Blog Post

Legacy widgets in Gutenberg Widgets Panel

Since WordPress 5.8, the Widgets panel has been replaced with new Blocks Based Widgets Panel. WordPress includes a universal Legacy Widget Block that can wrap the normal/legacy widgets for use inside the block editor.

And, even now, with WordPress 6.0, that Legacy Widget and new Blocks Widgets panel are full of bugs, and they clearly can’t handle many widgets out there (and thousands of plugins contain widgets). The best way to properly support legacy widgets is to disable the Blocks Widgets Panel and go back to the Classic Widgets with the help of the plugin or some custom code to disable it.

When it comes to Dev4Press plugins with widgets, our plugins do support the Block Widgets Panel to an extent, but some widgets do have some errors from time to time, and some will not work at all. Some of the issues are directly related to the way Block Widgets works. I opened the bug report for some issues related to saving widgets settings when WordPress 5.8 was released, and since then, these issues have not been fixed. Some issues are related to how some of the widgets are working and how they are handling data, but that is not easy to change because that would be breaking changes for all the websites that use it.

But, in recent weeks, I have been working on the new GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 7.0 plugin, which has several widgets, some of which were broken entirely in the Blocks Widgets Panel. So, this was the chance to revisit how the widgets work and make them compatible with Classic and Blocks Widgets Panels.

Updated widgets to work with Blocks Widgets Panel

The progress so far has been good, and with some tweaks to the underlying Widget class my plugin uses, I managed to resolve some issues and make the widgets (mostly) work. A few things can’t be made to work: drag-drop of the items for some widgets is not working (I hope to resolve that soon), and there are still some saving issues that can’t be solved because they are broken in WordPress.

GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 7.0 will be released in about three weeks, and after that, all other plugins will be updated with the new shared library and new widgets code. Until that happens, I still recommend using Classic Widgets. And even after Dev4Press plugins get updated, I am sure many more plugins have widgets that are broken in Blocks Widgets Panel. Hopefully, WordPress will have better Legacy Widget implementation to account for more unusual widgets.

More information about the update process will be coming soon.

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About the author

Milan Petrovic
Milan Petrovic

CEO and Lead developer of Dev4Press Web Development company, working with WordPress since 2008, first as a freelancer, later founding own development company. Author of more than 250 plugins and more than 20 themes.

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