Make Your Business More Accessible with New Blocks

From our support sessions with customers each month, we know that growing your brand or business is a top website goal. And in this unprecedented time in which more people around the world are staying at home, it’s important to promote your products and services online to reach a wider audience and connect with more people.

Our team has been hard at work improving the block editor experience. We’ve launched six new blocks that integrate WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites with popular services — Eventbrite, Calendly, Pinterest, Mapbox, Google Calendar, and OpenTable — enabling you to embed rich content and provide booking and scheduling options right on your blog or website.

Whether you’re an online boutique, a pilates studio, an independent consultant, or a local restaurant, these blocks offer you more ways to promote your brand or business. Take a look at each block — or simply jump to a specific one below.

  • Eventbrite
  • Calendly
  • Pinterest
  • Mapbox
  • Google Calendar
  • OpenTable

Promote online events with the Eventbrite block

Looking for a way to promote an online event (like your museum’s virtual curator talk or your company’s webinar on remote work), or even an at-home livestream performance for your fans and followers? Offering key features of the popular event registration platform, the Eventbrite block embeds events on posts and pages so your visitors can register and purchase tickets right from your site.

Quick-start guide:

  • To use this block, you need an Eventbrite account. If you don’t have one, sign up at Eventbrite for free.
  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the Eventbrite Checkout block.
  • Enter the URL of your Eventbrite event. Read these steps from Eventbrite if you need help.
  • Select from two options: an In-page Embed shows the event details and registration options directly on your site. The Button & Modal option shows just a button; when clicked, the event details will pop up so your visitor can register.

Learn more on the Eventbrite block support page.


Schedule sessions with the Calendly block

Want to make it easier for people to book private meditation sessions or language lessons with you? The Calendly block, featured recently in our guide on moving your classes online, is a handy way for your clients and students to book a session directly on your site — eliminating the time spent coordinating schedules. You can also use the Calendly block to schedule team meetings or group events.

Quick-start guide:

  • To use this block, you need a Calendly account. Create one for free at Calendly.
  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the Calendly block.
  • Enter your Calendly web address or embed code. Follow these steps from Calendly if you need help.
  • Select from two styles: the Inline style embeds a calendar directly onto your site; the Link style inserts a button that a visitor can click to open a pop-up calendar.
  • This block is currently available to sites on the WordPress.com Premium, Business, or eCommerce plans. It’s free on Jetpack sites.

Learn more on the Calendly block support page.


Up your visual game with the Pinterest block

Strong visuals help to provide inspiration, tell your stories, and sell your products and services. Pinterest is an engaging way for bloggers, influencers, and small business owners to enhance their site content and expand their following. With the Pinterest block, you can embed and share pins, boards, and profiles on your site.

Quick-start guide:

  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the Pinterest block.
  • Paste the URL of a pin, board, or profile you’d like to display and click Embed. Note that you can only embed public boards.
  • Pro tip: in the block editor, go to Layout Elements and select Layout Grid to create a visually striking layout with pins, boards, and profiles, as shown above.

Display locations with the Map block

A map on your site is a quick visual way to display a location, like your restaurant’s takeout window or the drop-off spot for donations to a local food bank. Powered by mapping platform Mapbox, the Map block embeds a customized map on your site. Show the location of your business, a chain of boutique hotels, the meeting spots for your nonprofit’s volunteers, and more.

Quick-start guide:

  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the Map block.
  • In the text field, type the location you want to display and select the correct location from among the results that appear.
  • Click on the red marker to edit the title and caption of the marker.
  • Explore the toolbar for block-specific settings. Add more markers, for example, by clicking the Add a marker button.
  • In the sidebar, customize your map’s appearance (including colors, height, and zoom level).

Explore more settings on the Map block support page.


Share your calendar with the Google Calendar block

Are you an author planning a book tour (or a series of online readings)? A digital marketing consultant hosting social media workshops? A neighborhood pop-up bakery? With the Google Calendar block, you can display a calendar of upcoming events or your hours of operation.

Quick-start guide:

  • In Google Calendar, click the three dots next to your calendar name and select Settings and sharing.
  • Under Access Permissions, ensure Make available to public is checked.
  • Click on Integrate calendar on the left and copy the code under Embed code.
  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button, search for and select the Custom HTML block, and paste the code you copied in Google Calendar.
  • Publish your post or page. The next time you edit this post or page, you’ll see the code has been converted to shortcode.

Explore more settings on the Google Calendar block support page.


Streamline reservations with the OpenTable block

If you’re a restaurant or cafe owner, a primary goal of your site is to increase the number of bookings. Sure, people aren’t dining out right now, but you can be ready to take reservations in the future. With the OpenTable block, people can reserve a table directly from a post or page instead of calling or booking through a different reservation service.

