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Wordpress-Fonts

The WordPress Web Fonts API Has Arrived

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The journey toward a web fonts API in WordPress has been a rollercoaster of emotions for developers. After being punted from the WordPress 5.9 release, it was moved to the Gutenberg project, where it could be built alongside related features that relied on it.

The API has been merged into the Gutenberg plugin and should land in version 12.8. Theme authors who want to test it can clone the dev version of the plugin or download the nightly version from Gutenberg Times.

Jono Alderson opened the original ticket for a web fonts API in February 2019. However, it was not until late 2021 that it gained a mass of support and development. By most accounts, the API looked ready to ship with WordPress 5.9. However, it was put on hold by Andrew Ozz, one of the lead WordPress developers.

It was not a popular decision, but it may have been the best direction. The API was limited because it did not yet have theme.json support. Being only available through PHP meant that theme authors would have mostly been doing what they always have — rolling out their own solution. This was not the holdup for its unveiling, but it will likely be the API’s most common use case.

While many wanted to see this feature land in WordPress 5.9, the extra months have given it time to evolve into a cleaner API that integrates with the site and content editors.

Theme authors can now define font-face definitions alongside their corresponding families in theme.json files, and WordPress will automatically load the necessary @font-face CSS in the editor and on the front-end. I have tested this extensively and have not run into any problems.

The potential downside is that the feature only ships with support for a local provider, which means fonts must be bundled with the theme. A Google Fonts provider was part of the original implementation but was later removed.

Ozz goes into further details in an earlier ticket, but his recommendation was to drop Google Fonts support for now:

Add support only for local fonts for now. If WordPress decides to include support for the Google CDN later on, the implementation will have to consider web privacy laws and restrictions and be tied with an eventual User Consent API, etc.

Ari Stathopoulos, one of the developers behind the web fonts API, explained that bundling a solution in core that writes the font files directly to the server would improve privacy:

Instead of removing it, maybe we could implement them properly, enforcing locally-hosted webfonts to improve performance & privacy? This way we’d be setting a good example, and we’d see a significant performance & privacy improvement in the WP ecosystem as themes & plugins that currently use Google-fonts, Adobe-fonts and whatnot will start to adopt the API.

For now, it looks like local fonts are officially supported, but theme and plugin authors must register custom providers. One fear with leaving out Google Fonts support is that there will be many competing solutions in the wild instead of one solid provider that everyone can rely on. The more developers build their own wheels, the more likely different implementations ship with bugs or security issues.

Automattic already has a draft patch for a Google provider for Jetpack. Assuming that gets pulled into the plugin, it will undoubtedly conflict with a theme down the road that registers its own google provider ID.

Only supporting local fonts could also create larger theme download sizes. For many themes, this should be a non-issue. One, two, or three font packages are reasonable. However, if global style variations become popular, we could see themes that ship dozens of fonts to cover multiple pre-packaged designs. That will quickly lead to bloated theme files and, combined with enough images, theme authors may hit the 10MB limit for submission to the directory. That feels a little like tomorrow’s problem, but it is something to begin thinking about today.

There are still some issues that need to be solved around the API. However, pushing it through this early in the WordPress 6.0 release cycle will give everyone time to test and help improve it.

Testing Bundled Fonts

There are two methods for registering web fonts with WordPress. For theme authors, the simplest solution is to define them via their theme.json files. This is the method that I will cover below since the file has been standard since WordPress 5.8. There is a PHP example in the pull request ticket.

The theme.json keys and values mostly correspond to the CSS @font-face rule. Theme authors should brush up on it if it has been a while since they have used it.

For testing, I registered three web fonts through my theme, and the following screenshot shows them in action in the editor:

Three taglines repeated with the same words in the editor (demo text).  Each has a different font.
Testing three web fonts.

