Upgrade Warning: When upgrading Block Visibility to version 1.4 from version 1.3 or lower, you will receive an error message, and the plugin will deactivate. But don’t worry. Simply re-activate Block Visibility, and you are good to go. This is an unfortunate but expected issue and will only occur once. We apologize for any inconvenience that this causes, but trust that this change better positions the plugin for many exciting enhancements in the future!
Release Date: January 1, 2021
Version 1.4 introduces a number of “under-the-hood” improvements and a significant amount of file/folder restructuring. This was done to better position the plugin moving forward. That said, these enhancements were not without drawbacks, as evident by the upgrade warning listed above.
Starting in 1.4, the base plugin file has been standardized to simply
block-visibility.php and the plugin setup class has been moved to the
includes folder. This change causes the plugin to deactivate when it is upgraded to 1.4 from a previous version. Again, simply re-activate the plugin, and you are all set. Users installing Block Visibility for the first time won’t experience any issues.
Preparing for the Future
Full Site Editing
Block Visibility is still very much in its infancy, with only 100 active users at the time of writing. While designed to provide immediate value for users of the Block Editor, the plugin will realize its true potential with the release of Full Site Editing (FSE) into WordPress core. Once every piece of content on a website is a “block”, you will be able to easily control the visibility of practically anything on a WordPress website. From dynamic navigation menus to user specific headers and footers, the possibilities are endless!
FSE is still under development and is expected to be released later in 2021, but it is currently available for users to test. Therefore, preliminary FSE support has now been included in version 1.4. Note that you will need to be using the Gutenberg plugin and a theme that supports FSE. A good theme resource is the WordPress Theme Experiments repository on Github.
Now is a great opportunity to test out Block Visibility with FSE and see what the possibilities are. You may find bugs or compatibility issues since FSE is still experimental. If you do, please submit a ticket to the plugin support forum. We are committed to ensuring 100% compatibility by the time FSE is included in WordPress core.
A Block Visibility grows, there will be advanced and/or niche functionality that will be useful for certain users. Think integrations with other third-party plugins. There will always be a free version of the plugin, but some of these additional features will ultimately be provided by a premium (paid) add-on called Block Visibility Pro. Version 1.4 has laid some of the structural groundwork for the future Pro add-on.
Redesigned Settings Page
While the bulk of the updates in version 1.4 focused on improving and streamlining the core functionality of the plugin. As a user, the most significant change that you will notice is the redesigned Block Visibility settings page.
The design for the original settings page was based on design concepts for what a future WordPress admin interface might look like done back in 2019. For the new version, inspiration was taken from the Jetpack settings panels to simplify the header design and add an informational footer. That said, we will maintain a close eye on whatever direction WordPress core takes. It’s important that the settings page feels as “WordPress-y” as possible.
- Preliminary compatibility with Full Site Editing (Requires the Gutenberg plugin and a theme that is Full Site Editing compatible)
- Hooks and slots to support the upcoming Pro add-on
- Block Visibility now requires WordPress 5.5+ to take advantage of new core functionality
- The base plugin file is now simply
block-visibility.phpand the setup class has been moved
- Redesigned the Block Visibility settings page
- Refactored the methods for fetching plugin settings and variable data on the Block Visibility settings page
- Component styling that is not longer needed since the version requirement for the plugin is now WordPress 5.5+
A rough roadmap for future versions is outlined below.
- Refinement of the contextual indicators, especially for themes with dark backgrounds and themes with “dark mode” functionality.
- Ensure 100% compatibility with Full Site Editing
- Keyboard shortcut for hiding blocks.
- Continued development of Block Visibility Pro
Have a feature that you would like to see? Find an issue with the plugin?
Please leave a comment below or in the support forum in the Plugin Repository. Thanks for using Block Visibility, and we hope you find it useful.