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Writing Your First Block Type Edit

To keep things simple for our first example, let’s create a new block type which displays a styled message in a post. At this point, we won’t allow the user to edit the message. We’ll learn more about editable fields in later sections.

Blocks containing static content are implemented entirely in JavaScript using the registerBlockType function. This function is responsible for specifying the blueprint of a block, describing the behaviors necessary for the editor to understand how it appears, changes when edited, and is ultimately saved in the post’s content.

Enqueuing Block Scripts Enqueuing Block Scripts

While the block’s editor behaviors are implemented in JavaScript, you’ll need to register your block server-side to ensure that the script is enqueued when the editor loads. Register scripts and styles using wp_register_script and wp_register_style, then assign these as handles associated with your block using the script, style, editor_script, and editor_style block type registration settings. The editor_-prefixed handles will only be enqueued in the context of the editor, while script and style will be enqueued both in the editor and when viewing a post on the front of your site.

<?php

function gutenberg_boilerplate_block() {
    wp_register_script(
        'gutenberg-boilerplate-es5-step01',
        plugins_url( 'step-01/block.js', __FILE__ ),
        array( 'wp-blocks', 'wp-element' )
    );

    register_block_type( 'gutenberg-boilerplate-es5/hello-world-step-01', array(
        'editor_script' => 'gutenberg-boilerplate-es5-step01',
    ) );
}
add_action( 'init', 'gutenberg_boilerplate_block' );

Note the two script dependencies:

  • wp-blocks includes block type registration and related functions
  • wp-element includes the WordPress Element abstraction for describing the structure of your blocks

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Registering the Block Registering the Block

With the script enqueued, let’s look at the implementation of the block itself:

var el = wp.element.createElement,
    registerBlockType = wp.blocks.registerBlockType,
    blockStyle = { backgroundColor: '#900', color: '#fff', padding: '20px' };

registerBlockType( 'gutenberg-boilerplate-es5/hello-world-step-01', {
    title: 'Hello World (Step 1)',

    icon: 'universal-access-alt',

    category: 'layout',

    edit: function() {
        return el( 'p', { style: blockStyle }, 'Hello editor.' );
    },

    save: function() {
        return el( 'p', { style: blockStyle }, 'Hello saved content.' );
    },
} );
const { registerBlockType } = wp.blocks;
const blockStyle = { backgroundColor: '#900', color: '#fff', padding: '20px' };

registerBlockType( 'gutenberg-boilerplate-esnext/hello-world-step-01', {
    title: 'Hello World (Step 1)',

    icon: 'universal-access-alt',

    category: 'layout',

    edit() {
        return <p style={ blockStyle }>Hello editor.</p>;
    },

    save() {
        return <p style={ blockStyle }>Hello saved content.</p>;
    },
} );

Once a block is registered, you should immediately see that it becomes available as an option in the editor inserter dialog, using values from title, icon, and category to organize its display. You can choose an icon from any included in the built-in Dashicons icon set, or provide a custom svg element.

A block name must be prefixed with a namespace specific to your plugin. This helps prevent conflicts when more than one plugin registers a block with the same name.

The edit and save functions describe the structure of your block in the context of the editor and the saved content respectively. While the difference is not obvious in this simple example, in the following sections we’ll explore how these are used to enable customization of the block in the editor preview.

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