Plugin review: Genesis Blocks

The plugin Genesis Blocks from StudioPress replaces the earlier, popular Atomic Blocks. It adds several useful “block types” to the blocks page editor. Some of them are improved versions of blocks that are already available, like Columns.

If the current set looks like they will be mostly useful for you, I would say go ahead and try it. I tend to favor smaller plugins with more focused functionality, since it’s the total amount of code, rather than the number of plugins, which most affects performance of your site. This, however, is one that has a high enough proportion of useful stuff that I’d consider it. Among the more useful are:

  • Columns with better control of background color and image, width, spacing, etc than the default columns block.
  • Mailchimp Newsletter subscription block.
  • Post grid (but it doesn’t do masonry layouts, so not best of class).
  • Testimonial block is a nice way to display quotes with attribution in the body of your pages and posts.
  • Notice block is a way to call out a section of text with a colorful box and heading.
  • Accordion blocks give a way to create collapsing sections — you click the header to view the contents.
  • Call to action block has a heading, some text, and a big button, with a rounded-corner standing-out box with color and background you control. It’s used to encourage people to click the button to sign up for your mailing list or whatever you want them to do.
  • Button block is a customizable button-shaped hyperlink, with more options then the built-in button capability.
  • Spacers let you insert a horizontal line between sections of your page, with control over color, thickness, line style.

These tend to inhabit the middle ground between the basic built-in blocks, and single-purpose plugins that give you just one or two added blocks, but with all the options you might possibly want.

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