March 30, 2021 at 11:08 am #503628
Iv'e tried to get this answered by both Sales and Technical Support at WP-Engine, but they have been unable to provide any meaningful detail, so here's something for those who have gotten Genesis Pro.
Currently, making custom blocks is a bit difficult but not too bad. However, making custom Layouts looks to be a very onerous process. What is the difference between a custom layout and a custom block pattern?
And, there are plugins that allow for Custom Block Patterns to be made straight from the editor, such as "Block Pattern Builder," where the user simply groups blocks together and clicks to assign them as a block pattern. That can't be done in any of the free versions of Genesis Blocks or Genesis Custom Blocks - can it be done in the Pro versions?
It looks to me like Layouts/Sections are just a glorified block patterns, so does Genesis Pro allow for making a pattern in the editor and assigning it as a Layout? Or does everything have to be coded and placed into the theme?
I would like to leverage layouts in the products we offer. However, adding, creating, and editing them seems like a complete PITA, even with the small amount of Genesis documentation out there. It's all a multi-step process of building patterns, copying, coding, changing the syntax, and then uploading into the theme.
I can see the need for that at the custom block level - it makes sense. You're making something new and that needs to be built. Got it.
But, I have a hard time seeing how that process needs to stay the same when it's an assembly of blocks into a block pattern and then labeling that pattern as a Layout/Section. The free version of Genesis Custom Blocks is just painful to do this. Is the Pro version more like the "Block Pattern Builder" plugin where pattern assembly is done in the WordPress editor, no coding or additional effort required?
Does Genesis Pro make the creation of layouts, sections, and collections easier - as in less code, more product - or does it just open up a couple of extra blocks (posts, mockups, etc)?
RobMarch 30, 2021 at 5:44 pm #503636
@thedigitalcomic I have a reply for you after inquiring in Slack.
Layouts & Sections are functionally the same as a Block Pattern, simply surfaced to the user in a different way in Genesis Blocks via the Layouts block.
Genesis Blocks and its features always been a few steps ahead of what’s in WP core, and as Core catches up, we look to technically align the plugin with Core and then further enhance the UX. Layouts/Sections <> Patterns is a good example of this.
The current state for registering custom Layouts/Sections/Collections is as is covered in these docs. It’s not GUI friendly like what you see in in creating Block Patterns, but the team is looking at how to bridge this gap. Copy-pasting code and syntax-massaging is, like you say, too tedious.
April 27, 2021 at 9:31 am #503862
Has there been any updates on this? Or any indication in a roadmap for this plugin on when they intend to streamline the layout/section development process?
I saw another article on how to build layouts for themes, but I'm looking for something a little more "on the fly", either the ability to customize an existing layout or to build and assign patterns as a layout without needing to change the theme or build a custom plugin specifically to alter/add a layout.
The only way it looks like that an existing layout/section can be altered is manually with every instance of use. SO, if I like the "Slate" layouts but want to change a couple of colors and font, I have to manually make that change every time I use that layout/section, which is really tedious.
Is there an ability to tailor these somewhere that I'm missing? What about removing them, in the instance that I do make a custom set for my theme?April 27, 2021 at 11:43 am #503864
If you highlight the blocks in the section and select "Add to reusable" in the "Spotlight" view, you should be able to save the entire block with style settings. I just did this in a test install and it worked just fine.April 27, 2021 at 2:47 pm #503866
Thanks for commenting!
Yes, it's fairly easy to add/create Reusable Blocks - but what about adding them to "Layouts" or "Sections" in the Genesis Blocks plugin? That is the desired location, really. Otherwise what is the point of that feature?
If items can't be easily added to Layouts in Genesis Blocks (aside from creating a custom plugin), is there a way to remove that link and that block option from Genesis Blocks, so users know to only go to the traditional Patterns and Reusable Blocks?
Thanks,April 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm #503867
Ahhh. I get it!
We don't currently have that ability, but we've had similar requests from others. I passed along your feedback to the team though.
It seems you're already aware of the method of creating a custom Collection to do this, and that's not a good fit for you, but if you'd like to explore it again... https://studiopress.blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-building-custom-collections-in-genesis-blocks/April 27, 2021 at 5:17 pm #503868
Thanks again for your timely reply.
Yes, I'm familiar with the process and am building some custom ones now using it. However, I can't predict every scenario and combination and would want to build something with clients in mind.
My plan is to build a series of layouts and sections that are generic, but useful to my particular client niche. The issue becomes customization. Just as Genesis comes with lots of nice layouts, I'm rarely going to use them because their color and scheme (Slate, Orange, etc) aren't the colors and scheme of the site I have or am working on. So, I can either tailor them all individually, each and every time I use them, or... make ones of my own.
What I would like to see from Genesis Blocks is the ability to provide "stock" layouts with the theme (either coded in or by plugin), and those layouts/sections could then be tailored to match the built site and saved for future use - that way the client (or me, with a service plan), can rapidly go in and create content without having to remember every single color code and font setting to make it all look coherent.
