WP Block Dev was born from the developer documentation of Motto, a WordPress agency based in Montreal. For years, I had built and trained our staff to build high quality modern bespoke WordPress themes for its customers.

We made themes built on top of modern stacks like Sage, versioned with Git, and automatically deployed through build pipelines. I created protocols and wrote scripts to help sync data and push and pull sites from environment to environment while dealing with the intricacies that came with every special gem of a site that belonged to our customers.

Things were satisfactory. But the more we built, and the more complicated our developer and production workflow became, the more I felt something wasn’t quite right. Why had this stack of “modern” WordPress development become more and more complex as the platform it ran on (the browser) became more and more capable.

And then came the big pivot. Almost one year ago, WordPress 5.8 was released and the block editor, aka Gutenberg, became the central piece of technology behind WordPress. Leading up to this release, I had already struggled to keep a good user and developer experience with our sites with a hybrid development style. A mix of ACF fields, complex custom blocks and settings, and a mish-mash of hooks and filters that tried to tame the editor to not step out of line with how we were still doing things.

However, after recognizing the new path and role of WordPress and its block based methodology, we knew there would need to be a drastic shift in how we developed WordPress themes that wasn’t anything like the standard build process of the preceding years.

The problem was that there had been a serious shift in the way WordPress should be used. It was no longer a CMS, it was a built-it-yourself platform. It wasn’t meant to wrestle with a modern development workflow. This was the epiphany.

So I set out to retrain the company on the ways of the WordPress block editor and full site editing. The only problem was the landscape was still changing very quickly and was in its infancy. There was still a lack of resources for developers and advanced users. Sure there are plenty of tutorials on how to use the block editor, but there wasn’t much in the way of using it to build sites professionally.

So I took up the task of building the protocols, tools and resources needed to fill the gap. I began documenting the knowledge base before realizing more than just my web agency could benefit from this. And so was born WP Block Dev.

WP Block Dev is a website built to help the professional WordPress user utilize block-based development practices and resources to build simple but expertly hand-crafted WordPress sites. We plan on doing this through a knowledge base, and a collection of prebuilt tools, patterns, blocks and plugins you can use in your own block-based development environment.

Happy block building

🙂 Greg