WordPress Defaults

Correct Way To Create WordPress Theme Frontpage Templates

People can make several versions of the exact same front page and for them to be accessible at several different of URLs.

Not good for Theme users, Site Visitors or for SEO

Making a page template (with a file containing an opening comment something like: Template Name: Front Page) coded specifically for use as the frontpage is the wrong way to do it. People can make several versions of the exact same front page and for them to be accessible at several different of URLs. Not good.

WordPress has specially designated templates for use as the front page and as the blog page. They are front-page.php and home.php respectively. If these templates are in place and static page is defined then they will be used automatically.

WordPress Defaults

Gutenberg Update Skips A Week – Pushes Many Fixes

The planned release schedule for the Gutenberg Editor plugin is once a week on a Friday. Last week release was missed and it jamp from 0.4.0 to 0.6.0 today.

There are many improvements and tweaks to the editor. Most notably for me was addition of validation of blocks and detection of modification outside of Gutenberg. I spotted this immediately as Cover Image block markup has changed and block validation detected every block I had previously added as being modified.

Modified blocks get locked in the visual editor to prevent breaking of any customizations added.

Also since cover image markup was changes every one I had previously added had broken styles. That is what happens using early-access and heavily in development software lol

New Block – Cover Text

The Cover Text block was added as a variant of the cover image block.

This is mainly a stylized text block with background and text color options.

Multiple lines and text styles can be used as well as adding links. There are 3 style selectors.

This is mainly a stylized text block with background and text color options.

Multiple lines and text styles can be used as well as adding links. There are 3 style selectors.

This is mainly a stylized text block with background and text color options.

Multiple lines and text styles can be used as well as adding links. There are 3 style selectors.

Above are all 3 of the different included formats and each has different colored text. At this exact moment the text color does not change. This is because of a small bug in the output of these blocks. I made an issue and submitted a PR with a fix. Hopefully it's fixed in next version.

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Two Weeks with Gutenberg

Time flys by. It's been about 2-3 weeks since I first tried the Gutenberg editor. I've seen 3 updates bringing various tweaks here and there plus the addition of a new block type.

Gutenberg Editor – Updates are coming, not much is changing.

The Verse block was added in version 0.5.0.

Poets rejoice in the days of Gutenberg.
Published and shared for all to see.

Writing. Editing. Merging of content.

New experiences, outlets, sharing and connecting.
Words. A Voice.

Obviously you can see that I'm no poet. The verse block seems to be not much more than a stylized text box. The same thing could be achieved with a standard textbox or even a blockquote.

Thoughts of Gutenberg So Far

My opinion of the future core editor for WordPress has not changed since I started to use it. I feel like it's perfectly fine for writing text content, it's still lacking variety of blocks and that I am concerned over how data is stored.

I provided a short review noting my concerns over data storage at the plugin page in the repo. If you have any feedback you should provide it to the authors as well, either in the plugin repo or at the github project.

From what I see with some of the block types the intention will be for themes to style them to match their designs. So far no themes I have looked at using Gutenberg contain any such styles. Until the end result of using Gutenberg exceeds the result of doing a similar thing in the existing editor I don't think this project is anywhere near close to inclusion in core.

WordPress Defaults

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is the vision for the new editor experience in WordPress. It offers a content block type solution to adding different elements within your posts or pages in a simple and convenient way.

The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.
Matt Mullenweg
The existing solution in WordPress uses Tinymce. For most people it’s a perfectly fine way to write blog posts and create pages for their site. Using a combination of adding text, the formatting options in the Tinymce, shortcodes, HTML and CSS most people are able to add the content they want and format it to look how they desire. Essentially the new editor flow would enable you to separate each of those elements out into individual blocks, each with their own settings and content.

