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0:00 – Introduction
0:30 – WordPress Block Theme statistics
2:55 – WordPress Breadcrumbs Block
3:45 – WordPress Time to read Block
4:44 – Vertical Text
5:45 – Kevin Geary – Gutenberg vs Page Builders
7:00 – Mike McAlister from the Ollie Theme on how to make Block Themes easier
9:40 – Gutenberg reviews
10:45 – Cats Cameo

Only 2% of themes out there are block themes, indicating slow adoption of block themes in WordPress.
Hendrick conducted research on the current state of block themes, revealing there are only 194,000 total installations of block themes.
Block themes have a lower average rating of 85 compared to all themes with an average rating of 95, suggesting they are still harder to use.
Justin Tadlock released a free Breadcrumbs Block plugin, allowing users to add breadcrumbs to their block themes easily.
Kevin Geary and Mike McAllister shared their insights on block themes, with Kevin questioning the lack of essential building blocks, and Mike mentioning the difficulty in making block themes.
#Tons #WordPress #News #missed

24 thoughts on “Tons of WordPress News that you probably missed 🔥”

  1. Comment from Elliot (that YouTube deleted) 'Oh, wow! Those stats are shocking!! When you take out the defaults it totally reveals the true stats right I'm totally on board with Mike McAlister too! With that lack of marketing and documentation, I think it's safe to say that syncing FSE with Gutenberg has been quite the rollercoaster ride until recently. It's like they've been chasing a moving target or pushing a rock uphill! But you know what, I kind of see the humor in it – the supporting documentation becoming outdated overnight could be a strategy in itself, keeping us on our toes! And don't even get me started on GitHub – the conversations and commits there are INSANE! It's like a bustling city that never sleeps. I've never seen so much activity and ever-changing source code in a repo before! I have to admit, without those email filters, I might have thrown in the towel and hit the unsubscribe button by now! But hey, it's all part of the fun, right? Now FSE and blocks are in a more stable place it will be facinating to watch how those stats change over time and what markers will relate to significant changes, I hope you are going to keep them as snapshots for charting later"

  2. Cheers, Jamie. Playing catchup (again) with your always informative, fun vids. Anyway, your comment about the learning curve issue with Blocks is spot on. I'll stick with Blocks, but it certainly tamps me down along with, apparently, many others. Ty for the great info.

  3. just found this video via matt tweeting about your TC rebuild but… wondering if you couldn't link to the plugins you mention in the video… make it easier to find the exact stuff you're discussing in the video. Thanks man.

  4. If Guttenberg just added a few more intuitive ways to edit text instead of the total mess they've created, more people would use the clunky system. In classic editor you just bulk select text to change font etc in a couple of clicks. In Guttenberg you have to go paragraph by paragraph, and you're lucky if you even find the settings. Just one of many issues.

  5. Lot of useful info @jamiewp.

    Comparing my experience with block themes to legacy themes I can easily understand why they are still a bit slow to be adapted. Legacy themes are just that much more conveniënt and efficiënt in practice. They are less easy to customize, but many legacy themes are much more prepared for populair plugins (like LMS-es, Events manager, Woocommerce) they are commonly used. Perhaps plugins and themes are actually not yet fully ready to be widely adopted, and early adopters are just the one's that are ready for the extra work and a bit of punishment.

    Working with blocks I now need to solve problems that are caused by switching to blocks. Document properties have become blocks in the document instead of properties en often blocks don't serve the same functionality out of the box. Gutenberg enables me to build and customize themes, but it also means I have to do that, since blocks and theme's haven't reached the level of comfort the previous themes have. What was a basic setting now has become a puzzle I need to solve and

    I am trying to setup my website using a block theme and have to solve problems that I hadn't have to solve in legacy themes. Like the woocommerce shop page. In a FSE theme it is now setup with blocks that are only showing products and not the categories first.

    Normally I just set an option in Customizer, but now it ignores that setting and just shows a query_loop with just the actual products from all categories and that also means event tickets that not meant to be displayed in the shop page, since they are just generated by events to be able to checkout using woocommerce.

