WordPress Themes Team Contributors Get Feedback on Proposal to Improve Block Theme Visibility in Directory – WP Tavern


WordPress Themes Team Contributors Get Feedback on Proposal to Improve Block Theme Visibility in Directory – WP Tavern

Contributors to the WordPress Theme Team came up with several ideas seven weeks ago to increase the visibility of block themes on WordPress.org. These included the option to modify the popular themes algorithm to emphasize block themes even more and/or to add a new "Block" menu item next to Popular and Latest on the homepage.

Only editor-compatible themes on the website provide access to all of WordPress's features in the new block paradigm, which makes it difficult for the directory to expand. However, of the 9,761 themes in the database, the 94 block themes that are currently available make up less than 1%.

It's an intriguing period in the development of WordPress because the theme a user chooses can significantly restrict their capacity to use the newest capabilities. This is the rationale for some contributors' suggestion that block themes be given more exposure in the directory. This directly affects the uptake of FSE and, consequently, its development because those who use it are the source of higher-quality feedback that will determine its future in WordPress.

After five weeks, the case was closed after lead WordPress developer Dion Hulse said that the best method to address the issues raised in the complaint would likely be to redesign the directory's home page. The debate was reopened two weeks ago when WordPress theme developer and team member Dumitru Brinzan firmly disagreed with the notion of promoting block themes in his comment:

It contradicts all that has been said about the function of themes for at least the past ten years. Many instances of appropriating a new tab with themes, a different algorithm, a different order, or a different X, Y, or Z have occurred in the past. It is not the function of.org to market or promote a specific product, the authors of themes often heard. Making the theme repository resemble the plugin repository is not.org's responsibility. The reasonable proposal to remove the 20 pre-installed themes from the Popular page was ignored for years. But now there's a brand-new gadget (that the general public isn't even ready for or interested in).

And now this "new" idea is being promoted by those who have a vested interest in drawing attention to their topics. It's an insult to the hundreds, if not thousands, of theme authors who have so far made contributions to .org.

A PR was submitted by Automattic Sponsored Themes team member Sarah Norris that updates the theme directory's filter list to include a "Block" tab. For those who know how to apply the filter, it filters themes using the entire site edit tag, which is now hidden in three clicks.

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source: PR to add block tab to filter list

By adding this tag, Norris explained, "we are decreasing misunderstanding between these names and explaining how to filter by block themes in the directory. These types of themes are more often referred to as block themes.

Hulse came to the conclusion that PR was "the quickest approach here, having the most impact now," but he questioned if the term "blocking" was the most appropriate.

Another participant in the conversation, Christian Zumbrunnen, suggested that classic themes should also be given a label, such as "Classic," which may later be changed to "Deprecated."

It is necessary to enhance the entire repertory. Prioritizing one category of themes when many of them aren't even ready for production isn't right or fair.

Nothing will be accomplished by directing all WordPress users to an incomplete and awkward product. The fact that WordPress is not renowned for having a slick user experience will only make problems worse. WordPress users are not being used as test subjects to impose FSE and Gutenberg at every turn. Let nature take its course in this process.

To remain relevant in the new era of using blocks to edit every part of a WordPress site, WordPress theme authors must update their themes to be FSE compatible. The remaining remnants of a previous generation of WordPress themes quickly disappear from themes that don't cover the entire range of platform functions.

Full site editing themes should be simpler to obtain, Hendrik Luehrsen agreed, but he questioned how to accomplish this without "downgrading the rest of the themes or generating an Osborne effect." This idea, which is based on the demise of Osborne Computer Corporation, has an impact on consumer electronics items in particular because the early announcement of the arrival of a technologically superior product can have a negative impact on sales of current products.

Given that WordPress has already deployed FSE to anyone who want to use it and that Block Themes, the replacement for legacy WordPress themes, are already available, the Osborne Effect may not apply in this situation.

Jeffrey Pearce, a member of the Automattic Sponsored Themes Team, urged participants to come to an agreement and emphasized that the solution may always be improved in the future.

Pearce emphasized that block themes could only improve with more exposure and usage, which appeared to be the consensus among most attendees. Instead of using the current filtering method, the solutions in this ticket aim to make block themes more discoverable. This does not mean that classic themes will be demoted.

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