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WordPress Pattern Directory Updated to Show Curated Patterns by Default

If you haven’t visited the WordPress Pattern Directory lately, it may look very different from when it launched two years ago. At first there was an emphasis on getting the community to contribute to the resource but the directory has now passed more than 1,500 patterns.

Contributors are making changes to provide a more curated experience ahead of the inclusion of a new Pattern Directory Explorer that is still in progress. A recent update to the Pattern Directory alters the homepage and category pages to show curated patterns by default, a change that has been a bit confusing for some when returning to the directory.

The curated patterns are those by – the core bundled patterns. Community-contributed patterns are available as a filter in the dropdown of the directory’s menu.

There are only 46 core patterns, so some category pages tend to look a little sparse and far less colorful than when community patterns are selected. At the moment, having curated patterns display by default does not offer the best experience for users coming to browse, as Pootlepress founder Jamie Marsland pointed out on Twitter. Automattic-sponsored contributor Rich Tabor responded that there is still more work to be done on providing a better curated experience in the Pattern Directory.

“This change also prepares to support the Pattern Explorer in the editor,” Automattic-sponsored contributor Kelly Choyce-Dwan said in the announcement. “It’s still in progress, but it will be possible to search through community-submitted patterns directly from the editor.”

Choyce-Dwan referenced an effort that is currently underway to bring a new flyout to the patterns tab of the inserter inside WordPress, making the modal a place where users can more easily explore and access patterns from the directory.

There are also related discussions on how themes could create pattern bundles, enabling the possibility of users filtering by theme. In this discussion, Automattic-sponsored contributor Anne McCarthy suggested these pattern bundles could be automatically submitted to the directory upon the theme’s approval, which would make it effortless for theme authors to contribute them.

Updates to the Pattern Directory’s filtering are part of the redesign work on and more discussions are happening on the Pattern Directory GitHub repository.