WordPress weekly recap #3: customization in 2017 and more

The customization team thought about the issues they can tackle this year — as well smaller problems for the first months of the year as bigger projects for the rest. Besides that, they noted things which should be possible by the end of the year.




Editor technical overview

Matías Ventura wrote in his post »Editor Technical Overview«, which aspects should be respected for the new editor. His first point is that the whole content should stay in post_content in an accessible and portable way, while additional HTML structure identifies the content blocks. This structure should be invisible to ensure the content is rendered well in situations that are not aware of the blocks (for example in feeds and old versions of the editor).

Second, he points out »Simplicity and Semantics of Representation«. This means that the markup to identify the blocks should be as minimal as possible because WordPress is a »champion of web standards« and should remain it. His third point is static and dynamic blocks. Most used blocks will be static, like text or images, dynamics are something like shortcodes and widgets.

His fourth requirement is a consistent user experience. Fifth and last is the system. There are three different aspects: The UI for editing a block, the demarcation of the block and the rendering of the block. The team has to find the best technical and design solutions for these.

Finally, Matías proposes to first tackle relatively simple blocks like text, images with and without captions, and quotes. A possible solution for demarcating the blocks could be HTML comments (code from his post):

<!-- wp:image --> <figure> <img src="/"> <figcaption>A picture is worth a thousand words</figcaption> </figure> <!-- /wp -->
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)

Editor meeting from January 19

The meeting was mainly about the demarcation of blocks but without a final decision. There were different proposes:

  • HTML comments.
  • data- attributes.
  • Custom HTML elements or wrappers out of divs or similar.

Another subject was blocks inside blocks, to realize multi-column layouts, for example. It should be kept in mind, that this possibility of nesting could be useful.

Customization in 2017

Mel Choyce published a rough plan for the customization team in her post »Customization in 2017«. At first, she noted, that Customization does not only mean the customizer but the whole experience of setting up a page and editing an existing one. The two following goals should be reached (quoted from Mel’s post):

  • »I want to make a site that I’m proud of that helps me succeed.«
  • »I want to make a site my clients are proud of that helps them succeed.«

For that, she listed some tasks which can be done in the first few months of the year. For example demo content on theme switch for an existing site (#38624), lost widgets and menus on theme switch, a media widget (#32417), and formatting options for the text widget (#35243). Larger projects for the rest of the year are (quoted from her post):

  • Content blocks, so we can build a better layout editor that helps people build a site that fits their individual needs.
  • Revisions, so you can visually see the changes you’ve made to your site and revert if you mess up (#31089 and #21666).
  • Drafting, reviewing, publishing, and scheduling changes, so you can get your site looking just right before you push your changes live (#31089 and #28721).

After that, she writes the following:

»By the end of 2017, we hope you’ll be able to:

  • Have an onboarding experience with smart defaults that guides you towards building the site you want, faster.
  • Build complex, dynamic layouts for your WordPress sites, regardless of your theme.
  • Move any piece of content on your site to a different part of your site, just by dragging and dropping it where you want.
  • Allow you to preview and select page layouts before you create your page.
  • Edit every piece of content where you see it, instead of needing to hunt for it.
  • Set up a basic website without having to jump in and out of multiple admin screens.
  • Live preview any settings that affect how your site looks.
  • Revert changes and see your revision history.
  • Maybe even build your whole site from your phone?«

Or, shorter:


You can find more information about the plans in Mel’s post.






  • »Notes from the Polyglots chats on January 18«. Among other things, there was the proposal to check the Rosetta sites and get in touch with teams which sites are inactive, to tell them the potential use of the sites (for example to announce events).


New theme developer handbook is live

On January 18, the new theme developer handbook was published. This reaches the goal to have one developer resource for each main part of WordPress on the developer hub. The team uses Trello to organize the ongoing improvements of the handbook. More about that in the post »Theme Developer Handbook released« by Jon Ang.

Theme review team

Meeting on January 17

The theme review team votes for automatically removing reviewers from a ticket, when they did not post a comment within the first two days after getting assigned to the ticket. Besides that, some people would like to bring back the mentoring program — but for that, there have to be enough qualified reviewers who would like to become mentors.

One further point of discussion was a priority queue, which would display themes from authors who had less than five issues in their last review. This could also be an »additional motivation to make sure the themes are up to standard.« Read more on that in the post »January 17, 2017 meeting notes« by Justin Tadlock.


Handbook redesign

The handbooks are currently updated to the O2 theme, and Mark Uraine thought about the two floating menus which appear on the handbook pages — on the left the menu for the complete handbook, on the right the table of contents for the current page.

A screenshot of his updated Design can be found in his post »Handbook Redesign«.

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