The Block Editor: A Block Management Guide

The Block Editor (nee Gutenberg) promises a whole new way to create and display content in WordPress. If you are not yet familiar with it, I strongly recommend reading through this official tutorial as well as my earlier post, “What You See Is What You Get, Maybe.” To get a feel for the Block Editor, check out this sample website where you can “edit” the content or, alternately, add a new test site to your existing WordPress.com account. Your site will be Private and the Block Editor will be enabled by default.

Below you’ll find the blocks currently available on WordPress.com as of publishing this post.

  • Most Used-an dynamic group of the blocks you use most frequently.
  • Common Blocks-Paragraph, Image, Heading, Gallery, List, Quote, Audio, Cover, File and Video
  • Formatting– SyntaxHighlighter Code, Code, Classic, Custom HTML, Preformatted, Pullquote, Table and Verse
  • Layout Elements-Layout Grid, Blog Posts Listings, Button, Columns, Group, Media&Text, More, Page Break, Separator and Spacer
  • Widgets-Event Countdown, Price Range, Spiciness Rating, Star Rating, Timeline, Shortcode, Archives, Calendar, Categories, Latest Comments, Latest Posts, RSS, Search, Tag Cloud and Social Links
  • Embeds-Embed, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Spotify, Flicker, Vimeo, Animoto, CloudUp, College Humor, Crowdsignal, Dailymotion, Hulu, Imgur, Issuu, Kickstarter, Meetup.com, Mixcloud, Reddit, ReverbNation, Screencast, Scribd, Slideshare, SmugMug, Speaker Deck, TED, Tumblr, VideoPress, WordPress.tv, Amazon Kindle
  • Jetpack-Business Hours, Form, Contact Info, GIF, MailChimp, Map, Markdown, Recurring Payments Buttons, Related Posts, Repeat Visitor, Simple Payments Button, Slideshow, Subscription Form and Tiled Gallery
  • CoBlocks-Buttons, Click to Tweet, Dynamic HR, Hero, Logos&Badges and Pricing Table
  • CoBlocks Galleries-Collage, Masonry and Stacked

To learn more about each block type, visit the Blocks Support guides. Depending on your current WordPress.com plan, you may have more blocks or fewer blocks available to you than what is mentioned here.

That is an unwieldy number of blocks! (I don’t know about you but I got “scroll finger” just looking at this.)

As you repeatedly use certain blocks, they will float up to the “Most Used” section at the very top of the long drop down menu of available blocks. However, you can make your Block list much more manageable from the start by clicking the three dots at the top right of the Block Editor screen and then clicking on “Block Manager” under “Tools.” There you’ll be presented with a long list (again) of all the currently available blocks. If you know there are certain blocks you will likely never use, uncheck the box next to the block type to keep it from appearing in your list. This doesn’t delete the block from the Block Manager; you’ll just need to re-enable it when you start using it.

Another factor to take into consideration is the theme you are using on your site. My site is using an older theme that was updated to use the Block Editor, but was not made for the Block Editor like the Varia child themes. We’ll explore how theme selection influences the Blocks you’ll use in a later post.

Since my last post, the Calm, Professional, Modern or Sophisticated Business themes have been retired and you can no longer activate them from the theme dashboard. However, these themes are still being used when you create a new WordPress.com site.

Are there other Block Editor-specific topics you’d like to see me cover? Let me know in the comments.

I truly wonder how many users are creating amazing content and layouts with the Block Editor as opposed to struggling with it to get their content online. I agree that creating both columns and tables is much easier with the Block Editor, but otherwise it still feels to me like the Block Editor impedes content creation/publication.

What do you say?

4 thoughts on “The Block Editor: A Block Management Guide

  1. Oh goodness – now I know I am doomed with a “new more better greatest” way to do something – the classic editor still works for me – yes a couple of pieces of html to add once in a while

    thanks for the update

    1. 🙂 Always glad to see you, Mike, and I don’t think you’re doomed. It’s just that the clock is ticking. I figure better to get a handle on it now before I have to.

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