More Fun with Blocks

As promised, I’m writing about my experiences updating my blog to an author website with a static home page and learning WordPress’s new Block Editor.

I never was able to get the image carousel that I wanted the other day. I could use an image gallery, but the options for linking with that are quite limited, and the one carousel option doesn’t allow me to use the image to navigate to a new page or link. Clicking on the image would only bring up more information about the image that WordPress generates. I might be able to put the link in a comment, but that seemed clunky. So with this in mind, I decided to set up my own set of images that isn’t a gallery or a Tiled Gallery.

Instead, I used the Layout Grid. This gave me the option of 4 columns (rather than 3, which is all the Column block allows). I also created a header above my layout of book cover images, and then I used the Group block to make these all the same. I set a background color and made the group full width. This works well for four images, and I have more control over how it looks. It also changes to a square layout or a column on smaller screen sizes. See my home page for an example.

I also had fun setting up my book pages. First, I used the Cover block with the “wave” pattern along the bottom to take an image from each book cover and make it the header image for the page. The Cover block allows for a text overlay on top of an image, which I used for a pull-out quote from a review or blurb of each book.

Next, I experimented with the Pullquote block and the Quote block, but in the end, I didn’t like either one. Some Pullquotes were formatted in ways I didn’t want, and I couldn’t control the color of the horizontal line on the Quote blocks in my theme. There’s probably a way to do that with CSS, but that’s more than I wanted to mess with. Instead, I used the Paragraph block and the Group block set to Full or Wide alignment, and I used the background and text color options to highlight the text in different ways.

It took some experimentation to figure out how to group blocks and create the areas I wanted on the page, but in the end, I liked it better than the standard Pullquote formatting, at least for longer passages. For short passages, the Pullquote block might be easier. A good example of this is on the page for A Writer’s Craft.

All in all, I’ve found the Block Editor isn’t too hard to learn. It just takes some getting used to and some experimentation.

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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