WordPress blocks are a new way to help website owners edit their WordPress page. They enable us to arrange the page into columns or add tables – neither of which was possible in the original WordPress editor.
Take a look at my in depth post on the original editor – How to edit pages in WordPress – as it also describes many of the tools that you will see in the WordPress block editor.
An end to the need for extra plugins
The new block editor puts an end to the need for extra layout plugins or fancy Themes that we used in the past – such as the Divi Builder or the Fusion Builder. These were quite code heavy so actually quite bad for search engine optimisation.
WordPress blocks can be moved and positioned on the page simply by dragging – a much more user friendly way of editing in WordPress. If you know how to do it.
Here are a few tips on using WordPress blocks.
How to use WordPress block editor
Explore the blocks that can be used by clicking the + Plus icon, the arrow below shows where you can find it.
Blocks can be added for a paragraph, a title, columns, tables, images, lists – really anything that you could wish to use in WordPress. It is really convenient. One block represents one item on the page i.e. one block = one paragraph.
To edit the title and permalink you now need to click inside the first block on the page. Highlight the title text and start to type to change the title. You can also see the new field for the permalink here, as shown below, which can easily be changed by clicking the EDIT button to the right of the URL. Please be careful when editing permalinks, as described at the bottom of this post.
Click on blocks of text to change the formatting. For example, I can click on a PARAGRAPH block on this sample page and WordPress gives me the option to format the text or to change the block completely.
Using the change button, I can completely change the block style to a list, group, heading, quote or verse.
We’ve not seen preformatted, group or verse before in WordPress, so I will explain a little about the three new block types.
Very similar to the paragraph block, but the preformatted block will keep any text format that has already been used on the text, like line breaks or indents. Here is a full explanation on preformatted from WordPress.
The group option lets you select two or more blocks and group them – so when one is moved the other comes with it. This is useful with paragraphs and headings, so the order of your page doesn’t get jumbled. Especially if there is more than one editor.
WordPress say that the verse block is ideal for adding poetry to your site, so aptly named. We can now add CSS to verse blocks, so that makes styling the verse block very easy.
New block types in WordPress
What is really exciting is that website owners can now add columns and tables – which were a real pain before.
Columns in WordPress blocks
To add a column go to the + Plus icon, as highlighted at the beginning of this post. Choose columns and a new block will appear on your page. Within it there is a choice of column layout – columns can be added as 50% of the page, or as thirds of the page.
What you can then do is add blocks of text or images inside the columns.
On a mobile the columns will stack nicely, and on a desktop computer they will spread across the screen.
Tables in WordPress blocks
Do be careful with tables, as they are not always mobile friendly. The more complicated the information within the table the less good it will look on a small screen. You can see below an example of a table that is too full, and looks really bad – even on a big screen. So be very careful with tables.
To add a table go to the + Plus icon, as highlighted at the beginning of this post. You can choose the number of columns and rows, and as I say, keep this to a minimum if you don’t know what you are doing.