5 WordPress Plugins to Maximize Gutenberg
Time is money, as they say, and struggling for hours to make a web page look right can genuinely affect the bottom line. This truth may have been one of the reasons so many WordPress users became irate with the rollout of Version 5.0 — Bebo, a/k/a Gutenberg. The traditional WordPress experience was upended overnight, requiring hours of trial and error to re-learn.
While developers introduced Gutenberg blocks to make WordPress easier, many users remain frustrated with the new format. The backend experience has undoubtedly improved over the last year, and many UX designers are beginning to appreciate the benefits of Gutenberg blocks.
These five WordPress plugins will help site designers — both new and experienced — enhance UX, boost productivity, and maximize the potential of Gutenberg blocks. Each of these plugins works seamlessly with our EasyWP managed WordPress hosting plans as well.
There are three prominent complaints when it comes to Gutenberg blocks:
- There aren’t enough types of Gutenberg blocks.
- Out-of-the-box Gutenberg blocks cannot be easily re-styled.
- Adjusting layouts is like playing Tetris Level 29.
Qubely, a plugin powered by Themeum, is a full-service Gutenberg block toolkit. You can quickly build pages and entire websites using Qubely using ready-made and customizable styling options. Qubely features include:
- Layout Builder – Allows you to create both simple and complex layouts quickly. You can even adjust the column size, a limitation of the standard Gutenberg editor. You’ll also have access to starter packs that operate a lot like traditional WordPress themes and help you create visual consistency throughout your site.
- Responsive Controls – Improve responsiveness with Qubely blocks by defining the breakpoint for various screens. You can even hide blocks on different devices as needed, depending on screen size and dimensions.
- Exclusive Gutenberg Blocks – With Qubely, you get a vast collection of unique blocks that are unavailable with standard WordPress. Quickly drop in a carousel of testimonials, pricing grids, and progress bars as needed.
Altogether, Qubely has over 150 predesigned sections for things like testimonials and contact forms. The pro version offers a feature called Interactions, which lets you add shifting effects and animations when a user scrolls or moves the cursor.
2. Meow Gallery
For websites geared toward showcasing photography, you’ll want to check out Meow Gallery. This WordPress plugin includes the Meow Gallery block, which helps you create and edit galleries directly within the WordPress editor.
There are six different layout options to choose from, allowing you to find the best framework to highlight your photographs. Meow Gallery is responsive, retina-friendly, and optimized for fast page-load speeds.
Meow Gallery relies heavily on CSS to maintain fast performance, allowing for a terrific balance of speed and visual quality.
3. Uix Shortcodes
For intermediate and advanced designers, Uix Shortcodes lets you quickly add the shortcode you need to get complete functionality from your website. More than 26 shortcodes are included with this plugin to work with content elements such as:
- features boxes
- responsive video
Uix Shortcodes is fully compatible with Gutenberg, and power users can fully customize the included stylesheets if needed. Alternately, there are several other plugins available if you need to create responsive tables.
4. Product Catalog
Many who have tried to build an e-commerce site in WordPress will agree; it takes some fine-tuning to get right. After all, WordPress is best-known as a way to publish text-based content and blog posts. However, it’s perfectly capable of handling high volume online stores, as well.
The Product Catalog plugin was designed to help e-commerce site display products to customers in a simple, accessible way. Three default catalog layouts are available, and all are fully customizable. Widgets are available to automatically show off new additions, categorized items, or even random products.
The Product Catalog plugin even comes with… you guessed it: a Gutenberg block!
5. Classic Editor
For those who just can’t seem to fully embrace Gutenberg blocks just yet, we’d like to present Classic Editor. Unlike some other plugins that entirely disable the Gutenberg editor, Classic Editor gives you complete access to the new features and blocks, but with the option for using the old-school interface as well.
Classic Editor adds the following functions, as well:
- Pick your editor of choice for each post
- Set a default editor of choice
- Ability to use older plugins not compatible with Gutenberg
One last word to the wise: at the most recent WordCamp US, Matt Mullenweg it made clear that Gutenberg is here to stay. Development of the WordPress block-style editor is full steam ahead, with hundreds of new blocks already in progress. While the Classic Editor may help you find your comfort zone, chances are it will only have support through 2022.
Therefore, you might try out these and other plugins specifically designed to enhance the Gutenberg experience. You might stumble across your new favorite WordPress trick and make your peace with Gutenberg.