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      The Ultimate Guide to WordPress User Roles


      WordPress is a powerful, flexible Content Management System (CMS) that can be an excellent solution for collaboration. However, to make the most of the CMS, it’s important to understand how to navigate and leverage its user roles and permissions features.

      WordPress user roles let you assign certain levels of access to people who are registered to your website. This can help you manage and control what tasks are possible and can ultimately help strengthen your site’s security and performance.

      In this post, we’ll explain what WordPress user roles and permissions are. Then, we’ll provide you with advice for assigning them and cover some helpful troubleshooting tips and useful plugins to help you manage your users. Let’s get started!

      An Introduction to WordPress User Roles and Permissions (And Why They’re Important)

      WordPress user roles and permissions are two different but interdependent concepts. User roles determine what a user can and can’t do on your WordPress site, based on their user type. These limitations are generalized for anyone who carries a certain user role status.

      Permissions, on the other hand, are more individualized. You can create custom permissions for specific users, and control exactly what they are allowed to do on your site. Moreover, you can give different users distinct permissions depending on their role.

      With this double-layered system, you can ensure that each user only sees and accesses the features that are appropriate for them. Furthermore, you can create custom roles with unique capabilities, which is a great way to provide additional functionality for advanced users or clients who need certain abilities not available in the default roles.

      Both user roles and permissions are set by the Administrator, which is typically the WordPress site owner. By default, there are six different user roles: Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. Each role has its own set of capabilities, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

      User roles and permissions play an important role in ensuring that your WordPress website is secure and runs smoothly. By managing these settings, you can control who has access to what areas of your site, and what they can do there.

      If someone has too many privileges, they can end up publishing low-quality content or changing settings that impact the functionality or appearance of your site. The good news is that when you implement user roles and capabilities, you can have peace of mind knowing that only trusted parties have full admin access.

      An Overview of the Default User Roles in WordPress

      Now that you know a bit about the importance of user roles, let’s take a closer look at the six default user roles you can choose from when managing your WordPress website. Keep in mind that as an Administrator, you have the ability to create new user roles and assign them to specific users on your site. You can also manage permissions for existing user roles.

      Super Admin

      The Super Admin is the highest level of user on a WordPress site. This user has complete control over the site, including the ability to add and delete users, install and activate plugins, manage themes, and more. Super Admins are typically only found on multisite installations of WordPress.

      Super Admins can manage every setting and feature for each site within a multi-site network. They can add and delete other Administrators, create new sites, and control content across each site.

      Administrator

      Administrators have complete control over a single WordPress site. They can add and delete users, install and activate plugins, manage themes, etc. Usually, they are the site owners or main authors:

       

      WordPress Dashboard

      This powerful role has complete access to content, features, and site settings. They can update the CMS as well as plugins and themes. The Admin is also responsible for assigning user roles and capabilities to other registered users. Ideally, you should only have one Administrator per website.

      Editor

      Editors can manage and publish posts and pages, as well as moderate comments. They can also schedule content and edit categories. However, they cannot install or activate plugins, or manage themes:

      WordPress Dashboard

      In a nutshell, an editor can modify content created by themselves and other users with a lower status, such as Authors and Contributors. They can’t change content for users with permissions higher than theirs, such as an Administrator. Typically, this role is reserved for content managers or similar titles.

      Author

      As you may have guessed, authors can write and publish their own posts and pages. They can also delete their own posts.  However, they cannot publish, edit, or delete anyone else’s posts. Additionally, authors cannot add or delete users, install or activate plugins, or manage themes:

      WordPress Dashboard

      Unlike Contributors, Authors have access to the WordPress Media Library. While they can edit reader comments, they can only do so on their own posts.

      Contributor

      WordPress Contributors can write and submit their own posts for review by an Administrator or Editor. Once a post is published, they cannot edit it. Furthermore, contributors cannot add or delete users, install or activate plugins, or manage themes.

      Contributors are usually roles assigned to freelance writers or guest bloggers. This role is also commonly used for new hires whose content needs editing or reviewing before it can be published on the site.

      Once submitted for review, only the Editor or Administrator can publish their posts. Contributors cannot access the Media Library.

