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Creating Galleries with Block Gallery

By |2019-05-21T13:13:35+01:00March 7th, 2019|Categories: The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , |

At the end of 2018, the new Gutenberg block editor for WordPress was added replacing the classic editor. The block editor provides extra functionality for creating posts and pages with built-in options and additional functions that can be added via plugins. For this post, I’ll be looking at one of the new Gutenberg photo gallery block plugins called Block Gallery.

Block gallery is described as ‘The most advanced suite of gallery blocks for the Gutenberg block editor. Create stunning masonry, carousel and stacked galleries in seconds, with the brilliantly intuitive interface. Block Gallery is absolutely the best collection of native editor gallery blocks in the world.’

Currently, Block gallery offers three gallery options with more in the works. Adding a block gallery to a post or page is very straightforward and changing the gallery size and style is as easy as a mouse click. Custom styling options make it easy to alter the gallery to suit. A Pro version of the Block Gallery plugin is going to be released at a later date with even more gallery styles.

Each gallery has a panel of custom settings to alter background colours, add rounded corners and more. The carousel gallery, for example, has options for autoplay (one second to ten-second intervals available), arrow and dot navigation, column sizes and carousel height. Dragging and flicking can also be enabled on the carousel gallery for mobile devices and desktops.

Above is the masonry gallery layout option. Gutter sizes can be altered using a slider in the settings

Above is the stacked gallery layout option with rounded corners enabled

Block Gallery adds some much-needed variation to Gutenberg’s photo gallery layouts for posts and pages in WordPress. Its intuitive interface provides a fast and simple way to add a collection of images to post/page without the fuss of having to use code. Just drop a block into the article, add the photos and alter the gallery settings to suit.

If you’re a photographer using WordPress then it’s a must-have plugin. I’m certainly excited by the potential to expand the plugin’s options and will certainly consider purchasing the Pro version when it’s released. The free version though is perfect to test out the plugin on your website at no cost. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

The Block Gallery plugin can be found in the WordPress Plugin Directory HERE

Check out the website at https://wpblockgallery.com

Moving Hosts

By |2019-03-01T23:02:10+00:00February 11th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Last year, a website was set up on WordPress.com for a client,
 The Art of Living and Dying, a group of women helping those facing life’s highs and lows with practical information and professional support. The group required a single page website for event and contact information.

Over the weekend, the website was quickly moved over to a self hosted WordPress install to give the site a full range of functionality and customisation options that a self hosted WordPress installation provides.

The domain name changed too with the Art of Living and Dying now found at https://www.theartoflivinganddying.co.uk

Thoughts on the Gutenberg Editor

By |2019-05-21T15:15:32+01:00August 14th, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

The Gutenberg logo

Gutenberg is on its way! I am, of course, talking about the new block editor that is due for release with WordPress 5.0 estimated to arrive later this year. At the moment it’s a plugin to try out, but at some point soon it will become THE editor you use in WordPress to create posts and pages. It replacing the classic editor that has served WordPress for many years. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using the new Gutenberg editor on this website and others, so I thought it was about time that I posted some thoughts about what the new editor has to offer for WordPress users and my thoughts on Gutenberg so far.

At the time of writing, I’m using v3.5 of the Gutenberg plugin with the updates and improvements to the plugin coming in at a very brisk pace. The plugin installs easily enough and provides users with the ability to create or edit posts and pages. It also comes with an option for editing with the classic editor if required. Out of the box, the plugin integrates pretty well with no theme or plugin conflicts. Several posts have been created using Gutenberg (including this one) but so far only a couple of pages have been edited with Gutenberg. Gutenberg provides a clean, modern-looking user interface with the functionality to quickly put together posts or pages. Having used WordPress for nearly ten years, I have to say that changes to the editor have been long overdue. A good article explaining what to expect in Gutenberg can be found HERE.

Gutenberg is a block editor which replaces the open text window of the old classic editor in WordPress. It’s the biggest change in WordPress’ fifteen-year history and just the first stage in a series of changes coming to WordPress. Text, images, layout elements and more are contained within multiple blocks that can be dynamically moved about. Blocks can also be added by other plugins providing a simple way to add a Woocommerce store or an Instagram feed to a post or page without the need for shortcodes. Blocks are still evolving but the potential for page editing and layouts looks to be huge, once developers start implementing block functionality into their themes and plugins. The text and images on the pages of this website, for example, will probably need converting over, at some point, to blocks to get to best out of WordPress in the new Gutenberg era.

Gutenberg and the WordPress of Tomorrow – a great presentation of what blocks can do

Gutenberg has not been universally welcomed with open arms. In fact, it appears to be loved and loathed in equal measure, depending on where you look on the internet. At the time of writing, the Gutenberg plugin and the Classic Editor plugin (which ‘restores the previous WordPress editor and the Edit Post screen and makes it possible to use the plugins that extend it, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor‘) have 100,000+ active installations each. While Gutenberg may be due to replace the classic editor this year, it will probably take another year or two (maybe even longer!) for Gutenberg to become firmly established with users. Only time will tell. Compatibility will be a factor in the take-up numbers, which will likely be influenced by how quickly developers update themes and plugins to integrate with Gutenberg fully.

So with WordPress moving over to the new block editor, what does Gutenberg offer the photographer? Well, the block editor makes adding images and video a much quicker and intuitive process. WordPress galleries can be added equally as fast. Even embedding video from YouTube or Vimeo is as simple as selecting the specific embed block, adding the link and clicking the embed button. Plugins developers will also be able to add blocks i.e the Instagram gallery above was added using a new block created by the developer Elfsight in a recent update to their excellent Instagram plugin. So far only two plugins on this website, Woocommerce and Elfsight Instagram feed, have block support but more will follow in the coming weeks and months.

It’s still early days but Gutenberg is looking encouraging. How the editor will be received when it is finally added to WordPress core is still subject to question, but the fact remains that the new editor is here to stay. Blocks are the future.

If you’d like to have a look at the new Gutenberg editor without using the plugin, an interactive demo of the editor can be found at the official Gutenberg information site at https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/

If you’d like to try the Gutenberg plugin then that can be found in the plugins depository at https://wordpress.org/plugins/gutenberg/

Last Wishes Website Redesign

By |2018-05-06T14:16:06+01:00May 8th, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Originally launched in 2015, the Last Wishes website has been relaunched with a new design, by Richard Flint Photography, to fit in with a re-branding of the business.

The dark tones of the old website have been replaced by a simpler, clean design, similar in layout to the old site, but with a lighter and brighter look.

Major improvements were made to the website text and links for improved search engine optimisation.

The Last Wishes website can be found at www.lastwishesfunerals.co.uk

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