26 Comments

  1. Topher

    This sounds like a real game changer. Something really fundamental than changes How Things Work. I’m excited to see it.

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  2. Andre

    In a sense, this replaces the need for theme templates (templates within the templates folder). Block Patterns are basically presetting a layout where you insert elements (content) into your post/page via filling in the blocks.

    I’m really curious how this will affect theme marketplaces like Theme Forest. I’ve brought this question up many times in the past about the direction WordPress is going with the block editor…actually, it’s not really an editor, it’s a page builder!

    …anyway, no one has really answered the question of what is going to happen to the 1000’s of themes on marketplaces like TF, and others?

    I also predict third party page builders are going to be obsolete despite what some are saying. With a business and investor mindset, if you were the big-wig of WordPress, wouldn’t you like to take out the page builder market and grab it for yourself?

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    • Justin Tadlock

      The ThemeForest question is something I may explore more in depth. However, I think they will be just fine. The last I checked, there were more theme authors there than on WordPress.org who were embracing the block editor. Many will likely be ahead of the game when it comes to block patterns too.

      When block patterns drop in core, I imagine there will be a footrace to see who can ship the best and most patterns to end-users. Patterns will be another marketing bullet point. Authors there will be leaders and building features that other theme authors will want to replicate.

      I know ThemeForest has caught a lot of flak over the years (much of it coming from me), but the site and its authors know how to market theme products.

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  3. David Vogelpohl

    I love this similar approach in Atomic Blocks which I understand was one of the inspirations for Block Patterns. In any case, I’m glad to see this approach making its way into core. Good show!

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  4. Tony Zeoli

    Pretty cool! I can’t wait to see what transpires here. I hate having to use Amazon Product in a Post or a text widget with a book thumb and content right aligned in another div. I would hope someone creates a block pattern for albums, singles, and podcasts too!

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  5. Trishan Mehta

    This is really exciting stuff. From my understanding, block patterns are similar to global block templates which the user can create and edit.

    I tried out the Gutenberg block plugin after a long time and I am impressed with the effort that the Gutenberg team has put in. The future of Gutenberg is surely bright.

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  6. Simon

    so WP built a native page-builder within its core editor? how much will this hurt Elementor and other page builders?

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  7. IamNoOne

    Non-WordPress People are still using Classic Editors, as they found Gutenberg more complicated to edit pages.

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    • Justin Tadlock

      Some are using the classic editor. I would wager that the majority of people using classic are those who were already familiar with that particular editor. While those people are important to the project, the numbers are a mere drop in the bucket in comparison to the whole.

      As for every non-techy person I’ve set up in the past year or so with WordPress, they all preferred the block editor. A couple of these were people who had previously given up on using WordPress before because the classic editor was just too hard for them. It did not behave intuitively enough for them to do the things they wanted. While the block editor isn’t perfect, it has given them the confidence they need to work with their sites.

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  8. Robert Windisch

    As someone who sees normal users struggle in my meetup with themes and page builders, I can’t wait for an easier interface and user experience. Thank you for this encouraging post Justin.

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  9. Mathias Wegener

    Your Block patterns thems to have a lot in common with our “purpose first” design system. We build less then 50 screen wide patterns with an easy to use strategy. The editor has to think just about one thing: the content.

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  10. George Olaru

    I do appreciate that the Editor is taking further steps in its evolution but I’m worried that it is moving away from the dynamics of a site’s system that we all need. Whenever I’m seeing signs of static components (eg. a Pricing Table built with the Columns block and inner blocks), I’m seeing the path to the same lock-in effect that shortcodes provided.

    My primary question would be: if “users will be able to create complex layouts at the click of a button”, I’m wondering how the following clicks will look like?

    When the user wants to change the colors or needs to reorder some elements, without a parent system in place, he will still need to go down and learn the editor in-depth to make those changes consistently; thus weakening the initial purpose of block patterns.

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    • Justin Tadlock

      I would argue the following clicks would strengthen the system. Patterns offer the initial layout. Then, users must customize the content. This allows them to see how everything works as they make their way through their customizations. Over time, it should build up their knowledge of the block editor but without the issue of figuring how to put the layout together in the first place. Eventually, more and more users may even learn to build complex layouts of their own.

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  11. Bastian

    The key question here is whether block pattern designers would be able to lock down the layout of block patterns while allowing users to edit the content (images, text, etc…) within the layout in order to preserve a consistent design across a site.

