Navigation block exclusion from WP 5.4

After plenty of great discussions about the Navigation blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. recently, the GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. Team, including Dev Lead @jorgefilipecosta and me ( I’m the Design Lead), has decided not to include it in the WordPress 5.4 release.

We’ve been sharing this decision with the Release Squad for 5.4 and among many seasoned contributors to get a perspective on how everyone felt about this. The general consensus: people understand why the Gutenberg Team has made this call, and they support the decision.

Navigation block

Historical context

The Navigation block was a priority project for 2019. It was also planned for the WordPress 5.4 release. So we absolutely did not make this decision lightly. Ultimately, we recognize that although the block itself is ready to merge into CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress., the Gutenberg Team believes this move is premature.


As I said, the Navigation block is usable right now. But we don’t think it’s useful yet – at least not until it has an intuitive place to live.

It’s hard to imagine cases where users would want to add a Navigation block to the post or page content. It’s much more likely that a given user would want to add a Navigation block to HeaderHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. or Footer block areas – maybe even a SidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme.. However, that functionality in Gutenberg just isn’t ready.

Now, let me add this: if a user does want a set of links in a page, the new Buttons block in WordPress 5.4 can probably meet that need.

Buttons block

As I look back at the WordPress Project’s to-do list for 2019, the Navigation block didn’t exist in a vacuum. There was also the matter of Themes registering content areas which is still in progress as we speak. Both of those should co-exist and be released together. To include the Navigation block without a proper home isn’t really useful for users, and it doesn’t seem to justify a feature mention in the 5.4 release.

Going forward

Our next steps include adding a few more features to the block:

  • Creating a new page from within the block (19775).
  • Creating a Navigation block based on existing menu structures (18869).
  • Indicating “current” menu items visually (20076).

So that’s what’s happening with the Navigation Block and WordPress 5.4.

I want to ask you, personally, to join us in Core and in the Gutenberg Team discussions and give us your thoughts. Please review this block, to help further testing around it.

I’ll be picking up usability testing for this block again soon, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you how we can improve it.

And don’t forget to install the Gutenberg plugin to test the Navigation block in near-real-world conditions. With your feedback, we can make this block a great success.

#5-4, #gutenberg