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WordPress is famous for its five-minute installation process and user-friendly interface. However, for those who want to incorporate complex layouts and other more advanced features, building a website can still be time consuming.
The good news is that the Block Editor - formerly known as Gutenberg - has helped speed up content creation. With the help of the additional features available through plugins like CoBlocks, you can meet your site's most complex needs with ease and speed.
In this article, we will introduce you to CoBlocks, a block plugin for WordPress. Next, we'll show you six ways this handy tool can make your site building process faster and easier. Let's go!
An introduction to CoBlocks
CoBlocks is a WordPress plugin created for the new block editor. It adds almost two dozen blocks that you can embed into your content, in order to create an editing experience more like that of a page builder:
Some of these new blocks include:
- Responsive layout elements, such as lines
- Features for specific site types, including restaurant menus
- Viewing the Image Gallery
- Icons and GIFs from third-party libraries
- Highlighted text and alerts
- Social media sharing options
If you know how to use the Block Editor, picking up CoBlocks should be a snap. However, if you think you need a little more guidance, you can check out the intro video when you activate the plugin. There is also an active support forum.
The CoBlocks WordPress theme has been released to take advantage of the new block editing experience that arrived with WordPress 5.0. But even better, after Rich Tabor joined the GoDaddy team, the awesome ThemeBeans themes (which were previously only available through purchase or membership in the ThemeBeans paid club) have been made available for free so that everyone can enjoy them. .
As of this writing, CoBlocks is 100% free. While there may be a premium version down the line, at the moment you can access the quality elements of the page builder without paying a dime.
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How to quickly create new WordPress sites with Gutenberg and CoBlocks (6 tips)
Ultimately, you have a lot to gain and nothing to lose from adding CoBlocks to your site's plugin list. However, there are several scenarios in which it is particularly useful to have access to additional blocks. We've explored a few of them below.
1. Create custom layouts without separate page builder
In the past, creating custom layouts with responsive rows and columns in WordPress was no easy task. Before the Block Editor, you needed a page builder or custom code to do this.
Although you can now use a Columns block to place content side by side, it doesn't give you much control over column size. the Line block, however, gives you full control:
You can select up to four columns for your rows. Additionally, you can choose one of the default layouts for your columns, or just drag the edges to change the ratio between them:
With CoBlocks you will also have access to customizable section dividers with Shape divider et Dynamic HR blocks:
Plus, you can tackle foldable accordions, media cards that combine images and text, and eye-catching 'hero' sections:
Any of these elements would take a tremendous amount of time and effort without a specific page builder or theme. However, CoBlocks makes the ideal layout of your pages accessible to everyone.
2. Add industry specific items with just one click
Whether you've just opened a local restaurant or recently published your first blog post, your website needs certain features that are unique to its purpose and goals. For example, you might want to share your menu for customers who order online.
While creating one normally requires multiple blocks and maybe even custom styling, CoBlocks allows you to add a Food and drinks block it and fill it with details about your restaurant's offerings:
You can also use the Author block to add informative biographies at the ends of your posts. It includes space for an image, text, and a call to action (CTA). Including all of these would normally require at least three blocks:
You'll also find blocks for pricing tables, entity lists, forms, and maps. Developers and other professionals who share code can benefit from the Essential also block:
Having these situational elements on hand when you need them can help you quickly spruce up your small business site, blog, or online store.
3. Display your images in high quality galleries
Images are an essential part of any website. They can add visual interest to blog posts, educate online shoppers, or show off your own skills in a portfolio.
However you choose to use images on your site, you'll want them to display beautifully and effectively. CoBlocks provides three gallery blocks to showcase multiple images at once. For example, the Carousel is ideal for displaying product images:
If you are managing a photography site, you might want to use masonry tiles so that your images are all visible simultaneously:
Or maybe you just need to stack a few photos to save space in one of your blog posts:
Each of these screens is easy to configure with CoBlocks. Just choose your gallery style, then upload or select images from your media library.
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4. Access the visual element libraries from the editor
Of course, not all visual elements are images. Icons are useful for indicating certain ideas or for creating links. GIFs can add humor or clarify instructions. Even your choice of fonts influences how users view your site.
By installing CoBlocks, you will have access to a wide selection of each of these elements. Instead of having to leave your editor to access a third-party library from another tab, you can choose from over 60 icons right in WordPress:
You can also adjust the size and color of each icon to suit your theme. Adding links can make them clickable and allow users to access posts and other types of content.
le GIF block gives access to the Giphy library. You can search for the perfect GIF for your post and see the results in the Block Editor:
In addition, CoBlocks includes a Typography feature that will give you more control over your text elements. You can customize the font, letter size, spacing, etc. from the blocks toolbar:
With these many options available, you will be able to do more to beautify your site without ever leaving the WordPress editor.
5. Draw attention to key content
While your website is full of content, there are some features that you probably want to pay attention to. CTAs, key ideas or lines that can be cited in your blog posts, as well as even more urgent information like warnings or alerts are important to point out to users.
The block editor already has a Button block, but CoBlocks allows you to quickly and easily place two side by side when you have complementary CTAs:
You can also highlight text without having to access additional tools. Just insert a Highlight block to distinguish it from the rest of your content:
Finally, if you need to provide some sort of warning or other important information that you don't want users to miss, a Alert block can help you do that:
There is a good chance that you can create these elements without additional plugins. However, having them ready to use in a dedicated block allows for much faster editing than making them yourself.
6. Simplify sharing on social networks
Social networks are a simple and effective way to promote your site. While there are many plugins and themes that add social icons to your posts or pages, you can also do this with a block:
le Share block allows you to add clickable icons for a variety of different networks. This is especially useful if you have multiple authors or team members and want to share links to each of their different accounts.
Additionally, you can allow users to easily share your content through Twitter by adding a Click to tweet block blog posts and other content:
Both will help promote your website and allow users to engage with your brand through other channels. This will not only help you drive traffic to your site, but could also improve your user retention.
Building complex and professional-looking WordPress sites can be time consuming. However, if you are working with the Block Editor and CoBlocks, you can dramatically speed up your site creation by tackling advanced elements with a single click.
If you're looking for a faster route to your site's launch day, consider some of the ways CoBlocks can help. It can allow you to:
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- Create custom layouts without a separate page builder.
- Add industry specific items with just one click.
- Display your images in high quality galleries.
- Access the visual element libraries from the editor.
- Draw attention to key content.
- Simplify sharing on social media.
Have questions about building new WordPress sites using CoBlocks? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pexels.