Help test WordPress 5.9 Features

With WordPress 5.9 slated to ship on January 25th, 2022, this post seeks to consolidate ways for folks to help test specific features that will be included in this release. This is meant to bolster and support overall 5.9 testing efforts. As a result, expect that FSE Outreach Program calls for testing will be on pause ahead of the FSE related features landing in WordPress 5.9.

Important note: Anything marked as [Technical] is best for those comfortable with more advanced testing steps. 

Testing environment

Please only test on a development siteDevelopment Site You can keep a copy of your live site in a separate environment. Maintaining a development site is a good practice that can let you make any changes and test them without affecting the live/production environment. and not on 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

Once a development site is set up, please install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester Plugin before setting it to: 

  • Update channel to “Bleeding edge”
  • Stream options to “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./RCRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. only”

If you need more specific steps, here are more detailed instructions you can follow

Testing Tips

At a high level, there are a few tips to keep in mind to get the most out of helping to test:

  • Try testing across different browsers.
  • Try testing in different languages. 
  • See what features look like on different screen sizes.
  • Try using just your keyboard or a screen reader.
  • Explore using both 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. and classic themes. 

Features to test

Twenty Twenty-Two Default Block Theme

When picking a theme to use for your test site, please try out the Twenty Twenty-Two theme. It’s the very first theme that’s block based and needs thorough testing as a result. Here’s where you can read more about this theme. You can test the theme by installing the Beta and activating Twenty Twenty-Two from Appearance > Themes. To report issues with the theme, you can do so here.

Block theme flows 

Since Block Themes open up the opportunity to edit more parts of your site, new flows have been added to make it more intuitive to access items, like a template editor, where you can make the changes you want to your homepage or 404 page. These workflows and new features need your help to test! 

For detailed testing steps around how best to test these workflows, please follow this call for testing that covers using Styles, Template Part focus mode, and more.

Theme blocks with a focus on the Navigation block

As Full Site Editing is a collection of features that allows more items to be easily edited without knowing how to code, new blocks were created to cover more parts of your site. These blocks are generally called “Theme Blocks” as they match the functionality that used to be in themes. While a number of theme blocks were introduced in WordPress 5.8, there’s always more work to be done, including shipping even more theme blocks in future releases!

For detailed steps around how to test the navigation block, please follow this call for testing that covers creating two different menus. 

For detailed steps around how to general test theme blocks and a complete list of blocks, please follow this call for testing

List View

List view has a few enhancements to keep in mind, including the ability to drag & drop blocks, and the ability to collapse sections to make it easier to navigate complex content. As you explore 5.9, try using List View in various situations to ensure it’s performant and easy to use. 

Design tools

The effort to bring better and more consistent design tools continues to progress with new options added, a more intuitive interface, and more. With just a few combinations of these settings, you can create vastly different layouts from a few simple slight changes to more radical and complex options. 

While a ton of tools have been added to various blocks, there are just a few to focus on for testing:

  • Buttons block: block gap, border controls, dimension controls (padding).
  • Columns block: block gap, dimension controls (padding).
  • Navigation block: flex layout, block gap, layout controls (vertical and horizontal, alignment).
  • Group block: layout controls, dimension controls (padding)
  • Cover block: duotone, dimension controls (padding, min height).
  • Social Icons block: layout controls (vertical and horizontal, alignment), block gap, dimension controls (margin). 
  • 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. block: duotone, dimension controls (width, height, margin, padding).

Gallery block 

Thanks to a Gallery Block refactor, you can now use the same tools that are available for individual image blocks on each image in the Gallery Block! This added flexibility means you can do more customization – from adding links to each individual image, inline cropping to edit on the fly, apply unique styles for more visually compelling images and apply an array of duotone filters. You can read more about this change

The following items are a high priority to test:

  • [Technical] If you are a 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 or theme author that has used the Gallery block previously, please follow the instructions here to ensure you’re prepared for 5.9.
  • Test backwards compatibility by creating a Gallery Block with WordPress 5.8.2 and switching to early releases of 5.9. 
  • Explore using the Gallery Block tools itself. Try cropping images, rearranging, adding alt text, and more. 
  • Test against third party plugins that you might use for galleries and ensure the transformations work. If they don’t, it’s best to contact the third party plugin to let them know.

For additional context, please note that the new Gallery block is included in Beta 1, but the auto migrationMigration Moving the code, database and media files for a website site from one server to another. Most typically done when changing hosting companies. of existing Gallery blocks will be in Beta 2. As a result, for Beta 1, you’ll be able to test the new Gallery block by adding a new Gallery, but, in order to migrate an old format Gallery block, you’ll need to do so manually using the Update button in the block toolbar.