Quick-start guide:

  • To use this block, your restaurant must be listed on OpenTable. Create an OpenTable listing now.
  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the OpenTable block.
  • Enter your OpenTable Reservation Widget embed code. Check this OpenTable guide if you need help.
  • Explore the block’s toolbar and sidebar settings. For example, choose from four different embed styles: Standard, Tall, Wide, and Button.
  • This block is currently available to sites on the WordPress.com Premium, Business, or eCommerce plans. It’s free on Jetpack sites.

Learn more on the OpenTable block support page.


Which blocks are you most excited about?

Stay tuned for more new blocks soon!

Create With Confidence — and Better Blocks

In the last few years, the teams working on the block editor have learned a lot about how people build sites now and how they want to build sites in the future.

The latest version represents the culmination of these discoveries, and the next stage in the editor’s evolution.

With better visuals and more advanced features, it’ll keep designers, developers, writers, and editors productive and happy, and — tension-building drumroll — it’s in your editor right now!

What’s new

With a comprehensive visual refresh, a plethora of new features, and dozens of bug fixes, the new block editor comes with a lot to unpack.

What follows is just a small (but delectable) sample of the many ways we’ve upgraded your editing experience. (You can get the full list of goodies in the release notes.)

We hope you enjoy.

A revamped editor UI

The first thing you’ll notice is the slick UI. Buttons, icons, text, and dropdowns are all sporting a contrast boost, with bolder colors and more whitespace between buttons, text labels, and menu items.

The world is made of blocks
The new block editor’s UI

As you navigate through the editor’s menus, individual items are clearly highlighted, allowing you to quickly identify what you’ve selected.

Active menu items have distinct highlights

The block toolbars are now simpler, displaying the most commonly-used features. For example, paragraph blocks show only bold, italic, and link formatting buttons. You’ll find all the extra options in the dropdown menu.

The block toolbar options are simpler and uncluttered

What’s more, instead of listing blocks within a fixed-height container, the block inserter now spans the height of the window. You’ll now see more blocks and block categories at once with less scrolling.

Block inserter spanning the full height of the window
The block inserter spans the full height of your screen

Introducing block patterns

With the block editor as your canvas you can design almost any layout you can imagine – but building intricate page structures should never get in the way of your creative process.

Here’s where the blocks really shine: along with individual blocks, the editor now includes block patterns, a library of predefined and reusable block layouts, that you use on any page or post.

To check out the list of available patterns, click on the block pattern icon (on the top right) to reveal a collection of pre-built layouts:

Block patterns are groups of individual blocks combined to create elegant layouts

Pick the pattern you want to use, and it will appear in your editor ready for you to customize with your own content.

Right now, you’ll find a few introductory patterns – Two Columns of Text, Two Buttons, Cover, and Two Images Side by Side – but we’ll be adding more and more patterns as they’re available. When the block patterns API opens up to third-party authors, you’ll also be able to develop and share your own.

(Have an idea for a great pattern? The block editor developer community is actively seeking ideas. The more ideas they receive, the better your editor will be!)

Colors, colors everywhere

When it comes to words and columns, websites aren’t newspapers: things don’t have to be black and white.

Use the new Text Color selector tool to change the color of sentences, and even individual words and letters. Highlight the text you’d like to change, then click on the arrow dropdown and select “Text Color.”

Select “Text Color” from the options
Pick the color of your word or character

 

To change the background colors of your columns, select the column and head to the sidebar, to Color settings.

Columns get background colors too!

The road ahead is paved with blocks

There’s still a long way to go, and the editor’s community of contributors hasn’t given its collective keyboards a moment’s rest. Work on polishing UI elements like the sidebar and dropdowns continues along with advancements to block patterns and other exciting features.

Are there ways we could improve the site editing experience even more? Please let us know! We’re always keen to hear how we can make the web a better place for everyone.

Turning a Page with Page Layouts

Need to add a new page to your site but don’t know where to start? Making a brand new site on WordPress.com and want to design a homepage quickly? There’s a new addition to the WordPress experience that’ll help with exactly that.

Let’s take a look at Page Layouts! They’re pre-designed pages you can drop content into, without needing to decide what to put where.

To add a Page Layout to your site, head to My Sites > Site > Pages and click the “Add New Page” button — it’s the pink one:

Next, we’ll show you a selection of layouts you can choose from — there are layouts available for

  • About pages
  • Contact pages
  • Services pages
  • Portfolio pages
  • Restaurant Menu, Team, and Blog pages
  • and even starting points for Home pages

Here’s one of the available Portfolio Page Layouts, for example.

These layouts are all made using blocks in our block editor, which means you can edit the images, content, and layout all in one place. Start by replacing the default images and text, and you’ll be on your way!

You can use Page Layouts to make great-looking pages with only a few clicks. For inspiration, here are a selection of layouts using a variety of WordPress.com themes.

What other types of pages and designs would be useful for your site? Let us know what you’d like to see — we’d love to hear from you!

