WordPress Gutenberg 11.5, introduced a week ago includes a new Widget Group Block that fixes several bugs and substantially improves the widget block editing experience.
The new feature, called the Widget Group Block, brings the true bug-free full site editing experience to the WordPress widget block area.
WordPress Widgets are functionalities that are typically found in the side-bars and footer area of a typical web page.
The widget area can, for example, contain calendars, search bars, site navigation, and links to the latest posts.
WordPress Layout Showing Widget Areas
Problems with Widget Editing
The WordPress Gutenberg project is in the middle of a four-phase rollout, phase 2 to be specific.
The goal for phase 2 is:
“Customization — Full Site editing, Block Patterns, Block Directory, Block based themes “
The statement above means that the “blocks” method of creating a website will extend to all areas of a website.
The widget area had problems however that needed solving.
A bug report was filed in June 2021 about problems with the widget editor.
“In the new Widgets Editor, I cannot recreate the structure of .c-widget > .c-widget__title in blocks unless you use “Legacy Widgets” block.
Therefore, it is not possible to place new widgets using this unified design in blocks.”
One of the problems was that it was not possible to add a heading to a widget area using the Gutenberg widget block editor.
For example, if you have a widget area for an archive, adding the title to it would not display the way it used to.
Adding a heading title to a widget worked fine under the old way of doing things.
Previous Widget Appearance
Adding a title using the new Gutenberg block editor was sketchy and resulted in an unsatisfactory result.
How Widget Area Behaved in Gutenberg
WordPress Improves Widget Block Editing
WordPress fixed these issues and created a new Widget Group block. Now publishers can more easily create blocks and add them to a group and deploy them sitewide.
According to WordPress:
“This new block replicates the familiar experience of being able to add a title to a group of blocks and allows you to group any block, making it easier to move and layout content however you’d like.
This both helps with compatibility for older themes when migrating over to the new editor and enables a more cohesive experience for building out widget areas.”
New Widget Group Block
The new WordPress widget group block fixes the title problem. Now publishers can add a title just like in the old way of editing but done in a way that’s compatible with older themes.
The new Widget Group Block addresses two issues:
- “Markup of resulting pattern significantly different to that of the classic widget markup.
- Inability to control the widget “title” markup and output when using core/heading for the title.”
Gutenberg 11.5 is a Strong Step Forward
The purpose of the WordPress Gutenberg project is to make it easy for publishers to create beautiful websites without having to think about coding.
A benefit of using Gutenberg blocks to create a website is that it results in a very fast website.
The latest version of Gutenberg introduces a host of new updates and represents a solid move forward toward a full site editing experience.
Core Editor Improvement: Introducing the Widget Group Block
Add ‘Widget Group’ Block to Widgets Screens