The default blocks in Gutenberg blocks includes a “group” block. Atomic Blocks, Qodeblock and Stackable added their own called “container”. The point of these “parent” blocks is to add a container around a bunch of nested blocks within it. Suppose, for example, you have four blocks that always go together — a header, a paragraph of text, an image, and some links. You could put those four inside a block, and then if you want to move them around a page, you just move the big container block, and all of those sub-blocks / child blocks will move at once. They stay together. Alternatively, where it becomes really useful is if you put the four child blocks in a reusable group block, say for example instructions on how to do something that you frequently refer to in your posts, and you can dump that block in anytime you need it.
While that can also start to make a site look repetitive in a blogging world, one area where it could be useful in my site is the close-out of a book review. At the end of my book reviews, I use to have three things — a set disclaimer about my review (now removed as irrelevant), links to other reviews, and a signature block saying Happy Reading. If I wrapped all three of those together in a reusable group block, I could just paste all three at the end of every BR and be “done”.
To me, though, the real danger is that repetition. You start to think every page is the same, and you just dump something in without thinking about whether all three pieces are appropriate. Take the disclaimer for example. While I could add it to every BR, it was only relevant to a couple. And the more I played with wording and tweaking, the more I realized it was just unnecessary. In a commercial world, people frequently stick in boilerplate info because they “can” without thinking about whether they “should”.
I’m happy to do reusable blocks for various signatures like “Happy reading” or “Clear skies”, as it saves some steps, but grouping too many things together makes me nervous. It honestly encourages lazy design rather than conscious design. I know, I know, I’m likely over-thinking it.
The default Group block has very few settings to tweak, mainly the idea that you group them together but the only thing you can change is a background colour. Nothing terribly exciting.
Atomic Blocks’ Container block adds the ability to do padding and margins, and this COULD be useful, set an overall width on the container (so if some child blocks like to go full-width, you could over-ride their tendencies here by wrapping them in a larger but thinner container). In addition, you can replace the background with an image, not just change the colour. Definitely better than the default. Qodeblocks’ container is identical. You’d swear they were just copies of each other.
From my earlier posts, you already know that I’m in love with Stackable’s approach to just about all of their blocks. So I was excited to see what options they add. Height and width are nice additions, gradients are added to background colours, you can use video instead of an image, separator styling above and below, etc. There are some premium features that allow custom column colours and things like that, but considering I don’t have much need for such a block, and I’m fearful of over-use, I’ll stick with the base options. And I wasn’t disappointed. Stackable adds all of the options that the other three options did, plus some more. Definitely a keeper.
I know, I know, you’re thinking, if you’re not going to use it, why are you keeping it? I’m keeping it simply because I like the option if I need it without having to re-install it. I’ll still be hesitant, but I do like the option of wrapping a background colour behind it. For example, I could excerpt some stuff from other websites or even include segments in posts where I want to highlight several blocks at once. This would be one way to do that.
I’m considering a bunch of different blocks across eight collections (default ones, JetPack, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, Qodeblock, Stackable, and Ultimate Addons) and next on my list are the spacer / divider / separator blocks. These are blocks that allow you a visible or invisible gap between two blocks. It could be a horizontal line, or just extra white space, but something that separates two other blocks visually.
The default collection has nothing but I found six different ones in four other collections.
First up is Kadence, with a combination spacer/divider. It starts with the assumption I want a solid horizontal line as my divider and the block allows me to specify the height of the spacer (different heights for desktop, tablet and phone), whether there is a line or not, whether any line is solid / dashed / dotted / striped, its colour, and its width. Pretty functional, with the only limitation really being that the only choice is a line.
Atomic Blocks and Qodeblock have a spacer block, does the same thing as Kadence but with no stripe option or width. Pass on both.
