WordPress Plugin for Building Block Themes

WordPress Plugin for Building Block Themes

Many things are happening in the WordPress world that will most likely set the stage for the platform's future evolution. The hot summer months are here, but WordPress is not taking any time off. In July, block themes are garnering a lot of attention. 

WordPress Plugin for Building Block Themes

A fresh suggestion has also been made to create a plugin inspection tool for developers. But that's not all; continue reading to find out about: 

  • Gutenberg update
  • WordPress themes directory adds block themes filter to menu
  • New plugin for creating block themes
  • Proposal for a new plugin checker tool
  • Call to help test the ‘rollback update failure’ feature plugin
  • WPForms acquires Pirate Forms plugin
  • WordCamp Asia 2023 calls for speakers

1. Gutenberg update

Continuing the two-week-release cycle, the team released Gutenberg 13.6 on July 6, 2022. This version comes with a few new features, several small enhancements, a number of accessibility improvements, and 26 bug fixes. 

Notable additions include:

1. The addition of the pattern modal for users when they create content with a custom post type. WordPress 6.0 introduced a feature that allows patterns to appear in a modal every time a user creates a new page or post. Gutenberg 13.6 expands on this feature, allowing the same modal to be presented to a user on other post types.

2. Additional template types in the site editor. Users can now create a template for a post of a specific post type, and a template for a specific post. The UI to handle this is quite simple, so the team expects users to have a fairly easy time working with it.

2. WordPress themes directory adds block themes filter to menu

Users can now search the WordPress themes directory for block-based themes. Contributors are working to increase the visibility of block themes. It's an odd period in the world of WordPress themes, particularly with the platform's push toward full-site editing. Many of the new features introduced by full-site editing can only be used with a block-based theme. However, this presents a problem for customers seeking a new theme, as they would need to select a block theme for future-proofing. There was previously no simple method to determine whether themes are block-based without going into the theme's details.

3. A new plugin for developing block-based theme

A group of eight full-time contributors recently developed the Create Block Theme plugin. It enables users to construct block and child themes directly within the WordPress admin. Users can create their own themes with full-site editing and export their finished goods for use on any WordPress site.

The Create Block Theme plugin makes developing a WordPress theme lot easier and more approachable, especially for non-programmers. It has the potential to expand the number of block themes available in the theme directory, which will help WordPress meet its target of having 500 block themes available by the end of the year.

4. Proposal for a new plugin checker tool

WordPress’s Performance team is drafting a proposal for developing a plugin checker tool. This is to ensure that new plugins are meeting the latest standards and best practices.

The team is proposing to build a plugin that would flag any violations of the plugin development requirements and suggest best practices with errors or warnings. “It should cover various aspects of plugin development, from basic requirements like correct usage of internationalization functions to accessibility, performance, and security best practices” – said Google-sponsored contributor Felix Arntz.

The proposal’s received mixed reactions so far. Some participants in the discussion welcome the development of such a tool, stating that they are excited to use it in their workflow. On the opposite side, some participants worry about the checks being too forceful and can negatively affect the plugin ecosystem.

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5. WPForms acquires Pirate Forms plugin

Themeisle, the company behind the popular themes Hestia and Neva, announced on July 4, 2022, that its Pirate Forms plugin had been acquired by WPForms.

Pirate Forms was released in 2015 and gained popularity thanks to its simplicity, allowing users to easily add forms to contact pages without any setup needed. Now in 2022, the team behind the plugin believes they don’t have enough resources to make it as powerful as they would like. For that reason, Themeisle decided to sell Pirate Forms to WPForms, a well-known ‘form builder’ plugin.

Pirate Forms users should look to migrate to WPForms soon, as support for the plugin will cease after 6 months of the acquisition. Additionally, Themeisle membership users are now eligible to get a one-year license of WPForms Pro for no extra pay.

6. Call to help test the ‘rollback update failure’ feature plugin

The developers of the ‘Rollback Update Failure’ feature plugin put out a call for testing. The goal of the plugin is to offer a safety mechanism in the WordPress core for when updates or auto-updates fail.

For most WordPress users, successful updates should be the standard experience. However, many things can happen when users install a new update, whether it’s an update to their plugin, theme, or WordPress core. Things may conflict with each other, which may affect the user experience on the site. Or worse, it can even make the site utterly unusable. Instead of leaving the user’s site in a broken state, the ‘rollback update failure’ feature will restore the site to a usable state. 

7. WordCamp Asia 2023 looking for speakers

Due to the Covid-19 situation in Asia, the first flagship WordCamp for the region has been postponed since 2020. The event, originally planned for February 2020, finally got a green light.

WordCamp Asia will take place February 17-19, 2023 at IconSiam in Bangkok Thailand. The organizers have put out a call to look for speakers. They are looking for “diverse topics and inspirational stories.” Additionally, the organizers stated that they do not intend to approve first-time or inexperienced speakers. Applicants will need to include at least one video link of a talk they did in their applications.

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