I was a die-hard anti-Gutenberg girl for the longest time, but once you see these WordPress Gutenberg tips and tricks – you will see why I am a convert and now prefer the block editor for much of the work I do in WordPress.
The post below is part of a webinar I did on August 12, 2020 showcasing some beginner and intermediate ways you can use Gutenberg and how it can speed up your content creation improve engagement!
The video is the webinar – so it is a bit long but shows most of what is outlined below if you need more in depth training!
- Changing From Classic Editor to Block Editor
- Information Button
- Block Manager
- Reusable Blocks
- Reusable Templates
- Export & Import Reusable Blocks
- Boost Revenue/Engagement
- Group Blocks
- Gutenberg Block Plugins
- Time Saving Tips
- View the Gutenberg Webinar
Changing From Classic Editor
If you are currently using the classic editor plugin on your website to maintain the original WordPress editing functionality – deleting it will not impact your site in a negative way.
If you remove the classic editor so you can start using Gutenberg, your posts or pages will look like the example below.
You can see the area called “classic” which holds all the content in one area – this is the Gutenberg Classic Block – which is part of Gutenberg.
So every post and page that was created using the classic editor will simply change to the classic editor block!
It will stay in that classic editor block forever if you want it to so nothing else needs to be done to the post.
Want to recreate the post using blocks?
Just click the where is says classic – then you will see the classic editor appear and a 3 dot menu item. Click that and select CONVERT TO BLOCKS to change your post to the block editor.
Once you do that that classic editor bar will disappear and you will now have all of your content placed into blocks and you can begin editing.
Your post will still be pretty close to what it was in terms of layout — so no major mess will happen if that is what you are expecting!
If you are wondering how many words and headings you are using the information button delivers!
Why is this helpful?
It can help you with SEO! You should be analyzing your top competitors for the keyword/phrase you are optimizing for and ensuring you are in line with their content in terms of headings and content length! So now you can easily see if you are inline with your competitors!
Sometimes the blocks can seem overwhelming when trying to find one to use in the add blocks area. Below is my Add Block menu area (this is how it looked before WP 5.5 – it is a bit different in 5.5 and I will post that below – you can see how there are arrows allowing you to open each section.
Every time you add a block plugin – you will have a new area and this can get awful messy after a while.
Many of the blocks in these sections I know I will never use – so I may want to remove them!
You will need to simply go into the Block Manager area under Tools and uncheck any blocks you know you will not use that show in the popup.
Removing those you will not use will help speed up your content creation process.
One of my favorite things ever about Gutenberg is the ability to build out templates and reusable blocks – like these custom nonprofit Gutenberg blocks we built for a client!
But you can also take multiple blocks to create a post or page template – and it is easy. As an example, I use a reusable block template for my review posts on one of my websites.
Let’s see what this entails!
My Product Review Reusable Block
As many bloggers know – product reviews can be a pain in the butt to create in a beautiful and engaging way – but it is easy peasy with WordPress blocks because you can literally create a post – and save the whole post as a reusable block or just save the review item as a reusable block.
Below is an example of my review block I use on one of my websites. I simply insert it into every post and change the content.
Want to add the exact review block below to your website? You can!
- Download the JSON file (right click and select save link as): https://www.2dogsdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/review-single-product-block.json
- Go to your manage reusable blocks area
- Click the import JSON file button – import the file then click import
- Refresh the page and you should see the new block named Review: Single Product Block
- Now you can open your new block and edit it as needed to customize it
- Make sure you have the Stackable plugin installed as that is what I used to create this block
Quick Tip: You can always find your Reusable blocks area with this link (just add your url) – this is just a shortcut you can use instead of having to click the 3 dots from the editor area in a post.
Full Post Template Reusable Block
For an example of how I use reusable blocks as a post template you can visit: https://fun.2dogsdesign.com/review-post/
This page was all started with a reusable block – I imported it, the post is then formatted and all I do is edit the content.
Once you create your post – you will need to highlight all of it – then you should see the menu bar with the 3 dots – click that and you will see add to reusable blocks – click that.
Export & Import Reusable Blocks
If you own multiple websites – exporting and importing reusable blocks is a life saver! Go to your blocks area and you can hover over any block and click the export JSON button.
Go to the website you want to add the block to and click Import from JSON and upload your file.
Important to note – if you used a block plugin to create your reusable block – you will need to have that same plugin on the site you are importing the file to.
Boost Revenue & Engagement With Block
Think outside the blocks box!
