WordPress 3.6 Beta 2: So, is the post formats UI on by default?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article about some of the big changes to post formats for WordPress 3.6: What Theme Authors Need to Know About Post Formats in WordPress 3.6

Since writing the article, WordPress has released 3.6 beta-2, and has moved closer to answering my biggest question, as a theme author, surrounding the release of WordPress 3.6: Will the new post formats UI be on by default, whether I support them in my theme or not?

We’ve also made the Post Formats UI hide-able via Screen Options, and set a reasonable default based on what your theme supports.

On the post for 3.6 beta-2, I saw the above sentence and assumed it meant they’ve decided that if a theme does not add theme support for post formats, the UI will not show.

This is not quite the case. It appears the current verdict is that WordPress checks for if your theme supports post formats or if your WordPress site has ever saved a post of a post format, before showing the UI. So, if a user was using a previous theme that supported post formats and has any posts saved in a format other than “standard”, then the UI will show.

What does this mean for theme authors? — It means you need to just assume that many users will be seeing the Post Formats UI when using your theme, and at a minimum if you don’t directly support post formats, make sure the structured data displays properly within your uses of the_content().

Note: With WordPress 3.6 post formats compatibility, which you can read more about here, this is done automatically for you. You’ll just want to make sure everything looks nice, aesthetically, and add any necessary CSS tweaking.

11 comments on “WordPress 3.6 Beta 2: So, is the post formats UI on by default?

  1. I guess it’s pretty simple huh? Just support them fully. No matter what theme developers do, once users get used to them or expect them, developers are better off supporting them anyway. Not that they’re bad to support… but I really don’t think it’s an option.

    • Yeah, I definitely agree.

      I think a lot of theme authors are going to be shocked at first when finding out post formats in WP 3.6, but really with the post format compatibility feature, there’s not a lot to do, and it’s not as scary as it seems. When a user sets up an “Image” post with the post format UI, the image is already displayed within the_content() automatically (for example).

      And then from there, if you want to dress up your theme to do special things with the data, you can. This seems like a fun endeavor as a theme author, however, I personally tend to see these kind of themes as more “bloggy” — not really the type of the themes I know a lot of my buyers are looking for. We’ll see where it goes, I guess.

  2. Great news, so it’s CSS all the way then? Any other new things coming? Is all this mainly for future SCHEMA use, I have never really needed to use all the posts types but I can see how they would be useful to re-purpose content offsite.

  3. It certainly is an exciting time to be a WordPress user/designer/tinkerer! I think post formats becoming so central in the back-end really ushers in a new era of WordPress embracing its blogging roots. While I have been using WordPress as a CMS for clients, I have been very impressed with post types for my personal blogging in the Twenty Twelve theme. Something about the focusing on content as types allows me to compartmentalize thoughts better. I find I am using my personal blog far more often now than I used to because I have places to put my thoughts, no matter how small.

    • I really like this thought!

      I find I am using my personal blog far more often now than I used to because I have places to put my thoughts, no matter how small.

      … I feel exactly the same way.

  4. Great articles on this Jason, I really need to stop implementing these features when they first come out, WordPress always seems to change things after the fact, ruining my day, ha.

    Ironically, I think those that have incorporated post formats previously in their themes will have the most work to do with updates for the 3.6 release, as opposed to those that haven’t bothered with them yet.

    Ugh. And I’m out of town for the 3.6 projected release date to get the 4000 emails asking about this feature on my themes. I’m not-so secretly hoping for a delayed release. 🙂

  5. Thanks Jason ..

    In my themes I uses a custom meta boxes with input fields to store post formats data like link , audio files , videos … etc .. and now all if this input field will not work with the new system

    I don’t know what should I do .. hide the new default wordpress 3.6 input fields and use mine .. and find away to move the stored data to the new system but in this case user might lose some data ! .. or use both the old input fields for the already exists posts and the new one for the new posts !

    what do you think ?


    • Hello Fouad,

      You know I really don’t know the answer to that one in terms of the best action to take. However, I would really try to some way, over time, move to the new formats UI. I think down the road, it will sort of look bad to be abandoning the core UI for your own, unless it is adding some sort of functionality really up and above what WP is providing.

      A thought on this, and this is all just spit balling on a possible solution. —

      1) On the frontend of your theme you could have fallback functions in place to check for the old meta data being present if new meta data is empty, and use it.

      2) When loading the edit post screen in the admin, you could (a) remove your old meta box and (b) check if the old meta data exists, convert it to new meta data, and clear out old. — This way, every time the Edit post screen loads, if the old data doesn’t exist any more, nothing happens; and if it does, it will be populated into the new format UI fields.

Comments are closed.