A Comprehensive Guide to Block Patterns in WordPress

March 17, 2024
Posted by
Andrew Pottruff
A Comprehensive Guide to Block Patterns in WordPress

TL;DR: Block patterns are reusable blocks that help you quickly insert pre-designed sections. This guide explains how to use, make, and customize patterns.

Using Block Patterns

WordPress includes a set of default block patterns to choose from. To use them, simply click the '+' icon while editing a post or page. This will open the pattern inserter. Browse and select a pattern like Columns, Media & Text, etc.

The pattern will be inserted into your content. You can then modify it by adding your own text, images, changing colors, etc. Using patterns can save a ton of time compared to building sections from scratch.

Some key pointers when using block patterns:

  • Modify the sample content to fit your needs while preserving the design.
  • Patterns work well for reusable sections like headers, footers, testimonials, etc.
  • You can use patterns multiple times across different pages.
  • Ensure any linked images work or replace them with your own.
  • Review patterns for accessibility and make any needed tweaks.

Creating Custom Block Patterns

In addition to default patterns, you can also create your own for reuse. Here's how to develop custom block patterns in WordPress:

First, register a new pattern category via theme code (see documentation). This organizes your patterns.

Next, build your pattern layout using blocks in the editor. Make sure to replace any placeholder content with sample text/images.

Once your pattern design is complete, convert it to a reusable block from the block settings. Then register it using code (see docs).

Some best practices for pattern design include:

  • Use real content, don't leave placeholders.
  • Design for flexibility by avoiding too much custom styling.
  • Check that columns/sections align well when used.
  • Test pattern insertion in various contexts.
  • Ensure accessibility with ARIA roles, labels, etc.

Custom patterns help enforce consistency and bring your brand style to posts and pages. Take the time to create effective patterns for your site.

Managing and Customizing Patterns

By default, all registered patterns will appear in the inserter. But you can control visibility by adding a 'keywords' array when registering the pattern (see docs).

Additional customization options include:

  • Arrange patterns into categories to organize them.
  • Adjust pattern padding, colors, etc. via block settings.
  • Hide the title when inserting a pattern.
  • Change auto-generated pattern names.
  • Manage allowed block types for locking down patterns.

It's also important to consider design and UX when creating patterns. For example:

  • Ensure proper padding/whitespace between sections.
  • Use color to distinguish between patterns.
  • Create symmetry and alignment between columns.
  • Accommodate different screen sizes and breakpoints.

Optimized block patterns result in a better editing and visitor experience.


In summary, block patterns are an incredibly useful feature in WordPress. They allow you to quickly insert and reuse common layouts like headers, blogs, testimonials, and more.

This guide covered how to effectively use, create, and customize patterns to enhance your site's design. With some strategic planning and development, they can help speed up your workflows and bring consistent design to your content.

So leverage block patterns where possible, and watch your site come together faster than ever!