Category Archives: WordPress Updates

Guten Tag Events – A Gutenberg Community Series – The First 4 Sessions

Very excited I was when Ana Silva and Jenny Wong reached out to me about a UK WP Community led event series called Guten Tag.  They, along with some Core developers, Plugin developers, designers, managers, agencies and others to discuss the finer points of the roll out of Gutenberg and what it meant to everyone involved.

The first day of free online sessions took place this Monday, March 5th.

#1 An exploration of the mental and technical transition for developers to embrace Gutenberg

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With: Gary Pendergast, Jenny Wong, Matt Haines-Young & Omar Reiss

A discussion based on the experience of developers who are already working with Gutenberg.

The roundtable will focus on exploring the barriers preventing people from adopting Gutenberg in their projects, and reviewing the mental and technical transitions that need to occur for developers to embrace the project in their professional environments.


#2 Fireside chat with Gutenberg team members

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With: Mark Wilkinson, Matías Ventura, Miguel Fonseca & Tammie Lister

A session exploring the reasons behind the Gutenberg feature plugins’ existence and the problems it aims to solve.

We’ll be asking the Gutenberg core team what common concerns they hear from the community, and how far Gutenberg is from being merge proposal ready.


#3 : An exploration of the future of Page Builders with Gutenberg

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With: David Lockie & Robby McCullough

A session exploring the relationship between the WordPress page builder market and the Gutenberg Project. We’ll be asking Page builders how they see Gutenberg affecting their business, users, and what steps they are taking towards the future.


#4 : Practical How-To: Staying up-to-date with Gutenberg

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With: Zac Gordon

We are inviting various people across the community to share practical solutions to getting to grips with the new Gutenberg editor.

In this session, Zac Gordon is going to share how he stays on top of the noise and shifts through all the chatter to find the latest Gutenberg information.


Get Noticed of Upcoming Sessions

I highly encourage you subscribe for future events, get on the UK Slack Channel, and look for the #gutentagWP hashtag on Twitter.

This is a community driven event, so if you have ideas for other sessions, please reach out and let me know and I can help connect you with everyone.


How I Follow Changes in Gutenberg Development

There is a great community series on Gutenberg starting called Guten-Tag.  One of the first sessions I am doing with this series is on “How to Stay Up to Date on Changes in Gutenberg.”

This has been a really relevant topic for me because I have released a course on Gutenberg Development, a Live Gutenberg Q&A, and have worked with some other educators on Gutenberg related development.  So staying up to date on the rapid changes with Gutenberg has been super important.

Luckily, it has gotten easier and easier.  In this post I want to outline a few places where you can go to stay up to date on the latest changes in Gutenberg Development.  This is what I have used, but I know it is not comprehensive, so if you notice things missing, please post them up in the comments!

Slack Channels

There are a few important Slack channels to follow to stay up to date on Gutenberg:

  • #core-js – This channel deals with JavaScript in general in WordPress Core.  It has a good deal of overlap with Gutenberg
  • #core-editor – This channel is specific to changes and discussions around the Gutenberg Editor
  • #core-customize – As Gutenberg expands into the Customizer I would highly suggest following this channel as well

While these channels are great for reading and following changes, it can also be a good place to ask your questions if you are not sure about how something works in GB.

Make WordPress Blog

The blog has great regular posts on Gutenberg.

  • Check the sidebar for official meeting times in Slack
  • “What’s new in Gutenberg” posts – Look for posts coming out every other week outlining the latest changes in Gutenberg from the last sprint
  • Any other posts related to Gutenberg.  There are a few other posts on Gutenberg that are different than the What’s new posts
  • Changes to Customizer – This is also a place you can find out more about the changes in the Customizer to Gutenberg.


The best thing about the Gutenberg repo on Github is that you can track all of the issues and changes happening to the plugin.

You can also post up issues if you notice bugs in Gutenberg.


A number of great accounts on Twitter have popped up to help you track changes in Gutenberg.

  • @zgordon and @jcasabona – We are both doing courses on GB and share a number of updates
  • @riadbenguella @gziolo @andrew_duthie @matias_ventura @karmatosed – Good Core Gutenberg Developers to follow
  • @thegutes @GutenbergHub @gutenbergtimes – Twitter accounts dedicated to GB
  • #Gutenberg #gutentag-events #gutentagWP- It is a good idea to follow the #Gutenberg related hastag


Did I Miss Anything?

How do you stay up to date on Gutenberg Development?

Folks mentioned this one as well 🙂

Sneak Peak Video from My Gutenberg Development Course – “An Overview of registerBlockType”

At WordCamp US in early Dec 2017 I set out a goal to release a Gutenberg Development Course by the end of the year.  As of writing it is New Years Eve 2017 and I just made it!

One of the important functions I learned about while working on the course is registerBlockType, which is used to register to setup blocks.  This video gives an overview of the function.

An Introduction to registerBlockType

In this video we discuss the following:

  • What the registerBlockType function does
  • What major parameters and setting you need when looking at it
  • A few simplified code examples
  • Sneak peak of the blocks we will use to learn more about registerBlockType

CORRECTION: At 05:10 in the slide should look like below:


Corrected Slide at 05:10 in with function and JSX braces

To Learn More About Gutenberg Development

If you would like to learn more about developing with the new editor in WordPress, please check out my Gutenberg Development Course.