      Subscriber

      Subscribers can manage their own profiles and read posts and pages on a WordPress site. They cannot write or publish their own posts or pages, nor can they add or delete users, install or activate plugins, or manage themes:

      WordPress User Profile Personal Options screen

      Subscribers have the fewest permissions and capabilities of all the WordPress roles. It is the default user role set for new registrations.

      There are a few additional user role options available on some WordPress sites. For example, if you’re running a WooCommerce site, Shop Managers have similar capabilities to Administrators, but with some added features specifically for managing WooCommerce stores. For instance, they can add and delete products, manage orders, and more.

      How to Manage User Roles in WordPress 

      Now that you have a better sense of what each user role can do, let’s get into how to manage them. Below, you’ll find instructions for how to add, delete, and update users and user roles in WordPress.

      1. Creating and Deleting Users in WordPress

      Before you assign a user role in WordPress, you first need to have a user to attach it to. To add a new user in WordPress, you can navigate to Users > Add New, then fill in the information. This will include details such as username, email, and password:

      WordPress add new User

      Note that, by default, the Role is automatically set to Subscriber. When you’re done, you can click on the Add New User button at the bottom of the screen.

      Alternatively, you can create a new user through your database. To do this, you can navigate to phpMyAdmin from your cPanel dashboard (or whichever system your host uses), then select your WordPress database.

      Next, locate the wp_users table (name may vary depending on your database prefix):

      phpMyAdmin user database

      Once you click on the users table, you can select the Insert tab:

      phpMyAdmin user database

      On this screen, you can enter the following credentials:

      • user_login: The username you want to assign the user.
      • user_pass: The password for the user’s account; you can select MD5 in the Function drop-down.
      • user_email: The email address you want to use.
      • user_registered: The date and time for when the user will be registered.
      • user_status: You can set this value to “0”.

      When you’re done filling out the details, you can click on the Go button at the bottom of the screen. Next, navigate back to your WordPress database, then select the wp_usermeta table, followed by the Insert tab:

      phpMyAdmin user database

      You can insert the following details in the form:

      • unmeta_id: This is autogenerated, so you can leave it blank.
      • User_id: The id of the user you created.
      • Meta_key: You can set this as “wp_capabilities”.
      • meta_value: Add this as “a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;b:1;}”

      Finally, you can add another row. Then, input the following information:

      • Unmeta_id: You can leave this blank.
      • User_id: The id of the user you created.
      • Meta_key: You can make this “wp_user_level”.
      • Meta_value: You can put this as “10”.

      When you’re finished, you can click on the Go button to save your changes.

      To find a full list of your users, you can go to Users > All Users from your admin interface:

      WordPress Users screen

      To delete a user from your WordPress dashboard, you can hover your mouse over the name of the user, then click on the Delete link. That’s it!

      You can delete a user from your WordPress database as well. To do so, log into phpMyAdmin, then navigate to the wp_users table:

      phpMyAdmin user database

      Next to each user, you’ll find an Edit, Copy, and Delete option. Simply select Delete to remove the user.

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      2. Adding a User Role 

      There are a few ways to create a new user role in WordPress. The easiest way is to go through the admin interface. As you may have noticed in the last section, you can assign a user role at the time of creating a new user.

      To assign or update a role to an existing user, you can navigate to User from your WordPress dashboard, then select the Edit link under the user name:

      WordPress User Editor

      At the bottom of the screen, you can select an option from the Role drop-down menu:

      WordPress select User Role Administrator

      When you’re done, you can simply select the Add New User or Update User button at the bottom of the screen.

      Another way you can add a new user role in WordPress is by manually editing your code. For instance, you can add a custom user role, such as Moderator, with the add_role() function.

      To do so, you can add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

      add_role( 'new_user_role', __( 'Moderator' ), array( 'read' => true, 'edit_posts' => true, 'delete_posts' => true ) );

      When you’re done, be sure to update the file to save your changes. It’s as simple as that!

      3. Deleting a User Role in WordPress

      If you want to delete a user role in WordPress so that it is no longer an option, you can do so by editing your theme’s files. Keep in mind that modifying theme files can be risky, so it’s best to create a backup of your site before you continue on.

