Where are the WooCommerce block themes? – WP Tavern
When will FSE theme developers start integrating and considering WooCommerce for their themes? WooCommerce almost always seemed to lag behind on all other considerations. It’s kind of like it’s an afterthought to just blur the elements of a solid WooCommerce store. Where is a persistent cart header? Where are the models for
/single-product? There are all kinds of elements that can be developed alongside other teams working on FSE, but it seems (again, regularly) do not arrive.
I took Blockbase and all the other FSE themes for a spin on LocalWP, and none of them contain WooCommerce elements. Again, don’t expect perfection at a “developmental” stage. However, there seems to be a behavioral model that the elements of WooCommerce are a bit of an ‘afterthought’ that just rolls back around a year or a year and six months later.
Why not put everyone on the same page immediately? This way, theme authors can approach putting cart items into the header template. (Yes, WC can be run, but without a cart header, shoppers don’t know where to click once an item is in their cart). And, while Theme Authors and Core WP Developers have always started, Always, ALWAYS simultaneously with one or two WooCommerce members on board, that would absolutely reduce the time it takes for store owners to get the benefits of FSE (and remove some of their page builders!) but that apparently never happens because WooCommerce always seems to be the one there. “afterthought”.
First of all, I want to make sure that all of our readers are on the same page. WooCommerce is a third party plugin. It is not related to the core WordPress and Gutenberg projects. Granted, WooCommerce is owned by Automattic, one of the biggest contributors of resources and people. So there is probably some crossover between the developers.
It is always crucial that we make a distinction between the two. Looking at some of the recent block themes that other developers have released, I haven’t seen an integration with the WooCommerce plugin yet. I can’t say if any of their authors intend to do so in the future. I imagine some will and some will not. As with any third-party plugin that generates something on the front-end (e.g. bbPress, Easy Digital Downloads, etc.), it’s up to the theme author to choose if he wants to support integrations with projects that are not theirs. This can be a maintenance nightmare sometimes, especially when it comes to free themes. However, I have no doubt that we’ll see more block theme authors reaching out to WooCommerce users as we go along.
This is all a long way of saying that the responsibility for WooCommerce working in a world of blocks lies with WooCommerce itself. At this point, the theme authors will follow.
One of the things I love about the block system is that it creates a standard for all the themes and plugins to build from. The long term goal of plugins like WooCommerce should be to work without theme support. If a user wants a cart item in their navigation menu, it should be as easy as adding a block through the site editor. The same goes for any other part of building an online store.
I contacted Darren Ethier, an engineering team leader at Automattic who works at the intersection between WooCommerce and Gutenberg. He agreed that the block system could make things easier to work without specialized thematic support.
“This is definitely the target we are aiming for,” he said. “We still don’t know if we’re going to land it in the first iteration.”
However, the answer is more complex than that. WooCommerce is a heavy plugin with a history steeped in the pre-block WordPress era and has an ecosystem of third-party add-ons that you have to be careful not to break. The team is making progress and has a few things to do. It will take a while, but you won’t see any block themes featuring WooCommerce stores without the plugin laying the groundwork first.
Block models are a high priority. High level models like
taxonomy-product-tag.html will be available soon for any theme enabled for blocks.
“This initial the iteration will be a direct port of existing PHP models and will have a placeholder for rendering the model in the editor, âsaid Ethier. âWe’re essentially wrapping the rendered PHP model in a dynamic block. It is certainly not the end goal. This is only the first step towards our vision of ‘store editing’, where merchants are able to completely customize the layout of their stores using all the opportunities available through block editors and Site (s. “
This is more of a stopgap measure than full support. However, it is a step in that direction.
“We decided to take this approach because it helps bridge the gap between current PHP-based models and block themes more quickly so people can start to see the potential (and still add blocks around rendered content. PHP), âhe said. . âWe also know that it will be a complex job to more fully implement the vision of store publishing with block themes while supporting (and inspiring) the existing rich ecosystem of WooCommerce extensions. So this allows us to gradually improve things over time.
This might not be the news all block theme authors want to hear, but the changes will be enough for them to start exploring closer integration with the plugin.
The team is currently aiming to add support for block templates in the next version of the WooCommerce Blocks plugin. If all goes well, the feature will be ported to WooCommerce 6.0, which should arrive in time for the WordPress 5.9 release.
âIt’s important to set expectations, however (that’s why I’m mentioning it again),â Ethier said. âThis first iteration will certainly not be the latest iteration of the Woo Block models.
He also highlighted several elements of the roadmap:
- âProduct Item Blocksâ – which are the Woo equivalents of WP template blocks. So things like “Product Title”, “Product Description”, “Add to Cart Button”, etc.
- Integration with WP query loop block (for products).
- “Mini-Cart Block” – which should allow insertion into the header / footer template parts.
- Business models.
âAll of these things (and more) will help us iterate over the different components of a store that are visually represented via models, model parts (eg, think of things like reviews on the single product page, etc. .), “Ethier said.
For a more in-depth look at what lies ahead, read Peek into the WooCommerce Blocks Roadmap. Warning: it is dense and oriented towards developers, but it must be. Solutions for a project the size and scope of WooCommerce aren’t straightforward.
âA key strategy we’re trying here is to provide default WooCommerce store editing templates and out-of-the-box features with Woo Core that should in theory ‘work’ with any block theme,â he said. declared Ethier. “There are so many things that
theme.json and global styles unlock to make this possible. Themes will still be able to override the default WooCommerce templates and template parts if they want, but they won’t. need To.”
While it may seem like block-based storefronts are light years away, we have to remember that block themes are in their infancy. There are only a few dozen in the repertoire, and most of them are experimental.
I’m as excited as anyone about what this could mean for projects like WooCommerce. At the same time, I also know that the road may be longer than we have in mind, but the WooCommerce team is already on it.