Summary: Curating the Editor and building block themes for clients

On May 25, 2023, a Hallway Hangout was held to discuss ways to curate the Editor experience in WordPress, building 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, and challenges you might encounter when building with blocks for clients. 40 community members attended, including facilitators @ndiego and @greenshady

The meeting was recorded live over Zoom and is now available on WordPress TV:

The meeting began with introductions and a quick review of the timeline for 6.3 and Phase 3 of 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. The following resources were shared:

@ndiego then provided a brief overview of the concept of “curation.” He then demonstrated new functionality in WordPress 6.2 that allows users to modify block settings in the Editor using client-side filters. This generated a lively discussion about the pain points builders are currently facing with block themes and additional functionality that’s needed.

One attendee asked how to restrict template part editing by user capabilities (roles). This included providing more granular access to the Site Editor. Attendees mentioned that they are hesitant to give clients full access to the Site Editor but want to provide them with some access. For example, some users need access to menus and specific template parts but nothing else.

Folks were excited about the upcoming changes to patterns. Partially synced patterns will address many pain points. One attendee noted that their agency explicitly does not use patterns currently since they cannot sync and easily update a pattern’s design.

The following resources were shared:

While time ran short, @greenshady also shared a quick preview of his new starter/educational theme, First Draft.

The next Hallway Hangout will likely focus on building block themes and will be announced here on the Make WordPress Themes blog. In the meantime, please share your thoughts in the comments about any pain points you’re currently experiencing or new functionality that would make building for clients easier.

Props to @greenshady for co-hosting the meeting and for feedback on this follow-up post.