Where Sports Bench and Gutenberg are

Where Sports Bench and Gutenberg are

Gutenberg has been a hot topic across the WordPress sphere for the past year-plus.

There’s been a lot of worry about how the new editor might break sites, and others aren’t fans of how it works or acts (plus accessibility concerns). And while I’m personally a fan of it, there are a lot of valid critiques of the new editor.

So if you’ve been worried about updating your site because you fear the update will break Sports Bench functionality, there’s good news: it won’t. Here’s how.


The plugin now has support for Gutenberg blocks. Each of the shortcodes previously included in Sports Bench have been changed to blocks that you can insert into your posts and pages.

Every block except the static ones have options that you can choose from in the block inspector controls over on the right hand column of the editor. They work similar to that of the shortcode controls, but quicker and better sorted, especially for games and players.

You won’t see how the block looks on the front end in the editor. You’ll see the title of the block and text saying what I just said. It still renders via PHP on the front end. I’m hoping to be able to add in that visual preview and more customizations down the road.

Please note that shortcodes previously used on your site will still work no matter what. They won’t be converted to blocks if you edit those posts yet (though I hope to include that in the next release), but the code will still run to display them on your site.


So the theme has full support for Gutenberg and the new blocks that come with it. You can use basically any block without fear of something going wrong or looking weird.

But where the new editor and the Sports Bench theme shine is the longform post template. Here, you can use the align wide and align full classes that are included in Gutenberg. This means you can push your images outside of the main content area or across the entire width of the page.

With the theme, you probably don’t need to worry about blocks for standings, stats, scoreboards, team or player pages, since those are already supported in the theme’s code.

So if you’ve been worried about updating to WordPress 5.0, don’t be … at least from a Sports Bench perspective. Everything is ready for the Gutenberg editor. And there’s still a lot more to come. It’s an exciting time.