The Block Editor is Now Supported on the WordPress Native Apps

Part of what helps WordPress power 35% of the web is language: WordPress is fully translated into 68 languages. Pair that with the WordPress native apps, which make WordPress available across devices, and you have a globally accessible tool.

Today we’re announcing app updates that bring the new Block editor to mobile devices, so on-the-go publishing is even easier for that 35%.

At Automattic, we speak 88 different languages, so we thought: why not use some of them to tell you about the editor updates? Instead of a few screenshots and bullet points, here are some of the people who build the editor and apps sharing their favorite tools and tricks for the mobile Block editor. To make it more accessible, we’ve also included English translations. 

(And for those who want more detail — yes, there are still screenshots and bullet points!)

Rafael, Brazilian Portuguese

Com o novo editor, a criação de conteúdo é mais intuitiva por que as opções de formatação de texto e inserção de arquivos são exibidas de uma forma bem simples.

Toque no ícone ⊕ enquanto estiver editando um post ou página para ver os blocos disponíveis como Parágrafo, Título, Imagem, Vídeo, Lista, Galeria, Mídia e texto, Espaçador e muitos outros.

Translation

With the new editor, creating content is more intuitive because the options to format text and add media are displayed in a simple way. Tap on the ⊕ icon when editing whether a post or page to see all the available blocks like Paragraph, Heading, Image, Video, List, Gallery, Media & Text, Spacer and more.

Anitaa, Tamil

பயணங்களில் மிகவும் விருப்பமுள்ள எனக்கு, பயண குறிப்புகளை பயண நேரத்திலேயே எழுதுவது வழக்கம். இந்தப் புதிய கைபேசி செயலி என் வேலையே மிகவும் எளிதாக்குகிறது. எனக்குப் பிடித்த சில அம்சவ்கள்:  

  • கி போர்ட்டில் உள்ள நேக்ஸ்ட் பொத்தானை அழுத்துவதன் மூலமே புதிய பத்தியை தொடங்க முடிவது.
  • பட்டியல் தொகுதியைப் பயன்படுத்தி எனது சொந்த பட்டியலை உருவாக்க முடியும்.

பட்டியலின் உள்ளெ பட்டியலை சரிபார்க்கும், அல்லது, துணை பட்டியலை உள்ளடக்கும் பட்டியல் பத்தியை ஆவலுடன் எதிர்பார்க்கிறேன். எனவே அடுத்த புதுப்பிப்பைப் பற்றி நான் மகிழ்ச்சியடைகிறேன்.

Translation

I love travelling and I spend a lot of time on my blog writing travel tips while on the go. My favorite features in the Block editor include:

  • Creating a new paragraph block by pressing the RETURN button on the keypad.
  • Adding a List block to create my own lists.
    • You can even add sub-lists!

I look forward to seeing what’s coming next!

Mario, Spanish

Cuando escribo, doy mil vueltas sobre qué palabras utilizar y me cuesta decidirme. Uso mi móvil porque me da la posibilidad de capturar mis ideas justo en el momento que se me ocurren. Es por eso que de las cosas que más me gustan del Editor es que puedo moverme de un bloque de texto a otro con facilidad y también cambiarlos de lugar. Además, se puede hacer/deshacer muy fácilmente, y siempre se mantiene el historial de edición lo que me da mayor seguridad a la hora de cambiar incluso sólo pequeñas partes del contenido que voy escribiendo.

Translation

When I write, I walk around in circles and can never decide which words to use. So I use my mobile phone, which lets me capture ideas right when they occur to me. That’s why the things I appreciate in the new Editor are the abilities to move from block to block with ease and to change their order and since you can undo/redo quite easily and can see your editing history, I have confidence when I change even small bits of the post I’m writing.

Jaclyn, Chinese

用過 Gutenberg 古騰堡後網誌效率高很多!因為寫旅行文章,很多時候是在旅途中或是平日空擋等候時間紀錄和寫下想法,行動 app 讓我隨時隨地都可以編輯文章。行動古騰堡簡化了移動文章段落重新排序的步驟,讓文章的架構變得很清楚,也更容易管理。

Translation

The new block editor truly makes a difference in my blogging efficiency and experience. Since my blog is about traveling, I often scribble notes and thoughts during my trips. The block editor on mobile simplifies the process of moving paragraphs around and organizing content, so the architecture of the post becomes clearer and easier to reorganize.

To start using the block editor on your app, make sure to update to the latest version, and then opt in to using it! To opt in, navigate to My Site Settings and toggle on Use Block Editor.

We hope you give the latest release a try; tell us about your favorite part of the mobile block editor once you’ve had a chance to try it.

We’d also love to know your thoughts on the general writing flow and on some of the newer blocks like video, list, and quote blocks. For specific feedback, you can reach out to us from within the app by going to Me Help and Support, then selecting Contact Us.