Full Site Editing has landed in WordPress 5.9. With so many new features to test, you may be exploring the latest features and wondering how to request a feature or share a bug report. Your input matters, and we’ll look at how to file your WordPress issues where it matters most.
Each part of the WordPress open source project, from software to teams, and even the design of WordPress.org itself are available for input. WordPress.org is about to undergo a big redesign as well. You can get a sneak peek here and offer any feedback.
— WordPress (@WordPress) January 30, 2022
WordPress has undergone quite a lot of change in the past three years. In WordPress 5.0, the Block Editor was released as part of the Gutenberg project. Since then, many new features have reached WordPress by starting in the Gutenberg plugin. Let’s look at how to test these features before they are available in WordPress updates.
Gutenberg vs. Block Editor
The Block Editor may also commonly be referred to as Gutenberg. That is a bit of confusion calling them the same thing.
Gutenberg is a plugin where the latest features of the Block Editor are made available first. While the Block Editor is available to all WordPress installed from 5.0 and up, Gutenberg the plugin can provide even more features that have not yet been merged into the core WordPress software. Think of this as working into the future.
Tip: Want to see what version of Gutenberg the plugin will be available in each version of WordPress? See this helpful guide: Versions in WordPress.
The features in the Gutenberg plugin are considered ready for testing on a site that is not live but may not be completely ready to be merged. In addition to testing out the features coming to WordPress via the Gutenberg plugin, you might also want to test integration between future features with plugins and themes you’ve created. You might also want to compare upcoming features with any training resources that you create.
Full Site Editing
When WordPress 5.8 launched, some features of Full Site Editing could be accessed if you ran the Gutenberg plugin. Areas like Template Parts were accessible if you were using the Gutenberg plugin and a theme that supports Full Site Editing.
By using the combination of the plugin and theme, features that are not yet part of WordPress core software become available. This matters when you are testing the site functionality for your clients. You’ll want to be familiar with what clients will potentially experience when their site is updated to the latest version of WordPress.
Once WordPress 5.9 released, those features were available using Twenty Twenty Two or another Block theme. You no longer need the Gutenberg plugin to access those features. However, using the Gutenberg plugin gives you an opportunity to test even newer features that are not yet available in the latest version of WordPress. This method of development is part of the initiative to ship new features in plugins first for testing.
Getting familiar with so many changes before it is released can help you prepare, and also provide you with an opportunity to test and give feedback. By testing in advance, your voice can be heard by participating in calls for testing or submitting a bug for Gutenberg or WordPress core software.
Where to report WordPress issues
That happens in several locations, depending on what part of WordPress you may be interacting with at the time. Logging feature requests and bugs are much like commenting on a blog post, with a few additional fields.
Gutenberg GitHub issues
Many issues you might experience are being tracked in the Gutenberg GitHub repository. Go here if your idea, issue, or bug report is related to the block editor, whether in a Post, Page, or Site Editor. Here you can search to see if the issue has already been reported, as shown with the red rectangle, or open a new issue with the green New issue button.
Have an issue to report, but it isn’t related to the block editor? The right location would be Core Trac. This is the original home of all bug reports for the project, pre-dating GitHub use. In Core Trac, add your search to the upper right and review the tickets.
The Meta team takes care of the massive multisite instance that is all of WordPress.org. If you would like to suggest a change to the WordPress.org site itself, head here. Meta Trac is for issues about how the WordPress.org site operates.
Additional ways to provide feedback
Throughout WordPress are nearly 20 teams. Each team might use GitHub or other means of tracking content. Below are a few areas to review:
- Learn.WordPress.org site functionality
- Meta plugins and other functionality
- Marketing team
- Documentation team
- Pattern Directory
- News Theme
- Five for the Future
How to report WordPress issues
Now that you’ve gotten clarity on how to test new features and where to submit an issue, it’s time to report your findings. Once you’ve narrowed down a bug, or a feature request, it’s time to put those findings where others can confirm and track the issue. To stay organized, it is important to see if others have already shared this idea, or if you might be the first to report it.
Commenting on an existing WordPress issue
Before submitting a new issue, look to see if others have found the same thing. If you find that someone has reported it, you can still share your findings as well.
Read through the discussion on the issue you are also experiencing. Share a comment that includes a screenshot or video of your experience, versions of WordPress and Gutenberg plugin you might be using, the theme you are using, and other similar information.
File a new WordPress issue
If you can confirm no one else has filed the same issue, open a new issue. Be sure to have tested the features with a current version of WordPress, and possibly with and without the Gutenberg plugin activated to confirm the steps.
Respond to developer inquiries
After you’ve filed an issue, a developer will review the findings and attempt to reproduce the issue or clarify questions. Often, they will reach out requesting more testing or confirming a solution. By following the topic through to resolution, you will help ensure your concerns were heard.
Would you like additional help getting started with logging Gutenberg issues? Check out this workshop:
Testing the latest features in WordPress
During our GoDaddy Pro Meetup, we reviewed how to test the upcoming changes and locate issues in Gutenberg’s Issue Tracker with guests Birgit Pauli-Hack of Gutenberg Times, Andy Fragen of Git Updater, and GoDaddy sponsored Gutenberg developer George Mamadashvili. Tune in below for a deep dive into how to use these plugins in conjunction and how to get started testing features in the Gutenberg plugin.
In addition to installing the Gutenberg plugin from the WordPress plugin directory, there are additional ways to test new features coming to WordPress.
- WordPress Beta Tester — This plugin will enable you to upgrade your website to the latest Nightly, Beta, or Release Candidate at the click of a button using the built-in upgrader. Note: this should not be used on a live site or on a managed hosting server. Consider using a local sandbox for your testing needs. If you want to test the absolute latest features, turn on nightly updates.
- Git Updater — While not part of the WordPress plugin directory, this free plugin enables you to have access to install plugins from GitHub and other locations. The Pro features of the plugin enable branch switching, connecting to private repositories, and more.
- Gutenberg Nightlies — If you’d like to combine the Gutenberg plugin to test the most current version of the Gutenberg plugin, follow these tips from Birgit to get the latest version
- Combining these — As Birgit notes on the Gutenberg Nightlies directions, you can combine the plugins above to have an ongoing way to receive the latest updates without needing to download the new version manually.
Submitting WordPress issues
Testing early, often, and submitting issues is the way to ensure your feedback has been received. When big changes occur in WordPress, testing early is an opportunity for you to shape the direction of the project. Submitting bug tickets and requesting new features will improve WordPress for your use case, and others as well.