Fun with Blocks

No, I haven’t reverted to childhood to start playing with wood blocks. This weekend, after taking the plunge and changing the theme of my blog (and after second-guessing myself and exploring several more themes, only to settle for the one I initially chose, at least for now), I dug into revising some of my pages and converting them to the block editor. It’s a change that’s coming to WordPress, and blocks offer a lot of powerful tools, but they can be a bit confusing.

So far, I figured out the settings for the “cover’ block and learned to use “image” and “column” blocks fairly effectively. I’ve even learned to put a block within a block, though I haven’t quite mastered the “group” block; that may be next, or soon, on my list.

What I have been trying to figure out is how to make an image carousel, which is what I finally decided I should call it. I want to create one for my book covers to go on my home page, but I couldn’t see a block that did that exactly. I figured there must be some setting in one of the other blocks that would allow me to do that or some hidden feature somewhere that could make it possible. That’s when I discovered WordPress’s Help topic on Blocks: it lists all the block types with links to the primary help page for each.

Going through this is what led me to the term “carousel” for what I wanted to do because there’s a “post carousel” block, but none for images or pages. So I decided to search on “image carousel,” which took me back to the “gallery block” I had been looking at. But this is only an option for what happens when you click an image in the gallery, so it’s not quite what I’m looking for. I could make a gallery block with some of my book titles that when you click on it goes to a carousel with all of my book titles, but what I’d really like is a carousel of images of books on my home page. For now, I think I’ll use a tiles or mosaic gallery and keep searching for the solution I want. I see it on other author and book sites, so it might be possible in WordPress.

I never thoguht that redesigning my site and learning to use the new block editor would happen over night. I’ve come a long way in a couple of days, but I expect a fair amount of trial and error, and a fair amount of searching in the help files before I’m done. The site is already looking so much better, and I don’t expect to ever be completely finished with it, but I do hope to spruce it up a lot in the coming days and weeks.

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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