Some creative ways to boost revenue and engagement with reusable blocks includes:
- Add a banner ad block that is category specific so if you have a category on “food” – you can do a banner ad that focuses on food ads and only place that block in your food posts.
- Create a mailing list signup that is category specific to improve conversions. The more specific you are too each section on your website to the type of visitor you get – the better you will convert them to a subscriber!
- If a vendor you work with has a special promotion you can change it out easily – example if you are using a food banner – and one of your food brands is running a discount – you can easily change your banner ad reusable block and it will update in EVERY post you have that block in.
Group Block – this is one
I love this block and use it often.
It is essentially a “container block” that allows you to put multiple items in it to group them together.
You can then give it a colored background if you would like – and create a singular area that you can easily move around the page since it is one cohesive block.
I use these for call to actions, when I have a “group” of content I want to keep together and so much more.
This is a group box example
Gutenberg Block Plugins
There are more Gutenberg block plugins than you could ever need – so while I do think it is good to add 1 or 2 – too many can have you more frustrated than inspired.
I typically add 1 core plugin to give me a few extra features and then on some sites I add a gallery plugin – that is it!
Remember – people are on your website for your CONTENT – not for the glitz and glamour – so minimize your plugins and pick plugins that have that features you need and want.
How to pick a Gutenberg block plugin?
- Think about the features you know you will need! Do you want to create toggles or creative call to actions? Do you want a testimonial block or gallery? Create a list of items you think you may want in a plugin.
- Review the plugins on wordpress.org – see the rating, view the support forum and do a quick Google search to see if there are any negative conversations happening.
Gutenberg block plugins I recommend.
Below are the plugins I have used and have had good experiences with. Each of these does have a free version and most have a pro version available as well.
- Atomic Blocks
- Stackable (I own the pro version of this one and use it on the websites I build)
- Kadence Blocks
- Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg – I use this one as well on some sites that do not need all that Stackable Pro offers
- Block Gallery – use on any sites that I need galleries
Again, I cannot stress enough – know what you need and make your choice dependent on that! If you download too many plugins you will just get confused – and will run into problems in the long term!
Time Saving Gutenberg Block Tips
Below are some simple tips to save big time when writing your content.
Reusable Blocks Organization
Keeping your reusable blocks organized will make a big difference when you are looking for just the right block to add to your content.
When I create a new block I usually add a preface word to keep mine organized. For example:
POST TEMPLATE: Single Review
POST TEMPLATE: Roundup Review
BANNER AD: Food category
BANNER AD: Lifestyle category
MAILING LIST: Food category
Keeping them organized like this will help you immensely – ask me how I know!
Drag & Drop Images
Yep – now you can easily drag and drop your images right into your post content from your computer – or even the web! They will be added to your image gallery without the extra step!
Using the / To Find Blocks
Simply use the / to find a new block to insert in your content instead of used the circle with the plus!
When you click the / just start typing in the block you are looking for and you will see it start to filter all that are related – then just select the block you want to insert and hit enter.
In the example image you can see I was looking for a column block.
Shift + Enter For Line Breaks
Every time you hit enter you are starting a new paragraph.
When you hit Shift + Enter you can create breaks without creating a new paragraph.
This can be extremely helpful when you want to move content around the post or page.
Edit Post Slug
Click on your post title – then you will see the permalink area where you can edit the URL slug after you click the edit button.
There is also a Permalink area in the sidebar area as well where you can edit it too.
You can only edit the permalink if you click SAVE DRAFT!
Copy All Content
If you are not into building out post or page templates like I went over above, another option is the Copy All Content feature.
Go to the menu under the 3 vertical circles and click Copy All Content then you will be able to paste it into your new post or page!
I really love your emails because as you stated :”Visitors come for your content. Not for the Glitz and glamour” which applies to your emails’ content and its quality.
I’ve been using Gutenberg since its 3.8 version – it wasn’t bundled in the core back then.Today’s version of Gutenberg plugin is 8.7.1 and it’s active on my site. I’m a huge fan of it. Shortly : I’m or I think I am pretty well aware of editor’s features. However IMHO this post is awesome for anyone who hasn’t embraced it yet.
Actually this comment’s primary purpose is to thank you . For the great stuff you ve been sending me via your emails.
Thank you so much for the kind words Dimiter – very much appreciated! Jill
People don’t use Shift-Enter?!?!?!?! That amazes me, I would go nuts without it.
Greatly enjoyed the suggestions about consistent labelling and placement of reusable blocks.
Thanks Marjorie! If I did not label my blocks well I would be lost!