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WordPress Releases Gutenberg 11.6 – Top 4 Achievements

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WordPress released Gutenberg 11.6, the latest version of the block-based website editing experience. This new release features useful enhancements and a number of bug fixes as well. Perhaps the most interesting is the ability to crop and edit a logo image directly in a WordPress editor.

Gutenberg Site Editor

Gutenberg is a WordPress site builder whose purpose is to make creating websites easier with a drag and drop web design interface.

If you need an image within a section of a page just drag the appropriate block and add it to where you want it to be.

The editor is not quite finished but it’s far enough along in the development cycle that many judge it to be useful right now.

In fact, there are many WordPress themes available today that support being edited with the Gutenberg editor.

One of the benefits of using the Gutenberg editor plugin is that it can result in lightning fast websites.

Gutenberg is rolling out on a four phase development plan. WordPress is currently in the second of four phases.

This is how Gutenberg’s plugin page describes what Gutenberg is:

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” “Gutenberg” is a codename for a whole new paradigm for creating with WordPress, that aims to revolutionize the entire publishing experience as much as Gutenberg did the printed word.

The project is following a four-phase process that will touch major pieces of WordPress — Editing, Customization, Collaboration, and Multilingual.”

1. Native Site Logo Editing

Previous to Gutenberg 11.6 a publisher would have to edit their logo before uploading.

Now publishers are able to upload the logo and edit it if necessary.

Available editing functions are cropping, zoom, and rotating the image.

The workflow shown in a WordPress GitHub example shows a person selecting the site logo block, then choosing the media library from where the image is selected.

Below is a short movie showing the workflow of selecting an image and editing. The image then loads and can be edited in the logo block workspace.

Movie of New Gutenberg Logo Editing Workflow

Below is another movie, this one focusing on the actual image editing function.

Movie Showing Gutenberg Logo Image Editing

2. Block Level Locking Control

Another new feature that will make it easier for theme designers and WordPress site designers is the ability to lock a block to keep it from being moved or removed.

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The WordPress announcement describes the new feature:

“Block-level lock takes priority over the templateLock feature and currently, you can lock moving and removing blocks.

The toolbar of locked blocks will have the movers hidden, and the Remove block option won’t be available either.”

Screenshot Of Unlocked WordPress Gutenberg Block

Unlocked Gutenberg Block

Screenshot of Locked WordPress Gutenberg Block

Screenshot of Locked Gutenberg Block

3. Basic Support for Child Themes

Adding support for child themes is an important update to Gutenberg. Child themes allows publishers to make look and feel style changes to the theme that will not get overridden when the theme is updated.

With a child theme a publisher can change as much as they want to how a theme looks and not be afraid of losing the changes when the theme is updated.

These are some of the benefits and functions available with the new child theme support:

  • “The site editor is available when the child theme is active
  • Theme.json is inherited
  • Parent theme template parts can be overridden in the child theme
  • Parent theme templates can be overridden in the child theme
  • Theme.json can be overridden in the child theme”

4. Edit Template Part

WordPress has added a Template Part Focus Mode which is an important site design feature.

The Template Part Focus Mode is a way to click into a menu that then offers options for customizing just a part of the template, like the area above the content area, the main content area and even the widget area.

WordPress described what it does:

“Template Part Focus Mode refers to the view that lets you focus and work on a single template part, like a header, and is available for any template part.

This isolated template part editing is now accessible from the ellipsis menu in the Template Part toolbar.”

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Numerous Important Changes

Gutenberg 11.6 offers more than incremental improvements because it consists of important changes that bring the Gutenberg editor closer to the state of the art for CMS and web design.

WordPress Gutenberg also ships with a myriad of bug fixes to smooth out the editing experience.

Citations

What’s New in Gutenberg 11.6

Add Site Logo Crop

Introduce Block Type Level Lock Control

FSE: Add Basic Support for Child Themes

Add Edit Template Part Menu Button

Official Gutenberg Plugin Page

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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