Stackable’s approach is a bit different as they have three separate blocks — one divider, one spacer, one separator. For the spacer, you can actually change the background colour of the block which none of the others can do. You can even make it a gradient. If you made it small enough, it would be the same as a flat horizontal line with no height restriction. You can even insert images or videos…really? You can even style it with separators above and below. Separators, for a separator? But oddly enough, no width option.
The divider gives you an option of a basic line, fatter bar, three asterisks or three dots. Styling lets you change colour, height and width. And Advanced lets you hide it on tablet, desktop or phone. Basically all the features in one go. The others are definitely out.
And yet they have another block called separator. Ohhh, for REALLY big separators. Like waves to help style a page or large block perhaps. The style lets you flip it horizontally or vertically (so you can do one above and below another block), width (although it is more the width of sine waves), colour, adding a shadow, and if you have Premium enabled, you can create LAYERS in the separator. Holy doodlebugs. That’s a lot of power for a “separator”.
So, it probably goes without saying, but the three Stackable blocks work together — one for general spacing, one for an actual divider, and one to do large styling of blocks and white space to give funky spaces in between. FYI, lots of Stackable blocks already have this included in the block, this just gives you the option to add these to the top or bottom of ANY block.
Three in, three out. Block baseball at its finest.
The next area in my review of block options is pretty huge. There are 25 different types of blocks to handle some sort of “highlight” feature — quotes, blockquotes, testimonials, author boxes, team boxes, etc. Some have photos in them, some are just text, but every one of the eight WordPress collections (default Gutenberg, JetPack, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, Qodeblock, Stackable, and Ultimate Addons) has some form of these blocks.
I generally have two specific needs I’m trying to fill. First, I do put up quotes as individual posts. What I would LOVE is some way to have a set of 100 photos ready to go as backgrounds, merge one with the quote of the moment that I’m adding, and have it be both indexed as text and shareable as an image/meme. I don’t think that is even possible, so what I’m really looking for is an easy way to post an image and to include text over top of it.
Secondly, when I’m writing a certain type of post called “Articles I Like”, kind of a curation function, I frequently quote the original article. I got the idea from one of my favourite websites that is like that for almost every post. The author curates hundreds of articles about the writing and publishing business and posts 5-10 a day with some liberal quoting. My approach is different for content. While he might write 10-20 words of his own and share 200 of the article, I’m more likely to share up to 50 of the article and write 200-500 of my own giving my own take on the subject. While the content approach changes, the need to highlight the “quoted” text is relatively the same.
The pure “quote” blocks
The default quote block is basically a grey block with a spot for the quote (in small or large font), some basic colour styling for the fonts, and a line to add a citation/author. It’s functional, and I have used it before. It’s just not very exciting for anything. I don’t see a way to change the background colour easily although I could change it for all quote blocks in my theme.
By default, there is also a “pullquote” block. The basic styling takes the grey box of the quote block, throws a header line and footer line around it to separate it from the rest of the text to make it stand out more, and adds a grey bar to the left-side of the quote box. For styling, you can go with or without the header/footer lines, alter basic text styling, change the colour of text or lines, and change the whole colour of the block without changing the colour of the text box. The last one seems odd to me, but whatever.
Neither of the above two allow images to be included by default, but you could insert them in the text through inline images.
Ultimate Blocks has their own block-quote option. It adds a bit more in the way of styling options. A quote option puts actual quotation marks at the top left-hand corner; the modern option puts a bar down the left-hand side of the block. Ooooh, fancy. Well, okay, it is fancier than the default quote block, and on that basis alone, I would generally choose this blockquote over the above ones every time. For either quote or modern, you can change the look and feel the quote through font colours, a tweet icon, spacing and how you want it to stack on various devices with other blocks. If you use modern, you can style the bar down the left-hand side; if you use quote style, you can change the colour and size of the icon. It’s definitely an improvement over the base ones, but hardly compelling.
Stackable’s blockquote block is far more robust, and the epitome of their approach to almost all of their blocks:
Initial styling has large quote marks and indented text. There isn’t, however, a spot for the author’s name or a citation.