Sneak Peak Video from My Gutenberg Development Course – “Important JavaScript Libraries that Ship with Gutenberg”

Since WordCamp US 2017 earlier this month, I have been working on a Gutenberg Development Course to help theme and plugin developers get up and running with the new editor coming to WordPress.

I still have some more recording to do at the time of writing, but I wanted to share one of the videos from the first section of the course where we talk about how Gutenberg works under the hood.

Important JavaScript Libraries that Ship with Gutenberg

In this video I go over four important libraries that are made available to us with Gutenberg:

  • wp.blocks
  • wp.element
  • wp.components
  • wp.i18n

At the time of recording, these are all made available in the global window object so we can access them in our own block code without having to import them.

To Learn More About Gutenberg Development

If you would like to learn more about developing with the new editor in WordPress, please check out my Gutenberg Development Course.

WordCamp New York 2017 JavaScript Workshop

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It’s been a good number of years since I last attended a WordCamp New York.  But it holds a warm place in my heart.  My first WordCamp was WordCamp New York 2008 🙂

This year, my good friend, David Parsons, took up the lead organizer role and put on a great WordCamp New York.

From the venue to the speakers, it all went very smooth and had a nice local camp feel.

Reflections From the JavaScript Workshop


My workshop was an adaptation of a similar workshop I have been doing at a number of other camps this year.

However, I learned one important thing this time.

It is important to take the time at the beginning to address who needs to “Learn JavaScript Deeply” from a programmer’s perspective and who just needs to know what it is capable of doing.

I noticed that some people loved learning vanilla JavaScript fundamentals and how to integrate with the WordPress REST API.  However, some people hung around through several hours of the workshop with not really realizing they did not need to learn JavaScript deeply as a developer. Some of these people were just savy website owners.

This supports something I have been saying for a while:

Compared to HTML and CSS, which you can learn a little and do a lot, with JavaScript you have to learn a lot to do a little.

All that said, for folks who wanted to learn JavaScript more deeply (or even just for the first time) I think the workshop went great.

Changes I’m Making for Next Time

There are a few modifications I am going to make for next time though:

  • Add a note at the beginning about “Who Should Be Learning JavaScript Deeply” and who can just learn to “Speak JavaScript”
  • With the decoupled Vanilla JS and WP REST API practice project we will just use fetch instead of introducing Axios or jQuery.
  • Inside of WordPress, when we import our decoupled example into a WordPress theme I am just going to show how to use jQuery AJAX.
  • Rather than try to teach the Backbone client I am just going to mention it at the end.  After teaching it for a while, I think it is best to know some Backbone before trying to use this.

You can view the slides and example files from the workshop here.

Learn More JavaScript!

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Want to learn more JavaScript?

Head over the JavaScript for WordPress to learn about my Master Course to help you learn JavaScript more deeply.

Data Visualization Talk at WooConf

Wow!  What an honor to attend the 3rd annual WooConf!  Last year I did a workshop on WooCommerce Theme Development.  This year it was all JavaScript, API, and Data Visualization.

I was a little unsure going into the event how the talk would go.  Originally it was a workshop using the Woo API and Chart.js and D3.  However, shortly before the event started, the format was switched to a standard 50 minutes talk.

A Big Thanks!

Luckily, I think that everything went well.  I did a lot of research on Data Visualization as well as related JavaScript libraries.  A big thanks go out to all the folks at the conference who gave me insights into how they do data visualization with their work.  Also shoutout to K. Adam White’s talk at WCEU on data visualization.

Come Out Next Year!

If WooCommerce is how you make your living, you might look into attending WooConf next year.  They put on an amazing conference and I highly recommend it, not just for the talks, but for the networking as well.

Want to learn more about WooCommerce development?  Checkout my WooCommerce Theme Development Course.

WordCamp Ann Arbor 2017 JavaScript Workshop

My First WCA2

Zac Gordon teaching JavaScript at WordCamp Ann Arbor

When I put out the call at the beginning of 2017 that I would like to start doing more JavaScript workshops, my good friend Kyle Maurer, from WordCamp Ann Arbor, was one of the first to invite me to come do a workshop.

The Workshop

I have continued to refine the JavaScript for WordPress workshop I have been doing and I think it continues to evolve into a solid workshop covering JS and WP API fundamentals while also building something practical.

In the workshop we cover the following:

  1. JavaScript Language Basics (Programming 101 w JS)
  2. The Document Object Model
  3. Events with the DOM & JavaScript
  4. The WordPress REST API
  5. How to pull the API into JavaScript in a stand alone and theme environment

Of course there was still more I would have liked to include, but I think we did a really good job.

Slide Deck and Resources


Super Fun Getting to Know Some Students Working in the Field!

You can check out the slide deck and resources for the workshop over here on my 2017 WordCamp Ann Arbor landing page.

A Reflection on WCA2 Social Activities

One of the nice things that WordCamp Ann Arbor did well and a little different was to have non WordPress related breakout sessions on the first day where folks could group up and go on a range of activities from a walk through the Arboretum to Pub Crawling.


Hanging out with WordCampers at WCA2 2017

At first I was hesitant of these plans, but it turns out it was brilliant and the perfect chance to know some other attendees more deeply.  I had a great time and enjoyed getting to know folks better.

Overall, great job WCA2!  I had heard about your camp for a while and you did not disappoint.  There is rumored to be four Michigan camps in 2018 so I look forward to making it back!

Congrats and well done to all the organizers for WCA2 2017!!!