Equally important is to be able to create new layouts/sections while building, without needing to go back and build out/expand a custom plugin just to add or modify a block. That's... really cumbersome. Given that there are FREE block pattern plugins out there that allow for new patterns to be built straight from the editor, I'm not inclined to PAY for a similar plugin that can't do the same. It's an essential capability, IMO, and one that Genesis Pro needs to provide.
I can't tell what, exactly, Genesis Pro provides for along these lines - neither in tailoring nor in generating. Doesn't look like the generating part is ready yet, and its really uncertain about the tailoring part - the Genesis Pro video hints it might be possible in the permissions settings, but it's really left to the viewer's imagination.
Basically, I can't find out any meaningful detail about Genesis Pro and no one I've asked seems to know - including WP Engine support. Can layouts/sections/blocks be tailored and set? What is the mechanism? How about the premium MockUps block - what do the mockups actually look like? I've never seen them in any documentation. How about the Post Blocks - will they work with Custom Post Types (essential in my book) or are they like the Genesis Post Grid block, which doesn't? Hard to say, really. Saw a tutorial where blocks were made for WooCommerce, but... Will they work with Author Pro? Because Author Pro is super important to my business.
I'm not really ready to put the money down to find out, to be honest. Genesis Pro is an expensive plugin suite, so I'm hesitant to get it just for experimenting.
I think it is incredibly important for layouts/sections to be able to be built, modified, copied, and saved "on the fly" - to have to create or modify a custom plugin every time you build a site is... a lot to ask. And, like it's been said, there are free plugins that allow for patterns to be built this way, so why does the premium Genesis Pro not?April 27, 2021 at 5:25 pm #503869
One more important thing: How can the Layouts button (in editor and as block) be removed?
If we can't easily add/customize the Layouts/sections, then as you've pointed out, making reusable blocks or patterns is really the way to go. How can the Layouts feature be removed from the editor screen and block list to reduce clutter and prevent any confusion from users/clients?
Right now, at least for all of the sites I manage, it's pretty useless and just clutters the editor screen. UAG Templates was similar - they provided premade templates that simply were never going to be used. Clients complained (UAG Templates has a very large, obtrusive button), and so I used their provided function to remove it.
Until Layouts becomes useful on a larger scale, I would prefer to remove it from the editor if possible.
Rob McApril 28, 2021 at 4:45 am #503874
Thanks for the rundown on how you're building and feature requests. Responses in line...
> the client (or me, with a service plan), can rapidly go
> in and create content without having to remember
> every single color code and font setting to make
> it all look coherent.
We're planning a global styles feature set for Genesis Blocks that would allow you to define the color scheme and apply it to any of the blocks, sections, and layouts (including those you create yourself).
> Equally important is to be able to create new
> layouts/sections while building, without needing
> to go back and build out/expand a custom plugin
> just to add or modify a block.
There are non-build-your-own-plugin ways to do this of course. You can mod the block's styles in the block editor itself and save it as a reusable block. To your point though, if you save the block as reusable that won't currently show up in within the Layouts selector.
> Given that there are FREE block pattern plugins
> out there that allow for new patterns to be
> built straight from the editor
We are currently researching adding similar features to the free version of Genesis Custom Blocks.
> Basically, I can't find out any meaningful
> detail about Genesis Pro
Below are some documentation links that might help. Also if you email me ([email protected]), I'm happy to send you a copy of Genesis Blocks Pro / Custom Blocks Pro so you can answer more of your questions 🙂
> How can the Layouts feature be removed from
> the editor screen and block list to reduce
> clutter and prevent any confusion from users/clients?
Genesis Blocks Pro allows for permission settings that would enable you to hide blocks, sections, and layouts on a per user role basis.
Drop me an email if you'd like to try out the pro versions of GB / GCB and I'm happy to send you the zips so you can play around 🙂May 1, 2021 at 4:28 am #503901
I'll take you up on that offer - just sent you an email.
I would advise strongly to make visibility control of the "Layouts" button in the editor part of your free tier, or at least provide a code snippet that can be placed in the theme to remove that button.
Other similar block plugins (UAG, Kadence) are getting nailed for this with many asking how to get rid of these intrusive and unwanted features. With every block provider now throwing these template buttons into the editor, it's getting pretty crowded up there and uses are noticing. I'm very sensitive about what is, and is not, in my editor as I manage sites for many people. My users are noticing the intrusion and they are not happy about it - and neither am I.
I recommend Genesis stay classy and provide a means to remove the Layouts icon from the top of the editor for those who don't want that. Even a snippet would be fine. When they were the only one, it's wasn't a big deal. But, with everyone joining in... Best to be ahead of it, I would think.
RobMay 5, 2021 at 4:52 am #503940
I just replied to your email and will share your feedback here with the product team. I think those are good points and points they are likely already considering. We also like things clean like a jelly bean in /wp-admin 🙂
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