    How to solve that? Make a category grid by hand and then link to categorie pages? Normally what I want is just a setting, now it has become a problem and I have to find out how to solve it after I also find out if woo offers some other solution I'm not jet aware of. In the end I find out there is a legacy block that still has the old functionality, but all those things cost time to do and find, where a legacy theme would have just worked.

    Also I tried different block themes, which means I exercise in chancing themes in a FSE scenario. F.i. I like the look of the frost theme, but there I don't get a pattern for a blog page. Spectra has several of those patterns to choose from. Having to setup that from scratch using a standard query loop is a learning curve and is not guarantied to look as nice as patterns from themes that add those as a default.

    But then I have setup frost in a way I sort of like and switch to spectra, and now I don't get my spectra headers and footers in the pages of which I changed the template. Both themes have a header and footer template part, but the template part block sees them as different and so I first need to go back to the templates and remove the adaptations and then perhaps change them again? And so on.

    Also how can I see the result of a theme switch this way? Everything I do is directly impacting the front-end, so I need to do all that in a different environment and then need to take all the changes I made to the production env in some way. The theme files I can regenerate, but all other changes might need to be done the same way in the production env, so I need to plan for that and make sure that I don't miss anything. The comfort of a customizer and a theme that is ready to run in comparison offers great comfort.

    Sidebar content is now part of the theme and templates, so switching theme's means starting over again in that and probably rebuilding menu's because block themes often don't keep the menu of the previous theme.

    Basically WordPress has build a theme builder next to a block editor and themes have just become a basic setup for the theme builder. but that themes are often not as prepared for popular plugins as they where and what was just a setting before now becomes a struggle with blocks that offer different solutions as the setting and might miss some of the old functionality, like showing only categories and sub-categories in a woocommerce shop page and only show products on the lowest level…

    And that is still only about functionality and not even talking about how a themes design comes into this. What happens there when you change themes?

    Changing to blocks means in lots of plugins that things that setting and document properties are often now put in blocks in the content and that means they have become part of the posts html. That means duplicating a post may disrupt some of the functionality.

    F.i. The events calendar + Event Tickets Plus plugin now has ticket id's saved in the_content of an event. So when events are duplicated, the copy event also points to the same tickets (being a woocommerce product) as the original. Can I savely delete the tickets from the duplicate without disturbing the original tickets in woocommerce? Not that obvious, since the copy and the original point to the same ticket product in woocommerce.

    It is still a bit of a mess. I like the broad line where it's heading, but confusion and problems are predictable as long as this kind of problems aren't solved by default. The burden should be on the developers and designers, not on the users.

  6. Hey @jamiewp, a request for a tutorial. How about setting up a fresh TT3 site and add only the Create Block Theme plugin then "Create blank theme" and show us the fundamentals of setting up a site with Header, Footer patterns and Pages and Index templates etc? I've tried a couple of times, and it's not easy or intuitive.

  7. I have been looking for the best stats on how WordPress is being used. As a meetup organizer and self-proclaimed DIY-WP advocate, it's seems clear that the vast majority of WP admins are using classic themes for a whole lot of reasons including, and I believe primarily, there is just no need to change. Recent releases highlight great features in WP that most people don't even have available to them. This is even more confusing when greated by a Welcome and About page after an upgrade that just doesn't (fully) apply to their install. I just wish that more attention was paid to that challenge. Anyway, I look forward to more updates on the user base.

  8. Those block themes certainly do require a steep learning curve. It would be easier to learn HTML and CSS to produce something half decent.

  9. Totally agree that the shifting nature and lack of ease of use / quirks is what means block themes aren't really being adopted widespread yet. Like there have been at least two really odd changes in WordPress that have either killed my site or done rather odd things to the design….it's very much in beta still.

    Also i get the Gutenberg plugin hate, I have at least three times now found it's Gutenberg stopping me from editing or creating a post as part of some compatibility issue – or even just weirdly disabling it and re-enabling it and it just works again now this isn't totally Automattic's fault- at least one time it was a third party plugjn, but as your site magically works again when you disable Gutenberg I can see why people might blame it.

