Site Editing and Lengthy GitHub Issues

Hello WordPress friends,

These past few months I’ve been digging into Full Site Editing in WordPress. My theory is that it’s almost ready for primetime use by the developer/agency community, so I’m testing it out on some client projects.

Overall I’m… mostly impressed. Don’t get me wrong- there are still a ton of rough edges, but also a lot of pleasant surprises. The biggest gap (IMO) is around the developer workflow. I constantly find myself thinking “I know exactly how I would’ve solved this before” but have to spend way too much time in the documentation or digging through the Gutenberg repo.

Along the way, I’ve been learning a lot of new skills around the block editor and have been turning as much as I can into tutorials. Here’s a few recent posts and videos from the blog and my YouTube:

🎥 Adding Custom Fields (Attributes) to Core Blocks
Using just three filters, we’ll add a few custom fields to the core “Button” block in WordPress that will update the button’s content on the front end.

✏️ How to show the “Choose a Pattern” modal by default on new pages
How to offer a selection of page patterns when creating a new page (as seen in the TwentyTwentyFour theme).

✏️ Filter the URLs in Gutenberg Social Link Block
Dynamically populate social link URLs using the render_block filter in WordPress.

✏️ Custom Settings Screens in Block Themes
How do you build custom settings pages for “modern” WordPress? I’m not really sure, but this post started a lot of great conversations online.

✏️ Updating the Twitter Icon in Font Awesome 4
If you’re managing an older website running Font Awesome 4, you might be asked to swap out the Twitter icon for the new X symbol. Here’s how to do it without leaving the Customizer.

🎥 Build Custom Blocks Using InnerBlocks
A great way to start building blocks for WordPress is using InnerBlocks. Group other blocks together and easily add styles and settings. I do this all the time, so I recorded a video teaching you how to do it.

Meanwhile, Aurooba and I just finished our first mini-series on Season 2 of our podcast, viewSource. We put Laravel and WordPress head-to-head, building a small application and discussing the differences between the two frameworks.

Other links from around the web…

The big news: Sarah Gooding has left WPTavern. She was truly a key voice in the WordPress community and her objective yet principled reporting will be missed. Mullenweg says he’s looking for a replacement, but I have a feeling the Tavern will be silent for some time.

In a similar vein, Matt Medeiros brought Pippin Williamson out of WordPress retirement for a quick chat. Pippin was another key voice that eventually left the community (though who wouldn’t want to spend their days making craft beer). I know I learned a lot from Pippin’s blog posts and software when I started as a developer in WordPress.

Another podcast I’ve been enjoying is Within WordPress from Remkus de Vries. Two episodes I’ll recommend: his interviews with Lesley Sim and Jonathan Wold.

Oh- and I had a brief yet caffeinated chat with WP all-star Michelle Frechette on her podcast, WPCoffeeTalk.

PHPCS- a key tool in WordPress (and other software) development- needs community support after it’s current sponsor has decided to abandon it. There’s a write-up on Post Status (nothing about it on the Tavern, of course), but Juliette’s GitHub issue outlining the situation is amazingly well-written.

If you like reading issues on GitHub, this back-and-forth argument over the LinkControl component (the little popup when you add a hyperlink in the block editor) is definitely worth a glance. What’s most noteworthy is the tremendous amount of assumptions everyone makes around the WordPress user base.

And to wrap it up: WordCamp Phoenix 2024 has been announced. Considering this is the only WordCamp in the western United States, I consider it my “home” WordCamp.

I’m working on my talk submission, probably around doing fancy things with the block editor or developer workflows for full site editing. We’ll see. I hope to see you there next year!

Brian Coords
Modern WordPress Development