WordPress 5.0 RCs, Gutenberg related news and food for thought!

Today’s roundup focuses on WordPress 5.0 and its upcoming release date, but we’ll also discuss some interesting and new Gutenberg related news. And, I did my best to introduce a couple of interesting bits throughout this roundup. Every single link is certainly worth checking out! Let’s dive in, shall we?

When will WordPress 5.0 be released?

The question I heard most in the last couple of weeks was this: When will WordPress 5.0 be released? And that is a great question! Unfortunately, not one we have a straight answer to at the moment. The first Release Candidate (RC) was released last week and we’re expecting RC 2 today. But, that still doesn’t point to a specific date. The best answer we currently have is that the date will be communicated. Basically, this means the Core team is working hard to fix the outstanding issues but is not quite ready to commit to a specific date.

My take is that they don’t want to send out a message with a specific date again if they’re not 100% sure they can commit to it. Matt Mullenweg certainly isn’t excluding a December release in his Gutenberg FAQ:

Is it terrible to do a release in December?
Some people think so, some don’t. There have been 9 major WordPress releases in previous Decembers. December releases actually comprise 34% of our major releases in the past decade.

So, let’s just wait and see what happens in the next week.

Gutenberg related news

A few Gutenberg related things have happened in the last couple of weeks that I think could be of interest for you to know. Matt Mullenweg’s post about Gutenberg FAQs is one of them, but there are more.

Block Lab

In a previous roundup, I talked about how ACF would be used to generate blocks for Gutenberg. But they aren’t the only ones trying to figure out how to improve this flow. Block Lab is trying to do exactly this as well. It introduces an interface in the WordPress Admin and a simple templating system for building custom Gutenberg blocks. Definitely worth checking out if you’ve been looking for easier ways to implement custom blocks.

Jetpack 6.8 introduces blocks for Gutenberg

Jetpack 6.8 was released this week and with it shipped a couple of blocks for the new WordPress editor. You can read all about it in WP Tavern’s post about Jetpack 6.8 or read the full release post for Jetpack 6.8 on Jetpack’s blog.

Food for thought

Smashing Magazine published an interesting article, by Leonardo Losoviz, about the implications of thinking in blocks instead of blobs. One thing Leonardo says particularly rings true for me:

I believe that switching from blobs of HTML code to components for building sites is nothing short of a paradigm shift. Gutenberg’s impact is much more than a switch from PHP to JavaScript: there are things that could be done in the past which will possibly not make sense anymore.

A paradigm shift is indeed what we’re looking at here. I’m enthusiastic about the things this new WordPress editor allows us to do that were previously very hard to do.

At Yoast, we’re also very excited about the possibilities the new editor introduces and we’ve already got some great ideas lined up. Not only will it allow our content analysis per post to be much more granular, but we also see a great opportunity to improve lots of different kinds of rich data. Our current How-To and FAQ blocks, introduced in Yoast SEO 8.2,  being the first examples of this.

Interesting site speed project

Delivering a speedy website has to be a number one priority for you. We’ve talked about how to use a page speed test to optimize your WordPress website before. Site speed is a topic that will become increasingly important as we move forward. This week, I came across an interesting project along the lines of our post about improving site speed that got me very excited.

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages that is part of the Chrome browser. You give Lighthouse a URL to evaluate, and it runs a series of audits on the page for performance, accessibility, progressive web app capabilities, and more. It then generates a report on how well the page did.

Imagine bringing those audits fully into the context of WordPress powered sites. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, we may very well be heading that way. An interesting project aiming to do exactly this is to be kicked off at WordCamp US next week (will we see you there?). Imagine the impact of such a tool! Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Read more: What is Gutenberg? »

Remkus’ Roundup series

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