Here at Five More Talents, we don’t just build cool websites (though we do that, too). We also train you to make and keep your own website awesome.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the WordPress Block Editor? And don’t want to use it because it’s too intimidating. Or too new. Or you did try, and ended up wanting to pull your hair out. Never fear. Five More Talents is here to introduce you to the Block Editor.

But Why?

Why try the Block Editor? Two reasons: 1. It’s a cool tool. 2. Support for the Classic Editor will end.

First, the block editor allows striking design layouts previously unattainable with the classic editor… unless you write code. A good website does so much more than throw information at people’s eyeballs. Instead, like a gracious host, it attends to guests’ needs, offering a pleasing experience during each site visit. Block editor is your tool to accomplish that. It may not endow you with limitless webmaster superpowers, but it does equip you to build better with less effort.

Second, support for the classic editor is time limited. Okay, most things are time limited, but support for classic editor will continue as long as it’s “necessary.” Which means its exit date may be within a year. Already, if you install a blank new WordPress site today, it no longer includes classic editor. Block editor is the current default.

Block editor is potent now, and its development continues. WordPress is working in the direction of offering full site editing via blocks, replacing widget-based headers and footers. Additionally, block-based themes will become available.

Getting Started

Convinced to give it a try? Good. Here’s an example of a layout possible through the block editor.

An image-rich display like this draws readers’ interest more than a black-and-white list. You can learn how to create your own clickable image grid in a few minutes in our webinar.

Is installing and using the Block Editor simple? Well, prerequisites exist:

  • WordPress 5.x
  • Classic Editor plugin settings
  • WordPress theme compatibility

Your WordPress theme may or may not accommodate the block editor. And depending on the classic editor’s settings, you might have to adjust the settings or remove the plugin completely to proceed.

Here’s an example what a page looks like in the block editor…

  1. Add a new block to the page… paragraph, quote, image, button… lots of fun stuff.
  2. A menu, or table of contents, showing you all the blocks available to you.
  3. The gear controls the settings of whichever block you have selected.
  4. A toggle between page-level settings and block-level settings.
  5. An individual block… click on it and a block-specific menu appears.
  6. Preview what you just built, before you publish it!

Working Smarter with Block Editor

Block editor comes with several features for working more efficiently. (Yeehaw!) Block editor plugins are one easy way. Many plugins already exist for the block editor. It’s true, every plugin will make your site a little bit slower, but they offer better functionality in return. Five More Talents has found Ultimate Gutenberg and Kadence effective options. Both plugins come with a wealth of pre-built block styles, saving you time while web-building. They have many users and are well-maintained.

A word of caution on plugins: sometimes they disagree. Also, if you build everything using one plugin and need to uninstall it later, everything built with it would break.

Block Patterns can also save you time. Click on the plus sign in the top left to add an element to your page, as usual… Instead of selecting Blocks, select Patterns. You might find a preset option for what you’re looking to build. Two buttons or three? What about a text quote? It’s easy to add and edit, which can go faster than building from scratch every time.

Reusable Blocks are just what they sound like. If you create a block layout you particularly fancy, either from scratch or from an edited block pattern, and you want to use somewhere else, you can save it. Select your chosen block, click the three little dots to open the menu, and add it to your personal collection. Once you’ve saved a block as Reusable, you can use it on any page you please.

One tip: If you insert a Reusable Block and begin editing it directly, you’ll be editing the layout for EVERY time you’ve used it… on your current page and all others. If that’s what you want to do, great. If not, then just convert the block into a regular one. Select the block and click the overlapping blue squares, like this:

Once you click “Convert to regular blocks,” you can edit that unit individually.

So there’s your introduction! For a more detailed walkthrough, make sure to watch our webinar. What do you want to build first?

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