UPDATE: Using Gutenberg Plugins To Extend What Gutenberg Does By Default

I happily write about and teach people WordPress.

Note: I’ve updated this post as so much has changed since I wrote about Gutenberg Plugins in November 2018.

In early December 2018 WordPress 5.0 was released. With it came the new editor, Gutenberg. It forever replaced the tinyMCE (now called Classic Editor) that worked a lot like a word processor.

Gutenberg is a block editing system. It’s something you may have seen with CMS (Content Management Systems) like WIX, MailChimp, and others. Each element (such as a paragraph, heading and sub head, media, and other content types) is created by inserting a block into a page or post.

There’s a finite number of blocks. By default, WordPress packs about 40 blocks into the Gutenberg editor. Many of these are repetitive or at least seem so. And you’ll probably never use many of these Gutenblocks.

Here’s The Problem

No doubt you’ll need blocks that don’t come with Gutenberg out of the box. Blocks that add Calls To Action, Testimonials, Pricing Tables, Accordions, and so many other content types which are not part of Gutenberg.

What are you going to do?

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Enter Gutenberg Plugins

It’s still early in the evolution of Gutenblocks made by third party developers. Here are a few that show promise.

Some of these plugins are in their infancy and they’re sort of beta-ish. This means I suggest you give them a thorough look before using any of them on your live site. Most of these plugins have markedly improved since I first saw them in 2018.

Most – if not all of these plugins – are available at the WordPress Plugins Repo or from the developer’s plugin site.

Here they are in the order in which I presented them during my talk at WordCamp Montclair 2019.

I’ve divided my list into 3 parts:

  1. UI Blocks
  2. Design Blocks
  3. DYI Blocks

New to the list are Ghost Kit, Kadence and Lazy Blocks all detailed below. Keep reading to see which plugins I removed.

UI Blocks

Here are the User Interface blocks I demonstrated. Some of these could have been classified as Design Blocks but these blocks focus on inserting new content types that are not part of the default Gutenberg editor.

Ultimate Blocks

Ultimate Block Screenshot of Toggle Switches
This plugin has a few block types that I found pretty unique such as a Progress Bar, a Feature Box, and a Tab block.

Don’t get fooled by the name. It is not the same plugin as Ultimate AddOns For Gutenberg.

Here’s where to get Ultimate Blocks

Blocks Demoed At WC Montclair: Countdown and Table Of Contents


Atomic Blocks – Gutenberg Blocks Collection

Page Building Blocks for The Gutenberg Editor

This one’s actually been around for a very long time – if you consider a year and a half a very long time. It’s now owned by StudioPress (Genesis). It boasts 10,000 active installs which is a decent number in this new plugin genre.

Here are the blocks you get with the current versions of this plugin.

Get “Atomic Blocks – Gutenberg Blocks Collection” in the WordPress plugins repository.

Block Demoed At WC Montclair: Accordion


Stackable Gutenberg Blocks

Reimagine the way you use the WordPress Block Edito

This is similar to what Atomic Blocks does but it offers a different set of Gutenblocks.

Here are demos of the types of blocks currently available by the Stackable plugin:

Get the Stackable plugin.

Block Demoed At WC Montclair: Video Popup


Ghost Kit

Ghost kit WordPress plugin logo

Best way to describe Ghost Kit comes from the WordPress Repo.

“Ghost Kit is a blocks collection, powerful extensions and templates for Gutenberg block editor. With this collection, you will gain more control over content just like with popular page builders. Just start with responsive Grid block and you can’t stop building the page.”

Get Ghost Kitt

Block Demoed At WC Montclair: Carousel

Design Blocks

For my demonstrations of design features I chose these Gutenberg plugins. To be sure these plugins also have UI blocks as well.

Some of these plugins are being used to create templates which is the future of Gutenberg’s development.

Ultimate Addons For Gutenberg

Supercharge Gutenberg with Ultimate Block Library

This one maybe the newest kid on the block (pun intended) and it has great potential.

It currently packs 17 advanced blocks in the Gutenberg inserter. (That’s where the blocks are located.)

The one I like the best is the Advanced Columns block. Whereas the default columns block is very limited, this block gives far greater control over layout options such as the width of and space between columns, the ability to add background color, and a border around a column.

Get Ultimate AddOns For Gutenberg plugin.

Block Demoed At WC Montclair: Price List and Advanced Columns


Page Builder Gutenberg Blocks – CoBlocks

CoBlocks

This plugin presently packs 16 blocks, some of which are very cool and useful. There’s a pricing table, accordion and a row block to name a few that got my attention. The latter provides options to set margin, padding and gutter dimensions which you can’t do with the standard column block.

