It’s amazing to think that Block Visibility 1.8.0 was released nearly two months ago. Since then, the plugin has grown to over 800 active users, and growth is steady. Behind the scenes, 100s of hours have been put into core plugin enhancements and development of Block Visibility Pro. A separate article will be posted soon detailing everything you need to know about Pro.
Enhancements & Optimizations
Version 1.9.0 of the core Block Visibility plugin is now available in the WordPress repository. The most noticeable new feature is the structural overhaul of the ACF control. The control now utilizes “rule” and “rule-set” architecture which allows users to set both AND and OR conditions within the control itself. Previously, only AND conditions were available. Rule-set architecture is used heavily in Block Visibility Pro.
Another notable improvement is the conditional loading of CSS styles for the Screen Size control. Now, styles will only be added if there is a block on the page that is utilizing the Screen Size control. This provides a minor performance improvement and requires one less stylesheet to be loaded on the front end.
In the realm of performance, the conditional indicators in the Block Editor are now powered via a custom icon font rather than SVG background images. This significantly decreases the plugin editor CSS. In fact, this change alone decreased the total file size of the Block Visibility plugin by 15%!
A number of bug fixes were also tackled in 1.9.0. The most important of which was discovered by WordPress user @mmcginnis. Previously, when a block with visibility controls was duplicated in the Block Editor, and the user edited the duplicate block without first saving the page, any visibility edits made to the duplicate would also be made to the original block. This bug has been squashed, and duplicating blocks now works as expected.
As always, if you find an issue with the plugin, please let us know straight away in the WordPress support forum or email us directly at email@example.com.
Getting Ready for Pro
The most important changes in version 1.9.0 are the “under-the-hood” updates that will allow the Block Visibility Pro add-on to integrate seamlessly with the core plugin.
Block Visibility is a full-featured and free plugin that provides users with the best tool for controlling the visibility of blocks. That will never change.
Pro, on the other hand, is a paid product. It is designed to add additional functionality that is niche, requires advanced setup, or is geared toward helping businesses make more money. For example, Pro will launch day one with robust integrations for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. It also adds the Location control, which was built with Full Site Editing and block-based themes in mind. Full Site Editing will be coming to WordPress later this year.
There are tons of exciting features on the roadmap for Pro. The initial release is just scratching the surface!
Final preparations for the Pro release are underway. Optimistically, Pro will be out by the time you are reading this. Next, we will be focusing on clearing the backlog of feature requests that have been piling up. Thank you to everyone that has been patiently waiting!
If you do give the plugin a try and are finding it useful, please consider leaving a review over on WordPress.org. And of course, let us know if you have a feature request you would like added to the development roadmap.
Until next time…