You choose plain or basic as the initial option, which switches between the large quotes plus a clear background to the quotes being closer in to the text (more indented from the margin) and a slight shadow around the text block.
There are 15 “design” layouts to change from the basic options, with five free ones and 10 premium ones. For the free ones:
BQ1 goes super wide and with huge quote marks (pass);
BQ2 goes dark, with a black background, large quote marks in light green, a lighter black quote box, and white text (pass);
BQ4 is the same layout as BQ2, with black background and large quotes, but it changes the quotes to grey and switches to a white background for the text box with black text (the black header and footer are still a bit overwhelming, pass);
BQ5 is pretty simple…small dark quote marks to the left, text centred in the middle, lighter shade to the text but on a white background. It has possibilities;
BQ6 is a bit funkier, very subtle in its tweaks. The default font is larger, it puts a dull yellow/orange set of quote marks indented from the side (so it actually underlays some text if you have a full first line), black text on a white background with a drop-shadow in light grey around the border.
Of the five free design layouts, BQ6 is my favourite. But, to be honest, an initial basic layout worked pretty well too. And if the styling options ended there, I’d be fine with the upfront one. But Stackable offers not only Premium upgrades, even on the free ones, you can open two other tabs of customizations for Style and Advanced.
The Style tab gives you superpowers…it lets you change the border-radius; colour of the shadow; the colour and opacity of the block or the whole container (including gradient options) or, wait for it, add an image or VIDEO (sweet mama!) as your background; choose NINE different shapes for your quotation marks (10 if you include not having one at all!) and then alter their colour/SIZE/opacity/location; and play with the look of the actual quote for typography or colour; drastically change the shape of the overall block (waves, slants, etc.). Like I said, superpowers.
But wait, there’s more! If you act now, you also get the Advanced tab! You can add HTML tags to the whole block (like DIV, etc.) so that custom CSS styling can be applied. Then you get to play with the block itself — alignment vertically, overall natural height, alignment with other blocks, margins, padding, etc. The block is entirely responsive, but you can hide it on tablet, desktop or phone.
If you go premium for about $35 for the first year (it gives you support and full upgrades, but you keep all your blocks for your lifetime use), you get a bunch of other upgrades. Like more designs to choose from on the quotes. There are two that I see — one with a small-centred quote and another with a chic abstract shape motif — that look pretty attractive. Even one with a typewriter in it. Most of them I think I could easily make myself with the tweaks available, but it might be worth the price of the upgrade for the simple available options to choose from ready to go.
Okay, I’m gushing, so I’ll confess. I’m in love with this block. It can handle my quotes needs almost perfectly. There would be nothing lacking in styling these for my website, it would work great. Sure, I can’t turn it into a shareable meme, but as I said, that’s not possible without a custom plugin.
But you know what? Stackable has another option for me. It is called a Header block. It doesn’t at first glance seem like a quote block, but it allows you to basically take an image (like you were designing a header for your site), and then style text over top of it.
As with the above options, it starts out simple — a big background, a title block (missing from the quote block), and a description for the block (smaller text). There is also an option for a “call to action” button. You again go for plain (white background, no styling) or basic (dark background, basic styling) and then can choose multiple layouts. All of them come with an image in the background as a default, and they are quite compelling. If you were only doing a simple “header” once or twice, it would be great. I’m looking for something I can use a LOT, which might get a little too repetitive with the same image, right? If I go Premium, there are also ones with a desk layout with text above (very business-y/creative), another with a fabulous Northern Lights image, and still another with a great simple layout with abstract shapes in two corners but complete white space in the middle. Almost any of them would work with my need for a quotes layout. Why so many great options? Because they have 24 extras in the premium upgrade.
Styling lets me change all the stuff I mentioned above that gives you superpowers, but you can also keep or discard the title and description or add a second “call to action” button. Even the buttons give you a ton of control (all the way down to hover movements or adding icon images next to the text). The options are almost mind-boggling. If you can’t style it with this block, you probably can’t do it at all. And, of course, you still also have the Advanced tab which does all the same standard awesome functions that Stackable gives you that nobody else does. It seems almost anti-climactic a second time after you have already gone through those options on any of their previous blocks.
