WordPress Theme Directory Launches Template Previews in Beta – WP Tavern
Meta contributors have enabled a new feature in the WordPress.org theme listings that allows visitors to preview grouped templates of themes. A grid displaying patterns now displays below a topic’s description and tags. These are automatically picked up from any theme that saves templates and works for both block and classic themes.
Clicking on a design will launch it in the theme preview. Visitors can see what it looks like in the context of the theme but cannot manipulate or customize it.
Automattic-sponsored Meta Team contributor Steve Dufresne posted a short announcement of the template previews going into beta, with a request for feedback from theme authors.
“From a technical perspective, template preview screenshots are generated by adding templates into any template that handles ‘page’ rendering,” Dufresne said. “If you think the preview of the pattern isn’t displaying correctly, try adding the pattern to a page in your theme (as a user would). If the screenshot differs significantly from what you see , please open a meta ticket so we can take a look.
Elma Studio co-founder Ellen Bauer noted that the preview was not rendering third-party blocks and opened a ticket to follow up on this issue. Templates that require WooCommerce or another plugin will not display correctly. Bauer said that their Aino theme templates look as expected because they use the AinoBlocks plugin. Unless this can be resolved, relying on a plugin to deliver a theme’s templates can be a disadvantage for theme authors whose main distribution channel is WordPress.org.
Another quirk at the moment is that templates designed to be full-width or full-width may not display as expected due to being limited to the narrower default content size. This issue is ongoing and should be resolved soon.
Template previews help users get a better idea of what templates a theme offers and how they look inside the theme. Feedback has been positive so far, as it provides another way for theme authors to show off the possibilities of their themes. Themes without patterns are not necessarily disadvantaged by this new preview section, as the pattern directory has grown significantly since its launch to house over 800 block patterns.
This first beta release for template previews is the result of working on a ticket opened seven months ago requesting a demo for templates while browsing directory themes. The Meta Team requests that comments and bug reports be filed as a new ticket on Meta trac.