Welcome to Pattern Wrangler

Pattern Wrangler helps manage your block patterns and provides useful pattern utilities

Pattern Wrangler helps you manage and deal with block patterns. Whether you love or hate block patterns, this plugin should provide a useful addition to your WordPress plugin arsenal.

Let's go over the major features.

Hide All Patterns

Hide all patterns with just one toggle.

If you decide to hide all patterns, you can also hide the Pattern Wrangler settings under the Appearance tab.

Hide Core and Remote Patterns

By default, WordPress allows Core and remote patterns. Core patterns are patterns that come with WordPress itself. Remote patterns are those that come in the Block Pattern Directory.

Disabling Core patterns will remove a large number of patterns and categories, which should make things easier to manage.

Disable remote patterns if you don't want anyone accidentally installing a third-party pattern or a pattern that doesn't meet the design. Remote patterns can also significantly slow down the pattern search in terms of loading.

Patterns are Front and Center

Upon activation, you'll notice the Patterns menu is now under the Posts menu item in the admin. Beneath that are pattern categories, and the settings for this plugin.

Finding the Plugin's Settings

Patterns are a slightly hidden post type by default (they are stashed under Appearance in classic themes). Pattern categories are totally hidden and only exposed if you know the direct URL.

A top-level item was chosen so that the categories and settings could live right next to the patterns.

For those who choose to hide all patterns, you can still hide the Pattern Wrangler settings under Appearance, which is where the original Patterns menu item lived prior to plugin activation.

In Block themes, the Patterns menu item is completely hidden but linked to in the Full-site Editor. Like pattern categories, these are totally hidden unless you know the direct URL.

Patterns list view and post-type enhancements

The Patterns List View can be configured to show you a lot more detail about a pattern.

You can enable columns for:

  • Pattern previews: Upload a featured image to a pattern and it'll show up in this column. This column will display in a lightbox when clicked.

  • Pattern shortcodes: Copy a shortcode that you can paste in any classic editor or page builder.

  • Pattern authors: See who created the pattern.

  • Pattern categories: See at a glance what category a pattern belongs to.

  • Synced or unsynced patterns: See at a glance whether a pattern is synced or unsynced.

Other enhancements to this screen include adding a Pattern Preview shortcut and a Bulk Set to Draft option.

Frontend Pattern Previews

Preview what a pattern will look like on the frontend.

For those not using block themes, authoring patterns involves a lot of trial and error in coordinating the block editor's appearance with the actual frontend appearance.

The default pattern experience doesn't provide a preview, so we've built one in. It also works well with block themes.

Behind the scenes, we're loading most of the theme's styles, but trying to preserve the pattern's layout and structure. It should provide a close approximation of how a pattern will behave when inserted or displayed on your site.

For security reasons, only those with publish_posts permissions can preview patterns.

Hide Theme or Plugin Patterns

If you've installed a theme and don't fancy its patterns, that's fine. You can disable them.

If you prefer patterns not come from any plugins, such as WooCommerce, you can disable them here as well.

Re-enabling the Customizer With Full-site Editing

Breaking up with the customizer is difficult, even when using a block theme. With Pattern Wrangler, you can re-enable the customizer menu item, and it will show up where it did before under Appearance.

Disabling the Customizer UI in the settings does not remove the Customizer UI in classic themes.

The customizer still has a lot of useful items that are often easier to grab than dive into full-site editing land.

The Customizer and Block Editor CSS

The customizer is also useful for quickly solving CSS issues with blocks.

The customizer has an Additional CSS field, which we are reluctant fans of.

Additional CSS is a popular feature, and it's even present in FSE (Block) themes in the styles panel.

Troubleshooting CSS issues on the front end with blocks is no picnic, and the customizer CSS can often provide temporary fixes until a more permanent fix is implemented. Since customizer CSS doesn't load in the admin, any frontend block fixes will not be reflected in the admin.

With Pattern Wrangler, you can enable the customizer and have it load CSS in the block editor. This means that you can use the customizer CSS as a block stylesheet for both the front end and admin.

If you disable the customizer CSS on the front end, you can technically have a block-editor-only stylesheet without the need to code a block plugin.

Disabling the Customizer CSS on the Frontend

Through our tests, we've found that the customizer CSS on the front end can slow things down quite a bit, particularly as the CSS is rendered and takes up space in the document size.

If you're not using the customizer's Additional CSS section, you can safely disable customizer CSS and possibly receive some performance gains.

As mentioned, the Customizer CSS can be used as a temporary fix until something more permanent can be implemented, so keep this in mind when disabling this option.

Copy Patterns From Site to Site With the Pattern Importer Block

If you have a pattern on one site and need to transfer it to another, there's a Pattern Importer block available that'll automatically download any remote images.

This can allow you to transfer guest posts from site to site. Or bring a production pattern down locally, along with the images.

The Pattern Importer block also natively integrates with the popular layout builder GenerateBlocks (freemium).

Manage and Map Registered Categories

Registered categories are categories registered by WordPress Core, your theme, or your plugins. These are added programmatically, as opposed to creating your own pattern category in the admin.

With Pattern Wrangler, you can disable, map, and rename these registered categories.

One use case of mapping is consolidating all of a theme's patterns into just one category or selectively disabling categories.

The result can be a much more organized a streamlined pattern experience with the available categories.

Re-enable Menus in Full-site Editing (Block) Themes

With Block themes, there is no need for the Menus menu item as there is a navigation block that does similar things. However, creating menus in the navigation block is quite tedious, and some are more comfortable creating menus the old-fashioned way.

Just note that once you create the navigation block and select the menu, your menu will not be synced with the core menu again.

This feature is useful for quickly creating a menu, importing it into the navigation block, and disabling it again.

Last updated