Web fonts should be registered under settings.typography.fontFamily as part of a specific font family definition. The following is a copy of the code I am testing in one of my themes using the Cabin font:

{
    "settings": {
        "typography": {
            "fontFamilies": [
                {
                    "fontFamily": "\"Cabin\", sans-serif",
                    "slug": "primary",
                    "name": "Primary",
                    "fontFace": [
                        {
                            "fontFamily": "Cabin",
                            "fontWeight": "400 700",
                            "fontStyle": "normal",
                            "src": [ "file:./public/fonts/cabin/Cabin-VariableFont_wdth,wght.ttf" ]
                        },
                        {
                            "fontFamily": "Cabin",
                            "fontWeight": "400 700",
                            "fontStyle": "italic",
                            "src": [ "file:./public/fonts/cabin/Cabin-Italic-VariableFont_wdth,wght.ttf" ]
                        }
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
    }
}

Note that file:./public/fonts/*.ttf is relative to the theme folder. Theme authors need to adjust this to fit their theme structure.

If you are interested in original article by Justin Tadlock you can find it here

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Wordpress-core

5 Things I’d Want to See Improved in WordPress Core

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If you could write your own roadmap for the next few years of WordPress, what would it look like?

While the move from the 5.x releases to 6.x doesn’t actually have any technological significance, it’s still made me feel contemplative about the chapters ahead. The planned focus areas for Gutenberg phases 3 and 4 are multilingual support in core and Google Docs-style collaboration in the block editor. These sound like great features, but just like full site editing, they also sound like features that already have great plugins available.

The rule of thumb is that the core should provide features that 80% or more of end users will actually appreciate and use.

WordPress Philosophy

I’ve been thinking about this 80% rule in regards to the latest WordPress release. Is there any sort of usage data on some of the banner block editor features that made 6.0? I wonder how many of these features would pass the 80% rule, or even the 50% rule. The reality is that we all have our own unique relationship with WordPress. For example, probably fewer than 10% of the sites I’ve worked with have used multilingual functionality. Similarly, while real-time collaboration sounds amazing, it probably wouldn’t be touched on the majority of my client’s projects. Then again, my experience may not match the majority experience. Without telemetry as an option in open source WordPress, we may never know.

As a thought experiment, let’s imagine that this roadmap was not handed down from the gods and that we could each choose our top five improvements. I’ll start.

5. Nav menus for the classic folks

Let’s start with an easy one: the navigation menu needs some love. The new navigation block still feels very much like a work in progress, but initial talks to bring the next generation of navigation to the navigation editor seem to have stalled.

The reality is that a decent percentage of sites (I’d argue the vast majority) will be running on classic themes for many years to come, perhaps indefinitely. Full Site Editing is a tool, but not a catchall. Because of this, I’d love to see the Appearance > Menus screen get the the new UI treatment.

4. Redesign the Settings Screens and the Edit User Screen

Extend the new design language of Gutenberg outside of the block editor, instead of simply bringing other administrative screens (widgets, menus) inside. When will settings screens get even some of the basic layouts that we’re seeing in the block editor, like the fixed top bar with the big blue Save button?

For end users, stepping out of the block editor into the rest of the dashboard feels like stepping back in time, leaving the crisp, white deck of a Star Destroyer for the dull gray computer screen in Luke’s X-Wing.

One idea would be a framework for bringing the Settings API into the world of JavaScript. The longer we wait, the more disjointed the various plugin admin screens will feel. Even for feature projects in WordPress core, there’s no real system for building new settings pages, apart from the classic two-column table with labels on the left and text inputs on the right.

Even if we didn’t React-ify these pages entirely, we could at least turn the Edit User screen into something other than one endless scroll of input fields.

3. WP List Table Class

It also might be time to step out of the post editor and back into the “All Posts” screen for a quick refresh. Those tables we interact with for lists of posts and pages are the result of the ominous WP_List_Table class.

While the WP_List_Table was never actually meant for third-party use, the reality is that it’s the best we’ve got at this point. Many developers extend this class and build their own tables using the components. Bringing it more in line with the block editor experience could make the entire WordPress experience more cohesive.

While this sounds like a massive project, I’d argue that it’s about time to overhaul this functionality, perhaps with a similar “Classic List Tables” fallback filter for the many plugins and theme developers who enhance these tables with additional functionality.

2. The block editor without the block editor

OK, bear with me because this is a little abstract. I want the block editor, even when I don’t actually want the block editor.

