Automattic Theme Team Releases a Plugin To Build Blockbase Child Themes

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On Wednesday, Ben Dwyer announced a new block-based plugin on the Theme Shaper blog. The Automattic Theme Team had built a child theme creator for its Blockbase WordPress parent theme.

Blockbase has quickly started filling the role of Underscores, a starter that many developers used to create custom themes in the classic era. For block templating and global styles, something fresh was needed. It is both a launchpad and educational tool for theme authors who want to test the block theme waters.

The approach is different now than in the past. Instead of using Blockbase as a customizable starting point, which is still a valid use case, the Automattic Theme Team is leaning far more heavily into child theming. It is a single parent to raise a legion of children, and the family has grown at a rapid pace. Since releasing Blockbase on WordPress.org, the team has already launched five child themes for it. Their themes repo on GitHub shows several others in progress.

With the talent in the team’s arsenal and the Create Blockbase Theme plugin at hand, they could spit out design after design after design. Of course, the child themes might begin to lose some of their flavor if the team moved too fast.

Dwyer created a custom theme called Typewriter, which is downloadable via the announcement post. For my test, I did not go quite as far with customization and relied on one of the pre-existing color schemes from Blockbase.

Screenshot of a dark design with a light blue text for a blog.

I primarily wanted to get a feel for how the tool worked. After a bit of tinkering, I had something that still felt much like its parent


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