After three and a half years, it was time to replace the WordPress theme on the Gutenberg Times. The trigger: I wrote about Core Web Vitals for a different project and used the Gutenberg Times as a test project, using Google’s Lighthouse via an incognito browser window. The desktop version performed very well, all circles in the green range, but the mobile version really crawled over the Internet, ranking in the low 40ties.
Google announced earlier this year that they start rolling out new page experience update in this month, and start using Web Vitals as another ranking factor for organic search results. I also noticed that GT had a very high number of visitors via the desktop, but not many on mobile, which I found odd. Now I know why.
Anders Noren’s Eksell is our new theme. I love the typography, the clean design. and its graphics. I just started exploring it. Nothing gets things done faster than working on the live site. 😊
The content mostly converted well, except there are no widget areas, so I would need to add the widget via the Legacy widget block. It was hit-and-miss. This exercise turned out to be a great test for the new block-based Widget screen, which will come to a WordPress instance near you in the 5.8 release on July 20th, 2021.
From the discussions, I learned that the Gutenberg team is leaning towards an opt-out rather than an opt-in implementation. Testing sites with this week’s WordPress 5.8 Beta 1, is definitely recommended. If you don’t have time to test all the site you are working on, rest easy, there is a Classic Widget plugin you can install to keep the old Widget screen.
What else happened this week? WordCamp Europe! It was a great virtual conference. Kudos to the organizers, speakers, sponsors and attendees! If you missed it, you can watch the recordings on YouTube.
The video with the Gutenberg Highlights is available for those of use who missed the Conversation with Matt Mullenweg. Matias Ventura wrote: “The video is wonderfully narrated by Beatriz Fialho, and it was a great opportunity to celebrate all the incredible work that contributors are doing around the globe to improve the editing and customization experience of WordPress”. I will update my earlier WCEU post with links to videos and resources over the course of next week.
As always, I am so glad you are here, reading the eNews every week. Thank you!
WordPress 5.8 Release Cycle
WordPress 5.8 Beta 1 was release on Tuesday. You can use the official Beta Tester Plugin to test this version. If you haven’t used it before, the Core Team share information and instructions in their handbook.
You can read more about the development cycle of WordPress 5.8 here. Feature Freeze for this upcoming version was May 25. We are right now in the beta phase of the cycle. It will be used for testing and to fix bugs. That is to last until June 29, 2021, when the first Release Candidate will be released. That’s also the deadline for Dev Notes and Field Guide. It also comes with a hard-string freeze. That’s the moment the Polyglots team starts with translations.
Features and updates for WordPress 5.8
Speaking of DevNotes, the Gutenberg team tracks their progress on the DevNotes via this GitHub issue. You can get a head start on “Block API Enhancements” by Grzegorz Ziolkowski or “Contextual patterns for easier creation and block transformations” by Nik Tsekouras before they are published on the Make Core blog.
Anne McCarthy posted about other Block Editor Enhancements:
On the WordPress News Blog, you found earlier: Coloring Your Images With Duotone Filters by Alex Lende. Yes, I am in love with it, that’s why I mentioned it again. Gutenberg 10.7 also brought the methods to disable duotone via the theme.json file. The details are in this Lende’s PR.
Adam Silverstein published WordPress 5.8 adds WebP support dev note. It’s not directly a block editor update but crucial for content creators and developers alike, especially in context of the Core Web Vitals when speed is becomes of the essence.
It’s been two years since Mark Uraine and I started the Gutenberg Changelog podcast, and he was my co-host for the first 40 episodes. Grzegorz Ziolkowski joined me as co-host with episode 41. In February 2021, we celebrated the first 10,000 downloads. Now four months later, we passed the 26,000 mark of downloads. For such a narrow niche show, these are mind-boggling numbers. It is very humbling. We are very grateful for our faithful listeners! Thank you all very much.
Grzegorz Ziolkowski is back from vacation, and we recorded episode 45. We covered Gutenberg 10.7 and 10.8 releases, WordCamp Europe and WordPress 5.8. It will be published later this weekend. The similar t-shirts? Mere coincidence!
Gutenberg 10.8 was released this week. It had quite a few enhancements, and a ton of bug fixes and underlying code change for quality and tooling. Sandip Mondal work on his first release and published the release notes: What’s new in Gutenberg 10.8? (9 June).
