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Design, Development, and One Cool Tool

Daniel Schutzsmith shares the latest WordPress design and development news, tools, and techniques along with one special pick — this week’s shiny, new, and coolest tool.

Estimated reading time: 40 minutes

WordPress Development Around the Web

A glimpse of what’s going on in the world of development and design in the WordPress space.

Convert Classic Posts to Gutenberg

Migrating or redesigning WordPress sites is never easy, especially when you need to go from classic themes with the traditional classic editor over to themes using the block editor. The biggest hassle is having to edit each post and click on “Convert To Blocks” over and over again. This little experimental plugin from Marie Comet takes care of that!

WordPress Block Markup

Carolina Nymark has updated her terrific extension to make coding full site editing themes in VS Code so much easier. Carolina’s WordPress block markup extension includes autocomplete snippets that help you add blocks to your templates faster by typing the name of the block. Hadn’t seen this before and it’s a must-have!

Layouts and Wide Alignments in WordPress: Then, Now, and Upcoming Changes

If you have a Classic Theme and you added a theme.json file to it to take advantage of the new features, then you may have noticed some wonkiness with the wide alignments on blocks. Here’s some insight in the Gutenberg Times from Justin Tadlock on why that is and also a suggestion that you might want to hold off on using theme.json with Classic themes for a little while.

Moving Core Block Styling to JSON

Wouldn’t it be nice to override all of the stylings for core blocks in the same place that we’ll now be using in FSE for the rest of the theme‽ If you agree, then please head on over and comment at Make WordPress Core. This looks like a terrific shift to continue making it easier for developers and designers to ensure their stylistic vision can be followed in custom themes. Now if someone would make Figma build a theme.json file that would be swell as well! 😀

One Cool Tool

Each week we feature one cool tool that can help make your life easier as a WordPress builder. This week it’s…

Reasonable Colors

Do you have trouble working with accessibility contrast and finding color combinations that still look good on your websites? Look no further! Reasonable Colors is an open-source color system for building accessible, nice-looking color palettes that meet WCAG 2 color contrast requirements. Comes with SCSS support as well!

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2 Comments

  1. “This looks like a terrific shift to continue making it easier for developers and designers to ensure their stylistic vision can be followed in custom themes.”

    Yes, terrific! Because what graphic designer or casual user doesn’t already know how to open, write, and debug a json file when they want to format their site?

    Even Matt is (rightly!) concerned that implementing even a dirt-simple new design for WordPress.org would be faster and easier with #!%! Wix than with blocks. Requiring average graphic designers to first learn json (and SSH or SFTP so they can access their theme.json file in the first place) is probably not going to improve that perception.

    1. Hey David, I totally get the frustration and skepticism. Currently, there is no master way to see all of the styles that all core blocks provide either, so this is a step in the right direction to make that more possible.

      Now, what the “terrific” part is: as I alluded, there are several different developers right now working on export tools from Figma that would create this theme.json file. So imagine as a designer never having to actually go into the theme.json but rather, all you are doing is updating the Figma file with the appropriate styles. Then that theme.json that is exported goes directly into a git repo, version controlled for the developers to take a look at and work with.

      THIS is what we’ve been looking for in the design world since the web began. I’m speaking from experience here as a web designer and a web developer. This would truly change the game and make it possible to have a design led by designers and the build led by the developers. Coming together in the middle at the theme.json.

      Also, there are several more folks working on theme.json generators that could do the same kind of thing from a standalone web app.

      Lastly, with full site editing, the vision is that all of this can be done inside of wp-admin by a designer. No need to do any coding at all.

      Are these things ready now? No. None of us have said they are. Are they coming soon? I believe we will be able to do this kind of process before the end of 2023. Marking my calendar to come back here this date next year to comment whether the prediction was right.

      Cheers!

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