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The latest Gutenberg releases are WordPress’ attempts to get in some final features before the WordPress 5.9 release.

Keep reading to learn more about:

Gutenberg 11.8 Updates

Gutenberg 11.9 Updates

Final Thoughts – What’s New in Gutenberg 11.9? | November 2021

Gutenberg 11.8 Updates

The Gutenberg 11.8 update was released on October 27, 2021. Highlights of the release include Featured Patterns and spacing tools.

Featured Patterns

Gutenberg 11.8 update: How to insert a featured pattern.

The Pattern Directory is often the primary source for block patterns.

With the Gutenberg 11.8 update, users can choose from a set of 15 curated patterns when they open the pattern inserter. The patterns were pulled up from the WordPress featured category list. Items on the list are frequently picked by team members working on the pattern directory.

Spacing Tools

Gutenberg 11.8 also introduces additional spacing tools.

Spacing controls are essential for getting your posts and pages to look just right. Gutenberg 11.8 introduces improvements to this area, specifically:

  • Heading Blocks — spacing controls were already available for the Site Title block, but the Gutenberg team thought that it made sense to also introduce this feature to all blocks that generate headings, including the Navigation block. With this update, users don’t need to manually add padding or margin support to each pattern or template using header blocks.
  • Navigation Block gap support — Gutenberg 11.8 introduces Navigation Block gap support, enabling users to control the spacing between elements of a Navigation Block and improving the block gap support introduced in Gutenberg 11.5.
  • Button Block gap and vertical margins — This new feature, also related to Block Gap support, allows users to adjust and control the space above and below the buttons.

Gutenberg 11.9 Updates

In usual fashion, the Gutenberg team released version 11.9 on November 10, 2021, two weeks after Gutenberg 11.8.

Gutenberg 11.9 highlights site editing and theme-related blocks before WordPress 5.9 ships out with the Twenty Twenty-Two theme, which introduces template editing and global styles.

This version includes:

  • Improvements to the Site Editor
  • Pattern Explorer
  • New comment blocks

Improvements to the Site Editor

Site Editor has been renamed ‘Editor’ and is now under the Appearance menu.

The Gutenberg team aims to slowly introduce Full Site Editing to WordPress users by adding the Site Editor menu item to the Appearance menu. Following the site editing IA proposal, the menu item has also been renamed ‘Editor.’

Besides that, the Gutenberg team also introduced improvements to the initial loading of the Site Editor and included a few features common to the block editor, such as rich previews in the link editing user interface. They also improved the user interface for saving multiple entities and added descriptive text.

Fans of the Gutenberg plugin may have noticed the team is already slowly transitioning to adapting the blocks and editors to Global Styles.

Pattern Explorer

Block pattern explorer.

Gutenberg 11.9 improves upon the update on version 11.8 by introducing a feature that allows users on desktop and tablets to explore patterns more easily. All they have to do is click the ‘Explore’ button, and a new interface with more breathing room pops up.

Previously, users would’ve had to scroll through hundreds of patterns through the narrow inserter.

New Comment Blocks

Gutenberg 11.9 also introduced several new comment blocks.

The Comment Query Loop and Comment Template blocks work similarly to their counterparts, the Query Loop and Post Template blocks, but display comments via a default template composed of Post Comment Author, Post Comment Date and Post Comment Content blocks.

Site owners can arrange these comment blocks according to their design preferences. Adding the new comment blocks is also a step towards block owners and authors controlling their post comments output.

Gutenberg 11.9 also includes new comment helper blocks necessary for templating. These are:

  • Comment Reply Link
  • Comment Link
  • Comment Avatar

Final Thoughts – What’s New in Gutenberg 11.9? | November 2021

Gutenberg’s 11.8 and 11.9 updates focus on improving the Pattern Explorer and Navigation block. These are the last two Gutenberg updates before the much-anticipated WordPress 5.9 is released.

Follow @Bluehost on Twitter to keep up with the latest WordPress and Gutenberg news.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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