I think a good example here is the many custom post types of WooCommerce. Most of these really don’t need a content editor, per se. Instead they rely much more on meta boxes, custom elements, and a LOT of input fields. For many custom post types, the post_content area is just not the best place to store data, so why should the only editor options here be ‘block’ or ‘classic’?

I would love to see the general layout of the block editor available for any post types that don’t actually need a content editor. Bring our meta boxes up from that little drawer at the bottom, strip out much of the content editing functionality, but don’t relegate us to a decades-old design aesthetic, just because we don’t need a giant blank canvas in the center of the screen.

1 The WP Notify Project – my top pick with a bullet

My dashboard has a spam problem, and plugin developers are fighting to steal my attention. I see this as the key feature for making WordPress feel modern: notifications. For more context, review my previous article about the persistent issue of dashboard spam and WordPress’s lack of a system to manage notifications. Luckily there is a feature project in the works here and I invite you to join us and contribute in any way possible.

That’s my list, but I invite the community to make their list, too. If anything, I think it shows just how complicated WordPress has grown over time. It’s a massive piece of software, and there can only be so much development at any given time. That being said, it’s nice to dream. What are five things you’d love to see improved in the 6.x releases?

Update 5/23: Join the discussion with us on Twitter or else over on Hacker News to share your ideas. Or better yet, write a post on your blog and let us know!

If you are interested in original article by Brian Coords, you can find it here

wordpress-arturo

WordPress 6.0 ‘Arturo’ Is Here With Nearly 1,000 Changes

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WordPress 6.0, code named ‘Arturo,’ is rolling out with nearly a thousand improvements and new features.

WordPress 6.0, named ‘Arturo,’ is launched and ready to go. This update introduces nearly 1,000 updates and enhancements that make WordPress more intuitive to use for both developers and end users.

Several notable updates, which you can read more about in the following sections, include:

  • Faster website performance
  • Page creation patterns
  • Block locking
  • Stack & row variations
  • Global style variations
  • Ability to select text across multiple blocks

Some of the changes, like faster website performance, will be felt immediately. Others, like the brand new page creation patterns, are features for theme developers to roll out.

Every update to WordPress is named after a jazz artist. This version is named after the Grammy-winning jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill. He is associated with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

The official WordPress announcement explains:

“The latest version of the software takes full site editing one step further and looks to consolidate the ‘no code’ experience for site-building, expanding upon the existing customization tools, bringing new blocks, and focusing on the writing and design workflows.

An example of this is the new style switcher for block themes, one of the most anticipated features for the flexibility and creative opportunities it introduces without having to switch themes.

‘With thoughtful updates to the writing experience, building better block functionality, and adding a new intuitive style switcher, I’m really proud of the work that’s been done in this release to make a great site editing experience,’ says WordPress’ Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy.”

WordPress 6.0 Is An Incremental Update

WordPress 6.0 is the culmination of the work of over 500 people in at least 58 countries, encompassing close to 1,000 improvements.

Ordinarily when a product undergoes a version change, like a new Android phone model, end users expect to see dramatic changes. That’s not really the case with WordPress version changes.

While this is a “dot 0” release, version 6.0 is best understood as part of a series of incremental improvements meant to preserve backwards compatibility while also introducing improvements.

WordPress 6.0 is a version number change but it’s not on the scale of a revamp. The publishing experience between versions 5.9 and 6 are improved.

According to the official WordPress announcement, there is no need to be wary of updating, encouraging all site owners to update now in order to enjoy the many benefits of this release.

“Site owners and administrators should upgrade to take full advantage of the many stability, performance, and usability enhancements today.

WordPress content creators will enjoy a suite of new features geared toward improving the writing and designing experiences.”

A spokesperson from WordPress shared with Search Engine Journal:

“This release picks up right where 5.9 left off – focusing on bringing full site editing further into view and improving the overall experience of the block editor, wherever you might use it.

6.0 has a collection of new features geared toward improving the writing and designing experiences shared by most WordPress users.

Of course, like all recent WordPress releases, this one includes performance enhancements, your typical stability improvements of the core code, and a lot of small improvements that enhance the site-building experience.”