Block pattern explorer

The experience of adding patterns from the Inserter just got a refresh with the introduction of a new modal that allows you to see patterns in a more organized way with larger previews. In terms of testing, the items to cover are quite simple:

  • Select and add patterns to your content. 
  • Scroll through different pattern options.

General updates coming to CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.

Outside of these more specific features, there are also some general updates coming to this release that would be advantageous to have tested:

Where to report feedback

If you find any issues, it’s best to share them on the alpha/beta forums, or Trac if you are more technically savvy and comfortable. Please share feedback as soon as you can before the release on January 25th, 2022.

Thank you to @justinahinon @boniu91 @cbringmann @hellofromtonya and @webcommsat for reviewing and contributing to this post.

#5-9, #fse-outreach-program, #full-site-editing

FSE Program Testing Call #11: Site Editing Safari

This is the eleventh call for testing as part of the Full Site Editing Outreach Program! For more information about this outreach 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. 

As a reminder, if you’d like to suggest an idea for a call for testing, it’s very welcomed and all ideas will be weighed against current project priorities to figure out what makes the most sense to pursue. You can share ideas directly in the slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel or via DM to me (@annezazu). 

Overview

Feel free to jump straight to the testing steps if you’d prefer to get started right away.

This is the final call for testing before WordPress 5.9, which makes it a wonderful and high impact one to be involved in as it’ll help improve the experience for a large portion of the web before it ever launches. In order to get the most out of this call for testing, the instructions are going to change as the test goes on and as we move forward in the release cycle. For example, at the start of this test, folks will be encouraged to use TT1 and, by the end of the test, Twenty Twenty-Two will be recommended. For now, here’s a high level overview of what is going to be tested:

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. theme template and template part editing UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing.

While certain calls for testing have ventured into the Site Editor, that experience as you’ve known it is shifting for 5.9 in order to offer a more refined and scaled down experience to manage templates and template parts within a block theme. With a condensed browsing tool and a new placement in wp-admin under Appearance, this might feel more like a taste than the full experience of the Site Editor as you’ve come to know it.  

Styles Interface

While 5.8 laid the groundwork for a cohesive style system, 5.9 sees the introduction of a beautiful user interface that allows folks to interact directly with various style properties. You might have heard of this work under the project name “global styles”! While we’ve had calls for testing around theme.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., one of the mechanisms related to the overall Global Styles project, this is the first time Styling itself is being explored. Currently, this interface displays two large groups of design focuses: blocks and elements. Elements represent things that can be styled globally and across blocks (such as “text”, “links”, “captions”, etc). This is a fancy way of saying you can easily change the typography of your entire site or the unique coloring of your buttons block all from the same interface. 

Patterns Explorer

With block patterns on the rise, a new explorer modal has been shipped to make it easier to navigate between patterns and find the exact one you want to use. This sets the groundwork for future integration with the Pattern Directory. This test will briefly explore this new experience.

Twenty Twenty-Two

Twenty Twenty-Two is the latest in a long line of default themes with a twist — it’s a block theme first and foremost built for the various site editing tools. As a result, midway through this call for testing, folks will be encouraged to test using this theme and report back their findings. Read more about this groundbreaking default theme here

Testing Environment 

This will adjust as the test goes on and the release cycle progresses to ensure folks are testing the latest and greatest. 

Here are the steps to follow to properly set up your testing environment for this specific all for testing. If you’re already ready to go, jump to the testing steps below.

  1. Use a test site with the latest version of WordPress. Right now, that’s 5.8.2. It’s important this is not a production/live site. 
  2. Install and activate 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. https://wordpress.org/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 12.0.
  3. Install the TT1 Blocks theme by going to Appearances > Themes > Add New. Once installed, activate the theme. 
  4. Create a few posts with featured images of your choosing. Alternatively, you can download and import the demo Gutenberg content created previously for these kinds of tests via the WordPress importer under Tools >  Import. You can also follow this lesson for how to use demo content.
  5. Go to the website’s admin.
  6. You should now see a navigation item under Appearance titled “Editor (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.)”. If you don’t see that, your environment isn’t correctly set up. If you get stuck here, just comment on this post or ask in #fse-outreach-experiment for help!

Generally speaking, please use the latest versions of each part of the setup and keep in mind that versions might have changed since this post was shared.

