The Blueprint Gallery: Share your WordPress creations with Playground

Imagine if in a few clicks, you could get access to an exact replica of someone else’s WordPress creation and get a peek behind the scenes. Or imagine if you could provide a copy of your site to help with testing against new plugins, themes, or WordPress versions. WordPress Playground makes all this and more possible, including allowing developers to provide a live preview of their plugins before installation via custom blueprints. Now, the project is looking for contributions that can help further enrich the Playground experience and ecosystem.

Meet the Blueprint Gallery, a new community initiative that allows WordPress developers and extenders to share their setups as blueprints with others on 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.

What are blueprints? 

Blueprints are the configuration files for a Playground instance, written in JSONJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML. format. They can list certain settings, like PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. versions, WordPress versions, or steps that the tool should take to set up the right combination of plugins, themes, and content for a demo or a test site. 

Blueprints are the meat of the matter: What are the settings and steps that make the demo site a good experience? 

The Blueprints 101 page has the technical details. Contributors shared a few blueprint files and methods in an early version of the Blueprint Gallery.  

For a more in-depth look, check out the following developer focused articles about WordPress playground.

What can you find in the Blueprint Gallery? 

You can pick from various examples, ranging from a login step to installing plugins and themes automatically. Additionally, you can import and create content and enable certain experimental features 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. Use wp-cliWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is commands to add several posts or just a single post with a featured imageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts.. You can even create a plugin on the fly to add a custom post typeCustom Post Type WordPress can hold and display many different types of content. A single item of such a content is generally called a post, although post is also a specific post type. Custom Post Types gives your site the ability to have templated posts, to simplify the concept. to a site or a series of content from one site and import it into a Playground site.

Why consider contributing and sharing? 

This new way of testing, previewing, and trying out new things lowers the barriers for new users to experiment and explore WordPress. Contributing to the Blueprint Gallery means helping other developers with blueprints for specific use cases while encouraging the use of Playground for WordPress’s overall growth and innovation. This project is as much about showcasing and sharing your work as it is about reusing and leveraging works others have done, especially for impressive and more involved setups, remixing different configurations, and learning about what WordPress and Playground can do.

How to submit your creations? 

There are two prerequisites for a successful submission: You need to be familiar with the pull request process on GitHub and provide a folder that contains all assets and other files needed for the blueprint to work. 

During the submission process, you will receive a notification if there is information missing and a link to test your blueprint from our pull request. It’s a fairly smooth process. All the details are available in the Contributing Guidelines

Post your questions, suggestions, or ideas in the comments, or create an issue on the GitHub repo or join the #meta-playground channel

Props for reviewing to @zieladam @rmartinezduque @annezazu

#blueprints, #meta-playground