WordPress Performance Improvements

WordPress 6.0 ships with performance improvements that will contribute to making WordPress faster for site visitors.

There are improvements to how queries are executed against the database and also to how caches are managed.

This means fewer numbers and types of database calls resulting in greater efficiency that translates to faster performance.

New Features That End Users Will Love

Page Creation Patterns

One of the most important changes is the Page Creation Patterns feature.

Ordinarily, when creating a web page a publisher might start with a blank layout. Page creation patterns is a way to select from multiple layouts as a starting point.

The WordPress core itself won’t ship with the layouts, this is something that theme developers need to build into their themes.

Block Locking

Block Locking is a feature that prevents an end-user from accidentally deleting or moving an important block. The new feature is available through a block settings drop-down menu.

Andrew Wilder of the WordPress support company, NerdPress (@NerdPress) offered his opinion that while 6.0 ships with “tons” of improvements that end users will like, he believes that the page creation patterns feature is one that they will most appreciate.

Wilder said:

“For many of our clients, the Page Creation Patterns will be really helpful, especially once plugins are available to pre-built patterns that are specific to their content. That could be a huge time-saver!

I’m also glad to see the new Block Locking feature – right now it doesn’t let you lock changes to the block content, but it can stop you from accidentally moving or deleting a block.”

Stack & Row Variations

A useful addition is the ability to create dynamic flex-based containers by stacking blocks into a column or a row layout.

A flex-based container is so-called because it is flexible and automatically adjusts to viewport, shrinking for smaller mobile devices and expanding when necessary.

Multi-Select: Select Text Across Multiple Blocks

In the new blocked-based WordPress editors, creating a web page layout is done using what’s called blocks, building blocks, so to speak.

Blocks are like containers where content can be inserted. Content can be images, text, whatever.

An example of an incremental but exciting change in WordPress 6.0 is the ability to select text across multiple content blocks.

This allows a user to select the content within multiple blocks without selecting multiple blocks themselves. This gives publishers the ability to write and control content in an expected manner, contributing to a more intuitive writing experience.

Wilder of NerdPress tested this new feature ahead of time and is enthusiastic.

He says:

“I’m pretty excited about being able to select text across multiple blocks.

That sounds like a small detail, but it’s something that’s been frustrating for me at times — and these kinds of little details really add up to make a nicer, easier editing experience.”

Style Variations

Another exciting new feature is called Global Style Variations.

Style variations allows theme authors to provide their customers a way to easily change the look and feel of their website without having to edit CSS or HTML, dramatically speeding up the process of getting a website up and running.

This is a feature that is implemented on the WordPress theme developer side which improves the WordPress publishing experience for end users.

The WordPress team shared with Search Engine Journal:

“The introduction of style variations in block themes allows theme authors to provide multiple options for folks to switch up the look and feel of a site all with a few clicks in a single theme.

This means you can quickly change things like font weights and default colors in a cohesive way without editing CSS.”

Noteworthy Changes For Developers

I asked the WordPress team what the most important changes that developers should know about.

They responded:

Accessibility Improvements To WordPress 6.0

There have been many improvements to WordPress accessibility which have been documented here.

Among the highlights are:

Aria-Related Accessibility Fixes To WordPress 6.0

RichText: Reverse disableLineBreaks to determine aria-multiline state.

Remove role attributes on SVGs meant for “decoration.”

This is how WordPress described changes to how media is handled in 6.0 for accessibility:

  • “Preserve attachment properties on cropping custom logo. This means that the alternative text, title, description, and caption of an image will migrate over to the cropped copy of the image after cropping.
  • Stop arrow keys switching media if URL focused.
  • Add a “Copy URL to clipboard” function to the list table view.
  • Set break-word on sample permalink so the full permalink will be visible on mobile devices in posts, media, and comments.
  • Remove target blank attribute from media uploader edit links.
  • Remove target=”_blank” from the link to change permalink structures and change link text to clarify link purpose.”

The official WordPress announcement states:

“Accessibility is an integral part of the WordPress mission of fostering an inclusive community and supporting users of all types around the world.