I have convinced myself that I will use the Stackable option, and likely even upgrade to Premium, not to mention ditching the default quote one and Ultimate blockquote. I don’t know which I will use, but it will be one of them, most likely.
I haven’t ruled out though the pullquote block. As fantastic as the Stackable blocks are, I don’t YET have a great option for styling a large block of text in a different way that stands out as a cited source. I’m sure I can do it in the Blockquote block, I just haven’t turned my head in that direction yet. Eventually, I will, and then I’ll ditch pullquote too. In the meantime, I’ll keep the two Stackable options and the default pullquote.
But that is only a handful of quote blocks. Now it gets REALLY interesting as I consider all the other blocks that I could use for quotes.
Every one of the extra plugin collections has a testimonial block, which is not surprising how ubiquitous they are on business sites. I have no need for testimonials on my site, although I do have some that I could post if I was so inclined, but the functional layout for them is generally similar to that of quotes:
A small footprint, often in a box of some sort;
Possible image or not; and,
A source/citation for the testimonial.
Kadence puts an “s” on their testimonial block which starts with choosing an inline style (plain, with a photo, as a quote bubble above a person’s contact info and picture, or with a photo inside a quote bubble that wraps around the photo). They can be done consecutively and styled as a grid or as a carousel. I only ever have need for one at a time, so that’s not really relevant. I also would never put an image by itself, but I don’t have to use the image of course. You can choose the number of testimonials, how many columns there should be, etc. An interesting option is to add an icon to the box and guess what the default choice is? A quotation mark. I’m not the only one who thinks it looks like a blockquote. But I can use ANY other icon in a standard package of some 1600 different choices. I played with one that is a picture of two people in a coloured circle that stands out pretty well. I can include a title or jsut the text, plus alter the width. The icons are a bit basic, but then again, so is a quotation mark. It’s pretty compelling.
Kadence also has an info box block, with an icon or image, title and description, but its real strength is six different layouts that move that icon and text around the block as well as changes the border of the box. I like its options to style the icon and you can add a Learn More option (rather than a button). Not bad, I just don’t really need it compared to the other options available.
Advanced Gutenberg’s testimonial block is pretty basic. A spot for an avatar image, their name, title, and some text. Pass. While I’m looking at AG’s options, they also have a price box. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound like a quote option, but again, it is often the same four elements (box, image, text, and source). The Price box allows you to add an icon, title and some text, but no image. And the icons aren’t even that interesting. Pass.
Atomic Blocks has three options — standard testimonial, pricing and a profile box. The testimonial option is way too basic — text colour, alignment, etc. and to add a picture from the media library as a rounded profile pic. I can’t even stylize the photo. Their pricing box is decent — a spot for a title, description, price, features, and a BUY NOW button. There’s no built-in option to add photos, but you can do it inline from the media library. The various text features have some small tweaking options for currency or adding lines between them. Quite decent if you had only a few items to list somewhere on a website. I have no need for it although it does make me consider using it for downloads of various products. Hmm…interesting. Hey, wait a minute. I just realized the pricing box isn’t a single block at all…it’s a collection of smaller blocks to handle each element – pricing (checkout block), lists, text, paragraph, buttons, etc.). Interesting approach. The profile box is also decently functional. Image to the left, name, title and profile text to the right. One could easily use it for showing off images with descriptions too or even videos. Nice, but all three are a pass.
Qodeblock has its own testimonial block, plus a pricing and author block too. For the testimonial, it has text, room for the citation, and an optional picture to include. While the features are pretty basic, it does allow you to style the citation differently from the main text easily (i.e., main text left-aligned and citation right-aligned). Not enough to sell it, but nice. The pricing block works almost identically to the Atomic Blocks one, and I passed on it too. An author profile box looks like a clone of other ones — image to the left, spot for name, title and some text. Pass.