      To get started, go to Appearance > Theme File Editor in your WordPress dashboard. Next, locate and open the Theme Functions file:

      WordPress Theme Editor

      In this file, you can add one (or all) of the following code snippets, depending on which user role(s) you want to remove:

      remove_role( 'subscriber' );
      remove_role( 'editor' );
      remove_role( 'contributor' );
      remove_role( 'author' );

      When you’re done, select the Update File to save your changes.

      4. Updating Existing User Roles and Permissions

      If you want to update an existing user’s permissions, you can select the Edit link from the User list. You can then scroll to the bottom of the screen and modify the role by selecting a new one from the User Role drop-down menu. Remember to save your changes.

      Another option is to use a plugin, such as User Role Editor:

      WordPress User Role editor plugin

      This free version of this tool lets you easily change user roles and capabilities. Once installed and activated on your site, you can browse to Users > User Role Editor:

      WordPress User Role Editor

      Next, you can select the checkboxes of the capabilities you want to allow the selected role to have. When you’re done, click on the Update button at the bottom of the screen to save your changes.

      The plugin also lets you add new roles or delete ones that you aren’t using. It even lets you assign capabilities on a per-user basis.

      Tips for Picking the Right User Roles and Permissions

      As a general rule of thumb, it’s a smart idea to set the user role as low as possible. In other words, you want to give users as few permissions as possible that won’t interfere with or impact their ability to do their assigned tasks.

      Selecting the roles for your users should be based on the level of access that’s necessary.There are also specific roles for certain use cases.

      For example, if you have a full-time writer for your WordPress website, you can assign them the Author role. They’ll be able to write, draft, and publish posts on your site, as well as access the Media Library. However, they won’t be able to access, edit, or delete other pages and posts. Therefore, if this is a necessary capability, you may want to assign them the Editor role.

      On the other hand, if you have a freelance writer or a new hire that you don’t want to give publishing privileges to, you can make them a Contributor. This will let them write pages and posts, but they won’t be able to publish them. They can only submit it to the Editor (or Admin) for review.

      Consider assigning the Contributor role to anyone that doesn’t work in-house. We also recommend having as few Administrators as possible. This can help safeguard your site and prevent errors.

      If you have a multi-site installation, it’s a good idea to have one Super Admin. That way, they can handle any security or site issues that arise on any of the sites without interference or confusion from other admins. However, you could assign a single Administrator or Editor for each of the sites within your multisite network.

      Troubleshooting WordPress User Role and Permission Issues

      WordPress user roles and permissions are relatively straightforward and easy to use. However, sometimes issues arise, which can make it difficult for users with certain roles or permissions to carry out their tasks properly.

      One of the most common is being locked out of your WordPress admin and encountering a page with the message “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page”. This error can be frustrating because it can be challenging to nail down the cause of it.

      However, if you see this message it’s likely because there’s a permission setting that is preventing you from accessing a certain area for security purposes. If you’re an Administrator or should have access, there are a few potential solutions you can try out.

      If this issue occurred directly after a WordPress update, restore the previous version of your site. Next, you can try disabling all of your plugins and re-enabling them one-by-one. You can also try activating a default WordPress theme. These steps can help you narrow down the source of the notification.

      Alternatively, you can check to ensure that you have the necessary Administrator privileges. To do this, navigate to phpMyAdmin then to the wp_users table.

      Next, locate your username and make a note of your ID. Browse to the wp_usermeta table and locate your metauser ID:

      phpMyAdmin user database

      Under the Metavalue column, it should read as the following:

      A:1:{s:13:"administrator";s:1:"1";}

      If there is something else in this field, we recommend editing it to replace it with the above. Simply save your changes when you’re done.

      Useful WordPress User Role and Permissions Plugins

      At this point, you likely understand the various settings and options you have for changing user roles and permissions in WordPress. However, to make the process even easier, you might consider using a plugin.

      We already discussed the User Role Editor plugin, but there are a handful of additional options to choose from. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular ones and explain what you can use them for.

