Scenarios Where the WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor Replaces Custom Code

Extensibility has always been one of the strengths of WordPress. If there’s something your CMS doesn’t do out of the box, you can write code or install a plugin to enable it.

Thus, building websites with WordPress usually means adding at least some custom code along the way. Whether it’s creating a one-off page template or putting a navigation menu in just the right place, there are plenty of opportunities for improvement.

However, developers may not need to run this code editor very often these days. Slowly but surely, the Gutenberg block editor is changing the way websites are customized. The result is an increasingly code-free experience.

Here’s a look at some of the scenarios where blocks can replace custom coding and speed up development.

Content Layouts

One of Gutenberg’s main features is the ability to create advanced content layouts. Perhaps more than anything else, it is what sets the block editor apart from the word processor-like experience of the classic editor.

Sure, it was theoretically possible to create a layout in the classic editor. But it required some custom HTML and CSS and accepting the possibility of this code being erased by an unsuspecting customer. In short, you will need to create a custom theme template or use a page builder plugin.

These days, you can achieve almost any type of layout with a default WordPress installation. For example, block columns allow builders to set up a multi-column layout with just a few clicks. You can even choose to view the content if you like.

If you are looking for something more complex, then block patterns save a lot of time. These preset layouts can transform any page into a more engaging visual experience. Even better, it requires little effort to implement.

Add a WordPress template style to the page.

wordpress post inquiries

The ability to list posts without code has been part of the WordPress core for years via the Recent Posts tool. But there were some important limitations.

Previously, it was only possible to display the widget within the specific sidebar sites of your theme. Additionally, there weren’t a lot of options for configuring what posts to display or how they look.

To accomplish something more advanced, it requires writing a custom WordPress post query in the theme template. From there, CSS and HTML will be necessary to craft the desired layout. The process can take a long time.

Enter the Query Loop block. It allows you to place a list of posts almost anywhere you want with the ability to filter by different criteria.

The look and layout can also be modified directly within the editor. Choose how many posts to display, a portrait or portrait layout, and whether you want to show extras like featured images and snippets.

List blog posts with the WordPress Post Query Block.

theme templates

The days of hacking through various theme templates may be over. This is if your template is FSE compliant.

Instead of unpacking via PHP and HTML, the feature allows customizing theme templates directly via the block editor. The look of your site’s header and footer, pages, published archives, and individual posts are all fair game.

Although there are some inherent risks (think of a client who decides to be “creative” and throws away a carefully designed layout), it makes adjustments a breeze. Changing the contents of a template or even adding functionality becomes a visual experience.

In addition, all blocks are available for use in your templates. This includes finer details such as site navigation, search bars, and login forms.

Change Website Header with WordPress Full Site Editing.

Various design elements

The classic editor was not well suited to the design elements. If you want the post to consist of more than text and images, a theme-specific plugin or functionality will be required. Usually this experience is heavy.

Short codes, for example, are often used as a universal remedy. It works well enough on the front end but doesn’t represent the element at all within the editor itself.

Fortunately, the blocks leave all the hacks behind. It provides an easy way to add and customize a large number of design elements. And if something is not built into the WordPress core, you can always add third-party blocks to your site.

Elements such as buttons, tables, and customizable embedded content are available from the start. And when used in conjunction with the theme.json file, the default theme will match your theme.

Customizing buttons within WordPress.

Build WordPress websites with less code

Before the theme editor, it was easy for theme developers to go down a rabbit hole when trying to implement any of the above. And depending on your approach, solutions may become problematic in the future.

What Gutenberg offers is a native solution that doesn’t require any custom code. By enabling a point-and-click and drag-and-drop user interface a lot of valuable time can be saved. potential hours of it, which can then focus on more complex tasks.

And even if you build your own custom blocks, this initial time investment can pay off in the future. Since the blocks can be used anywhere, whatever you create can be recycled over and over again.

Custom code will still be an important part of building with WordPress. But CMS is now able to handle some of our common needs. This is a welcome development.

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