Justin Tadlock has more details Gutenberg 10.8 Adds New Typography Controls and Block Previews
The enhancements for full-site editing and theme design controls are already for the next WordPress release (5.9) in December and require more testing before they are available for WordPress Core.
Kjell Reigstad posted an invitation for the WordPress community to submit Block Patterns to the official WordPress directory. In his post Initial Patterns for the WordPress.org Patterns Directory, he explained the details of the submission process.
Justin Tadlock, a big fan of block patterns, wrote about the invitation on the WordPress Tavern and showcased some of his creations. Ana Segota, co-founder of Anariel Design shared her submissions via Twitter.
You can review the list of submissions on GitHub and learn from the comments on by the design team. Brian Gardner, Tammie Lister, Mel Choyce, Kjell Reigstad and Beatriz Fialho also contributed patterns to the directory.
In total, I counted 54 block patterns available to WordPress users. What a great start!
Full Site Editing
At WordCamp Europe 2021, the Panelist Danielle Zarcaro, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, Koen Van den Wijngaert and Milana Cap discussed Full Site editing and what it means for the broader WordPress community. We have the recording and the transcript for you
We added the Blockbase Theme to the list of available FSE themes last week. Kjell Reigstad published Using Blockbase for a theme experiment on the ThemeShaper blog and take you on a journey on creating a child theme of Blockbase. He wrote “Overall, I found that the benefit to using Blockbase was peace of mind. Compared to starting fresh or using
emptytheme, Blockbase ensured that I had a fully functional block theme immediately.” Kjell also shared his code on GitHub.
The WPMarmite Team publish the results of their Full Site Editing Study: Will WordPress theme shops embrace this new paradigm? They studied the involvement in the current FSE development of 127 Theme shops.
At first glance, these seemed to be a little premature, considering that only architecture for themes supporting FSE is coming to WordPress at the end of July. It certainly sets the base numbers to see what will happen until December. These are the numbers to watch changing in the next half year, and it will answer the original questions.
- 57% of theme shops feature their Gutenberg compatibility.
- Only 17% of theme shops offer custom Gutenberg blocks.
- 3% of theme shops provide block patterns.
The team also talked to 22 theme shops about their intentions regards full-site editing. You need to read the article to learn more.
Fränk Klein at WPDeveloper Courses, released his new course: Building Block-Based Themes. If you want to learn how to build a real-life example theme and all the ins and outs for a theme using the full-site editing capabilities and theme.json.
On Fullsiteediting.com, Carolina Nymark has been offering her Full Site editing course for free, but that might change soon.
Joe Casabona at CreatorCourses is also working on an update of his Gutenberg Theme course.
My take-away from the acquisitions of Atomic Blocks, Co Blocks etc. is that early adopters found it quite worth their while to deal with the ever-moving goal posts while developing along site Gutenberg developers. The future is yours!
Upcoming WordPress Events
June 6, 2021 7:00 pm EDT / 23:00 UTC
WordPress Meetup Philadelphia
Full Site Editing Review and Test-a-thon
🎉 Gutenberg Times is a media partner of WordCamp Europe 2021
June 10th, 2021
WordPress “Mega Meetup”: Plugins That Keep Websites Running
June 20 – 26, 2021
The schedule has been posted. Most sessions will be in Japanese, with exceptions, I think…
June 24, 2021
WPEngine Summit 2021
The digital breakthrough conference released their schedule. Personally, I am very much looking forward to the Keynote talk with Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and Marshall Plan for Moms at 12:55 EDT / 16:55 UTC. I also hope to see talks with Rob Stinson, Carrie Dils and Chris Wiegman. There are also deep dive talks listed into Headless WordPress. Enterprise WordPress is definitely heading down that route.
June 24 – 26, 2021
WordCamp Cochabama (Colombia)
July 17 + 18th, 2021
WordCamp Santa Clarita
Calls for speakers ends TODAY!
July 23, 2021
WordFest Live – The festival of WordPress
August 6 + 7, 2021
September 21 + 22, 2021
WPCampus 2021 Online
“A free online conference for web accessibility and WordPress in higher education.”
On the Calendar for WordPress Online Events you can browse a list of the upcoming WordPress Meetups, around the world, including WooCommerce, Elementor, Divi Builder and Beaver Builder meetups.