      Members

      Members is a plugin that lets you manage the permissions of registered users:

      MemberPress

      It’s beginner-friendly, boasting an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate. You can use it to create new roles and add permissions to each one. You can also clone user roles and customize the permissions for blog content.

      PublishPress Capabilities

      PublishPress Capabilities is another useful tool that can help you gain more control over your user roles:

      PublishPress

      It lets you add new roles, clone existing ones, and add individual permissions for each role. You can also backup, migrate, and restore the permissions. It can be used for single websites or on multisite networks. The plugin also integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce, which is helpful for store and product management.

      WPFront User Role Editor

      WPFront User Role Editor is a popular plugin you can use for managing user roles in WordPress:

      WPFront

      You can use it to create, delete, and modify user permissions. You can add new names for roles and clone existing ones. It also lets you assign multiple roles to users.

      Take Control of User Role Management on Your WordPress Site

      If you’re looking to manage WordPress user roles and permissions, it’s important to understand the different capabilities associated with each role. With this information, you can better manage your site and ensure that users have the appropriate level of access to your content and features.

      Whether you’re managing a simple blog or creating a complex website with multiple authors, user permissions are an important part of WordPress. With the right set of permissions in place, you can ensure that your site remains secure and runs smoothly.

      Are you interested in learning about more ways you can make managing your WordPress site as simple as possible? Check out our Managed WordPress Hosting solutions to learn about DreamPress!

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      DreamPress’ automatic updates, caching, and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on content creation.

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      Why You Should Update Your PHP Version (& How to Do It)


      Regularly updating your site’s copy of WordPress ensures that your website will have a high level of performance and security. If you forget to update your site’s PHP version though, you’re leaving your site vulnerable to both hackers and potential performance bottlenecks. Yikes!

      Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to check your site’s current PHP version and proceed with upgrades if it happens to be outdated. This process can contribute to faster load times, improved security, and support for new functionality.

      This article will discuss what PHP is, and why you should consider updating it. Then, we’ll show you how to check your current PHP version and upgrade it if needed. Let’s get started!

      An Introduction to PHP

      update your PHP version

      PHP is a programming and scripting language that plays an important role in WordPress development. PHP takes data from the database and converts it into an HTML web page whenever someone visits your website.

      As a website owner, you might never need to learn PHP coding. However, after downloading WordPress, you’ll automatically receive all of the PHP files that make up WordPress core:

      WordPress folder in FTP client

      Although these files have been written for you — and are just waiting for your content, themes, and plugins — there are some scenarios where you can benefit from editing PHP files:

      Since PHP is one of the key languages behind WordPress, learning a little bit about how to work with it will open up the scope of projects that you are able to do.

      It’s likely that you won’t have to edit your PHP files. Still, learning the language can be handy for developers who wish to create new software or customizations.

      Why You Should Update Your PHP Version

      You might already be familiar with the importance of updating your WordPress, themes, and plugins. It’s also crucial to regularly update your PHP version:

      PHP 8.1 released

      Currently, WordPress recommends upgrading your PHP version to at least 7.4. This isn’t required, but older versions may have reached their end of life, meaning they no longer have active support for bug fixes or security updates.

      Here are the main benefits of upgrading your sites to the latest PHP version:

      • Better security: Older PHP versions can be more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
      • Improved performance: Upgraded PHP can improve load times through internal code improvements and reduced memory usage.
      • More support: Currently supported versions have active support, with regular bug fixes and security patches.

      Take it from our Director of IT Operations, Luke Odom:

      “Running a modern, supported, version of PHP is one of the best things you can do for the health, security, and speed of your website. Let’s compare an outdated PHP version to an old car. Sure, it will run and get you from point A to B, but without modern safety sensors, technology, fuel efficiency, and GPS navigation you may find yourself in some trouble a bit more easily.”

      Ultimately, your website will be faster and more secure when it’s running on the latest version of PHP. Many web hosts provide automatic updates for their customers, but if you’re not with one of these hosts, you can follow this manual process.