Testing steps

Personalize your homepage

1. Go to Settings > Reading and set “Your homepage displays” to show “Your latest posts”.
2. Once set, go to Appearance > “Editor (beta)”. This will open up to show a template that displays your homepage.
3. From there, change your homepage to your liking! This could mean adding in a navigation block, changing the font size of your Post Title Blocks, adding a duotone filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Hooks. They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. to your Post 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. blocks, removing blocks, adding blocks, and more. 
4. Once you’ve adjusted everything to your liking, click “Save” and go through the saving experience. 

Set your styles 

5. From there, click on the Styles icon in the upper right corner to access the Styles interface. 
6. Once open, personalize the four sections as much or as little as you’d like: Typography, Colors, Layout, and Blocks (to customize individual blocks). For example, you can click on Colors > Palette > Use the + sign to add your own custom color option for use throughout your content. 
7. Once you’ve adjusted everything to your liking, click “Save” and go through the saving experience. 

Add a buttons pattern and use layout controls

8. From there, open up the Inserter and switch to the Patterns tab.
9. Select the “Explore” option, navigate to the Buttons section, and pick the “Simple call to action” pattern.
10. Once added, use the + option to add in a second button. 
11. From there, select the overall parent Buttons block and open the 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. settings to customize the layout to your liking. Here’s a quick video in case you get stuck.
12. Save the changes. 

Add a duotone filter to your Archive template

13. Click on the W menu in the upper left hand corner > Under Editor select “Templates” > Select “Add New” > Select “Archive” (currently not possible to create a General template from here).
14. In the content, add in the Post Featured Image block and add in a duotone filter. 
15. Add in any additional blocks you’d like and save the changes when you’re ready. 
16. Head back to your dashboard by clicking on the W icon in the upper left corner before heading to Posts > All posts. 
17. Edit one of your posts with a featured image and assign your updated “Archive” to this post. Here’s a quick video in case you get stuck.
18. Save and view the post to see the filter applied!

Edit 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.

19. Return to Appearance > Editor (beta) and, using List View if you need to, select your Header template part. 
20. Select the three dot menu in List View or in the block toolbar and select “Edit Header”. This will take you to the focused template part mode. 
21. From there, make a few changes to the template part (add items to the navigation block, change the size of your Site Title, etc) and use the horizontal drag handles to see how your header will look at different sizes! 
22. Save the changes.

What to notice:

  • Did the experience crash at any point?
  • Did the saving experience properly save your changes? 
  • Did you find any features missing? 
  • What did you find anything particularly confusing or frustrating about the experience?
  • What did you especially enjoy or appreciate about the experience? 
  • What would have made this experience easier? 
  • Did you find that what you created in the editor matched what you saw on your site?
  • How did your content look on a smaller device or screen size? 
  • How do you think this will impact your current workflows? 
  • Did it work using Keyboard only?
  • Did it work using a screen reader?

Leave Feedback by December 7th, 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. If you leave feedback in GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can 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.

Props to @kellychoffman for helping review this call for testing.

Changelog

Nov 10th: updated instructions to use Gutenberg 11.9 RC4.
Nov 12th: updated instructions to use Gutenberg 11.9.
Nov 13th: updated instructions to use WordPress 5.8.2.
Nov 24th: updated instructions to use Gutenberg 12.0, to change the phrasing around the browsing component, and to update the due date.

#fse-outreach-program, #fse-testing-call, #full-site-editing

FSE Program Testing Call #10: Pattern Party

This is the tenth call for testing as part of the Full Site Editing Outreach Program! For more information about this outreach 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. 

As a reminder, if you’d like to suggest an idea for a call for testing, it’s very welcomed and all ideas will be weighed against current project priorities to figure out what makes the most sense to pursue. You can share ideas directly in the slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel or via DM to me (@annezazu). 

Feature Overview

Because Full Site Editing is a collection of features that allows more items to be easily edited without knowing code, new blocks needed to be created to cover more parts of your site. These blocks are generally called “Theme Blocks” as they match functionality that used to only live in themes. While a number of theme blocks were introduced in WordPress 5.8, there’s always more work to be done, including shipping even more theme blocks in future releases! 

