WordPress Gutenberg Blocks and How to Use them

WordPress Gutenberg Blocks and How to use them

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg c. 1400 – February 3, 1468) was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with the printing press. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history.


Having studied the new WordPress Gutenberg editor in detail I have now decided I love it.  I cannot think what all of the fuss was about or why there was so much opposition to it.  It brings some great new editing capabilities that people have never had before and it is a winner for me!

Some people might wonder why WordPress has done this?   Well I guess that if you just write a few paragraphs and are happy with a standard look then that is great and you probably don’t need blocks.  Having said that, if you wanted to add a table or an attractive image link everything is now possible.  If you want to get even more adventurous with layout and colours you will very quickly see why blocks are for you.  Also it makes it so much easier to add things like Video, Audio and even buttons – all of which were probably a bit of a challenge previously.

Writing with blocks is not actually that difficult.   For those who don’t like it you can always insert a classic editor block and work away as normal. 

For those who want to embrace the new WordPress editor, here are all of the block options so far and the ones you are most likely to use…

Common Blocks

These are mostly self-explanatory and standard apart from Soliloquy, which is a an image gallery I use in my websites.  Soliloquy is a slider gallery, this is an example of a top quality plugin developer creating their own block for the editor.

Common WordPress Blocks

Some of the blocks have a few settings whilst others are very simple and have no settings.  The audio, file and video are upload blocks and don’t have settings.  The list is a bullet point list, so no settings apart from the ability change it to a numbered list.

Here are some examples of the Common Blocks that have more settings…

Layout Blocks

Layout Elements

There are a couple of really exciting blocks here, which will certainly put a smile on some faces.  The media and text block, to give a perfect layout for image and text side by side.  Then the columns block to make your text look a bit more interesting.

The page break is self-explanatory – to enable you to split your post into pages.  The More link is the standard WordPress break that allows you to create an excerpt for your post with a link to read the full text.

Again, most of the Layout Blocks have a few settings that need a little more detailed explanation …

Widget Blocks

Widget Blocks

There are some pretty good things here too.  It has always been a bit of a struggle to display comments anywhere else or to just randomly add a list of categories for people to click but here it is all done in blocks.

There are bound to be loads more widgets available here in the future.  Anything from galleries to product carousels, from Google maps to shopping carts.

Embedding Blocks

Blocks for Embedding Content

The Embed blocks don’t really have any settings.  You are provided with a box in which to paste the URL of the video or post you wish to embed and that is all you need to do.  Embeds have been very easy in WordPress for a long time – these are examples of some of the most popular …

Formatting Blocks

Formatting Blocks

Classic Editor

The first I am going to cover here is the classic editor.  This creates a block that gives you the original WordPress editing experience.  I have been using a mixture whilst writing this post but I have found that the classic editor has come in very handy at times.

You can see you have the usual editing bar at the top and it does not have any other settings.

Code Blocks

There are three blocks here CODE, CUSTOM HTML AND PREFORMATTED.  These are really reserved for folks who know how to write and embed HTML. 

Next we have the rest of the very useful blocks in this category.

So there we have it

So there you go the standard WordPress Gutenberg blocks and how to use them.  There are some absolutely fantastic blocks in here, some really welcome additions.  It’s going to take a little time to get used to but once you do I am sure you will have a lot of fun with it.

There will be a myriad of plugins offering all kinds of new and exciting blocks in the future, some will be very sophisticated I am sure.

All in all I am loving the new Gutenberg editor – well done WordPress!

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