Gutenberg 15.5 was released this week with more new features and refinements to WordPress’ full-site editing capabilities. The project will soon be moving on to Phase 3 with real-time collaboration on the roadmap, but there are still many improvements on the way for the Site Editor and core blocks.
This release introduces experimental support for grid layouts in the Group block. Gutenberg contributors are testing a Grid layout type as a new variation for the Group block. They decided on this implementation instead of a new block in order to get more real-world use on the first iteration.
After testing, I found the Grid layout type fits as a natural addition to other Group variations. This first iteration ships with one setting for configuring the minimum column width, but more options can be added in the future. I found it to be far easier to manipulate than the Columns block for basic grids. It may be easier for users to discover and understand if it were implemented as a new block, with the grouping implicit instead of having to add a Group block first and then select a layout.
Grid layouts are a common feature of page builder plugins and this new capability is necessary to make Gutenberg’s page building capabilities more robust. With more testing, contributors can settle on an implementation and build it out from there. If you want to give it a try, the Grid variation for the Group block can be enabled under Gutenberg > Experiments.
Gutenberg 5.5 also introduces the ability for theme authors to identify a custom pattern to be displayed when users load a specific template, such as a 404 page, author page, or single post, instead of relying on a fallback template or starting from a blank slate. This makes it possible to have custom patterns as template starters, a friendlier jumping off point for users who are editing their sites.
The update brings the ability for users to style their Captions in the Styles interface. Captions’ color, typography, and size can now be easily edited with changes applied globally.
A few other important updates in this release include the following:
- New Post Modified Date variation for the Post Date block lets users display the post’s most recent date updated
- Sticky Position: New “Make sticky” action added to the Template Part block
- Buttons: Disabled support for “edit as HTML” in block options
- Time to Read block adds spacing and typography support
- Columns block adds support for template locking
- “Image size” replaced with “Resolution” in image size controls
Check out the changelog in the release post for a full list of all the bug fixes, enhancements, and performance, documentation, and code quality improvements.