Introducing Ollie, a hub for the next generation of WordPress

Ollie is a new resource where WordPress creators can find tutorials and tools for the block editor and full-site editing.

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introducing-ollie

Hey folks! Mike McAlister here, creator of many things in the WordPress community and beyond. For those of you that don’t know me yet, let me introduce myself real quick before we talk about some exciting new stuff!

I’ve been around WordPress for a long time — since about 2009, if my memory serves me correctly. As an up-and-coming web designer and developer at that time, WordPress was a game changer for me. It was the missing tool in my operation as a small web business.

Like many folks, the software gave me a community. It gave me resources, peers, tutorials, docs, friends, clients, headaches, and endless opportunities. It gave me a path that I was able to follow and the chance to shape a career for myself, and I did.

More importantly than the software itself, WordPress sent me on a journey of product development, entrepreneurship, education, mentorship, and more. I’ve founded and sold multiple product businesses, travelled the globe and spoke at conferences, and created some great products that power millions of websites to this day. I’ve learned a few lifetimes worth of lessons along the way, and even wrote a book about it last year.

WordPress is going through some big changes. Are you ready to build for the future? Let’s do it together.

And, of course, I wouldn’t have been able to do that if it wasn’t for WordPress, the abundant educational resources, and good-natured people that have helped me out along the way.

The great transition

In case you hadn’t noticed, WordPress is going through some big changes. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the introduction of the powerful new block editorBlock editor The WordPress block editor is editing interface where you create content and layouts with blocks (paragraphs, images, columns, etc.)., 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., and now we’re starting to see the coalescing of 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..

With all of these new features, it can be really hard to keep up. I work in WordPress all day every day, alongside other WordPress professionals at WP Engine, and it’s still hard to keep up!

It’s also not very easy to find quality resources about all of this new stuff. Any Google search about WordPress returns 15 years of legacy tutorials and resources. That’s kinda great, actually, because it means we did a good job supporting the software with an ecosystem of information. But it makes finding reliable content about these new features a real challenge.

I’m really passionate and optimistic about the future of WordPress.

Now we need new resources, tutorials, code snippets, video walkthroughs, and more. We have new problems to solve, new designs to ship, new code to write, and new products to launch.

The future success of WordPress as an ecosystem and an economy are inextricably tied to the adoption of the block editor and full-site editing by developers, product creators, and users. Many of our careers and livelihoods are relying on a successful transition, so I figure it’s time to get to work.

Introducing Ollie

ollie-social

I’m really optimistic about the future of WordPress. Back when I was running my own theme and plugin business, I could only daydream about the kinds of powerful features we have now. But now we have them!

I wanted to funnel that excitement and optimism through a new resource, so I created Ollie. Through Ollie, I’ll be crafting engaging and delightfully useful content about the next generation of WordPress tools. You get to learn, and I get to share my love of innovation, design, and education. We all win!

There will be tutorials, walkthroughs, interviews, free tools and resources, and a whole bunch of other stuff. And we’ll also have some big conversations about tough topics that we’ve pushed off for too long. I hope you’ll ride along with me!

If you have any suggestions of the kind of content you’d like to see on Ollie, post a comment below or follow Ollie on Twitter and let’s chat! Also, I hope you’ll subscribe below so I can send you high-quality tutorials right to your inbox!

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2 responses to “Introducing Ollie, a hub for the next generation of WordPress”

  1. DJ Avatar
    DJ

    Site looks great! Great job!

    Any chance of an article/tutorial on how to properly handle breakpoints? My biggest struggle with FSE is applying spacing that works for all devices. I’ve been using Tailwind classes for all spacing (margin, padding and gaps) .. which is not ideal. Really hoping this will be core functionality at some point.

    1. Mike McAlister Avatar

      Hey DJ, mobile is painful right now. I’m actually addressing it in a separate post (hop on the newsletter or follow on Twitter to get pinged when new content goes out).

      For this site, I’m not doing anything special for breakpoints. For the elements that need adjusting on mobile, I had to add some custom CSS and just match what WP is doing for its own breakpoints on stuff like columns. Otherwise, I’m using fluid typography to scale all the type down.

      We won’t go from “good” to “great” sites 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. until there is legit mobile controls!

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