While diving into this project I’ve explored a few areas where I can improve my personal publishing flow. The first was bringing editor comments into Gutenberg with my Markdown Comment block, and today I am releasing a second in that same vein: the Todo List block.
Extending the editor with block styles is a quick way to add, or remove, styling defaults to any Gutenberg block. Among adding block patterns and variations, block styles are a clever way to standardize creative elements of a site running on Gutenberg. I suspect that in time, block styles will become a core component of block themes, alongside block patterns, as they both enable creativity and flare.
And while it is relatively simple to add block styles using PHP, removing them is not quite as easy — especially block styles added by WordPress core (or any added client-side).
In this era of WordPress Block Themes, there are a number of familiar — yet very new — areas of theming that we need to get up to date with. One of those is the concept of block templates.
You see, themes have been able to provide templates for quite a while, but block templates are very different on two main accounts:
Block templates are entirely composed of blocks
Block templates are a starting point to build from
In a world where Gutenberg is slowly taking over more and more of the WordPress experience, that experience is not baked into, nor limited by, a theme. Instead, the WordPress experience is empowered by the theme.
And while this is a lot to take in, block templates are an immensely powerful concept that will level-up WordPress publishing.
I know I’ve said this before, but building Gutenberg blocks has honestly never been easier. Better tools, more detailed documentation, and clearer examples are finally here – paving the way for developers to quickly dive into the art of block building, and in particular, building block plugins.
So what’s the big deal about block plugins?
In short, this relatively new classification of plugins empowers WordPress users to publish with “blocks on demand.” I wrote a primer on block plugins last week if you’re interested in the “why” behind block plugins, but ultimately WordPress users running Gutenberg will be able to just about instantly add any new block block to any page. Very cool. Very empowering.
While I’ve long been a fan of block collections, most notably with CoBlocks, I do see immense value in block plugins for use within the WordPress Block Directory. Quickly searching for and installing a block right from within the Block Library is quite a clever and empowering experience — one that I believe will eventually become the de facto way to discover blocks.
Hey, so I made a new block plugin for adding markdown comments that only display while editing a post with Gutenberg.
Last week, while editing an upcoming article all about block plugins and the WordPress block directory, I wanted to add persistent notes and reminders within my post content – but didn’t find a proper solution.
So naturally, I hit the ground running and pushed out a new block to the WordPress Block Directory to do just that — aptly called the Markdown Comment block.
The next big shift for WordPress, nearly as monumental as the block editor itself, is a concept known as full site editing.
Full site editing (FSE) is very much still experimental, but the concepts are clearly in view. Imagine being able to change your site’s header, footer, single, and even archive templates, with minimal effort-all within the block editor. That’s the promise behind full site editing.
There’s no doubt that Gutenberg block styles and transforms are quite interesting and fun. I like that you may change the look and feel of a block with a click or two. And on the engineering side, it’s remarkably easy to extend any block with both styles and transforms.
However, what I’m not particularly fond of, is the user experience surrounding both block styles and transforms.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, gradients are here to stay. Especially now, as the WordPress block editor has a default mechanism to apply gradient styles throughout the editing experience.
Out of the box, I don’t find the default gradient application experience particularly meaningful, as these presets are an assortment of trendy gradient styles presets. But with some finesse, block editor gradients could be much more purposeful by using the editor’s color palette instead.
If you’re a theme or plugin developer in the page building ecosystem, now is a better time than ever to start capitalizing on arguably the most exciting addition to Gutenberg, since Gutenberg: Block Patterns.
Let’s dive in and discover how to leverage the new Block Patterns API and build beautiful patterns.