Lots of people are gadget geeks, always wanting the latest toy. My wife probably even thinks of me as suffering from the same ailment, as I do have a lot of gadgets. However, my disease is a little more narrow than “gadgets in general”. I have two strains of the virus running through my blood.
First, if it is a gadget that will let me do something I’ve always wanted to do but had challenges to get going, like maybe baking bread, yep, I’m likely to try it. Because I know if it works the way I want it to work, the way I hope it will work, I’ll use it repeatedly. While most people think of this in terms of physical gadgets, this website that you’re reading is probably the best example. I tried lots of options, and there are even more options out there now. But WordPress is free and it works well for me. » Read the rest
I’ve been testing all the big block collections, and it’s time for Ultimate Blocks. Not to be confused with Ultimate Addons, a different block collection.
Ultimate Blocks comes with 20 different blocks, let’s see if I want any of them in my personal collection:
Button — It says “improved” but since I didn’t see the original, hard to say. It has four different sizes, flex/fixed/full width, colours or transparent, rounded or square, etc. What doesn’t work for me is that it is just one button…if you wanted to put several side-by-side (like a horizontal menu), you’d have to wrap it in some other kind of box/container.
Call to Action — Title, text and a button, nothing unusual, but I do like the button is set up so that it overlaps the container (i.e. half-in, half-out). Not bad.
Click to Tweet — I suppose if you were trying to get a campaign going, you could write a default tweet and then click the button to share.
I’ve already worked through a bunch of major block collections, and chosen which ones make the grade and which ones don’t. So I had seen the recommendations for Orbit Fox and thought I would give them a try. Except I already tried Otter’s collection by itself.
But, while I’m here, I can check out the plugin’s other features I guess.
Social Sharing Module — This allows you to create sticky buttons on the left side of your screen for your content, making your share buttons always visible. Umm, how about no? It totally doesn’t integrate with your theme in any way, shape, or literally, form.
I’ve already gone through and reviewed the blocks from various collections — Default+Jetpack, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, QodeBlocks, Ultimate Addons and Stackable. Stackable was the clear winner for me, and I kept a handful from Kadence + Ultimate Addons + Advanced Gutenberg, plus the defaults. I ditched all of the Atomic Blocks and Qodeblocks — there were just better options available or I didn’t need the blocks they had to offer.
I’m going to do a quick test of 13 blocks from Otter to see if any are worth keeping. One of their “big” offerings is built-in animation like bouncing or fades, none of which I have much use/need for…some great transitions, just not for anything I’m doing. And I’m a little disturbed it adds animations to EVERY block, not just the Otter ones.
About Author — A simple bio block that pulls data from WordPress admin about the author of the current post.
Across the eight block collections that I’m reviewing (default Gutenberg, JetPack, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, Qodeblock, Stackable, and Ultimate Addons), there are a bunch of blocks that perform special functions. A couple show up in multiple collections; others in only one. Let’s run through them quickly.
Ultimate has a fantastic block called “table of contents”. Just like in Word or other word processing programs, the page generates the ToC all by itself by recognizing where else in the page / post you have used headings. I frequently use H4, so I limit it to only grabbing those, and the blue block above is an example of it. I can style the background, width, texts, etc., even make the contents collapsible. Heck, I can even change the colour of the bullets…what’s not to love? » Read the rest