A SHORT overview of the advances in WordPress: Gutenberg (the block editor) & full site editing (block themes) + a Drupal extra

I’m writing this because I haven’t been following WordPress development closely for the last 3 years (hello 2020 pandemic & aftermath.) There is so much content out there for the classic templates & theme builders like Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder etc. that it’s REALLY hard to get a grip on the new direction that WordPress is headed especially since it’s still in the midst of development.

I initially couldn’t even find a good CLEAR & simple breakdown of the terminology I needed to know so writing this was partially in order for me to process and better understand what I was consuming and pull out some key things. My own Quickstart guide if you will but for the folks who have been using WordPress for over a decade.

Keep in mind that this is still evolving and the date I’m writing this is June 20, 2023. WordPress is currently 6.2.2. Things will likely change again for WordPress 6.3 which will likely be August 2023 based on the linked video & WordPress roadmap.

WordPress Editor

Gutenberg is the block editor for pages and posts. It is apparently no longer exclusive to WordPress and is also available for Drupal.

This link has the visual breakdown & screenshots: https://developer.wordpress.org/block-editor/

And this is the deeper dive: https://developer.wordpress.org/block-editor/explanations/faq/

But why is there a Gutenberg Plugin if it’s now built into WordPress?
The Gutenberg plugin is now early access to what’s coming to block and full site editing. Current version of the plugin is 16.0.0. Do not use this if you aren’t ok with beta testing.

WordPress Theme

Full site editor (FSE) is another name for WordPress block themes in WordPress. “Full Site Editing” is sometimes used as a verb.

Handy chart for Classic Theme vs Block Theme if you’re transitioning: https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/block-themes/#differences-and-similarities-between-classic-themes-and-block-themes

And crash course if you’re switching from a Classic Theme to Block Theme: https://learn.wordpress.org/tutorial/how-to-switch-from-a-classic-to-a-block-theme/

Good screen shot breakdowns of the full site editor (FSE) from Oct 17, 2022: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2022/10/wordpress-full-site-editing/

I highly recommend just diving in on a sandboxed / staging environment or demo site using Automattic’s blockbase so you familiarize yourself using a theme created as WordPress / Automattic intended:

And/or one of Automattic’s Blockbase child themes:
Linked them because they are harder to search for.

When do I need to create my own child themes?
(if I’m not building a theme from scratch)

An excellent short summary from https://fullsiteediting.com/lessons/child-themes/

“If you change theme.json, HTML, CSS, PHP, or JavaScript files directly, you still need to create a child theme because these files are not protected when you install a theme update. There are also settings and styles in theme.json that you can not remove through the global styles interface. In this case, you also want to create a child theme and add your custom theme.json.”

But really when might I change these files? This video is about theme creation HOWEVER it’s the shortest video I found that helped me understand how themes are now being built:

Reusable Blocks, Block Patterns, Templates and Template Parts & Synced Patterns:

Except this appears to be in flux & currently changing:

Query loop blocks!


What if I want to create my own WordPress Block Theme that can be used with the Full Site Editor … OR learn more?

These are some of the best resources I came across (this is also about where it becomes overkill):

And now for something completely different: Gutenberg block editor for Drupal


Moving your account from Feedburner to Google

I’ve been trying to move my account from Feedburner to Google for the last few days. Apparently according to their update blog, they’ve temporarily suspended moving: http://feedburnerstatus.blogspot.com/

I searched the web for solutions because I didn’t want to wait until the last minute and came up with a few things but most things said to click on the “Move your account now” link when logged into feedburner … which at the moment doesn’t exist.

Somewhere I found the following link but not the following instructions.

Looks like if you:
1) log into your feedburner account
2) log into the google account you want to transfer to
3) then click on the following link you can still make the transfer.

If you have multiple feedburner and google accounts make sure you log into the correct ones.

Since google isn’t doing a good job about notifying people what’s going on I didn’t want to wait around til the last minute.

I really think google is messing this transition up. No e-mail notice about requiring customers to manually go in and make this change? Seriously? And it’s required: https://www.google.com/support/feedburner/bin/answer.py?answer=126303 February 28th, 2009 is the cutoff.

Successful podcast observations (circa 2005)

I’ve been checking out a lot of podcasts lately and I started noticing some key things the more successful podcasts incorporate. These are not rules to live by but they make good rules of thumb if you are going to start a podcast of your own.

  • 1) the podcast is edited. Instead of just going with everything you record, come back and edit for time or to get rid of some of the areas where you are verbally stumbling.
  • 2) there seems to be a show outline used by the host even if the show isn’t scripted. I’ve noticed that in several shows they have a planned set of things they want to cover and when they or their guest seem to be getting off-track they bring things back on course.
  • 3) intro music. Most have an intro details about the show you are listening to followed by some custom intro music before going into the segments.
  • 4) transition music. Music between segments if it’s a segmented show. A good example of this would be the travel commons podcast.
  • 5) set time. It may not be down to the minute but the good podcasts tend to have a set amount of time for their show whether it’s a half hour long show or an hour and a half.
  • 6) set release date. Seems the best shows are weekly shows and release on a specific day of the week. When they don’t release on time they tend to post updates on the status on a corresponding blog if they are having technical difficulties. There are a few daily shows that seem pretty successful but they are typically shorter shows.
  • 7) consistency. A basic consistency from show to show on all of the above aspects. Keeping the same intro music, same or similar format which means the listener knows in advance generally what to expect.
  • 8) sound quality. No matter how awesome your show is, if you come out sounding like a building construction site, most people won’t sit and listen through it.

800×600 resolution and the web

Reasons to still design a website for 800×600 resolution:

  • A few people still have old computers that don’t have a higher resolution.
  • A few people still choose to stay with the 800×600 resolution for eyesight reasons.
  • Despite the fact that many people have higher resolutions available to them with their newer computers, computers often ship with the setting at 800×600 and people don’t change them (either because they don’t know they have the option to change them or they don’t know how.)
  • And this last one defies any of the statistics you may have seen to prove my points otherwise: people don’t always browse at the full screen size. I know I don’t often because I like to multi-task. So although the screen is set at a higher resolution I’m browsing the web at a smaller size.