but also so that we can start really getting the full stress test of this software out and get that feedback in so that we can really build something responsive to what our users need our long tail, “anyone who ever uses WordPress ever,” definition of users. And so, that’s why I feel a sense of urgency around it. Even though you know, as I said, you and I have been working on this for like five years, and you’ve been working on it for a decade or something. I actually don’t know how long it’s been worked on.

Matías [27:35]: Now that makes me feel a bit old.

Josepha [27:40]: Nobody makes Matías feel old. He is a lovely, wonderful colleague. Sorry, Matías, If I made you feel old.

Matías [27:46]: No, that’s totally fine. I also want to add that full site editing is not like a single toggle that’s going to drop into a major release. So I think that’s important to consider, I think this entire year is going to see a lot of these tools being, and sometimes the sort of the end-user is not the, again, the site maintainer. Still, you can also be the theme developer; I think there are many tools that would be empowering for theme developers to use. Again, we mentioned there are like five to ten themes, block themes right now. That needs to grow a lot, and that only grows through these sorts of feedback loops. And the theme community pushing things forward and seeing where things can lead to. I’m very excited about the pattern directory integration because I think that can also combine with blog themes in very powerful ways. Imagine if, I don’t know many of these patterns that are very common on the web and very needed, that if we can refine them together with a second community and make them available across themes, you can combine a header from one theme with a content of another; all these sorts of mixtures could happen. All of this needs exploration, the creativity of the entire community, and so on. In that sense, getting all these tools, even if it doesn’t immediately change anything for like the site itself, starts to unlock a lot of things. 

Josepha [29:27]: I’m going to take a bit of your answer from there and tie it all the way back to your first answer that we had when you joined me today. And say, I think you’re absolutely right. We have a set of users in our theme authors and our plugin developers as well that we desperately need to get looking at this set of tools. I hope that what we are shipping in the first iteration of this serves as an opportunity for all of those theme authors and agency owners, plugin authors, WordPress site configurers freelancers. Like, I really hope that this puts it into a really accessible, easy-to-access space for them so that they can do those experiments based on what they know their users need the most. They are the group that has the closest access to site maintainers. And what they need compared to, for instance, me or a potential you like we have a lot of information, you and I, we do a lot of tests, we have a strong sense of what is needed at the moment, but we don’t have as a close connection that our theme and agency and plugin folks all have. And so that’s another part of why I’m so excited to get this out in the current iteration of it.

Josepha [31:04]: That was a lot of questions in a little bit of time. This is going to be officially my longest WordPress briefing. Matías, I am so glad that you were able to join me today. And I think that everyone’s going to be really, really excited to hear your answers to these questions.

Matías [31:23]: Thank you for having me.

Josepha [31:25]: All right, my friends. That brings us into our small list of big things. I’m going to skip our community highlight today just because we had a slightly longer word press briefing in our bonus iteration today. But the small list of big things. The first thing is WordCamp Central America is coming up on April 15; there is a registration link in the show notes that you can access your tickets with. I recommend that you go; we’ve got a lot of excellent speakers coming up there and a lot of good content and good training and learning for y’all. The second thing is that Matt Mullenweg and I have listening hours coming up with the community in the first week of April. I’ll add the link to register for those in the show notes as well; it’s just a few minutes for you all to stop by, check-in, see what’s going on, and share some celebrations or concerns with us. And I hope that I see you there. 

So that my friends is your small list of big things. Thank you for joining in today for the WordPress briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!