WordPress 6.1 is set to be released in a few days, and I think some of the enhancements will be low-key game-changing. Maybe not right away, but the direction in which Gutenberg is moving makes me think that some plugins will soon become less important and can be replaced with native Gutenberg functionality.
Dimensions with Padding and Margins for Blocks
Reading through the list of changes in WordPress 6.1, this was the one that stuck out to me the most:
These changes were already available on the stand-alone Gutenberg plugin. But I installed the beta version of WordPress to get the full experience. Once you’ve installed the latest version, go to the Gutenberg editor and start typing.
When you write a new paragraph, click the “Blocks” section on the right-hand side. You should see a new label at the bottom called “Dimensions” like this:
Expand the section and click the three dots on the top-right to bring up a dropdown menu with two items:
You can select both of these or only one. Each will open a new interface at the bottom allowing you to set the margin and padding for the selected block. Here’s the end result in action:
The above screenshot shows each block with separate padding and margins. This ability provides a lot of flexibility in designing pages and individual blocks. Not all blocks currently support dimensions with padding and margins, but all important ones do.
In addition to these dimensions, I soon expect Gutenberg to support even more options to modify the layout attributes of blocks. This brings me to my next point.
Soon Gutenberg Can Replace GenerateBlocks
I’m a huge fan of the GenerateBlocks plugin I use to create all kinds of CTAs, buttons, and special areas on my site. It’s so versatile, that I can use it for almost any UI imaginable. But with Gutenberg moving in the direction of allowing us more flexibility in the margins and padding of blocks, I can see it becoming powerful enough to replace GenerateBlocks over time.
Of course, GenerateBlocks is very flexible – you can convert entire blocks into links, select Grid layouts, and more. In addition to mere layout, you can create custom backgrounds, adjust the transparency, create sophisticated “click-over” effects, and more. Personally, I will continue using GenerateBlocks for the foreseeable future.
But not everyone requires such extreme customization and power. Eventually, I feel that Gutenberg will be enough for most people.
WordPress 6.1 is More Centered Around Theme Creation
Apart from the changes to the Gutenberg editor, WordPress 6.1 doesn’t have much for creators of content. Most of the modifications revolve around the evolving Full Site Editing (FSU), which is relevant to those who create themes. For ordinary users, not so much.
Look for More Gutenberg Mission Creep (A GOOD Thing!)
Gutenberg is hitting its stride and is changing the very nature of WordPress. It’s no longer just a “Content Management System” (CMS) but a full-fledged design tool that’s getting more powerful with every release. I didn’t think much of Gutenberg when it first came out, but I’ve quickly embraced its functionality as Automattic ironed out the rough edges and made it easier to create well-designed pages. I expect this trend to continue and make its way into themes.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of older WordPress themes that will never be block-enabled. But for all the new ones that can make use of Gutenberg’s power, get ready for unprecedented flexibility and creativity!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!
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