With this in mind, WordPress 6.0 includes more than 50 updates specifically focused on enhancing the accessibility of the platform. You can read about these updates and learn more about the accessibility initiatives that are ongoing.”

WordPress Full Site Editor Beta Label

Something that may be useful to consider about WordPress 6.0 is that the Full Site Editor (FSE) is still labeled as Beta.

WordPress 6.0 improves the editing experience for the end users by making the process of writing easier as well as making it easier to dream up unique website layouts without having to deal with code. But FSE is still considered as a Beta product.

The good news, according to what the WordPress team shared with Search Engine Journal, is that the full site editor will see continued improvement.

The WordPress team shared:

“While 6.0 moves WordPress in the right direction, there’s more work to be done around creating a cohesive site editing experience, so if you’re waiting for full site editing to feel more intuitive, expect that to come in 6.1 and beyond.”

If you are interested in original article by Roger Montti, you can find it here

wp-pattern-directory

The WordPress.org Pattern Creator Now Open to the Public

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The WordPress pattern directory finally opened its gates to the entire community today. Anyone with a WordPress.org account can log in, go to the pattern creator, and start designing.

For some of us, this has felt like an unbearably long wait. In reality, it took the development team less than a year since the directory launch to put this together. It was no small feat to make it work and put in all the guardrails for such a system in that amount of time.

Some community members have already got a head start. Ana Segota of Anariel Design announced via Twitter that three of her patterns had already landed. “More coming soon,” she said.

Showcase of a specific author's block patterns from the block-pattern directory.  Displays three patterns in a grid.
Patterns by Anariel Design

The pattern directory has the potential to be an onramp for creators who want to contribute to the WordPress project but do not know where to start. The barrier to entry is one of the lowest in the community. There is no requirement to write code or understand all the intricacies of theme design. It is nowhere near as complex as plugin development. It is simply a visual builder that allows sharing art with the world.

I have no idea where this thing is going. I hope to see 1,000s of patterns in the directory a year from now.

I played a small role in building two of the initial patterns from last year. I was excited about the potential for the directory and happy to contribute in any way. However, I was not entirely satisfied with the process because I did not have the creative freedom I wanted.

For example, my vision for an “about me” columns pattern had morphed into something entirely different:

Final about me cards pattern.

By the time it was added to the directory, there was hardly any of myself in it. The first designs that launched were tightly curated, and that was OK. It was more about getting production-ready patterns out to users at the time, and I knew that WordPress.org would eventually open it up.

Today, I started work anew, rebuilding my original “about me” pattern. I have made some alterations because we now have new spacing controls. And the built-in, Openverse-powered search did not seem to locate some of my early images, despite being available via the Openverse site. Nevertheless, it is a work in progress:

Inside of the WordPress pattern creator. The content canvas shows three columns with about, contact, and follow sections.
Building with the new pattern creator.

Users can save draft patterns, too. So, if you want to try your hand at designing one but are unsure if you can finish it in one sitting or do not have a fully-fleshed-out idea, there is no need to worry about losing work. You can save it and pull it up later from your patterns page.

The pattern creator runs Twenty Twenty-One under the hood. The classic theme has a few quirks, CSS that often overrules the core WordPress styles. I would rather have seen Twenty Twenty-Two because it sticks much more closely to the global styles standard. At least people who want to try designing off-site will be able to test with a similar setup.

Patterns should, ideally, be theme-agnostic. However, in practice, the theme that showcases those patterns — Twenty Twenty-One in this case — can make or break a design. Creators should not design specifically for it, but they should at least check its output.

Using the pattern creator is straightforward. It is merely an instance of the block editor with some modifications specific to the directory. It also provides a quick welcome screen:

Welcome popup over the pattern editor on WordPress.org.  It teaches what the creator is.
Welcome screen to the pattern creator.

Overall, my experience with it went reasonably well for a Day 1 launch. Most of the hiccups that I encountered were with the image search. It timed out on occasion, and filtering images was not a perfect experience. Despite being powered by Openverse, it does not offer the same filtering tools.

