Block pattern and WordPress theme combinations preview via new site – WP Tavern
Andrew Starr, the owner of UXL Themes, has concocted a new project around block patterns. Its new site, aptly named WP Block Patterns, allows users to preview all the themes and block patterns hosted on WordPress.org together.
The project does not allow visitors to download anything or ask them to register. This is a basic demo system, which WordPress.org should consider at some point.
Visitors can choose any block pattern. Then they can select any theme to see what they look like together. It’s a quick way to test templates and themes without actually adding them to your WordPress installation.
For example, a user can view the Team Social Cards template – the one I helped create – as well as Anders Norén’s Tove theme.
Or, the image and a quote on a background pattern with the Naledi theme of Anariel Design.
From Gutenberg Hub landing page templates to EditorsKit’s ShareABlock collection, the block system has allowed developers to experience unique sites for end users. Because everything is built on a standard, I guess we’ll see some more of these creative projects in the future. WP Block Patterns is another stop on this journey.
It wasn’t always the WP Block Patterns sitemap. Starr started blogging about the templates after their feature was released in WordPress 5.5. After publishing just one article, the project fell through. Fortunately, inspiration struck.
“I have a site that I use as a point of reference to provide support for my themes,” he said. “This site has a mix of varied content and code that allows me to quickly change / preview any of my themes, without needing to actually change the active theme in admin, or maintain a different site for each. theme.”
In the process of improving its theme change functionality, the domain has been renewed. He had planned to let it expire but decided to see if he could find anything to do with the site.
“I got the inspiration to use the theme selector in conjunction with the content of the block templates,” Starr said. “If I hadn’t been working on my script at the same time I accidentally received the domain expiration message, I probably wouldn’t have had this idea.”
Currently, it manually installs themes on the site, but may need to automate it in the future as new block themes are released. However, it pulls templates and categories directly from the WordPress.org API, which is periodically updated.
The site only features 100% block themes. Technically, this should work with anyone that supports editor styles. Starr said it never crossed his mind to present non-blocking themes.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on the versions of the FSE themes, checking out every block theme I come across, and it sort of looks like the block themes are the future, and the classic themes seem to be a step backwards.” now after investing so much time working with block themes, ”he said. “The site would work great with classic themes, but there are so many that I don’t know how to make it manageable or select which themes to present (and which to leave out). I guess that’s also something I’ll have to think about as the number of block themes increases.
So far, Starr has released two block themes, Hansen and Pria, through his brand UXL Themes. Users can preview both through the site. However, he is already working on his next project.
“As a proof of concept I’m working on a classic theme that will have the functionality of being a block-based theme as well when FSE becomes available in the kernel,” he said. “The idea is that the user won’t notice any frontal difference when the theme ‘switches’ from classic to block-based, but the user will benefit from the new FSE administration tools, with the classic customization changes of the user transferred intact to the new site editor. I have found that there are tradeoffs to be made to make classic and FSE work together seamlessly in a single theme, so I’m not sure this is published broadly.
He also teased a project related to FSE which is neither a theme nor a plugin. However, he was not yet ready to share details.