Block Theme Development Course – Update

The inclusion of Full Site Editing in WordPress 5.9 opens up a brand new way for WordPress users, builders, and extenders to create Block Themes, right from the WordPress dashboard. In addition, the Create Block Theme 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 provides a way for a 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 that has been created in the Full Site Editor to be exported as a child themeChild theme A Child Theme is a customized theme based upon a Parent Theme. It’s considered best practice to create a child theme if you want to modify the CSS of your theme. https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/advanced-topics/child-themes/., or a brand new theme, ready to be installed on any other WordPress site.

Block themes are a new WordPress design/development tool, and there are folks out there who are keen to learn how to utilize the power of FSE in building themes for themselves and their clients. At the moment there is limited knowledge available on Learn WordPress to help WordPress users to level up on the possibilities with FSE. Therefore, one of the training team goals for 2022 is the creation of a course on how to create Block Themes

This post serves to summarize the progress of this course, the research that has taken place to determine the structure of this course, and the proposed next steps.

Background

At the beginning of this year, @daisyo and @arasae started working on an outline to create a low code block theme course. 

This outline was drawn from two sources.

The first was a series @daisyo recorded with @welcher:

Creating a Block-Based Theme with Daisy Olsen

The second was a series of social learning spaces, hosted by @daisyo and @arasae

Zero to Block Theme

In May @daisyo was required to take a step back from her involvement in planning this course, to focus on her developer relations work and her upcoming workshop at WordCamp Europe. At around the same time, I joined @arasae to assist with working on completing the course outline, with a focus on getting the course outline wrapped up, and the course published. 

In my review of the current outline, and the content already created, I thought about the audience for this course, and I proposed that there are two types of WordPress users who would benefit from such a course, but that it might be necessary to split the course into two.

  1. A low-code block theme course, which guides a non theme developer through the process of creating a new block theme from scratch – like Twenty Twenty Two, Blockbase – exploring design best practices, creating the required initial files, editing the global styles, creating required templates, and template parts in the Full Site Editor, and exporting that to a new theme.
  2. A supplementary course that is focused more on experienced theme developers, takes a theme created as described above and covers more advanced topics. This would include a more detailed dive into elements of block themes, a detailed look at how to utilize and configure 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., how to programmatically edit templates and template parts to push the block theme past what is possible with FSE, and how to extend an FSE designed theme. 

Current Status

Currently, @arasae and I are in the process of researching and refining the outlines for these two courses, with a focus on course #1. As we have some knowledge gaps and some questions on the process of creating block themes, we have set up meetings with existing block theme developers to gather feedback so that we may find answers to our questions, and to help us plan the outlines for each course. 

Next Steps

Once we have created those outlines, we will be publishing them on separate 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/ issues which we’re using to track course progress.

We expect the outline for course #1 to be completed by July 22nd, and the outline for course #2 to be completed by July 29th. 

Once the outlines are published, we will start creating separate Github lesson plan issues for each of the items of content that will be required for each item in the outlines.

We will also post regular updates to this blog, for folks who would like to contribute. We look forward to including contributions from the WordPress community in building these different pieces of content out because like a child, it takes a village to create a course.

Thanks to @arasae and @daisyo for helping with the research for this post.

#block-theme-course, #learn-wordpress, #training, #training-team