I hope that the pattern creator will eventually tie into the WordPress photo directory. The built-in search is a neat tool, but you sometimes have to wade through dozens or hundreds of outdated images to find something worth using. The photo directory feels fresh and modern. Plus, we should be prioritizing the work of those contributing to WordPress.

There are still many open tickets for the pattern directory, and it will undoubtedly evolve based on feedback and usage. However, this is a solid launch of the pattern creator. Well done to all the folks who made this happen.

If you are interested in original article by Justin Tadlock, you can find iy here

WordPress Product Launches Roundup: APPExperts, WP Wallet, Block Styles, and Stock Control for WooCommerce

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Despite the flurry of April Fools day jokes circulating, the WordPress product market has been heating up in the past couple weeks with new entrants that we are highlighting in a roundup. These products range from newly in beta to fully launched. Some are banking on the freemium model and others are fully commercial products.

APPExperts Mobile Application Builder Plugin Now in Beta

APPExperts is a new mobile application builder plugin that is now in beta, developed by the WPExperts team. It turns WordPress and WooCommerce websites into fully functional apps for iOS and Android phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The plugin on WordPress.org functions as a connector to the APPExperts platform, which is powered by Flutter.

Users can create their first app for free and the commercial version includes additional features like push notifications, ads integration, and plugin integrations. APPExperts is going up against more established competitors like AppPresser, which bills annually for the use of its platform. During its pre-beta period, APPExperts added 500 users on its connector plugin who generated more than 1,000 apps for iOS and Android.

WP Wallet Organizes Commercial Theme and Plugin Licenses Into a Single Dashboard

WP Wallet is a new product, created by the team behind MasterWP, that helps WordPress site owners keep track of their license keys for commercial themes and plugins. The idea is to prevent users from missing license renewals, losing license keys, and struggling with invoicing. The service scans each website added to the account and retrieves any commercial license subscription fees, capturing any administrative details. It can also send invoices for payment via PayPal or Stripe with no transaction fees. Everything related to commercial licenses is organized into a single dashboard.

WP Wallet is free forever for up to three websites and is supported by ads. Free users can share access with unlimited team members and connect to Stripe or PayPal. Upgrading to Pro is less than $10 per month and allows users to add unlimited sites, connect multiple payment gateways, and will soon include a Chrome Extension and API.

Block Styles Plugin Now in Beta, Brings Advanced Styles to the Block Editor

Block Styles is a new plugin now in beta that lets users further customize core blocks with unique styles. It works with many popular block collection plugins and boasts “fully responsive block-level design control.” This allows users to change style attributes based on desktop, tablet, and mobile sizes, and eventually customer device sizes, hover/action states and pseudo elements.

The Block Styles plugin has advanced layout controls with visibility settings that can be set based on user role, device size, and login status. It also adds the ability to customize the background of every Gutenberg block with colors, gradient options, and linear and radial settings. The team is working on adding multiple backgrounds and video backgrounds. The plugin has support for advanced border styles, typography controls, special effects, animations, and custom CSS for every block.

Pricing for the Block Styles plugin ranges from $69/year for one site to $499/year for unlimited sites.

Stock Control for WooCommerce Makes It Easier to Manage Inventory

Stock Control for WooCommerce is a new plugin that launched this week, created by plugin developer Edith Allison. It makes it easier to manage WooCommerce inventory and make quick adjustments. Store owners can manipulate stock, and change descriptions, images, attributes, and categories all on one page.

Product changes can be published immediately or saved for review later. The plugin also logs who made the changes and when. It uses the Heartbeat API to monitor the shop and will notify if there is an editing conflict with another site manager. It will also notify if stock quantities change while the site owner is working on the products.

Stock Control for WooCommerce starts at €29,90/year for single site licenses and goes up to €149,90/year for agencies. The roadmap for future updates includes more translations, an attribute manager, bulk actions, scheduled publication of changes, compatibility with Woo Product Bundles, and a way to show “held” stock.

If you are interested in original article by Sarah Gooding, you can read it here

wordpress-6

New WordPress 6.0 Details Reveal Major Improvements

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WordPress 6.0 takes big step toward fulfilling Gutenberg’s promise to make WordPress easy to create websites and publish content

WordPress published a long list of improvements coming to WordPress 6.0. This article focuses on important changes coming to the block editor that will make designing webpages and websites not only so much easier, but inspiring.

