Gutenberg 3.3 Released, Adds Archives and Recent Comments Blocks

Gutenberg 3.3 is available and continues the trend of refining the user experience, user interface, and tools. Two new Widget blocks have been added, Post Archives and Recent Comments.

Archive and Recent Comments Widget Blocks

If your archives span across multiple months and years, you can configure the block to display as a drop-down menu. Otherwise, the list may be too long and look unwieldy on your site.

Video blocks now have attributes users can can configure for Autoplay, Loop, Muted, and display Playback Controls.

Video Block Attributes

There are a number of enhancements in this release that you can view via the change log.

Considering Gutenberg 3.2 released earlier this month generally completed the MVP or minimum viable product feature set, users can expect more of these types of releases to tie up loose ends and prepare Gutenberg for merge into WordPress 5.0 later this year. 

14 Comments


  1. I had a quick look at Gutenberg and it will I’m sure take me some time to get used to.

    Fortunately I can set up a test site and have a play-around.

    But I have a question. Have I just typed here the equivalent of three paragraph blocks? Or can I type multiple paragraphs in one paragraph block? Short paragraphs is the way of the web now, and I’d hate to think I have to drop in a new block just for one sentence…

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    1. Each paragraph is a new block, but the way you write shouldn’t change. Try Gutenberg out here, you can see when you hover your mouse or click on a block, then formatting controls appear, but as soon as you start typing, they disappear, and it feels just like typing normal paragraphs. Pressing Enter starts a new paragraph, arrow keys work as expected.

      If you prefer using your keyboard for most things, this is also where it gets cool: start a new paragraph, and start typing “/gallery”, and press Enter. It magically converts into a Gallery block, so you’re able to insert more than just text, without interrupting your writing flow.

      So, to get back to your originally question, you are inserting a new block for each paragraph, but inserting a block isn’t a difficult task, it should happen as smoothly as possible, and even invisibly when it’s just a new paragraph.

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      1. Except it’s nothing like writing normal paragraphs is it. The block controls are continually in the way when trying to do things that are dead easy in text editors. For instance, making a selection covering more than one paragraph, or one paragraph and one sentence out of the next paragraph. And in so far you can make a multi-block selection, it feels sluggish and clumsy. So far Gutenberg has utterly failed in making blocks compliment the writing experience, instead it makes users contort their way of writing to fit the blocks experience. Every hover effect introduces cognitive load that takes away from pure writing. A massive failure of design and user empathy.

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      2. Thanks Gary. I compose offline (for several reasons), copy and paste into WP, so in most instances I’ll have just the one paragraph block. But some of the other blocks look… interesting, although the interface is still a bit too distracting for me. I guess it depends on how customisable it can be made, so that I can remove any elements I don’t use.

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  2. Gave 3.3 a quick test with high hopes. Created a simple post using TwentySeventeen theme. Stacked a title, image, and 2 paragraphs. Looked very good in the editor. Pressed “Preview.” The layout changed, the typeface changed, the type size changed. Part of image overlapped the theme’s sidebar. Looked like crap with no ready way to fix. Come on folks. This was a very basic test and it utterly failed.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback!

      The Classic Editor uses add_editor_style() to allow themes to add custom CSS to the editor, to ensure what you’re writing in the editor looks like what you’ll see when you preview your post.

      Gutenberg provides a similar mechanism for themes to style blocks in the same way, but it does require the theme to provide those styles.

      At the moment, the core Twenty* themes haven’t been updated to add block editor styling support, but I agree that at least Twenty Seventeen (and maybe a few of the more recent core themes) should be updated in this way. 🙂

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      1. Thanks for the reply Gary, however I don’t think it is a good idea to be beholden to a theme for such elementary styling. I think the “Additional CSS Class” field under “Advanced” points to a good way to handle this, but I don’t want to be bouncing back and forth between Gutenberg and the Customizer’s CSS panel. Worse yet the Customizer’s CSS panel is also quite inadequate. Should not Customizer/Gutenberg be at least as good at CSS as https://beefree.io or https://mosaico.io or several others like them?

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      2. As every theme is different, it isn’t really possible to provide an editing experience that reflects the individual styling of a theme, without that theme providing some sort of hint about how to do it. There have been some super interesting experiments in front-end editing that try to inherit some of the theme styles, to varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, that approach has tended to cause more problems than it solved.

        That said, I think there are going to be some interesting areas to explore after WordPress 5.0, as the Gutenberg focus shifts to site customisation, and considering how the entire site can be built of blocks. That’s were you’ll see better integration between Custom CSS and post content.

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      3. So it depends on the theme editor styles whether the preview looks fine or not? Really? As far as I know GB provides some basic styling for the frontend of a website, so why not add some basic styling for the editor as well?

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      4. I’m a bit concerned about Gutenberg Posts looking different between the backend and the frontend. When Gutenberg is released very, very few themes will provide the styling Gutenberg needs to appear correctly on the frontend. I suspect there will be a mad scramble by theme developers to correct this. Those themes that are updated to be Gutenberg compatible will be in high demand. In this case the Early Bird will definitely get the worm!

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      5. So it depends on the theme editor styles whether the preview looks fine or not? Really?

        No, I wasn’t paying attention; the preview is the frontend, so it depends on the stylesheet of your theme. But if your stylesheet contains all the recommended markup (for headings, alignments, tables, lists, etc) and a reset stylesheet, most of the blocks should just look fine.

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  3. I took the jump and put it on my biz site. I’m using it for the blog posts. Main pages are running Divi.

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    1. I am doing pretty much the same thing on my site. I enjoy using Gutenberg for blog posts a lot more than the Divi Builder, though obviously for page building purposes Divi is the best choice right now.

      In the future, I am hoping Divi and the other page builder plugins end up re-basing themselves off of Gutenberg so they can take advantage of the block APIs. That would mean you could potentially use the Divi Slider module (now a block) on a page using the normal Gutenberg editor (actually, the block could be split off into its own plugin entirely), or use Gutenberg blocks from core WordPress and plugins directly in the Divi Builder. Sections, Rows, and Columns could become blocks on the technical side, and perhaps you would finally be able to nest sections and columns in Divi. (Though I would hope that would come anyway regardless of Gutenberg integration.)

      Extending off of Gutenberg would also mean switching to another builder plugin like Beaver Builder could be a lot easier in the future, since the blocks could be separate from the builder and of course, disabling Divi would not leave shortcodes everywhere since it would be using the Gutenberg HTML comments as delimiters instead.

      I imagine that in the long-run, page builder plugins would end up being split up into several smaller plugins:

      – plugins that simply replace the visual user interface of Gutenberg with an alternative UI
      – plugins that extend Gutenberg with additional functionality (selective sync, advanced color picker, text color options visible on every block, copy-paste styles from one block to another)
      – plugins that add blocks to Gutenberg like sliders, CTAs, advanced rows and columns, accordions, and so on

      This would be really nice as it would mean you could pick and choose the functionality you wanted and not get locked in to a single monolithic plugin that bundles large amounts of functionality. I hope that is the direction that Divi will end up heading in the future.

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