So you’ve made the switch to Gutenberg. How are you feeling about the new WordPress editor’s functionality?
Maybe you’re looking for more blocks, an overall improved experience, or simply want to download a standalone addon that fully utilizes Gutenberg’s new features.
For anyone seeking to upgrade and enhance the editor, here are some plugins that will do the trick. Some add entire sets of feature-packed widgets, while others make small improvements to Gutenberg itself, or even give you the ability to create your own blocks.
The carefully curated entries below are some of the best Gutenberg plugins around. They will make the editor even better by adding new functionality, allowing you to take your website’s design even further.
How do Gutenberg Plugins Work?
Gutenberg brought a lot of new changes to WordPress, but the biggest difference between it and the classic WordPress editor is the inclusion of blocks. These are essentially shortcode, widget, and formatting functionality packed into one.
A block can be anything from a simple heading to an entire customizable gallery plugin. Blocks may add simple or complex elements to a page or use boxes and sections to give it a completely new look. Most often, they take the form of widgets like carousels, buttons, and calls to action.
There are a few different types of Gutenberg plugins you should know about:
- Single blocks act similarly to plugins that add little page elements, like contact form or slider plugins. But instead of appearing on your site via shortcode, they integrate with Gutenberg blocks to display their widgets.
- Block libraries are like widget compilations. They add several new blocks with unique functionality to the editor, and these can range from page building elements like columns to ones that can customize and enhance your posts. Every block library is different.
Other plugins might optimize Gutenberg itself, shifting around the interface or adding extra functions. But a majority of them will add new, custom blocks for you to experiment with.
Need some examples of each of these varieties in action? That’s what we will talk about next.
Here Are 10 Ways to Enhance Gutenberg via Plugin
Let’s see what ten of the best Gutenberg plugins have to offer.
1. Gutenberg Blocks
Gutenberg Blocks advertises itself as the ultimate addon for the new editor, and they’re certainly not far from the truth. If you had to only pick one plugin to download from the list, it should probably be this one. It comes with over 20 new blocks, including a handful of business and e-commerce widgets.
The plugin also optionally includes a hand-made Gutenberg theme, Astra, that integrates very well with it. Gutenberg Blocks is great for both those who want to use Gutenberg as a page builder and anyone who simply wants to extend the editor a little more.
2. TinyMCE Advanced
Looking to improve the overall feel of Gutenberg? TinyMCE Advanced is a plugin that upgrades both the classic and new versions of the WordPress editor. For Gutenberg users, it introduces some essential new features.
To start, it gives you the ability to configure and arrange the toolbar to better suit your workspace. It also includes a Classic Paragraph block that’s similar to the new Paragraph block, but with the old formatting options. In addition, there’s a hybrid mode that combines the functionality of Gutenberg and the classic editor.
If you find yourself missing TinyMCE but want the new features of Gutenberg too, TinyMCE Advanced is just what you need.
Web designers will fall in love with Stackable, a huge set of blocks tailored to those who want to create a beautiful website. There are over 20 new elements to choose from, each adding unique style to your pages.
The plugin includes a container block that adds beautiful full-screen page layouts, or a video popup that elegantly shows off your footage. Widgets like the testimonial, feature and call-to-action blocks can greatly spice up your site’s design.
There’s also a minimalistic Stackable theme for those who want even better integration between this plugin and Gutenberg.
4. Atomic Blocks
If you’re running a business, large or small, this block library is perfect for you. Atomic Blocks can help you build a page packed with widgets that promote advertisement and customer interaction.
Draw people in with a call to action or author profile, advertise your business with the testimonial and pricing table blocks, and get conversions using the newsletter block. Accordion, container, and post grid widgets can also be helpful for bloggers and designers.
With the section and layout blocks you can customize your page via pre-built areas, so it functions as a page builder as well.
5. Advanced Rich Text Tools for Gutenberg
Another editor enhancer here, Advanced Rich Text Tools isn’t a block library, but a small upgrade for Gutenberg. By default, Gutenberg lacks some rich text features you can normally only access through HTML, like super/subscripts, code snippet formatting, and colored text.
This plugin adds a few small features right to the editor as buttons, so if you find yourself using these formatting types often, it’s definitely worth picking up.
6. Block Lab
Are you a developer trying to create your own custom Gutenberg blocks? Block Lab allows you to build blocks with HTML and PHP right in your WordPress admin interface. Just add a block, configure how it displays, write the template code, and publish.
You’ll need to know some coding to use this plugin, but the documentation provided will help you through the process. It’s also designed to have familiar development practices for those who work with WordPress code.
If page building is your focus, try out CoBlocks. The extensive plugin includes nearly 30 blocks, all of which can help you tweak a page down to the margins and padding. Create entire page sections using blocks, customize responsive, dynamic grids, and play with every tiny setting until you’ve made your page perfect.