This test is focused on pushing these lovely Theme Blocks to their limits to better determine what to prioritize and what features might remain to be documented. To make the experience feel a bit more fun and practical, we’re going to approach this test from the vantage point of creating patterns for blogs using some of these blocks. If you really like what you make, remember you could even register them on your site 🙂 

As a refresher, here’s a rundown of all of the theme blocks ready for testing with a note around which ones are included in WordPress 5.8 in case you’re inspired to use them on your site now:

  • Site Logo: allows you to display and edit the site logo [shipped in 5.8].
  • Site Tagline: allows you to display and edit your Site Tagline [shipped in 5.8]. 
  • Site Title: allows you to display and edit your Site Title [shipped in 5.8]. 
  • Query LoopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop.: allows you to display posts and pages in various formats [shipped in 5.8]. 
  • Post Title: displays the Post Title [shipped in 5.8].
  • Post Content: displays the contents of your post [shipped in 5.8]
  • Post Date: displays the post date [shipped in 5.8]
  • Post 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.: displays the post excerpt [shipped in 5.8].
  • Post 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.: allows you to display and edit the featured image of your post [shipped in 5.8]
  • Post Categories: displays the categories of a post [shipped in 5.8]
  • Post Tags: displays the tags for a post [shipped in 5.8].
  • Login/out: displays login and out links [shipped in 5.8].
  • Page List: displays a list of all pages on your site [shipped in 5.8]
  • Template Part: allows you to display and edit various global regions of your site (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., footer, etc). 
  • Post Comment: displays an individual comment.
  • Post Comment Author: displays author for a comment. 
  • Post Comment Content: displays content of a comment.
  • Post Comment Date: displays comment date. 
  • Post Comments: displays all comments. 
  • Post Comments Count: displays comment count. 
  • Post Comments Form: displays comment form. 
  • Archive Title: Displays archive title. 
  • Term Description: Displays the description of categories, tags and custom taxonomies when viewing an archive.

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: 

Generally speaking, please use the latest versions of each part of the setup and keep in mind that versions might have changed since this post was shared.

Testing steps

Setup Instructions:

  1. Have a test site using the latest version of WordPress. It’s important this is not a production/live site. 
  2. 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 11.6.
  3. Install the TT1 Blocks theme by going to Appearances > Themes > Add New. Once installed, activate the theme. 
  4. Create at least eight posts with two different categories and featured images of your choosing. Alternatively, you can download and import the demo Gutenberg content created especially for this test (open the link and select “Download”) via the WordPress importer under Tools >  Import. You can also follow this lesson for how to use demo content.
  5. Go to the website’s admin.
  6. You should now see a navigation item titled “Site Editor (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.).” If you don’t see that in your 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., you aren’t correctly using the Site Editing experiment. 

General Instructions:

  1. Head to Pages > Add New and create a new page. Title it whatever you’d like!
  2. Add the Query Loop 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. and select whatever pattern you want to build upon. You can also add in a container block, like a Columns or Group block, and add in the Query Loop as you’d like.
  3. From there, make the pattern your own using as many Theme blocks listed above as you can and customizing the various settings. For example, you could create a comment heavy pattern utilizing the various comment blocks or have a particularly image focused one thanks to new improvements to the Featured Image block. Try to be as unique as possible and don’t be constrained by adding the blocks only within the Query Loop.

If you’re up for the challenge and want to take this test further, try to create your own pattern from scratch, make multiple patterns, or recreate some with your own twist from Theme designers at Automattic shown below:

What to notice:

Remember to share a screenshot of what you created if you’re up for it!

  • Did the experience crash at any point?
  • Did the saving experience work properly? 
  • Did you find any features missing while creating your custom blog pattern? 
  • What did you find particularly confusing or frustrating about the experience?
  • What did you especially enjoy or appreciate about the experience? 
  • What would have made this experience easier? 
  • Did you find that what you created in the editor matched what you saw on your site?
  • Did it work using Keyboard only?
  • Did it work using a screen reader?

Leave Feedback by October 13th, 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. If you leave feedback in GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can 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.

Thank you to @priethor @sparklingrobots and @welcher for reviewing this post and giving me the confidence to ship it.

#fse-outreach-program, #fse-testing-call, #full-site-editing

FSE Program Exploration: Help with the future of Block Theme Switching

With the advent of 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. themes in the WordPress ecosystem, new possibilities are on the horizon, from easier theme development for developers and designers to easier site creation for users. Rather than just examining the value of block themes in isolation though, it’s important to expand to think about what can be done across different block themes. For example, imagine a world where one could seamlessly take product review patterns from one theme, styling from another, and product display templates from an eCommerce focused theme to create a store. Or imagine being able to switch themes while retaining your favorite palette of colors and typography. Regardless, it’s imperative that the experience is reliable, intuitive, and expansive pushing beyond what’s been possible in the past. 