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    • Justin Tadlock

      I am unsure if that is part of the plans for patterns. It is possible to lock down things with block templates. I could see that being necessary for some patterns. However, in most scenarios where I would want things locked down, I would lean more toward templates.

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  12. Álvaro

    How does this differ from the solutions already working for a while now, like library templates in https://templates.gutenberghub.com/ or https://ghostkit.io/templates/ or sections and starter packs of https://qubely.io/starter-packs/?

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    • Justin Tadlock

      I haven’t tested all of those, but I can say that Gutenberg Hub’s templates will be pretty similar in nature. They are one-click to copy and you just paste directly into the editor. Simple.

      The big difference will be that they will be available through an interface directly in the editor. So, it cuts out a step.

      One thing I have seen mentioned is the need for a sort of official “block pattern directory” for users. Perhaps that is something we may see at some point down the line. Having 1,000s of patterns in the editor would probably be cumbersome. But, connecting that to an API with search via WordPress.org could open up some possibilities.

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      • Álvaro

        Qubely already has its sections available directly in the editor through an interface, as Ghostkit and other libraries I tested. I wonder if this projects are being looked at and its developers being part of the process. No need to re-invent it, IMO.

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  13. Anh Tran

    Block pattern is indeed a nice improvement for end-users, and very helpful to setup starter content.

    And it also emphasizes a part of Gutenberg, which is not good enough (in term of UX) to use.

    When I use nested blocks (cover, columns), I find it’s hard to see which blocks are inside. I think there’s a room for Gutenberg to improve this.

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  14. Cathy Tibbles

    You mentioned forward compatibility in themes, but after switching themes, will the patterns’ settings still be editable? Right now if I add a custom block and that plugin is removed, the block remains but isnt editable.

    Why dont we put patterns beside new blocks in a theme-independant plugin and keep styles separate in themes?

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    • Justin Tadlock

      Patterns will not have user settings. Patterns will be nothing more than registering a grouping of blocks. If the theme registers the pattern, the pattern would disappear on theme switch, but the blocks that get inserted into the post will remain intact. The same will happen with plugins if they are deactivated.

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  15. Nigel M Rodgers

    There will still be use cases for custom post types. Theme Forest sellers concentrate on niche so Gutenberg and block patterns will give them the ability to make better themes for their market.

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  16. Ricardo Desirat

    Hey everyone!

    I’m probably not very well informed but I’m getting the feeling it would be nice to start separate/create 2 branches of WP development. One more “user friendly” and the other more Robust: more enterprise/performance oriented.

    All this fuzz around Blocks is scaring me a bit. I understand the way is going: more user options, control, design, etc. and I’ve nothing against it but it seems WP is fading away from one of it’s most powerful features: Database control & cleanness – which can rapidly become a WP nightmare in what efficiency is concern.

    There are people/clients who just prefer to fill out some text boxes and that info appears in the frontend, well designed, as expected and with optimal performance.

    Maybe a 2 installation option for WP? “Guttie” and “Robust”..?

    I’m afraid template creation (the holly grail of all programming languages – well, at least the 2nd one after DRY) is getting behind.
    I feel WP is getting WET.

    All the best and great posts, Justin!

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    • Justin Tadlock

      It is easy to feel a bit behind on information. The development behind the plugin has been fast and the roadmap seems to be missing some details.

      More user options and control does not equate to less developer control. The block system should also provide more flexibility and control with how developers build sites in the long term. Even the block template system today allows developers to lock down the blocks used in a post. Clients can simply pop into the editor and fill in their details. Granted, this works only on a per-post-type basis by default, but it’s a start.

      Front end template creation is not going anywhere. It is taking a different form, one in which can be done visually for those users who choose to go that route. This can also be locked down on client sites if needed.

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  17. Jordan "Jd" Hlebarov

    Block Patterns is something that I’m really looking forward to as a developer and owner of a small agency that works closely with clients. However currently it was far from actually usable – creating new custom block patterns at best is a bit odd and tricky. I know that this is way of evolution (Gutenberg was the same tricky b*stard in the beginning and now it’s a great thing to use), but still it’s good, it’s not yet there.

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  18. E. Robinson

    As for me, classic editor is much better than block one. I tried my best but it’s really not convenient. Maybe someday I will give a shot, but not today.

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