CoBlocks is also open source and extendable, so if you’re a developer, you can contribute to the project or tweak it for your own use.
8. Advanced Gutenberg
Should you find the new editor lacking in some areas, Advanced Gutenberg will fill out those holes and offer a wealth of new features. There are several customizable blocks, ranging from WooCommerce product display to an entire button creator.
The plugin also comes with user roles built-in, allowing you to hide blocks from those roles. You can also create page layouts with up to six responsive columns. Overall, Advanced Gutenberg is suitable for any type of website.
9. Block Gallery
Looking for a single block plugin that takes full advantage of Gutenberg features? Many addons are compatible with the new editor, but ones like Block Gallery are built entirely around it.
Block Gallery is a fast and lightweight plugin that includes masonry, fullscreen, and carousel galleries. It was created with ease of use in mind. Just drop in a gallery block, configure it from the editor, and you’re good to go.
With most plugins like this, you’d have to create a gallery on a separate page, copy its shortcode, and paste it in. Block Gallery condenses that into one easy step.
10. Kadence Blocks
A simple but effective page builder, Kadence Blocks gives you all the core features you’ll need to create a block-based website. Page builder plugins can be complicated, and Gutenberg doesn’t quite offer everything required to build a fully functional site. Kadence Blocks is a nice middle ground, easy to use and without any clutter.
The row layout block is the most important widget here, allowing you to pick from and customize several page templates. There are a few other essentials too, like the gallery, tab, accordion and info box blocks. Kadence Blocks gives you everything you’ll need to build a website.
How to Choose the Right Gutenberg Plugin?
Now that you’ve seen all these plugins, here’s the big question: which ones should you download? Businesses, bloggers, and designers will all have very different requirements, so you need to make the right choice for your website.
If your core focus lies in web design, the three plugins you’ll want to look at are Stackable, Coblocks, and Kadence Blocks. They come with all the features necessary to create beautiful and dynamic websites. All three are unique in their own ways, so you’ll just have to see which ones have the blocks you want most.
Atomic Blocks includes several feature-packed widgets, many of which are helpful to growing businesses. It has page builder features like columns and sections as well.
For those wanting to expand on the editor itself, try TinyMCE for a more drastic effect, or Advanced Rich Text Tools to add a few features you might be missing.
Block Gallery is a good standalone addon if you’re looking for a streamlined gallery widget. And Blocklabs is perfect for developers who want to make their own Gutenberg blocks.
Lastly, for block libraries that work well on any website, try Gutenberg Blocks or Advanced Gutenberg. These add some general widgets that integrate so seamlessly with Gutenberg that you might forget they’re from a plugin.
It’s all just a matter of comparing the blocks and other features that each plugin offers and seeing which ones are best for your site.
Other Gutenberg-Friendly Plugins
Since Gutenberg’s release, there have been quite a few plugins providing compatibility for the new editor. While these weren’t made with Gutenberg in mind, they still add new blocks to the editor. If you’re looking for a few more plugins to round out your list, here are some recommendations.
- Yoast SEO — The all but essential SEO plugin, its familiar interface now integrated seamlessly with Gutenberg.
- Jetpack — Jetpack is an all-in-one WordPress plugin. With Gutenberg, it includes a few blocks, including a map, form and even a quick and simple payment widget.
- Google Fonts Typography — 877 free and unique fonts, with a live preview and editor compatibility.
- Ninja Forms — A great, unlimited free form creator. Just insert a block and pick the forms you’ve designed.
- MetaSlider — Create four unique types of slideshows from right within Gutenberg.
- YouTube — Embed YouTube videos into your posts and customize how they appear. A new block type appears under Embeds.
- Shortcodes Ultimate — Shortcodes Ultimate is like a block library itself, including several tiny widgets. A new button is added to certain blocks that allows you to insert its shortcodes into the text.
- The Events Calendar — Add a customizable calendar to any post or page, now even more streamlined with Gutenberg.
If you didn’t find exactly what you were looking for, there are plenty of new plugins being created that take advantage of Gutenberg’s features every day. Always keep an eye on the block-enabled plugins to see what’s being developed.
What are the Best Gutenberg Plugins in Your Book?
One of Gutenberg’s core design philosophies is simplicity. It seeks to make the ten-year-old classic WordPress editor more streamlined and easier to use, while cutting out unnecessary elements.
But Gutenberg includes only the most vital blocks to avoid overloading its interface, and that means it avoids all but the bare essentials. When it comes time to touch up a page or freshen a blog post, it might not have the exact functionality you’re looking for.
That’s where plugin developers come in. Thanks to these addons, you can download the one that contains precisely what you need to craft your perfect website, while unmodified Gutenberg can keep its minimalistic design and provide only the features most people will use.
What’s your must-have Gutenberg plugin? Tell us your recommendation in the comments, and see what editor addons other people can’t function without.
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