As a result, the focus of this exploration is on thinking from this longer term, “wishful thinking” perspective first by guiding you through a very basic theme switching process and then by asking each of you to creatively think about what you’d like to see happen. Since this is not quite a call for testing due to the lack of flows, focus less on finding bugs (although they are still welcomed) and more on thinking through things you wish would happen or would like to occur. The aim is to gather useful insights that will help inform how we design this experience. 

Note: this is intentionally just focusing on block theme switching only for now rather than, for example, switching from classic to block. 

Explore what’s currently possible 

The steps below are meant to be high level with the aim to have you set up initial block theme related items that you might want to keep upon switching themes. It’s not required to run through these steps for the sake of this test since many of the flows are not yet built. 

If you don’t have time to create quick content, feel free to import this demo content (open the link and select “Download) created especially for this test via the WordPress importer under Tools >  Import. You can also follow this lesson for how to use demo content.

  1. Set up 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
  2. Install and activate the latest version of Gutenberg
  3. Install and activate a block theme from the options listed in the theme directory
  4. Create a custom template under Appearance > Templates > Add New. 
  5. Create a custom template part under Appearance > Template Parts > Add New. 
  6. Open the Site Editor and, using the Global Styles UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing., select a few custom block styles and overall default styles. Save all changes. 
  7. Head to Appearance > Themes and switch themes. 
  8. Review the Site Editor, Templates, and Template parts. 

Bonus: Try importing and exporting content from a current site you have to a test site to make the test feel more real and applicable, even if the site is not using a block theme. From there, switch to any theme, block or not. This is purely to get you in the headspace of thinking more about what you’d like to retain even if this is focused specifically on block themes. 

Describe what you’d like to see

Comment below after reflecting on the following questions. Remember to share what you’d like to see ideally rather than focusing on what’s currently in place. Answer one, answer all, answer none! These are merely to get you thinking in the right framework rather than boxes to check: 

  • What would you want to be able to do when switching themes?
  • What parts of a block theme would you expect to be able to keep when switching themes? 
  • What sort of confirmation prompts would you want to see? 
  • Share a time when you switched themes and something unexpected happened.
  • When you switch themes on your site, can you share your routine?
  • If you wanted to switch to a new theme today, where do you go or which places would you expect to be able to do this?
  • What are some reasons you have had for wanting to switch to a new theme?
  • Anything else? Think big!

Please share feedback by September 29th, 2021

As always, thank you for participating in this exercise. If anything is blocking you from doing so, just say so either in #fse-outreach-experiment, in the comments of this post, or over DM in slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. to @annezazu (that’s me!). Keep in mind that not everything shared here will be implemented by the nature of this exploration but know that your ideas will ultimately help shape what is possible going forward. 

Thank you to @poena @kellychoffman @priethor @daisyo for reviewing!

#block-themes, #fse-exploration, #fse-outreach-program, #full-site-editing

[Call for volunteeers] Audit and Update Testing Instructions across the Make sites

In the summer of 2021, the Test team started meeting again for chats, triage sessions, and scrubs. One of the things that keeps coming up is the need to have clear instructions for testing.

They are scattered across many Make websites, they are not all kept up-to-date with changes in the different environments they mention, they not always link to existing documentation and, in some cases, they link to pages that no longer exist.

This makes it more difficult for new contributors to join the sessions and actively participate in the team initiatives.

During one of the meetings, the attendees agreed that having good documentation is a priority to welcome new contributors.

Goals

  1. Make sure all testing instructions for the most commonly used environments used to test WordPress CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. are updated and unified, across the Make websites.
  2. Review the existing Test team handbook: edit, remove and add pages.

Process

At this stage, I am focusing on the first goal: review the testing instructions, simplify if possible, and make sure they are all up-to-date.

The process I have in mind is:

  1. Create a spreadsheet with all the pages that mention testing in the:
    1. Make Hanbooks for: AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility), Core, Design, Test
    2. wordpress-develop
    3. TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.https://core.trac.wordpress.org/.
  2. Post in the team-reps SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. Channel a call for volunteers, so all teams involved can coordinate
  3. Create or edit instructions for each environment and cross-link if necessary.
  4. Update people in the team-reps every X weeks about the progress done (to be decided with the group of volunteers that will work on this initiative).
  5. Future > Act swiftly when something changes, so ideally instructions are never out of date. This is quite hard without version control in our handbooks, but we’ll cross this bridge when we get here 😉

Here is the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1D4Q2_P_FriSxj19P2HIso81s2SZf5RcUVFaTUe12cuk/edit?usp=sharing

Then we can move on to goal number 2 (or another group of people can work on that simultaneously).

