Announcing Largo 0.6.1

WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg editor present a perfect opportunity to incorporate new best practices from the WordPress industry in our work. With a more streamlined end-user experience, individual organizations will be empowered to truly make their Largo sites their own. But we're also invested in making the developer experience easier.

The Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0 brings full-width images, columns, easier creation of pull quotes and calls to action, and reusable chunks of content that can be embedded in many posts.

As an example, here's a "wide" block containing a quiz that NPR built to show off the Pym.js library, embedded using our Pym.js Embeds plugin:

A column of equal-width paragraph blocks is interrupted by a quiz that's wider than the block.
NPR's quiz demo is embedded on a demonstration website, set to be wider than the main content column.

This rich content presentation is enabled by the block UI in Gutenberg. It doesn't depend on arcane shortcodes or handwritten HTML.

A screenshot of the editor, showing the Pym.js Embeds block used in the previous screenshot.
This is what the Gutenberg editor looks like, when editing the post from the previous screenshot. Note that the embed was created with a single input field for the embed's URL.

Gutenberg brings WordPress one step closer to a true "what you see in the editor is what your story looks like online" interface.

As part of our mission at INN Labs to build the future of independent news, we want to enable newsrooms to use Gutenberg's features to improve their web product. We're excited to announce that we've begun to do this with the latest release of our WordPress theme, Largo version 0.6.1.

What's new?

Since Largo, we've:

  • Added Gutenberg support, with styles for many default blocks and support for wide-width and full-width blocks. These new width options let you present images and embeds using layouts that normally required custom coding.
  • Improved support for WordPress' static front page feature, so if you want to use a page builder to lay out your homepage, you can. We still support Largo's existing homepage layouts.
  • Declared theme support for WordPress' title tag feature, and improved support for the Yoast SEO plugin's Open Graph and social media tags. No longer will you need worry about duplicate meta and title tags.
  • Removed the outdated list of recommended plugins. We'll be bringing this list back in an updated form on an INN website near you, so stay tuned.
  • Removed some default Google Analytics tags, to protect your readers' privacy.
  • Removed the INN Member RSS widget, which drew from an RSS feed that is no longer maintained, and was causing errors on some sites.
  • Lessened the weight of the homepage stylesheets.
  • Expanded unit test coverage.
  • Made sure that all assets are enqueued with cache-busting version numbers for faster, less-cachey updates.
  • Removed many deprecated functions and uninitialized variables, and generally cleaned up and sanitized our code. Particular thanks go to Mike Schinkel for his work on pull request #1469 at WordCamp for Publishers 2017's Contributor Day.
  • Upgraded links in documentation from HTTP to HTTPS where possible, and fixed a number of broken links, thanks to GitHub user fenriz07 and their work in PR #1541.

If you're going to update your own site, we have instructions for that.

What's next for Largo?

In general, we'll continue to improve Largo's browser performance and we'll improve Largo's compatibility with Gutenberg as it matures in Phase 2. This includes making Largo's built-in widgets available as blocks and generally provide more customizability. When WordPress supports it, we'll add PHP 7.3 support to Largo, as WordPress updates its minimum required PHP versions.

We want to know what you think will make Largo better. Would you like to see a different approach to menus in Largo? A completely blank single-column post template that allows moving the featured media and title from the top of the page? Improved support for a particular functionality? Send us an email with your ideas.

Plugins, too!

We're also updating our plugins to support Gutenberg. The Super Cool Ad Inserter Plugin, the Super Cool Ad Manager Plugin, and Pym.js Embeds all currently support Gutenberg. The full list of our plugins is here and here. If you use any of our plugins and have ideas for how they could be improved, please let us know!

Note: The INN Labs team will be on break from December 21, 2018 to January 2, 2019. We'll be checking our inboxes for emergency support tickets, but may not get to other items until after New Year's Day.