Seven weeks in the past, WordPress Theme Team contributors proposed a number of concepts for bettering block themes’ visibility on WordPress.org. These included the risk of fixing the well-liked themes algorithm to extra prominently function block themes, and/or including a brand new “Block” menu merchandise subsequent to Popular and Latest on the themes listing dwelling web page.
The listing goes by some rising pains as themes which might be appropriate with the website editor are the solely ones that provide entry to every part WordPress has to supply in the new paradigm of blocks. Yet, the 94 accessible block themes characterize fewer than 1% of the listing’s 9,761 themes.
It’s an fascinating time in WordPress’ historical past the place the theme a consumer selects can considerably restrict the capacity to benefit from WordPress’ newest options. This is why some contributors are proposing that block themes get extra visibility in the listing. It immediately impacts FSE adoption and consequently its enchancment, as individuals utilizing it’s the pathway to higher high quality suggestions that can form its future in WordPress.
After 5 weeks the ticket went silent, following WordPress lead developer Dion Hulse’s advice that re-doing the entrance web page of the listing would probably be the finest manner to clear up the wants communicated in the ticket. Two weeks in the past the dialogue was reignited when WordPress theme developer and Themes Team contributor Dumitru Brinzan commented with robust opposition to the concept of selling block themes:
This goes in opposition to every part that was mentioned about the position of themes in the previous 10 years a minimum of.
In the previous there have been a variety of situations when a brand new tab with themes, a unique algorithm, a unique order, totally different X, Y, Z have been applicable.
Every single time theme authors heard the similar music: it’s not the position of .org to promote or market any specific product. It is just not the position of .org to make the themes repo appear to be the plugins repo.
The logical request of eradicating the default Twenty themes from the Popular tab fell on deaf years.
But now there’s a brand new shiny toy (that’s not even prepared or wished by the normal public).
And instantly individuals with a direct curiosity in having a highlight on their themes are pushing this “new” concept.
This is a spit in the face of the lots of (if not 1000’s) of theme authors which have been contributing to .org till now.
Automattic-sponsored Themes Team contributor Sarah Norris submitted a PR that provides a ‘Block’ tab to the Theme Directory filter record. It filters themes utilizing the full-site-editing tag, which is at the moment buried three clicks deep for individuals who know the way to apply the filter.
“These types of themes are more commonly referred to as block themes, so by adding this tag, we are reducing the confusion between these terms and making it clearer how to filter by block themes in the directory,” Norris mentioned.
Hulse concluded that the PR was “the most straight forward way forward here, making the most impact today,” however questioned whether or not “block” is the finest time period to use.
Christian Zumbrunnen, one other participant in the dialogue, urged traditional themes get a label as nicely, akin to “Classic,” which may very well be modified to “Deprecated” someday in the future.
“And another question: why would my non-FSE themes built for the Block Editor be relegated to the ‘classic themes’ category?” Brinzan mentioned. “Why give priority specifically to FSE themes, all the while calling them ‘block’ themes? My classic themes work perfectly well with blocks. Why create any more confusion under the false pretense of making things ‘easier and clearer?’”
The distinction right here is that whereas most themes now assist the block editor for content material, only a few embrace full assist for the block-based website editor. Brinzan contends that contributors ought to work in direction of making a extra environment friendly search and bettering the shopping/filtering expertise for themes:
The complete listing wants to be improved. It’s not proper (or truthful) to prioritize one kind of themes, when lots of them aren’t even production-ready.
Funneling all WordPress customers in direction of an unfinished and clunky product gained’t do anybody any good. WordPress is just not identified for its elegant UI, and this can make issues worse. WordPress customers usually are not guinea pigs to power Gutenberg and FSE on them at each step. Let this course of take its pure course.
WordPress theme builders are going through the inevitable job of updating their themes to be FSE-enabled in order to stay related in the new period of utilizing blocks to edit all features of a WordPress website. Themes that don’t assist the full vary of the platform’s options shouldn’t have lengthy earlier than they turn into the final vestiges of a bygone period of WordPress themes.
Hendrik Luehrsen, who agreed that full-site modifying themes ought to be simpler to discover, mentioned he’s involved about how to try this with out “without downgrading the rest of the themes or without creating an Osborne Effect.” This notion, which relies on the downfall of the Osborne Computer Corporation, notably impacts client digital merchandise the place prematurely saying the imminent launch of a technologically superior product can harm the gross sales of present merchandise.
The Osborne Effect is probably not relevant in this case, since WordPress has already shipped FSE to those that need to benefit from it, and block themes, the successor of legacy WordPress themes, are already right here.
Automattic-sponsored Themes Team contributor Jeffrey Pearce urged contributors to attain a consensus and reminded them that the resolution can at all times be iterated on later.
“It’s important to highlight that block themes can only get better with improved exposure by usage, which seems to be what most folks in here agree on,” Pearce mentioned. “The solutions in this ticket don’t seek to demote classic themes, but rather they seek to improve the discoverability of Block Themes instead of the current filter approach.”