Wanna help? Comment in this blog post with your Slack username and we can start working 🙂

Thank you!

Props to @hellofromtonya and @mai21 for peer review.

#build-test-tools, #docs

FSE Program Testing Call #9: Handling HigherEd Headers

This is the ninth call for testing as part of the Full Site Editing Outreach Program! For more information about this outreach 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. 

In comparison with previous calls for testing, this one is even more community driven with the suggestion to do a Higher Education themed call for testing coming from @blake. If you’d like to suggest an idea for a call for testing, know it’s very welcomed and all ideas will be weighed against current project priorities to figure out what makes the most sense to pursue. You can share ideas directly in the slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel or via DM to me (@annezazu). 

Feature Overview

To ground this test in a real-world example, we’re going to go back to school as an administrator and recreate a customized 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. to welcome students, parents, and teachers alike to our hypothetical university. For inspiration, check out the following sample of university sites or just look up some near you! Since this test is focused on building out the header portion, focus in on that aspect and take note of what is done on each site: 

https://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en

https://www.ni.ac.rs/en/student-info

https://engineering.asu.edu/

As you can imagine, this test is going to enable us to go deep into 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.. As a refresher, it’s a powerful, new block that unlocks the ability to edit a site’s navigation menuNavigation Menu A theme feature introduced with Version 3.0. WordPress includes an easy to use mechanism for giving various control options to get users to click from one place to another on a site., both in terms of structure and design. To help prepare it for inclusion in a future WordPress release, this test is meant to explore the edges of what this block can do. 

Similar to prior tests, if you choose to get super creative, please share a screenshot in your comment so we can celebrate what you’ve made. For inspiration, here’s my example below with the multiple layers of sub-menu items displayed:

Image of a pretend Gutenberg University header with two different menus, including one with multiple sub-menu layers open.

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: 

Generally speaking, please use the latest versions of each part of the setup and keep in mind that versions might have changed since this post was shared.

Known issues

While creating this call for testing, a few issues popped up that you, too, might experience as you go through this. Rest assured they have been reported. Here’s a nonexhaustive list of the most important items:

Beginner testing steps

This section is for those who want to follow specific steps to create a header and might not have a lot of time to take the test further. 

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. 

Create structure (template part, columns, etc)

  1. Navigate to the “Site Editor (beta)” view. This will automatically open the site editor to the template powering your homepage. 
  2. Upon opening your homepage, remove the Navigation Block found inside the Header Template Part. This is to help reset the header to add more to it later on. 
  3. Select the parent Columns Block and, using the Block Settings in the 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., change the columns from 2 to 3 columns. 
  4. Return to the Columns Block and, using the Block Toolbar settings, make sure it’s set to Full Width.

Build out site branding 

  1. In the first column, add the Site Logo Block and upload/use a site logo. You can use this free logo from logodust.com if you’d like. 
  2. From there, customize the Site Title, Site Tagline, and Site Logo blocks to your liking (change font, change color, change alignment, etc).
  3. In the second column, add a Buttons block to add a warning about COVID by linking to the August COVID Update post. You can do this by searching for the post title. If you haven’t yet imported the necessary demo content, please do so now using this export file (open the link and select the “Download” option). 

Create a simple menu for high level items

  1. In the third column, add a Navigation Block and select the “Start Empty” option.
  2. From there, use the Page Link Block to add in the following pages from the imported content: Contact, Directions, Make a Donation. To do this, just start typing the title of each page. You will likely notice this spacing bug at this point that’s slated to be fixed in Gutenberg 11.3. 
  3. Rename menu item Make a Donation to Donate to make it shorter by simply editing the text of that Page Link Block. 
  4. To finalize the menu, add in a Search Block and, using the sidebar settings, customize it to your liking (picking background color, text colors, width, etc). 
  5. Once the main menu items are in place, select the overall Navigation Block once more and, in the sidebar settings under “Display Settings”, toggle on the Enable responsive menu option. You can also customize the block styles at this point as you like. 

