FSE Program Testing Call #2: Build a Homepage with Site Editing Blocks

This is the second call for testing as part of the Full Site Editing Outreach Program. For more information about this experimental program, please review this FAQ for helpful details. To properly join the fun, please head to #fse-outreach-experiment in Make Slack for future testing announcements, helpful posts, and more will be shared there. 

Feature Overview

Before diving into the testing details, let’s pause to talk about the focus of this call for testing. With Full Site Editing unlocking the ability to edit all parts of your site, there comes a need for new blocks to help facilitate the experience. You might have seen some of these blocks already! For example, there’s a Site Title 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. that you can embed anywhere and update automatically any time you change your Site Title.

For this specific test, we’re going to explore using a few of these blocks to build a basic homepage with 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.:

  • Site Title Block
  • Site Logo Block
  • Post Lists Block
  • Post Tags Block
  • Navigation Block
  • Template Part Block

Think of this as a chance to both explore what’s possible currently to build something simple and as a chance to get more familiar with these new blocks. Eventually, these blocks will specifically be categorized in the Inserter as defined for Site Editing. 

Testing Environment 

While there’s more information below to ensure you get everything set up properly, here are the key aspects to have in place with your testing environment: 

  • Use a test site. Do not use a production/live site. You can follow these instructions to set up a local installLocal Install A local install of WordPress is a way to create a staging environment by installing a LAMP or LEMP stack on your local computer. or use a tool like this to set up a development site
  • Use WordPress 5.6.1 and above (downloadable here).
  • Use the TT1 Blocks Theme. If you followed the last call for testing, you’ll need to double-check to make sure you’re using this theme!
  • Use 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. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ 10.0 (latest version). 

Testing FlowFlow Flow is the path of screens and interactions taken to accomplish a task. It’s an experience vector. Flow is also a feeling. It’s being unselfconscious and in the zone. Flow is what happens when difficulties are removed and you are freed to pursue an activity without forming intentions. You just do it.
Flow is the actual user experience, in many ways. If you like, you can think of flow as a really comprehensive set of user stories. When you think about user flow, you’re thinking about exactly how a user will perform the tasks allowed by your product.Flow and Context

Here’s a basic flow to follow when testing this specific feature. If anything doesn’t make sense, just comment below!

Important Note: 

While this call for testing is focused on testing a specific feature, you’ll likely find other bugs in the process of testing with such a 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. feature! Please know any bugs you find are welcome in your report for testing, even if they aren’t directly applicable to the tested feature. 

Setup Instructions: 

  1. Have a test site using WordPress 5.6.1. It’s important this is not a production/live site. 
  2. Install the TT1 Blocks theme by going to Appearances > Themes > Add New. Once installed, activate the theme. 
  3. Create either three fake posts with a few tags OR use the demo Gutenberg content found here. Here’s a short video explaining how to set up this content. 
  4. Go to the website’s admin.
  5. Install and activate the Gutenberg 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party from Plugins > Add New. If you already have it installed, make sure you are using at least Gutenberg 10.0.
  6. You should now see a navigation item titled “Site Editor (beta).” If you don’t see that in your sidebar, you aren’t correctly using the Site Editing experiment. 

Testing Instructions:

Helpful Hint: As you go through this test, you might find the List View helpful while navigating between content.

  1. Navigate to the “Site Editor (beta)” view. This will automatically open the site editor to the template powering your homepage. 
  2. Using the List View, see if the Query Block is present. If so, select and delete it. This is just a housekeeping step to keep things contained :). 

Make changes to your 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.:

  1. You’ll likely see a Header created for you that you can edit directly. Update the text in the Site Title block. Have fun with it! Some ideas to get you started: Pick a new heading size, change the content, or alter the block settings directly. 
  2. When you’re done making the changes you want, select “Update Design” and go through the saving flow to save all changes.
  3. Open the Navigation Toggle and head to Template Parts > Select “Header.” This will show you an isolated view of just the Header portion of your site. While in this view, add a Site Logo Block and configure it to your liking. 
  4. When you’re done making the changes you want, select “Update Design” and go through the saving flow to save all changes.
  5. Open the Navigation Toggle again and head to Template > Index to return to your homepage. 
  6. Once there, head to the Navigation Block that’s powering the menu in the Header (this is where you might find the List View helpful!). Explore the Navigation Block by making changes directly to the menu items or in the Block Settings to change the font, color, etc. 
  7. Using the List View, select the Header Template Part and, using the three-dot toolbar menu, use the “Insert After” option to add a block outside of the Header. 

Add your content:

  1. Add either a 70/30 or 30/70 column block. In the larger column, use the Heading Block to write “My Content.” In the smaller column, use the Heading Block to write “My Sidebar.” 
  2. In the larger column, add a Posts Lists Block and select the configuration you would like (Title & Date, Title & ExcerptExcerpt An excerpt is the description of the blog post or page that will by default show on the blog archive page, in search results (SERPs), and on social media. With an SEO plugin, the excerpt may also be in that plugin’s metabox., etc.). 
  3. From there, add a Post Tags Block to one of the posts displayed in the Posts Lists Block. Notice how if you add it to one post, it adds it to all of them!
  4. Repeat the previous step with the Post Author Block before deciding whether you’d like to keep or remove either additional block.  

Create a sidebar:

  1. In the smaller column, build out your sidebar how you’d like! For inspiration, try out the Social Icons Block, Latest Posts Block, or a simple Image block.
  2. When you’re done making the changes you want, select “Update Design” and go through the saving flow to save all changes.
  3. Share your experience in the comments below or in GitHub directly. You’re welcome to run through the experience multiple times to capture any additional feedback!

Testing Walkthrough Video:

This video shows the testing flow after the initial testing setup is in place and is using Gutenberg demo content found here. Make the flow you’re on though with your own unique changes and adjustments!

What to notice:

  • Did the experience crash at any point?
  • Did the saving experience work properly? 
  • Did you ever want to do something with a specific block that wasn’t possible? 
  • What did you find particularly confusing or frustrating about the experience?
  • What did you especially enjoy or appreciate about the experience? 
  • Did you find that what you created in the Site Editor matched what you see when you view your homepage? 
  • Did it work using Keyboard only?
  • Did it work using a screen reader?

Leave Feedback by March 5th, 2021

Please leave feedback in the comments of this post. If you’d prefer, you’re always welcome to create issues in this GitHub repo directly for Gutenberg and in this GitHub repo for TT1 Blocks. If you leave feedback in 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. https://github.com/, please do still comment below with the link. If you see that someone else has already reported a problem, please still note your experience with it below, as it’ll help give those working on this experience more well-rounded insight into what to improve.

#core-editor, #fse-outreach-program, #fse-testing-call, #full-site-editing, #gutenberg, #usability-testing