Trying Project #Gutentberg

As a WordPress user I’m interested in the future of the editor experience. What am I going to be writing posts in? What will I be working with? I wanted to try early and make sure the vision for the future meets my needs. If it doesn’t then there’s still time for me to give feedback and make sure that it does 🙂 Currently Gutenberg is available to download from the WP repo as a plugin. Install, activate and give it a test run.
I tweeted that out this morning. Right now I’m writing this post in Gutenberg. 
And so there are some bugs to work out, some issues with theme styling compatibility etc. What I’ve found in my limited use so far is that it’s not quite polished enough to use everywhere. It’s more than sufficient for writing blogs posts like this one though. It’s possible to save posts and swap between editors if you choose. If you need to fill in any meta boxes for a post, such as any SEO or post type specific meta boxes, you’ll still need to use the existing WP editor to fill those.

Providing Feedback – Reporting Bugs/Issues and making Feature Requests.

Development is very active with a plan to issue 1 release a week with fixes, improvements and changes. Discussion happens on the blog and in the slack #core-editor channel.

You can report bugs in the plugin’s support forum but a better place is to create issues for them in the Project Gutenberg repo at GitHub. Just so I can test the button content block there’s one below directly to the GitHub issues page for the project.
WordPress Defaults

A Default Kinda Guy – Installing TwentySixteen

This year’s WordPress release schedule puts the next major release around the end of the year. In that release will come the new default theme – TwentySixteen. The development version is up on GitHub for you to test and contribute if your inclined.

On this site I’ve been a default theme user. When I started I used TwentyFifteen and wrote a couple of thoughts. Now that the development version of next years default is available I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

There’s a few ways that you could get this installed on your site. The easiest may be to download the zip from Github and upload it to your site. Alternatively you could clone it to your site with git clone or use WP-CLI to install and activate it for you.

Cloning The Theme into Your Site

Navigate to the themes directory on your site – /wp-content/themes/ – and run the clone command:

git clone

Updating the theme as it develops is easy by running git pull from the theme directory.

Installing a theme From Github via WP-CLI

From anywhere in the WordPress installation you can run the theme install command, pass it a theme-slug or a url to a zip file and it’ll install it in the correct location.

wp theme install

add --activate at the end of the command to activate it right away and --force if you want to suppress any warnings about overwrites.

Note: If you install the theme like this it’ll be located in the twentysixteen-master folder instaed of the twentysixteen folder.

Contributing to the Next Default Theme

You can contribute to the theme and shape its development moving forward by creating issues and pull requests in the GitHub repo.

You will need to know a little bit about using git to contribute but it’s nothing really complicated. You should be able to find out everything you need to know by taking a look at my WordPress and Git Workflow post.

If you’re interested in contributing you should also check out the file in the repo.

WordPress Defaults

Trying The Twenty Fifteen Theme

Well I’ve just started a brand new personal blog and thought: What better time to try out the next default theme?

Twenty Fifteen is shipping with the beta version of 4.1 that you can try out by installing the beta plugin and setting it to bleeding edge nightlies.

It’s clean… really clean… like nothing to it kind of clean. And that’s the main problem, there’s basically nothing to it. It demonstrates a really nice use of the WP Customizer – allowing you to select a colour scheme from their predefined palette (or tweak each colour to a custom value if you want), upload and use a custom header or background and set menus in 2 theme location.

It only has the option of a right sidebar and both menus go in there along with the widgets you pick. The primary menu is basically like a blogroll from the old days.

The second menu is a social icon menu. It will automatically parse what social network you have linked and display it as an appropriate icon – instead of a plain old text link. That’s a pretty cool feature, probably the coolest thing about the theme if you ask me, but I only use Twitter so it’s wasted on me.

It’s built mobile first so it gets a +1 from me for working that way but design-wise it’s really not to my taste.

All of the default post formats are enabled though so maybe that’s the way to go when it comes to customizing your site if you use Twenty Fifteen.

In theory taking the default theme back to it’s blogging roots and making it über clean and streamlined is a great idea. In practice it appears not to work all that well.

I’m crossing my fingers that a lot changes are made between now and the official release of the theme but I won’t hold my breath. There’s not been a great deal of talk on Make WordPress Core about changes and it’s slated for release with WP 4.1 in December – which doesn’t leave a lot of time to do much about it.

Since Twenty Fifteen is scheduled for the end of 2014 maybe the could start working on Twenty Sixteen early next year… heck maybe I should hop on over there and push to try to have some input into what Twenty Sixteen should be like.