WordPress.org block template directory now live – WP Tavern
Yesterday, the WordPress template directory went live to the world as the development team behind it put the finishing touches on the project. It will work the same as theme and plugin directories over time. With WordPress 5.8, users can browse and use block templates right from the post editor.
Officially, the template directory was delivered as part of the WordPress 5.8 release. The Tavern did not include this in its coverage yesterday as it was still listed as an “in progress” project until several hours later. The team was still working out several issues yesterday for the initial launch.
Current Models in the Directory is an organized list of models of over 20 volunteers. The team reached out to the community in early June and they responded. To date, there are over 70 models in six categories to choose from:
- On your mind
So far, translations are complete for 12 languages. Others are at varying percentages of completion, but there are dozens more that are incomplete. It would be an easy entry point for anyone who wants to give something back to the WordPress project.
I was involved in creating the About Me card and team social card templates, but I can’t take all the credit for them. Kjell Reigstad and Mel Choyce-Dwan took my initial ideas and followed them. It was a rewarding experience that just allowed me to discover a little bit about the way other designers work. I only wish I could have spent more time during the initial submission period.
I look forward to submitting more models when submissions are open to all, the next phase of the project.
“Work is now starting on the next step, which will allow anyone to submit templates, similar to the theme and plugin directories,” Kelly Choyce-Dwan wrote in the announcement.
I’m excited to see where the community at large can take the directory. Submissions have been limited and confined to a specific aesthetic that will not be universally appealing. It can be difficult for some users to look past centuries-old artwork, flowers, and current adventure with staggered columns to see how a specific layout would work for their site. For others, it’s perfect.
Even I struggle with it. I can see the structure under the images and text by default, but I’m not inspired to use most of the designs because they just don’t match my personal style. When selecting one, I want to feel like the designer has built something just for me. I suspect this will play a role in winning over more users and the blocking system.
One limitation of the pattern repertoire is imagery. Now that services like Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay have limited their licenses, it can be difficult to find photos and artwork that meet WordPress.org submission guidelines. However, that could open up a bit with the potential integration of Openverse, formerly the Creative Commons search engine. Making it easier for modelers to find the perfect images to build their visions would improve the overall quality.
What will ultimately make the template directory a worthwhile business is when the best designers in the WordPress ecosystem step up and start competing against each other. I look forward to a wide range of authors putting their own stylistic touch on the submissions.