After being involved in web design for almost 19 years now, there are grinding days where nothing feels fresh. However, there are also moments where you look at another web developer’s approach to problems and feel like there is a whole world of possibilities that you have yet to step into. And, it is rarely something complicated. The best developers make it look simple, and Rich Tabor’s Wabi is dotted with those little tricks that make poring over WordPress block theme code feel exciting again.
Earlier today, the WordPress theme directory hit 50 block themes. However, I was more interested in what was waiting in the review queue. Tabor had submitted his project less than 24 hours before, but I spun it up anyway. I had to see what one of the more prolific writers on block theme development had built. While he had contributed to GoDaddy’s Go theme before taking a job with Extendify, this was the first theme submission from his personal account.
I love diving into themes where I can learn something. That is the best way that I can describe Wabi.
It is primarily geared toward bloggers and writers. It features the type of design those who want nothing to overpower their content would appreciate. However, it has enough whimsy thrown in to not be an entirely boring black-and-white affair.
One of Wabi’s unique features is its per-post accent color selector. The control is located under the “Status & Visibility” panel in the post sidebar and allows users to select from the theme’s color palette. This accent is primarily used for the background behind the header and post title area. However, it is sprinkled around various other elements and blocks.
Selecting a post accent color.
A nice touch Tabor added to the global styles’ color palette was a custom background for the accent color. Instead of showing a solid-colored circle, it is a conic gradient of all the available variations.
Accent color wheel in the palette.
This detail might seem insignificant, but it is a visual cue that this particular color is different than the others. Users can still edit it to set the default, but they can also override it on a per-post basis.
In a post on creating a custom block style earlier this week, I said the feature was underutilized when building WordPress themes. Many were not pushing it forward with unique design variations for users. Wabi includes a little over a dozen custom styles, but I have not seen any like those it offers for Image and Video blocks.
The theme registers Bottom Right, Bottom Left, and Center styles. Each changes the position of the image within its