There’s a saying “If you build it, they will come”. While it doesn’t apply to everything, I certainly see the truth when it comes to the WordPress Gutenberg editor. Before, my articles used to be mainly ordinary text with some images. Now with Gutenberg, it’s full of lists, quotes, and other advanced layouts. It’s completely changed the way I write. But now that I see the light, Gutenberg can be almost too limiting. It’s not powerful enough to create some of the more advanced layouts. And to solve that problem, we have the GenerateBlocks plugin.
Written by the Creator of the GeneratePress Theme
The GeneratePress WordPress theme has been garnering a lot of attention because it’s lightweight, has a ton of options, and adheres to the latest coding standards. For some legacy reasons, I can’t switch my main site over to it right now, but for all new sites, I highly recommend it. The author of the theme is Tom Usborne, and he’s generated a lot of trust in the community for his work on GeneratePress.
His plugin GenerateBlocks, which works with all WordPress themes takes block building to the next level. In a way, it raises the question of whether we need page builders at all. The layout tools are so powerful, they could replace them entirely.
Creating a Layout with GenerateBlocks
It’s hard to explain everything about GenerateBlocks, so I’ll just show this as an example of a layout I created in a few minutes just now:
As you can see, the above layout consists of a few sections that would be impossible to create with any in-built block in Gutenberg. The closest that comes is the “Columns” block, but that only lets you create two columns side by side. In the above screenshot, I have a second horizontal “grid” in the bottom half of the second column. Moreover, this entire layout is responsive and can adapt flawlessly to a tablet or a mobile screen.
The GenerateBlocks plugin comes with the following 5 blocks:
Out of these, the “Container” block is the one you’ll be using the most.
Huge Number of Layout Options
A highlight of the GenerateBlocks plugin is the massive amount of customization available for each block. Here’s a screenshot of what’s possible with the “Grid” block:
My screen isn’t large enough to show the full range of options. Each of the above sections can be expanded, and you can change everything from the alignment to the padding, to the flex number.
A Great Button Builder
These layouts are great for crafting a call-to-action, and a key component of any CTA is the button. GenerateBlocks has a fully-featured button editor so you can create all kinds of buttons based on your background, the size of your layout, and the position of the elements.
A Battle Between Blocks and Page Builders
As Gutenberg blocks become more powerful, there’s less of a need for dedicated page builders. So far, blocks can’t change the appearance of site-wide items like the navigation bar, or the sidebars, but that might change with full site editing in WordPress version 5.9. WordPress is finally breaking free of its blogging roots and content-focused structure to become a complete website builder. And whatever WordPress leaves in the gaps can be picked up by plugins like GenerateBlocks.
GenerateBlocks Pro Lets you Do More
The Pro version of GenerateBlocks adds a lot more features – particularly the ability to copy and paste styles so that you don’t have to redo a whole layout from scratch. It also comes with a bunch of professionally designed layouts so that you don’t need to re-invent the wheel. You don’t need to buy the pro version though. The free version is so good, it should cover most needs!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!