Last month WordPress contributors published the initial designs for the upcoming pattern directory, which will host community-submitted patterns that can be installed with one click from the block inserter in the editor. A live prototype of the work in progress is available at wordpress.org/patterns.
The previously planned masonry style, which accommodates variable thumbnail heights, has not been implemented yet. Clicking on the individual pattern reveals a live preview with a handy resizing bar for trying it out on different screen sizes. The copying and favoriting features are not yet fully working. I was able to copy and paste patterns into the editor, but the previews aren’t yet very accurate.
The project is clipping along and contributors are aiming to have the new directory ready to launch in tandem with the upcoming WordPress 5.8 release. Features planned for the first version include browsing and searching patterns, live preview of patterns, and the ability to copy the block code. Users signed into WordPress.org will be able to create and submit patterns to the directory using a set of curated images and media. They will go through a basic moderation process and patterns will be available for download directly through the block editor.
Once the directory is launched, contributors plan to add support for internationalization, forking and iterating on patterns, expand the available media for use in pattern creation, and add a pattern browsing UI to the editor.
WordPress 5.8 is expected to land in July 2021 with the new Query, Site Logo, and Navigation blocks, template-editing mode, and the block-based widgets screen and customizer integration. The availability of pre-made patterns will be a beneficial accompaniment to the first round of full-site editing features added to core in the next release, enhancing the basic page building experience.