FYI: Navigation section of new Site Editor experienced removed for 6.2 RC 2


The navigation section of browse mode (technical project name) is being removed for 6.2 RC 2. This does not impact the additional way of managing your menus within the 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. settings of the Navigation block. This was a joint decision across coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. editor tech leads, core editor triagetriage The act of evaluating and sorting bug reports, in order to decide priority, severity, and other factors. leads, and the design lead. Thank you to everyone who helped test, open issues, share designs, and ship PRs to both move this feature forward and make this decision to remove. It sets a strong foundation for reconsideration in future releases and work will continue with the feature remaining in 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. pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party to evolve.

Video explanation:

To better explain what’s changing and prevent any confusion, here’s a video detailing what’s being removed:

As a recap:

  • This change only impacts the Navigation section, meaning the Templates and Template Parts section will remain.
  • This change does not impact the additional way to manage menus with the block settings of the Navigation block.

Broader context:

6.2 introduces a new way of interacting with the Site Editor. Rather than being dropped directly into the template powering the homepage, you’ll be able to see the whole of your site. A dark-gray 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. contains a list of all templates and template parts; clicking on any of these components will preview it in the editor’s main canvas. This change in experience has used the project name “browse mode” (noted for anyone looking through GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner., slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at, etc). In Gutenberg 15.1, the last release to be fully included in 6.2, a navigation section was added to this new experience, allowing you to manage your primary navigation from the same dark-gray sidebar, preview the content of the menu items, and edit content within those templates (ie your main site structure pages). This offered a nice middle ground between fully re-introducing content editing and completely having it separated out for the release.

After being added and as the betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. cycle continued, various bugs and refinements started adding up. In particular, the top pain points revolved around which menu appears (and how to change it), needing a better description of what this newer section did, and improving the general experience of adding links from that section. For example, here’s a very short video showing how the Inserter didn’t prioritize more commonly used blocks, like a Page Link:

These issues led to various ideas for how to better contain the experience while still shipping something of value in the Site Editor, particularly to allow for some level of content editing. For example, prioritizing the Page Link in the inserter (48724) to allow for link editing or, later on, trying a “read only” view of the navigation sidebar (48971) to offer an even more locked down experience. The further in the work got though, the more changes to adapt to the browse mode section bled into other changes, like with the page list blockcustom link handling, and the iterations to adding a new menu item. Even with trying to lock the experience further down, bugs continued to pop up and the experience isn’t polished enough to move forward with. This led to a decision amongst Core Editor Tech, Core Editor Triage, and the Design lead ahead of WordPress 6.2 RCrelease candidate One of the final stages in the version release cycle, this version signals the potential to be a final release to the public. Also see alpha (beta). 2 to remove that was then shared with the wider release squad.

This was an evolving conversation over the last few weeks that’s spread across core editor triage weekly check-ins, weekly triage for the betas/rcs/etc, Gutenberg PRs, and Gutenberg issues. For example, @Nick Diego and I have mentioned the navigation section as a pain point we’re collectively concerned about in various spots including weekly core editor triage update (including today). While this means the discussion was mainly public, it was also sprawling and took great effort to stay up to date. This leaves two main areas to improve upon: 1) recapping or having logistical discussion amongst the Core Editor Tech and Core Editor Triage more public than in either a private DM or buried in threads 2) bring more of the discussions amongst designers in the Gutenberg project into the release squad channel. This would be a great model to consider following in the future with a Gutenberg design focused discussion thread.

Related issues and PRs:

Here is a likely non comprehensive list of places where you can see discussions and iterations happening:

  • Page links are buried in the inserter and there’s a need to better prioritize commonly used blocks. Issue: 48612 PR: 48724 and 48752. You can see comments about punting to 6.3 there/what to include in 6.2 to get the experience where it needs to be.
  • Remove parent if page list block is the only block in a menu (and autoexpand): Issue: 48714. PR in progress: 48725.
  • Unclear which menu is prioritized and need to update the logic for it. PR: 48689.
  • Add a description and unify the + button placement with the other sections of browse mode. Issue: 48665. PR: 48689
  • Unable to edit page list or custom link after adding. Issue: 48593
  • Unable to edit Site Logo, Search, Spacer, Social Icon, Page List blocks. Issue: 48675.
  • Add descriptions to every single drilldown detail page: 48689
  • Prioritize Page Link in the inserter: 48724.
  • Make it possible to choose the page you link to: 48593.
  • [Bug] Submenus are added to empty page list or custom link blocks when you use the + button. Issue: 48741.
  • [Bug] Navigation section randomly changes which menu is shown if you seem to click on a page that 404s. Issue: 48744.
  • [Bug] Custom link UIUI User interface does appears outside canvas on the sidebar navigation. PR that fixed: 48633.

Once more, thank you to the immense work everyone has put into this!

If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please share below and I’ll follow up either directly or by tracking down the answer from someone who knows.

#6-2, #dev-notes-6-2