Introducing the block directory – what’s coming next in WordPress

It’s been over a year since WordPress 5.0 was released and with it the much-storied Gutenberg content editor. I think it’d be fair to say much of the fuss around the release has now died down, and a good portion of users have made the leap to the default content editing tool.

Post-release there’s not been much to report with WordPress core, beyond the odd tweak here and security fix there. If you still haven’t made the change to Gutenberg, you might want to start getting ready (check out this getting started guide by Kayleigh if so).

Why? Well, WordPress 5.5 promises a fairly big introduction as phase two of the Gutenberg project continues in 2020. Later this year, the Block Directory is set to be introduced as part of the 5.5 release. In the words of the guys over at Gutenberg Times, “The Block Directory is going to impact Gutenberg and WordPress is some amazing ways. It’s a new way of extending WordPress in a very granular way.”

The Block Directory aims to be a simple way to add individual blocks to the WordPress experience. Right now you will find dozens of plugins floating around to let you add a swathe of different blocks at once – but the Directory aims to offer them very much a la carte, one by one. Take that one, this one here, but not that one there.

This is expected to fundamentally change the way we interact with WordPress over time. Justin Tadlock at WP Tavern comments, “Love it or hate it, there will come a time when end-users are primarily looking to install individual blocks to solve their problems. This is not to say that other types of plugins won’t exist or have their place. They will continue to be a major part of the platform. However, blocks will be a big deal once users can install them at the click of a button via the WordPress admin.”

WordPress 5.5 is currently on track for release in August 2020 and we will have more info as the time comes closer, as well as some early previews of the Block Directory. Stay tuned, 2020 looks like another great WordPress year!


There are 4 comments on “Introducing the block directory – what’s coming next in WordPress

  1. Tim February 7, 2020

    Unfortunately, for most of our website editors, Gutenberg is just too complex for them to get their head around. Retraining everyone is hard work.

    On the other hand, Modern SharePoint web parts and pages now behave very much like Gutenberg blocks, so now that we’ve made progress on this front for the intranet, perhaps there is hope yet for the website.

    We’ll see…

    • Stuart Melling February 19, 2020

      There’s definitely a transition for older users Tim. Personally speaking, I do find the new editor much easier and sensible for users with no existing expectations. You can literally just pick it up and use it without thought I find. I moved over all my own sites after the official release and these days I find my workflow is actually massively improved under Guteneberg. For what it’s worth I was a huge detractor of GB when it was under development, but I do love it now, couldn’t imagine going back to the old editor.

  2. Gary Yates February 24, 2020

    I think this from Generatepress will make the whole experience a lot better. I plan to start using GenerateBlocks instead of my current design stack as soon as the official release comes out.