With the 5.8 release of WordPress, the widgets experience in WordPress is undergoing a big change. This change effectively brings the block-editor experience to the widgets screen in the WordPress admin. The dev notes for this change are here.
As the Genesis Framework has been around for 10+ years, it has certain widget focused features that unfortunately don’t magically port over to this new 5.8 experience. To help navigate this for the 100,000’s of sites that run on the Genesis Framework we have implemented an opt-in experience in version 3.3.4 for whenever anyone updates to WordPress 5.8.
What this means is:
- WordPress sites that have the Genesis Framework active won’t automatically have access to the new block-based widgets in 5.8
- It’s up to the site admins/developers to “turn on” the new block-based widget experience if they choose
This approach ensures that all Genesis Framework sites that leverage the traditional widget experience can continue to do so, but folks can switch over when / if they desire.
For anyone willing to take the plunge, enabling block-based widgets in the Genesis Framework is as simple as adding the following line of code to your child theme (typically in the
add_filter( 'use_widgets_block_editor', '__return_true' );
Don’t worry if you forget this as once you update WordPress to 5.8 and are running at least version 3.3.4 of the Genesis Framework, you will find the following documentation prompt on the widgets screen (Appearance > Widgets).
WordPress 5.8 is planned for release later this month (July). The Genesis Framework 3.3.4 release has already rolled out.
If you are a Genesis Framework customer and have any questions, please join us in the Genesis Community Slack and ask away. And of course, the incredible 24/7 support team at WP Engine are available to help as well.