Ultimate has four extra options — testimonial (of course), info box, price list, and team. The testimonial one has a spot for text, title, and company. Looks fine, nothing special. Info Box has room for an icon or image, a title, a separator line and then some text. Meh. The price list one is very well done, and unlike the other options, is really designed to look like menu items. Title in bold, some text below, and a price to the right. I don’t have any need for such an item, but if I did, it would be a contender. The final team profile is basic but you can add an image, their name, designation/title, and a description. All “ho hum” standard stuff. And then it shines. It adds options for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest links. You can even replace those images with other icons if you want and link to something totally different. You can do such links through separate plugins, but it’s a really good touch for a personal profile box, and EVERY profile block should have that option even if people don’t use them. I just don’t need it.
Finally, we come to Stackable again. And again they offer options out the wazoo. They have a testimonial block, card block, pricing box, and a team member block. There are also two unusual ones called feature block and feature grid block. Whew.
The testimonial block has Stackable’s now standard layout, style and advanced options. For their base layout, it has text in a box (the quote) followed by a photo, name and title. Surprisingly, the free ones didn’t excite me at all. Their premium options (that I already said I would buy) comes with two that add options for other types of theming photos, better backgrounds, and a boxy format for better styling of the testimonial itself. Styling lets you choose how many testimonials there are, how many columns, etc. but it also gives you options to have really odd-shaped images (square, round, and BLOB????). They are all interesting options, but underwhelming.
Stackable’s card block has room for a large photo, title, subtitle and some text. I feel like the image would be too large for a profile, but not bad for any other purpose. There’s even an option for a CTA button at the bottom. None of the samples excite me much. Their pricing box is similar — image, title, price and some description options, plus a CTA button. I don’t have a need for it, but their premium choices have some awesome bright multi-coloured boxes for side-by-side pricing of products. If I did need a price box, this is the one I would want. Their team block is actually better than the one I liked with Ultimate. It has a photo in various shapes, title, position, description, and then, really nice social media boxes. Wait, hold the phone. One of their premium options with a single team member has a really good layout in the background. If I ditched the photo, it could really work well as a quote layout. Hmm. I’ll mark it as a definite contender, although I suspect I’ll go with the previous ones.
Stackable’s feature block caught me by surprise. It’s basically like the original media and text options. Default has the image to the right, title to the left with text and a button. It’s a GREAT looking block. So much so that I started thinking maybe THIS should be the one I use for videos with some text. Except the media/image box only takes images. No videos. Dang. There are some fantastic styling options though with swashes going here and there, and images overlaid. Just of no real use to me for the other purposes. I’ll keep it around for general styling options for images but it is more about the way the text flows around it than the image control itself.
The feature grid is actually not just the features in a grid, but rather a pretty ho hum standard layout of photo, title, text and button. The premium option includes one where the three boxes side by side have very different contrasting looks to them, but other than that, yawn.
Wrapping it all up
That was a very long post reviewing the options. Where does that leave me?
Basically in love with Stackable. I will use their Blockquote, Header, and Team Member blocks, plus I’ll keep their feature and pricing box ones around for fun. The default quote and pullquote blocks will get deprecated as soon as I can switch over to a new format (that won’t be instantaneous — there are quite a few posts using the default quote one). Kadence’s testimonials has some nice features as does the Ultimate’s Team block, but not enough to keep them active. More just to note their options. The other 16 are out.
I’ve been going through the block options for eight WordPress collections (default Gutenberg, JetPack, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, Qodeblock, Stackable, and Ultimate Addons) and I’ve already reviewed The three text blocks and the six media blocks. However, that “media” title was a bit misleading because there are two other areas I didn’t include in my “media” list.
