Learn how to build with the WordPress Site Editor

A new era of WordPress is here! Are you ready for it? Ollie is dedicated to sharing the latest in WordPress block themes, full-site editing, patterns, global styles, and more.


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  • A native and iterative approach to responsive control in WordPress

    One of the most powerful features of WordPress block themes is the ability to create a design system that shapes the aesthetic of your theme. This design system, powered by settings in the theme’s theme.jsontheme.json A configuration file that provides your WordPress theme with CSS styling and settings for how the editor works. file, dictates the design language of blocksBlocks Blocks are content elements that you add to the editor in posts and pages to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block., patternsBlock patterns Block Patterns are a collection of pre-designed blocks that you can insert into pages and posts and then customize with your own content., templatesTemplates Templates are designs for pages and can include one or more template parts., and how all of these elements interact with each other.

    On top of that, users can customize these styles to make sweeping changes to their site within the WordPress UI. Contrary to classic WordPress themes, block themes aim to be a no-code (or very close to it) experience, empowering the user to design, build, customize, and launch their website with native controls.

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  • Learn how to design in the WordPress editor

    WordPress has all kinds of powerful new design tools to help you build expressive websites faster. Best of all, with the right WordPress block theme, you can do it all within the WordPress editor.

    In this first installment of my Build With Ollie tutorial series, I’ll show you how I designed a pattern from the Ollie block theme. In doing so, we’ll learn about blocksBlocks Blocks are content elements that you add to the editor in posts and pages to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block. like groups, columns, buttons and more. We’ll also learn how to use the native WordPress design settings like margins, paddings, and block spacing to create a beautiful, responsive page section.

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  • Introducing the Ollie WordPress block theme

    We are in truly exciting times in the WordPress world, folks. If you’ve been following along on the Ollie blog and my Twitter feed, you’ve seen me sharing all kinds of fun and helpful bits about the WordPress site editor, patterns, blocks, global styles, and more.

    Unless you’re experimenting with this stuff everyday, it can be hard to keep up with it and know the full scope of what’s possible in WordPress with all of these new features. Heck, it’s hard to keep up even if you are experimenting every day.

    In my experience, one of the best ways of working with all of these new features and learning how they all work together is by building a WordPress block theme. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing over the past several months.

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  • Patterns are gonna be a game changer for WordPress

    The past few years have produced a wealth of new technology and features for the world’s most popular CMSCMS Content management software (CMS) is used for managing digital content, such as posts and pages, on websites.. It all started with WordPress 5.0, released in December 2018. This release included the much-anticipated block editorBlock editor The WordPress block editor is editing interface where you create content and layouts with blocks (paragraphs, images, columns, etc.)., a way of building content visually with block-based elements (paragraphs, images, buttons, columns, etc.).

    Although this was a huge paradigm shift, and required quite a bit of getting used to, this change was widely praised as a necessary evolution of content creation in WordPress. This addition was a huge leap forward for WordPress, modernizing the software and helping it compete with flashier, faster-evolving website alternatives.

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  • Essential resources for learning WordPress block themes

    Creating a WordPress theme is quite a different process than it was just a few years ago. With the arrival of the block editorBlock editor The WordPress block editor is editing interface where you create content and layouts with blocks (paragraphs, images, columns, etc.). and the Site Editor, we now have a whole new suite of tools at our disposal. That also means we need a new kind of WordPress theme 鈥 a WordPress block theme.

    A block theme is a WordPress theme that is made up of blocksBlocks Blocks are content elements that you add to the editor in posts and pages to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block., patterns, template partsTemplate parts Template parts are used to organize a theme in smaller reusable structural parts. They are commonly used for site headers and site footers., templatesTemplates Templates are designs for pages and can include one or more template parts., and global styles. All of these elements are brought together in the WordPress Site Editor, a new interface for building websites visually within the WordPress admin.

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  • Finding a new home for the WordPress community

    Finding a new home for the WordPress community

    Update: Due to the overwhelming interest in OpenPress, I’ve created a dedicated website for the evolving concept. Visit OpenPress and subscribe to be updated about the status of the project.

    The recent $44 billion dollar purchase of Twitter has a lot of people talking, to put it mildly. Some people are excited for a shakeup, seeing a lot of untapped potential in Twitter. Others are anxious, seeing the turbulence and uncertainty as a threat to the communities they’ve worked so hard to build over the years.

    Like many folks, I’m in both camps. I really like Twitter. It’s the only social media I use, and it’s where my audience and community is. Twitter has the potential to evolve in some really innovative ways. Payments, curation, customization, less ads, more creator tools 鈥 these would all be a huge win for the platform.

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  • Three beautiful font pairs to bring your design to life

    We are truly in a renaissance of web design and development resources right now. We’ve got abundant content, design and dev tools, pre-made assets like templatesTemplates Templates are designs for pages and can include one or more template parts., icons, and fonts, and dozens of platforms to bring it all together (thanks, WordPress!).

    Typography for the web is also at its height. We’ve seen some incredible gains in typography, in both availability of new fonts and performance improvements. With full-site editingFull-site editing Full-site editing is the cohesive experience that allows you to directly edit and navigate between various templates, template parts, styling options, and more on your website., WordPress is also making it a lot easier to work with typography.

    However, with all the new fonts flooding the ecosystem, it can be hard to find the gems. No worries! Starting today, I’ll be publishing a regular series of font recommendations to help you jazz up your WordPress (and non-WordPress) websites.

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  • Spice up your WordPress content with Block Styles

    Spice up your WordPress content with Block Styles

    Content, just like the rest of your site, deserves to be beautiful. Oftentimes, we put so much emphasis on how our homepage looks, but we don’t give the same attention to detail to the content that fills our posts and pages.

    But our content is so important! In the eyes of our audience (and Google), it’s even more important than the design of our homepage. Content delivers value. It drives conversions. It brings our products to life. It builds audiences.

    Fortunately for us, WordPress now has a whole suite of features that makes creating content a breeze. On the other hand, because of the blizzard of new features going into full-site editingFull-site editing Full-site editing is the cohesive experience that allows you to directly edit and navigate between various templates, template parts, styling options, and more on your website., it’s easy to overlook all of the content creation features in the block editorBlock editor The WordPress block editor is editing interface where you create content and layouts with blocks (paragraphs, images, columns, etc.)..

    Today, I want to talk about Block Styles, the ability to add stylized variations to WordPress blocksBlocks Blocks are content elements that you add to the editor in posts and pages to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block.. This is one of those sticky features that once you start using, it’s sure to become part of every site you build.

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  • While the web evolves, WordPress keeps the lights on

    Let’s face it: WordPress has never been super cool in the web design and web development world. It’s not winning any design awards. It’s not making it to the top of Hacker News. It’s not what people talk about at the biggest web industry events and conferences. It’s barely ever mentioned in tech media, aside from the yearly “Is WordPress secure?” article.

    And despite all this, WordPress has grown to power a larger slice of the internet than virtually every other CMSCMS Content management software (CMS) is used for managing digital content, such as posts and pages, on websites. and website building SaaS combined. And it’s not even close.

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  • Global styles and the future of CSS in WordPress

    While browsing Twitter recently, I stumbled upon an interesting conversation happening between Damon Cook and Joseph Farruggio, who were discussing the pros and cons of theme.json, a new settings and style engine for WordPress themes.

    As seen in the tweet below, Joseph asks “Can you think of an example where writing the CSS in JSONJSON JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate. is a better approach than writing the CSS yourself?” Joseph is asking a totally reasonable question that has certainly been on the minds of many WordPress folks, myself included.

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