In many ways, WordPress 6.0 is fulfilling goals that the Gutenberg block-based editor promised.

How?

By finally delivering a user interface that makes it easy for people to design webpages as well as edit text.

A member of the WordPress design team and a core contributor commented in a recent official WordPress podcast:

“I think some of the features being released in 6.0 are absolutely going to empower that end-user.

Particularly in terms of improvements around design tools and some of the quality of life improvements.

For example, partially selecting across multiple blocks and being able to partially select texts there.

That’s the type of thing that really brings the writing experience in the editor to be on par with how you would expect a text editing experience to work.”

WordPress Gutenberg Blocks

The WordPress block system has, in the past, been subject to complaints by people who felt it wasn’t ready.

WordPress 6.0 offers notable improvements that bring it in line with what many expect from a visual website editor that is supposed to be easy to use.

Key improvements are a new, intuitive user interface that makes it easy for users to create content and design a website.

Many of these improvements depend on theme designers to get on board with the changes. Specifically, they need to offer theme.json configuration files that offer users a way to easily switch between different kinds of page patterns and styles.

While WordPress 6.0 isn’t the end goal that WordPress is moving toward (there are more improvements coming), it represents a significant milestone.

Page Creation Patterns In WordPress 6.0

WordPress 6.0 introduces page patterns, a way for users to select from a series of patterns to help them begin designing their webpages. For example, users can select page patterns appropriate for a contact page, about us page, article page, and so on.

The page patterns do not ship with the WordPress core.

Page patterns is a feature that is now available for theme designers to take advantage of.

The page patterns functionality will work for non-Gutenberg themes as well as for the Gutenberg block themes.

Global Styles Switcher

With WordPress 6.0, theme developers can now include multiple style presets that can instantly change the look and feel of a webpage.

This is arguably one of the most important changes coming to WordPress.

The global style switcher is a critical feature for WordPress. It provides theme designers a way to make it super-easy for WordPress users to change how their websites look and then to make them unique.

In a recent official WordPress Briefing podcast, Episode 30: A Sneak Peek at WordPress 6.0, a member of the WordPress design team explained why the Style Switcher is an important advancement for WordPress 6.0.

Channing Ritter, Design Director at Automattic, explained in the above mentioned podcast how the style switcher will have a positive impact.

“I’m most excited about the style switcher within the global styles panel.

Um, so if folks still don’t know what I’m talking about there, it’s the ability to change between different variations of the theme.json without actually switching the theme.

So this is a way to get a drastically different look and feels across your site with just a single click.

And I see it as a really fun place to experiment and kind of get inspired for the different ways your site could appear without ever having to change your theme.

But now, with 6.0, I think even more so it’s starting to showcase the real power of block themes and what can actually be done there.

And style variations is a huge kind of first step into this new world of block themes and starting to really open up the possibilities and all the flexibility that you have there.”

The configuration files (called Theme.json) control colors, fonts, custom CSS, page width and other factors that create what a webpage looks like.

These custom JSON files allow users to switch between the different design options to find an appealing look.

Code Improvements For Image, Quote, List And Group Blocks

Among the improvements was getting rid of a DIV tag that surrounds every image. This makes the code just a little bit leaner and less code is always better.

The old way:

<div class="wp-block-image alignleft"><figure><img src="someimage.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="100"/></figure></div>

The new way:

<figure class="wp-block-image alignleft"><img src="someimage.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="100"/></figure>

This change only happens for themes that support the new theme.json file.

Another change is the removal of html elements called “divs” that were automatically added to any blocks that had alignments applied to them.

WordPress 6.0 Deserves To Be Called A Major Release

The above changes are only just a few of the upgrades that will be introduced with WordPress 6.0.  There are also improvements to WordPress accessibility,  performance improvements to Bootstrap/Load, cache API, performance improvements to how media is handled plus a total of 97 enhancements and 131 bug fixes.

WordPress 6.0 is releasing on May 24, 2022.

If you want to read original article by Roger Montti, you can find it here