Create a more complex menu for specifics 

  1. Select the overall Columns Block that contains your three columns (this is where you might find the List View helpful). Using the More Settings menu option, select “Insert After” to add a block after. 
  2. Add another Columns Block and select the 30/70 option. 
  3. From there, select the overall Columns Block again and, using the Block Toolbar settings, make sure it’s set to Full Width.
  4. Add a Navigation Block to the larger 70% width column and select the “Start Empty” option.
  5. From there, use the Page Link Block to add in the following pages from the imported content: About, Admissions, Student Life, Research, and News. To do this, just start typing the title of each page. 
  6. Once the main menu items are in place, select the overall Navigation Block once more and, in the sidebar settings under “Display Settings”, toggle on the Enable responsive menu option. 
  7. From there, add in sub-menu items to About, Admissions, Student Life, and Research. In case you need a hint, here’s a screenshot of the icon for adding sub menu items. 
    1. About should have the following sub-menu items: Distinguished Alumni,  Diversity and Inclusion, Faculty, History, Leadership.
    2. Admissions should have the following sub-menu items: Career Paths, Undergraduate Graduate Admissions, Scholarship & Financial Aid, Tuition. 
    3. Research should have the following sub-menu items: Awards & Honors, Partnerships, Undergraduate Research, Graduate Research. 
    4. Student Life should have the following sub-menu items: Athletics, Tutoring Services, FAQs, Study Abroad Opportunities, Tutoring, Services. 
  8. At this point, add sub menu items under Admissions > Career: Business, Design, Technology. 
  9. Once the sub menu items are added, rearrange and rename various sub-menu items to your liking. You can rearrange using the Block Navigation option when selecting the entire Navigation Block as shown in this GIF
  10. If you want to add more pages that don’t exist yet, you can do so by typing a title that doesn’t currently exist on your site. From there, you’ll see an option to create a draft page. Do this for at least one menu item. Remember to have fun with this and make it HigherEd-themed! 
  11. From there, customize the overall Navigation block as you’d like (change alignment, color, font size, etc). Remember that for sub-menu items you can use the Overlay color settings to set the colors you want. 

Save your work & customize further

  1. Select “Save” to save your changes and view your site on the front end. Note any differences in what you see in the editor vs what you see on the front end. If you have any drafted pages, you’ll want to publish them in order to see them listed in the menu.
  2. Try viewing your site on mobile and checking to see whether the menus appear responsive with a hamburger menu. 
  3. From there, continue to customize as you’d like by changing any alignment, color, font size, removing/renaming/rearranging items, and more. You can also add additional blocks to either Navigation Block including Spacer or Social Icons. 

Advanced testing steps

This section is for those who have the time to take the test further and who are comfortable venturing into the site editor without much guidance. 

The steps for this section are simple: find a university site’s header and try to recreate all or part of it. You’re welcome to continue to use TT1 Blocks or to use the block theme of your choosing (please note if you use a different theme). You can use the universities listed above or you can find your own. When leaving a comment, please share a screenshot of what you were attempting and a screenshot of what you were able to do. It’s very helpful to see what folks would like to be able to do so don’t hesitate to share different designs you see. 

What to notice:

Remember to share a screenshot of what you created if you’re up for it!

  • Did the experience crash at any point?
  • Did the saving experience work properly? 
  • Did you find any features missing while creating the header? Please be as specific as possible, especially if you followed the Advanced steps. 
  • 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 saw on your site?
  • How did you find the Navigation block worked when viewed on smaller screen sizes? 
  • Did it work using Keyboard only?
  • Did it work using a screen reader?
  • If you’d like, try running your test site through a tool like https://wave.webaim.org or https://www.accessify.com/ to see how it performs. 

Leave Feedback by September 1, 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 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.

#fse-outreach-experiment, #fse-outreach-program, #fse-testing-call, #full-site-editing

Help Test WordPress 5.8’s FSE Features

With WordPress 5.8 slated to ship on July 20th, this post seeks to consolidate ways for those in the FSE Outreach Program (anyone can join!) to help test specific features related to the overall full site editing project that will be included in this release. This is meant to bolster, not replace, overall 5.8 testing efforts. Theme.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. is explicitly not mentioned here as there’s currently a dedicated testing post for that feature with feedback open until July 14th. 

For more information about the outreach program, please review this FAQ for helpful details and check out the latest schedule. To properly join the fun, please head to #fse-outreach-experiment in Make Slack for future testing announcements, helpful posts, and more. 

Important note: Anything marked as [Technical] is best for those comfortable with more advanced testing steps. 