      How to Check Your Current PHP Version

      Before you get started, you should check which PHP version is currently supporting your website. If you’ve installed WordPress 5.0 or higher, you can view your PHP version in your dashboard.

      First, go to Tools > Site Health:

      WordPress Tools Site Health

      On the Site Health page, click on Info. Then find the Server section:

      view server Site Health in WordPress

      Here, you should be able to see your current PHP version:

      view your server's PHP version

      Another simple method for checking your PHP version is using your web host’s control panel. For DreamHost websites, click on the Manage button next to your domain:

      manage websites in DreamPress Panel

      Then, find the section labeled PHP. This will list your site’s PHP version:

      modify your PHP version

      The latest PHP release is 8.1. If you have a version older than 7.4 — the version that the WordPress project suggests — you can proceed with the following steps.

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      How to Update Your PHP Version (In 4 Easy Steps)

      Once you decide to update your version of PHP, we recommend taking a few precautions. Firstly, consider backing up your website. If anything goes wrong, you can roll back your version of PHP and then revert your site to the backed-up version.

      Next, make sure your website is fully up to date. In your dashboard, go to the Updates page and install the latest versions of WordPress, themes, and plugins:

      WordPress Proxy Cache plugin

      After taking these preventative steps, you can start manually updating your PHP version. As a simpler alternative, you can also contact your hosting provider. The host can typically handle this process for you.

      Step 1: Create a Staging Site

      Updating your PHP version can cause software conflicts on your website. Therefore, it’s wise to test the update in a staging area initially. This creates a separate, safe environment to implement changes rather than breaking your live site.

      With many hosting providers, you can create a staging site through your control panel. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the DreamHost panel.

      If you have a managed DreamHost plan, you can set up your staging site in minutes. Simply open your control panel and navigate to WordPress > Managed WordPress > Manage:

      DreamPress managed WordPress settings in PanelOn the next page, go to Staging. Then, click on Create Staging Site:

      create a one click staging site with DreamPress managed WordPress hosting

      This will set up your staging site on an automatically generated subdomain. After this, you can update your PHP version without editing your live site.

      Step 2: Change Your PHP Version

      No matter your hosting provider, you can usually change your website’s PHP version through your control panel. This process will look different based on your host, but you’ll want to look for a MultiPHP Manager or PHP Selector.

      To edit your DreamHost staging site, you can simply scroll down to the Configure PHP section. This section will list your current PHP version and the most recent update option:

      change PHP version

      To update PHP, click on Change PHP to v8.1. If successful, this section will indicate that your site is up to date:

      configure your PHP version

      Although it isn’t recommended, you can also directly modify your live website. In your DreamHost panel, go to Manage Websites. Then, scroll down to PHP and click on the arrow next to Modify:

      select PHP version in the DreamHost panel

      Lastly, select the new version you want to run on your website. Click on Change PHP Version to finish the process.

      Step 3: Look for Conflicts

      After updating your PHP version, we recommend reviewing your plugins and themes for conflicts. Upgrading PHP may cause common problems such as the White Screen of Death or 500 internal server errors.

      Whether you updated a staging environment or your live site, visit the front end to see if everything is functioning correctly. If you notice any errors after browsing the website, you’ll need to troubleshoot the issue.

      One common reason for WordPress errors is a plugin conflict. When issues arise, try deactivating all of your plugins using the Bulk Actions on your Plugins page:

      deactivate WordPress plugins

      To target the conflicting plugin, reactivate each plugin one by one. Then, you can download a similar plugin or delete it if it’s unnecessary.

      If you face additional problems like exceeded maximum execution time or maintenance mode errors, you might need to edit your wp-config.php file. This process could require more extensive troubleshooting, such as increasing your PHP memory limit.

      Step 4: Publish Changes to Your Live Site

      If you implemented a new PHP version on a staging site, it’s time to publish this change on your live website. Usually, you can do this in your host’s control panel.

      For example, DreamHost provides a simple one-click transfer of your staging data to your website. Once you’re sure you’ve targeted any potential conflicts, you can click on Publish Staging to Live:

      push staging environment to live

      This will successfully update your website’s PHP version. Since you used a staging site, you won’t have to worry about unexpected errors!