  10. Does your active block themes research accidentally filter out child themes? Cos I think most if not all of my block themes might register as 2023 theme even though I've modded it, it's based on that theme. I supect I am not alone in using 2023 as a base theme like that, whcih might explain the 'low update' of non Automattic block themes…partly cos it's moving so fast, i'd rather have compatibility, danger of third party block themes becoming suddenly broken….

  11. Many thanks to Justin for the free breadcrumbs block, and to you, Jamie, for the heads-up about it. I had been searching for just that functionality in the block editor. Now I can use it to put the final tweak on a site I'm rebuilding.
    Justin Tadlock's comment about the relative newness of the block editor strikes me as right on target. In the hopefully near future, we can expect better interfaces, on-boarding tools, setup wizards, and other software assets to take most of the pain out of site creation with Gutenberg. The Ollie theme provides a welcome preview of such breakthroughs. Meanwhile, Jamie, your tutorials and demos are treasures; they surely got me past my initial floundering. Thanks again for all you and your colleagues are doing!

  12. I've been trying to use 2023 instead of Storefront for the past couple of sites I've worked on, and boy is it complicated (even though I've been working with WordPress for 15 years and have been a fangirl of Gutenberg since its launch). The worst thing is lack of responsiveness controls. These really need to be more easily editable.

  13. You can’t have same freedoms in block themes because that don’t work as good for us how is using real pages builder how is better than Gutenberg!

    It is also very sad that I can’t use block themes in customer, it much better than using Gutenberg today!

  14. I've heard of blocksy, kadence and ollie themes but which would be the easiest for someone starting out with WordPress that can edit easily? Thanks

  15. It always amazes me how people can spend weeks learning Bricks or Elementor or whatever obscure page builder out there, but can't do the same with Gutenberg. Maybe it's because it's part of the core and it's supposed to be easy to use, but it's still a new editor and it comes with its own learning curve. Also, we tend to forget that Gutenberg is a replacement for the classic editor, not a page builder. We can use it to build websites, but its main goal is to allow end users to build more advanced content, and I must say it's brilliant at it.
    Kevin has a lot of interesting content out there, but it's impossible for me to watch it. I can't get past that all-american sales pitch tone, let alone the constant ranting about stuff he clearly doesn't get. Just watching that video intro makes me want to unsubscribe your channel for a week. 🙂

  16. Great summary, I'm looking forward to the interviews!
    I'm not fully agreeing what Kevin says, (we do not need sections or inner div elements) but let's wait for the full interview.

    Thanks Jamie!

  17. I checked out the block themes because I'm going to get rid of woocommerce. It has a functional problem on AWS. But when I checked it out, there were actually no previews or use things available. They had just the one page showing some really basic things so it doesn't sell it to anybody. The people who are advertising their block things actually need to put in the work to make it Viewable to people on how it's going to look if they converted and that takes a little more work and apparently they're not wanting to do the work. Just saying you aren't going to convert people over to block themes when it's quite a lot of work to do a conversion unless you give a preview of how it will work . They do on the other themes. And also a complete conversion from a regular theme over means you're gonna be down time especially when you have over five or 600 products.

  18. I try and use just the block editor, but because I'm also using Kadence, there are so many things in Kadence that I can do so easily that I can't in the straight block editor, it's easier just to stay with Kadence for now.

  19. Why are block themes viewed as having a steep learning curve? Is this because I already know code? I feel guilty using block themes as I'm cheating.

  20. The block theme stats aren't surprising. The Site Editor has literally only been out of beta for 4 months. When compared to an ecosystem that was built around classic theming over the past 18 years (themes were introduced in v1.5), that timeframe is really a drop in the bucket. That's something that's easy to overlook because those of us in the "inner community" have been neck-deep into this for much longer.

    If we're still under 10% block theme usage at this time next year, I might be a bit more surprised.

    One thing the stats (AFAIK) aren't looking at is hybrid themes (i.e., classic themes that adopt some block features). It'd be interesting to see what that growth looks like too. I wouldn't expect themers to abandon their current product lines entirely in a four-month timespan, but I would expect them to be opting into newer features.

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