The default WordPress blocks include one called “File”, and it allows you an easy way to upload files of different types, store them in your media library, and add a DOWNLOAD button to your page so people can download it. I already have a Download Manager that does essentially the same thing but, of course, that requires a shortcode to show up in modern blocks. I use my Download Manager primarily for my HR guide, which is great as it keeps track of download stats too. If it wasn’t for the stats, I would ditch DLM’s overhead and just go with this block. The styling options here are pretty limited, but then again, so are the DLM ones since they don’t fit inside a normal block anymore.
I’ll stick to the DL Manager options and remove this one from the list. I’m tempted to leave it for temporary download options, but I’m trying to reduce overhead, so I’ll deprecate it for now.
So this one is a bit awkward to work with in WordPress. I do some music reviews and I have a project that will require extensive playlists. But my default music manager these days is iTunes. I can embed a podcast player, I can embed Spotify or SoundCloud as a player, but there’s no Apple Music option. I took a chance on just pasting the link from Apple Music to see if the “auto” embed block would recognize it but it didn’t. I can still embed the iframe code from Apple Music but the height and width need adjustments. I was a bit disappointed though that I didn’t have options in the list to show my ratings of the songs.
For example, I did a review of all the top hits from 1943 to give my view of what songs were the “best of” for the year and which ones hold up almost a century later. There are 117 songs, and I would LOVE to be able to sort the list by different columns and link to the song with various services. But I considered just doing it in Apple Music and letting the playlist be my ordered list. Not as useful if I can’t show my rating of the song on a 1-5 scale. I thought Apple Music had that option, but I can’t seem to find it anymore if they do. The embed works fine, just not as powerful as I originally hoped. I will use it though for individual playlists when I talk about NAC outings, for example.
Regardless of how I do it in the end, though, it was clear that my embed options for Spotify, SoundCloud and the default audio player are not needed as I don’t use their services nor do I host audio files. There’s an option for a PodCast Player, but I don’t have an immediate need for that one either. I’ll keep that one as a future option, maybe, as I’d like to review some podcasts, but for now, I’ll deprecate it too.
After working through a series of blocks that help me style various text blocks, I reviewed all the various media blocks to handle images and video that are available in the eight collections that I’m reviewing (default ones, JetPack, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, Qodeblock, Stackable, and Ultimate Addons).
I am obviously going to keep the default image block. It is the simplest and easiest way to insert a photo from the media library OR an external URL. I am trying to control my media library a little bit more aggressively so that random photos just don’t get added there during an embed, and since I have the NextGen Gallery installed, it’s easy to upload my photos to various NGG galleries and hotlink to them. I wish NGG Image Chooser had a block associated with it and I may actually pay someone to develop one, but for now, I’ll stick with the image block plus the NGG Gallery block.
After the default, the world of image blocks gets a LOT more complicated. There are image blocks, slider blocks, gallery blocks, and even header/cover blocks (like your page header, with the ability to put text over them). I’ll avoid the speciality blocks for things like author pages or pricing blocks that have images in them, at least for now, as they are not really about image display as simply having an option to include an image. Let’s dive deep on the rest:
Default cover — Like the main header on a page, you can post an image and put a title over it, but that’s about it. Too limited. Pass.
Default media and text — This one combines something from the media library with some content/description beside it. I would be tempted NOT to keep it except for one thing — it will let me embed local videos with text beside it. Simple, easy, bam, your video is there. You can even stack it on mobile. Definitely a keeper.
Default embed of GIF — It is a bit different than the normal image blocks, and not something I would use often, but I’ll keep it.
Stackable’s image box — This allows you to put several images side-by-side (a mini gallery), as long as they all come from the media library. I can add titles, subtitles and descriptions. All of Stackable’s options are generally awesome, I just wish it would allow me to insert images from somewhere other than the media library. Pass.