The show stopper is the shape divider block. Rather than use an image or a horizontal rule to separate content chunks, the shape divider is SVG put to great use. Changing shape styles, size and color is easy. Fun too!

Get Page Builder Gutenberg Blocks – CoBlocks

Block Demoed At WC Montclair: Shape Divider


Kadence

Kadence WordPress plugin logo

Like many of these plugins Kadence is an
embryonic page builder that augments Gutenberg.

Here are the blocks that come with .

 

 

Block Demoed At WC Montclair: Row Layout


ThemeZee – Magazine Blocks

Magazine Blocks

Want to change your boring blog archive page into a magazine style blog?

The Magazine Block adds these blocks to Gutenberg:

  • Magazine Grid
  • Magazine List
  • Magazine Columns
  • Magazine Horizontal
  • Magazine Vertical

This really opens up the possibilities on how to style your blog.

Download the “Magazine Blocks” plugin from wordpress.org.

DIY Blocks

An exploding sub-category of Gutenberg Plugins lets you do it yourself – or as much of block building as you’re comfortable doing.

Both of these plugins are not really block building from scratch. But both let you build block interfaces that make templating much easier. If you are familiar with Advanced Custom Fields plugin (which recently announced features similar to the two blocks below) as a part of the premium version of the ACF plugin you will better understand how these two plugins work.

For more information on rolling your own blocks see “Block building without JavaScript: Testing ACF, Block Lab, and Lazy Blocks” by my friend Birgit Pauli-Haack who is the curator of Gutenberg Times, the best way to keep up with the ever changing Gutenberg universe.

Bock Lab

Block Lab

This one is the most compelling to me. It offers the most flexibility as it gives you the ability to create a block that you might not be able to get with any plugin.

You need to do a little code work, but it’s hardly heavy lifting. Have a look at this video and you’ll see how it works.

Get the Block Lab plugin.

Demoed At WC Montclair: Building A Membership Template


Lazy Blocks

Lazy Block WordPress plugin

This plugin, aptly named, is similar to Block Labs but defers in that there are fewer coding steps involved, hence the name.

Get Lazy Blocks.

Demoed At WC Montclair: Building A Travel Itinerary Template

Plugins Removed From My November 2018 Post

Gutenberg Cloud Block

Gutenberg Cloud Block

This was one of my favorites because it works as a platform by which many developers can add blocks to a common library that users can access.

Having said that, I’m a little disappointed to see there are still just a few blocks in this plugin.

The way this works is so WordPressy. Just install the Cloud Blocks and you’ll see it works just like adding themes and plugins to your site.

Reason For Removal: This plugin was gone no where. Too bad. Great concept.


Disable Gutenberg Blocks – Block Manager

screenshot of disable gutenberg blocks

WOW! After telling you about all those new plugins with their new blocks you’re going to end up with Gutenbloat!

Chances are you’ll be installing plugins that feature blocks you’ll never use nor want to see.

Suppose you install a plugin that has one great block and nine you’ll never use.

A great way to disable those blocks is with this plugin.

Starting managing your blocks with Disable Gutenberg Blocks – Block Manager

Reason For Removal: No longer needed. Gutenberg now comes with a Block Manager to turn off blocks you no won’t need or use.

It’s A Whole New Ballgame

As the Gutenberg era begins there will be big winners and losers. The winners will be developers that see Gutenberg as a disrupter providing an opportunity to create plugins that will make Gutenberg a tool that customizes to users’ needs.

Many of these plugins have released – or will certainly plan on it – a premium version.

While this is a golden opportunity for plugin developers to create all sorts of Gutenblocks, not all of what they create will succeed. WordPress users, like you and me, will determine that.

6 thoughts on “UPDATE: Using Gutenberg Plugins To Extend What Gutenberg Does By Default”

    • There was a fall back date for Jan but I don’t know if that will hold or it will be released sooner. I can’t imagine they’d release hear the Holidays.

      Reply
  1. Great Info, Bud. I’ve been Atomic Blocks for quite a while and like their selection.
    I just installed “Premium Blocks for Gutenberg” and I really like this plugin.
    I am huge fan of Gutenberg!
    Thanks!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

6 thoughts on “UPDATE: Using Gutenberg Plugins To Extend What Gutenberg Does By Default”

    • There was a fall back date for Jan but I don’t know if that will hold or it will be released sooner. I can’t imagine they’d release hear the Holidays.

      Reply
  1. Great Info, Bud. I’ve been Atomic Blocks for quite a while and like their selection.
    I just installed “Premium Blocks for Gutenberg” and I really like this plugin.
    I am huge fan of Gutenberg!
    Thanks!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

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