      Ready for an Upgrade?

      You might be hesitant to update your PHP version because you’re worried about breaking your site. However, PHP updates ultimately improve the security and performance of your website. You can easily avoid any conflicts by testing changes before making them live.

      To review, here are the four steps you can take to update the PHP version of your website:

      1. Create a staging site.
      2. Change your PHP version.
      3. Look for conflicts.
      4. Publish changes to your live site.

      Although you can manually update your PHP version, you might want to avoid doing this for every new development. Here at DreamHost, our Website Maintenance plans now include automatic PHP updates! This way, you can sit back, relax, and leave this process to us.

      Website and PHP Version Management Made Easy

      Let us handle the backend — we’ll manage and monitor your website so it’s safe, secure, and always up.

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      Decoding WordPress: New Site Blocks in 5.9


      WordPress has always been a user-friendly platform that is flexible and easy to learn. However, those without coding skills may struggle to perform certain customization tasks.

      Fortunately, Version 5.9 introduced Full-Site Editing, which brings together both new and existing features to provide centralized control of your entire site. One of the most significant changes is the addition of new site level blocks.

      In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about site blocks in WordPress. We’ll also look at some examples and show you how to use them. Let’s get started!

      An Introduction to WordPress Blocks

      Blocks have been a fundamental aspect of WordPress since late 2018. Version 5.0 of WordPress replaced the classic editor with a new WordPress block editor called Gutenberg.

      A block is a specific element that you can add to your site. For instance, there are blocks for images, headings, lists, paragraphs, and more. This system provides users with a simple and intuitive way to create a unique website.

      Each block comes with a set of customization options, such as alignment, color, and size. Additionally, blocks can be moved around on via a drag-and-drop editor, facilitating a simpler page-building process.

      Common WordPress Blocks

      Gutenberg introduced blocks for various purposes. There may be some blocks that you will never touch. However, there are others you’ll probably use every time you create a post. Let’s take a look at some of the most common options in the new block editor.

      The Heading Block

      The Heading block provides several choices for configuring and styling headings:

      WordPress Heading Block

      This block can help you organize your content more efficiently. For instance, you can select the heading level H2 for main sections, and H3-H6 for subsections. Additionally, you can add a hyperlink to the heading.

      The Paragraph Block

      Paragraphs are the most frequently-used block in the Gutenberg editor:

      WordPress Paragraph Block

      This element enables users to write text and customize the typography. Usually, headings are used to group relevant paragraphs together and split up the page’s content.

      The Image Block

      Image blocks enable you to upload photos or artwork to your site:

      WordPress Image Block

      You can then use the settings to resize and crop your images. You can also add captions and alt text.

      The Video Block

      You can also add videos to your post. There are different options for displaying videos:

      WordPress Video Block

      For instance, you can upload them to your site’s Media Library, or embed them from YouTube and other video-sharing platforms. You can also add text tracks such as subtitles, captions, chapters, and descriptions to the block.

      The List Block

      The List block enables you to insert bulleted or numbered lists into your page:

      WordPress List Block

      This block comes with styling options such as bold and italics, as well as more intricate rich-text controls. Additionally, you can add hyperlinks to list items.

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      New Site Blocks in WordPress 5.9

      Now that Full-Site Editing is here, individual blocks can also be used for editing your site’s theme. You can use the new editor to customize all aspects of your site:

      WordPress Full Site Editing - edit template

      This feature has replaced the Customizer. However, it only supports block-based themes, such as Twenty Twenty-Two. If you’re using a ‘standard’ theme, you’ll still have access to the Customizer (and the Gutenberg block editor), but you won’t be able to use the Full-Site Editor.

      The Full-Site Editor comes with templates for different pages, such as your archive or home page. Additionally, you can customize more areas of your site, such as your header and footer. There is also a new Global Styles feature, which enables you to define site-wide settings for your blocks.

      In addition, the Full-Site Editor has introduced a range of ‘theme blocks’. Often nicknamed ‘site blocks’, these new additions enable you to use and edit global elements such as the site logo and tagline, navigation, and post lists.