Testing environment

Please only test on a development siteDevelopment Site You can keep a copy of your live site in a separate environment. Maintaining a development site is a good practice that can let you make any changes and test them without affecting the live/production environment. and not on 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

Once a development site is set up, please install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester Plugin before setting it to: 

  • Update channel to “Bleeding edge”
  • Stream options to “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./RCRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. only”

If you need more specific steps, here are more detailed instructions you can follow

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. Widgets Editor

The block widgets editor allows you to use blocks in widgets areas and control them further in the CustomizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings. with live preview, scheduling, etc. The following items are considered a high priority to test:

  • Migrating classic widgets to this new screen. 
  • Switching between themes.
  • Editing blocks in widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. areas in the Customizer. 
  • Confirming opting in and out works properly. You can review each mechanism under “Opting out of the block-based widgets editor” in this post

For robust testing steps for each of these items, please review this specific call for testing from earlier in the release process. For more information about this new feature, check out this Dev note covering all of the details

Template Editing Mode & Theme Blocks

Template editing mode allows you to edit your content’s template with blocks, including some new theme blocks like the Site Title block or Page List block. As a reminder, template editing mode is opt in for Classic Themes and opt out for Block Themes. This means that if you want to test this, you’ll need to use a block theme along with both the Gutenberg plugin and the WordPress Beta Tester Plugin

The following items are a high priority to test:

  • [Technical] Opting into and out of template editing mode. More information about how to do this can be found under “Theme Support” in this post. Bonus if you test with different themes. 
  • Customizing templates, including creating new ones, after either using a theme that has opted in or using a block theme with 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/
  • Exploring each new Theme Block listed in this post to build out a more robust template. 

For robust testing steps around using and creating templates, please follow these previous calls for testing: create a custom portfolio page and create custom landing pages

Note: If you use a block theme to test this, you will need to install the Gutenberg plugin alongside it in order for everything to work with WordPress 5.8. 

Duotone

Duotone is a feature that allows you to add colors to your images and enhance your content. It works best with high contrast images, so keep that in mind as you test the following priority items: 

  • [Technical] Adding duotone support to a registered block using the still experimental block supports described here
  • Using the feature in the Image and Cover Block. Remember that you can use this with videos in the cover block too and that you can set your own custom colors!

For more information about this feature, check out the WordPress news post that covers it in depth

Query LoopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop. Block

The Query Loop Block (previously called the Query Block) is a powerful new block that unlocks the ability to easily show off posts from a specific categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging., allowing you to do things like quickly creating a portfolio or a favorite recipe page. Think of it as a more complex and powerful Latest Posts Block! Currently, this new block offers multiple ways for displaying lists of posts and comes with new block patterns that take advantage of its flexibility and creative possibilities. 

To help test this, explore the patterns built into the block, try changing the default query in the 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. settings, placing it inside a columns block, and more. Keep in mind that to create a better user experience, the content within the Query Loop isn’t able to be edited but can be customized (i.e., Post Title text can’t be changed but you can change the color of the Post Title Block). 

For robust testing steps around using the query block, please follow this previous call for testing that was focused on the Query Loop block.

Where to report feedback

If you find any issues, it’s best to share them on the alpha/beta forums, or Trac if you are more technically savvy and comfortable. Please share feedback before the release on July 20, 2021.

#fse-outreach-program

FSE Program Testing Call #8: Thrive with Theme.json

Props to @daisyo and @jffng for the massive amount of help in writing and perfecting this call for testing. 

Important note: Compared to previous calls for testing for the FSE Outreach program, this is intentionally targeting a more developer-centric audience compared to site builders or end users in order to bring high impact feedback for theme.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., a new tool for extenders. You can read more about what to expect with upcoming efforts here

Feature Overview

At the highest level, theme.json is a configuration file used to enable or disable features and set default styles for both a website and blocks. Rather than dealing with a ton of theme support flags or alternative methods, theme.json provides a consolidated and canonical way to manage it all. These settings include options like:

  • What customization options should be made available or hidden from the user.
  • What are the default colors, font sizes, etc available to the user.
  • Defines the default layout of the editor (widths and available alignments).

This configuration file is a big part of what makes 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. themes so powerful as it allows for finer-grained control, and introduces the first step in “managing styles” for future WordPress releases. Here are a few of the top benefits of using this new mechanism: 

  • It allows themes to provide settings per block which wasn’t possible before since add_theme_support targets settings for the entire editor. 
  • Themes using theme.json will automatically get classes and CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. Custom Properties enqueued for the presets they declare instead of needing to handle this themselves. Plus, this means translations of preset names are also managed for them!
  • Theme.json will coordinate coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress., theme, and user styles in a way that reduces the amount of CSS that needs to ship as well as help resolve specificity problems. 

While block themes won’t work with WordPress 5.8 without 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. https://wordpress.org/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 due to some theme blocks being left out of the release that weren’t quite ready to ship, it’s still an important feature coming to 5.8 that needs testing and exploration. If you’ve been curious about the world of block themes or have started building your own, this call for testing is for you and shoul