90 – Gutenberg – Let’s have a Block Party with Eric Debelak

In this episode:

Discussion – Do we need to project a personal image? (Does my WordCamp T-shirt say it all) – [4:13]

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Interview – Gutenberg – Let’s have a Block Party with Eric Debelak – [21:09]

Ending Fact – Stop eating my brains! – [59:39]

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This week we have Eric Debelak on the podcast talking about… what else… Gutenberg! I wonder if we’ll ever talk about something else!

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Eric is a bit of a fan of Gutenberg. So much so in fact that he’s spent quite a bit of time working on a project specifically for Gutenberg. It’s called WPBlocks.Party and you can find it here.

If you did not already know, Gutenberg takes the approach that all the things on the page are blocks. A block for this and a block for that. Perhaps you write quite a bit? Well, your text will go in a text block! Want to put an image next to that text, guess what? You’re going to need an image block! Videos go in the video block and so on and so on!

Seeing as how the WordPress community is full of clever people, those same clever people (like Eric) decided that it would be very nice to have more than just the standard set of blocks that Gutenberg comes with. We need more than just text and images and videos in a modern platform don’t we?

Well, WPBlocks.Party allows you to have more blocks, lots more blocks in fact. In the podcast Eric talks about the 12 different blocks that you get, pricing tables, accordians, charts, statistics, data visualisation etc. He speaks about all of these blocks in great detail, but just the other day he reached out to me to say that he’s had a re-think about the way that they offer the blocks. When we recorded the podcast, all of the blocks were in the packages that are for sale on the website – that was fine! Now however, they’ve decided that they’re going to put most of the blocks into a free version of the plugin on the WordPress.org repo and keep the data visualisation blocks in the premium offering. Keep this in mind as you listen to this episode. Things are moving fast right now with Gutenberg and it’s nice to see that they are offering a plethora of their work for free in the repo! I’m not even sure if the repo version of plugin is available yet, but … keep the faith, it’s coming.

All of this is still very new and I expect that for many of you, Gutenberg blocks might be something that you’ve yet to experiment with. Whether you like it or not, as of the time of writing, Gutenberg is a fact of WordPress 5.0 and so this new approach to content creation is going to happen. If you’ve used a page builder then you’ll be familiar with this idea and hopefully can see the benefit of blocks. Someone else can do the hard work of coding up the blocks that you need and provide them to you as little add-ons for Gutenberg. No more themes bloated out with possibilities that you don’t need. From now on, it’ll be… have a WordPress content problem? Go find a block that’ll solve that problem.

As I said, the developments with Gutenberg have altered WPBlock.Party since we recorded the podcast, but that does not alter the fact that you can see where this project is headed and there’s certainly value in the premium data visualisation options that they present here.

Lovely to see people looking at Gutenberg with fresh eyes and making things to make your life easier!

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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