Block Patterns

Block Patterns are a collection of predefined blocks that you can insert into posts and pages and then customize with your own content. Using a Block Pattern can reduce the time required to create content on your site, as well as being a great way to learn how different blocks can be combined to produce interesting effects. To find more patterns, you can also use the Block Pattern Directory.

Table of Contents

  1. How to Use a Block Pattern
  2. How to Customize a Block Pattern
  3. How to find contextual patterns
  4. Resources
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

How to use a Block Pattern

  1. Click the + icon to add a new block.
  2. Click on the Patterns tab.
  3. Use the dropdown category selection to choose which category of patterns you want to use or click Explore to open a modal that allows you to have a larger view of each pattern. This modal is new in WordPress 5.9.
  4. Either click on the pattern you wish to insert or drag and drop the pattern into your content. If you click on the pattern, it will be inserted at the location of your cursor.

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How to customize a Block Pattern

Once you insert a Block Pattern, the blocks can be edited in the same way as any other blocks.

Click in any block to edit the content within the block.

Image of a block pattern showing an arrow pointing to the Replace option for the image in the pattern.

You can also add more blocks (and Block Patterns) to your page anywhere you want. For more information on using the Block editor, check out our guide for the WordPress Editor.

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How to find contextual patterns

Some blocks have patterns built into the settings of the block itself. Currently, the Social Icons block and Query Loop block come built with this functionality. To find the contextual patterns for the Social Icons block, select the transforms menu in the block toolbar and navigate to Patterns at the top:

Image of block's transforms menu highlighted with a red arrow.

For the Query Loop block, patterns are shown as part of the configuration of the block itself. You can learn more about the Query Loop block here.

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How to find more patterns

If you want more patterns to choose from, you can explore the Block Pattern Directory. This is a new directory that allows you to search and find new patterns to use on your site. After searching and finding a pattern you like, select “Copy” and it will be saved to your clipboard. From there, return to your page or post and use the paste functionality to add the pattern into your content. You can read more about the Block Pattern Directory here.

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On Learn.WordPress the training team published a short workshop “Introduction to Block Patterns”.

On the WPTavern, you’ll find the article “Exploring the First Block Patterns to Land in the WordPress Theme Directory” with additional information.

On Make Core, you’ll find a post on “Contextual patterns for easier creation“.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the default images within Block Patterns on my own site?

Yes! The images provided within Block Patterns are free to use on your site. However, because these images are being referenced from an external source (i.e. they are not added to your site’s Media Library), there is always a chance they could change or be removed.

We recommend replacing these images with your own content.

Will Block Patterns be changed? Will changes to patterns that I use impact my site?

New Block Patterns will be continuously added and existing Block Patterns may be changed or removed over time. However, once you add a Block Pattern to your site, there is no link to the original pattern in the Add Block menu, and any subsequent changes would not impact anything on your site’s pages or posts.

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  • Added in update to include Block Pattern modal 2021-12-21
  • Reference to Block Pattern directory and contextual patterns added, visuals updated 2021-07-08
  • Internal links corrected 2021-02-19
  • Created 2020-09-04

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