Stackable’s header — Like “cover”, this allows you to put some text over top of media. I say media because it is NOT limited to images. Sure, the source has to be the media library, but it is pretty solid. I am considering a default “blockquote” upgrade where there would be an image in the background, or perhaps a layout option for quotes/humour/etc. I would prefer a fully “merged” image that you could share (i.e., some way to share the image and text on social media together), but I don’t think that is possible. If I want higher quality images, I can always go premium, but most of the premium ones are things I can do in PowerPoint myself just as easily. Not as “slick” or as “easy” as paying for a one-click option, but still decent. Except, again, it ONLY works if you use images from the media library. I’d love the option to have a lot of different backgrounds, but I don’t want to clutter up the media library…I’ll pass on this for now, and keep it mind as a possible way to do blockquotes.
Advanced Gutenberg’s Advanced image — Similar to other ones, it allows you to add text over the image, but nothing special. Pass.
Default gallery block/tiled gallery/slideshow — While I like the premise, it only allows images from the media library. And since I don’t keep much in my library in the way of images, I have no real need to keep it. If it let me do VIDEO galleries, that would be something worth doing. Pass.
Advanced Gutenberg’s images slider — Good, but I have no need for it, particularly only pulling from the image library. Pass.
Kadence’s advanced gallery – I have NGG, so no need for this. If it pulled from NGG, without embedding the same image in the media library, then I might use it. Or if it allowed video. Pass.
As you saw, many of the options that I ditched above were nothing special for images and they didn’t include options to embed a video (either locally or externally), so no “extra” reason to consider them. Of course, there is the default video block, and it allows upload, inserting from the media library, and inserting from a URL. This is the the same power as the default image block that I like so much, so my first reaction was that of course, I would keep it.
Similarly, there are default embeds that give options for lots of video options that I might use, like YouTube or Vimeo, as well as a long list of other sites that I won’t. Since most of the “other ones” can be handled by the default video block, my intent was to keep the default plus one or two “special” embed options.
Then I tried the “Advanced Video” block from Advanced Gutenberg, which comes with a LOT more controls. It includes options to link to external sites (like YouTube), to play local videos, load image previews, open in a lightbox, adjust playback controls, etc. Which are pretty great. Which then made me wonder…why do I need the previous ones? I tested a local video, and it worked, check. YouTube also worked, check.
There’s a default embed block for TED videos so I thought I would try one of those in the Advanced Video block. In normal insertion mode, the TED video doesn’t show in a preview. Hmm. I tried adding it in a lightbox. Okay, there it is…but when the page is loaded, it still wouldn’t play. I went back and tested the default video block, and the default embed for TED, and those work just fine. Hmm…I tried different forms for the URL, I tried getting to it from a direct “video” file URL rather than the page URL, nada. It would NOT play. I tried a bunch of options, searched through help files online, nothing. Finally, I reached out to the plugin creator and waited a couple of days for a response. At which time they said, “oops, we should fix the description for that block, it ONLY plays local + YouTube and Vimeo, no other embeds”. So TED didn’t work because TED isn’t one of the options. Which is REALLY weird because it isn’t that much more complicated to add other URLs and sites. For most other video players, once you figure out how to pull from sites like YouTube, everything else is a piece of cake. Nope, no TED.
Hmm…well that’s a design question for me. The default video option handles everything. I can do some additional embeds for a few external ones like YouTube or TED, but do I really need it? The default can handle TED and YouTube just fine.
Nope, the overhead to run those other embeds and blocks is too high. I’m going to pass.
I’m reminding myself that I am also likely to use the default media and text block anyway for videos. It lets me put a bunch of text next to it, which is pretty sweet, and most videos I play are local.
Stackable includes a video block too, called Video Popup, and it has some interesting features and format options, but like Advanced Gutenberg, it only does YouTube and Vimeo videos. It doesn’t even have a local option. Pass.
So I’m sticking mainly with six media blocks:
the default image block
the NextGen Gallery block
the default media and text block
the default GIF embed block (although I won’t use it much),
Stackable’s header block for possible use with blockquotes later, and
the default video block.
Everything else media-media related? Gone like the wind.