Content is everything. The web would be quite boring without it. Content makes the difference between your visitors staying on your site or moving on. It tells search engines what your site is about and helps people find your site. Content is the reason you have a website.
We know new pages or fresh content don’t always fit into site templates or layouts. We have run into this issue before. When you are always creating new content, you want to make sure it is displayed as well as it can be on the screen—and by screen, I mean all screens. This is the age of responsive design, after all. You also want to make sure that all calls to action are visible and prominent and that any imagery is placed in the proper position for all screen sizes.
The question is, how can you do this easily on the fly without having a developer sitting next to you building layouts as you go?
A solution came to us when we were trying to solve this problem on our own website a while ago. We came up with having a group of blocks that could be placed on a page, with each block allowing different content and layouts. Think of it like building a website with Lego blocks. We built about six of these blocks for our work section to help our designers quickly and efficiently develop a case study. We quickly realized how helpful this solution was and thought, “Why not create the flexibility to build a whole site this way?”
Fast forward until today, and we now offer this solution as a WordPress plugin. The beauty of the solution is that if you need a new content layout, it is much easier to build a block for the type of content than to build a completely new page or template. In addition, you can use the block again in various places, which gives you even more layout and content options.
The plugin can be used in many ways
By default, the plugin adds a filter to the the_content() file in WordPress, so you can use the blocks with just about any WordPress theme. It is also pretty design agnostic, so it will take on the current styling of your theme or website. Our primary goal with this plugin was to allow anybody to choose layouts and styles for their content while offering as much flexibility as possible.
Our secondary goal was to ensure that a developer would be able to use this to build or even evolve a site. All users have the full capability to create their own custom blocks. A set of basic content blocks is bundled with the plugin to provide quite a few layouts. However, knowing that one size doesn’t always fit all, we built in the ability to either add specific custom blocks to any theme or add a plugin and use the hooks and filters to modify existing blocks or add custom blocks.
What you need where you need it
Now that the blocks are included in a plugin, you can choose where you want blocks to show up and which blocks are available. The plugin gives you the ability to choose which post types or page templates you want the blocks to appear on. If you choose not to use all the blocks that come with the plugin, removing blocks is as easy as unchecking a box. This gives you the flexibility to tailor what you need to where you need it.
You also have the option to prevent blocks from being added to the WordPress the_content() filter and then using a simple PHP function to place the blocks anywhere on your page templates.
We are continuously working to evolve this plugin to be a complete content layout solution. We will be adding more blocks and functionality soon. Let us know what you think in the comments below.