The latest version of WordPress went live on 20th July. This major release comes with a host of new features and improvements, most notably the first steps towards a Full Site Editor (FSE), and new page editor blocks: Query Loop and Posts List.
Full Site Editing has been a highly anticipated WordPress feature for a while now. Even though this release brings only a glimpse of what is to come, a new template editor is here.. Along with the new blocks, this is a big step in the right direction towards a full-site editing tool.
How WordPress’s Full Site Editing Is Shaping Up
WordPress FSE will eventually allow you to build all site elements with blocks – no PHP necessary. This will include complete control over pages, single posts, archives, and 404 templates. Not to mention areas that are typically governed by themes, including headers, footers, and sidebars.
But for now, the new version of WordPress is at least providing some of the components that will contribute to the full FSE experience. These include:
- Collections of block layouts called Patterns, plus a growing Pattern Directory
- A block-based widget editor
- A block-based template editor for landing pages
- New blocks to use in templates for displaying theme information such as logos and taglines
- New Query Loop and Posts List blocks
- New blocks for displaying dynamic content (to use with the new Query Loop block)
- Other new blocks include: Post Title, Post Content, Post Date, Post Excerpt, Post Featured Image, Post Categories, and Post Tags
What is the Query Loop Block?
The Query Loop and Posts List blocks enable you to display content dynamically. The Posts List block is practically an alias of the Query Loop block as they share the same functionality.
Displaying dynamic content with the Query Loop block covers lists of posts, pages, and even custom post types – so any bespoke content your site features can be displayed using these blocks. Plus, with the new pattern suggestions, you can easily stylize your chosen list of posts.
As the lists you create are dynamic, they update automatically as you add, edit, or remove content from your site.
What You Can Build With the Query Loop Block
Capabilities of the Query Loop block include displaying recent posts, showing posts with the same category or tag, and displaying content from custom post types such as testimonials or portfolio items.
The Query Loop block settings allow you to customize what gets displayed and how it is shown. And the block’s toolbar offers even more customization options, such as choosing how many items to display per page.
Query Loop Block Limitations
At the moment, the Query Loop block comes with some serious limitations:
- You cannot display custom fields and taxonomies
- Very limited styling options
- Basic filtering options
- You can only use it in a post or page body
Regarding the styling options, the choice of typeface and color palette is relatively limited, and there are no options to add borders, shadows, or adjust margins and padding.
The filtering options are somewhat limited too. All the basics are covered – you can filter by category, tag, keyword, or author. But, if you were hoping for more variety and deeper functionality for your site building needs, you’ll either have to wait a while or look elsewhere.
Features you expect to see in other dynamic content plugins are not covered in the Query Loop block yet, such as displaying content from custom fields or post relationships, or the ability to add front-end filters and custom search fields. If you’re looking for more versatility in design and functionality, you’ll need to turn to the specialist plugins.
Advanced Query Loop blocks
If you want to display content dynamically but feel that the new WordPress Query Loop block may have too many limitations, there are other more advanced options available.
For instance, Toolset is a powerful suite of plugins that includes the View Block. With this block, you can dynamically display any type of content – posts, pages, custom post types, standard and custom taxonomies, and content from post relationships. What’s more, you can completely customize your layouts and provide great user experience with front-end search and filter functionalities.
Toolset is a particularly great choice for Blocksy users, as the plugin and theme are designed to work seamlessly with Gutenberg and each other. An additional benefit is that the dynamic content capabilities of Toolset mean it integrates smoothly with WordPress core blocks and other block plugins to give you a full array of editing options.
Your Experience with WordPress 5.8 and Query Loop
Have you updated to WordPress 5.8 and tried out the new blocks? What have your experiences been so far? Let us know your thoughts on what impresses you and what else you feel needs to be developed soon.