      The Benefits of Using Theme Blocks

      The new theme blocks were introduced to make the web design process in WordPress simpler and more streamlined. Previously, the WordPress theme editor had limited customization options, and users who wanted unique designs often needed to use custom code.

      Theme blocks remove the need for coding (and third-party page builder plugins) in most cases. Each block has a variety of styling and display options, offering users the flexibility to create almost any layout and design. Whether you’re a WordPress beginner or an experienced web developer, the process of creating custom sites is now faster and easier.

      Let’s take a look at some notable site blocks that have been added with WordPress 5.9. This is just a brief introduction – we’ll delve more deeply into each of these Gutenberg blocks shortly.

      Navigation

      This feature enables you to add your site’s navigation menu to a page:

      WordPress Navigation Block

      You can customize both the design and structure of your menu. For instance, you can add submenu items, change the color and alignment, and more.

      Query Loop

      A query loop is a block that displays a set of posts based on specific conditions and parameters:

      WordPress Query Loop Block

      This is a great way to showcase posts on a particular topic. You can filter content by post categories, tags, authors, and keywords. The block also comes with different styling options for the post feed.

      Template Part

      Template parts are used to organize the structure of a site. They’re essentially collections or containers of other content blocks:

      WordPress Template Part Block

      They can only be used when editing templates, so you’ll find this block in the Full-Site Editor. Each template part has a user-generated name. When adding a block, you can choose an existing template or create a new one.

      How to Use Common WordPress Site Blocks (6 New Theme Blocks)

      Now, let’s take a detailed look at a few common theme blocks. For each of the new blocks, we’ll discuss its purpose and the steps for using it.

      1. Navigation

      Navigation blocks are used for editing your site’s menus. When you add this block to your page, you are given three options: select an existing menu, add all of the site’s pages, or start with an empty menu:

      WordPress Navigation Block

      You can include additional menu items as well as indented items, which appear as subpages. Moreover, you can change the links and names of each item using the “anchor” icon in the toolbar. The toolbar also enables you to change the alignment and other layout settings.

      2. Login/out

      The login/out block provides a simple way to add a login and logout button to your website:

      WordPress Login/Out Block

      It automatically displays the correct link depending on the status of the user. You also have the option to display the login/out button as a switch.

      3. Template Part 

      This element can be thought of as a group of blocks. The template part helps you organize the structure of your page. These blocks can only be used when editing templates, and they’re an excellent way to manage global areas such as headers and footers:

      WordPress Header Block

      Template parts can be added in the site editor. Upon selecting the block, you’ll be asked if you want to add an existing template or create a new one.

      If you opt for the latter, you’ll be prompted to enter a name for the template. Then, you can go ahead and add in blocks to create the desired layout.

      4. Site Title

      As the name suggests, this block is used to display the title of your site:

      WordPress Site Title Block

      By default, the title links to the home page, but this can be turned off with a toggle switch in the settings. There’s also a range of styling options, including text and background colors, font size, line height, letter spacing, and other typography settings.

      5. Post Excerpt

      Post excerpts give readers a sneak peek into a post, and can help them decide whether or not they wish to read the entire article:

      WordPress Post Excerpt Block

      Most of the time, this block will be a child element of a query loop. It displays either the first 55 words of a post, or the set excerpt for that post. You can also add a “read more” link. This will take the user directly to the full post.

      6. Query Loop

      Query loops can be used to display a set of posts based on specific conditions and parameters. For example, you may use this block to show all posts in a particular category or by a specific author:

      WordPress Query Loop Block

      Query loops are made up of multiple blocks, including post titles, dates, excerpts, and featured images. You have the option to start blank and add nested blocks manually, or start with a premade layout and edit from there.

      You can then alter the width, alignment, arrangement, and colors. You can also change the number of posts that the query loop displays.

      Conclusion

      In the past, customizing WordPress sites may have been challenging for some users. However, with the release of new site blocks in version 5.9, the process has become a lot easier.

      Thanks to the Full-Site Editing feature, you can now make changes to your entire site from a unified interface. You can also customize individual elements such as the site title and tagline, navigation menu, and template parts like headers and footers.

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