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An Update on the Classic Editor Plugin

Posted August 25, 2021 by Josepha. Filed under General, Updates.

Before the release of WordPress 5.0 in 2018, the Classic Editor plugin was published to help ease the transition to the new block editor. At the time, we promised to support the plugin through 2021 and adjust if needed as the deadline got closer. After discussing this with Matt, it’s clear that continuing to support the plugin through 2022 is the right call for the project as well as the community.

Still, if you’ve been putting off using the block editor, this is an excellent time to give it another shot. Since it first appeared in 2018, hundreds of WordPress contributors have made a lot of updates based on user feedback. You will be pleasantly surprised at how far it’s come!

Big thanks to everyone who has been working on WordPress, Gutenberg, and the Classic Editor plugin. And thank you to every WordPress user and tester who has provided the feedback we need to make the software even better.

~ Josepha

Returning to the block editor for the first time in a long time? You can give feedback early in the process by joining the outreach program! Looking at it for the first time ever? Get your bearings with some workshops or check out this demo!

Widgets in WordPress 5.8 and Beyond

Posted August 9, 2021 by Chloe Bringmann. Filed under Features.

Copy and Design by @critterverse

WordPress 5.8 brings the power of Gutenberg blocks to widget areas — which means the highly customizable layout and styling options bring you closer to a WYSIWYG editing experience. I made a test site based on the oldie-but-goodie Twenty Sixteen theme, with three separate widget areas. In this post, I’ll highlight a few cool things that are now possible to do with your widgets and where things may be heading next.

A zoomed-out view of a single post with one sidebar widget area and two footer widget areas. The site content is about Marine Park Salt Marsh. A List View of blocks floating next to each widget area shows how the design is constructed.




Create Interesting Visual Effects With Overlapping Layouts and Duotone Images

Appearance-wise, users have a lot more control over widget areas than ever before — especially through the use of blocks with customization options like the Cover and Image block. Here’s what I can create in the classic widgets editor (above) versus what I can create in the new block-based widget editor (below).

Intersperse Widgets and Custom Code Throughout Your Visual Designs

Container blocks like Cover and Columns make it easy to weave dynamic or interactive elements into your designs. While this is a given for many widgets, the block versions of widgets can be easily wrapped and layered within container blocks to integrate them into your layout more fully.

In the example below, I tried placing a Search block in front of a Cover block, which creates a nice layered effect. I also inserted Custom HTML blocks within a Columns block to display different messaging depending on the time of day. (jQuery script)

Use Traditional Widget Layouts (Or Not) With Lots of Flexibility Over Title and Structure

Classic widgets have always had a lockup that includes a widget title. One cool thing about having blocks in widget areas is that you have complete flexibility over how titles appear. For example, you might choose to have a title over every widget, you might only want one title at the top of each widget area, or your design might not need titles at all.

Note: Some themes, like Twenty Twenty-One, are designed to flow content horizontally within widget areas. If you’re having trouble with a theme splitting your layout into columns, you could try keeping the lockup together by containing it within a Group block.

Side-by-side comparison of List View of a Sidebar widget area with and without grouped/nested lockups.

Copy & Paste Existing Layouts From the WordPress Pattern Directory

While patterns haven’t been fully integrated into the widget editors yet, one thing you can do is copy and paste patterns from the game-changing new WordPress Pattern Directory into your site’s widget areas. I used this horizontal call to action pattern from the directory almost exactly as is, with minor color and copy adjustments:

Footer widget area with a black box that reads, “Become a monthly patron” with paragraph text and a “Join now” button in a separate column. A painted image of waves hitting rocks is directly below with no space between them.

FYI: Patterns have not been curated for or integrated into widget areas yet, so you may run into some unexpected behavior — consider this feature to be a preview of what’s coming next for widget editing!

The Month in WordPress: July 2021

Posted August 3, 2021 by Hari Shanker R. Filed under Month in WordPress.

WordPress is global in reach and open source in nature. And you would assume that what allows the software to be used by anyone would also enable it to be built by anyone. After all, your location doesn’t matter, and who employs you also doesn’t matter. And your relative social standing certainly shouldn’t matter. As long as you can communicate with the others contributing to the project, there should be no obstacle to your participation.

That was Josepha Haden on the “Cherishing WordPress Diversity” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast, speaking about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fabric of the WordPress project. Her statement captures the spirit of the WordPress open source project, and we hope it resonates with you. Now, let’s dive in!


Say hello to WordPress 5.8

WordPress version 5.8, “Tatum,” came out on July 20. Version 5.8 is a major release that offers features like block-based widgets, a host of new blocks and patterns, a template editor, a duotone feature to stylize images, theme.json, and support for webP images, to name a few. Read more in the release post, the field guide, and the talking points post for meetup groups.

Want to contribute to WordPress core? 

Gutenberg Version 11.0 is released

Contributor teams released the 11th version of Gutenberg on July 9. Version 11.0, which focuses heavily on backports and bug fixes, showcases some cool features such as an editing overlay for template parts and reusable blocks, and support for CSS shorthand properties in theme.json and block attributes. Version 11.1 was also shipped this month, on July 21. The release adds custom block borders as block supports and adds “drag and drop” to the list view. 

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. The “What’s next in Gutenberg” post offers more details on the latest updates. 

Returning to in-person WordPress events

The Community Team kicked off work to bring back in-person WordPress events. The team recently announced that in-person WordPress meetups can be organized in a region if the local public health authority allows in-person events and if the region passes the in-person safety checklist. If the region does not meet guidelines on page one of the safety checklist, organizers can plan events for fully vaccinated, recently tested (negative), or recently recovered community members. Subsequently, the team also shared a proposal for the return to in-person WordCamps in places that meet the safety guidelines and the vaccination/testing requirements. Please share your feedback on the post if you have any thoughts. For more context, check out the “In Person!” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast

Want to contribute to the Community Team? Follow the Community Team blog, or join them in the #community channel in the Make WordPress Slack. 

BuddyPress 9.0 is out

The BuddyPress team is busy! Within barely a month of their last major release (version 8.0), the team shipped version 9.0 on July 19. Key features of the release include widget blocks and updates to the BP REST API.  Download it from the wporg.ibadboy.net plugin directory or check it out from its subversion repository. Want to help build BuddyPress? Follow their developer relations blog, check out their handbook page, or join them in the #buddypress channel in the Make WordPress Slack.

WordPress Event updates

Feedback requests from WordPress contributor teams

Please help these WordPress contributor teams by answering their research requests:


Further reading

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it using this form

The following folks contributed to July’s Month in WordPress:  @webcommsat @chaion07 @jillbinder @lmurillom @meher

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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