A Custom Block For Gutenberg

We have released our first custom block for Gutenberg within the WordPress plugin directory. The Organic Profile Block is among the first custom block plugins available for the new WordPress content editor.

Custom Block Plugin Gutenberg

Display Personal Profiles, Team Pages and More

The Organic Profile Block displays a personal profile image, along with a name, title, biography and social media links. We have outlined the process of building this plugin in detail on our How We Created A Custom Block For Gutenberg article.

The Profile Block is an excellent solution for adding author biographies to articles, displaying a page of team or staff members, or as a personal business card on your “About” page. The block adopts the fonts and styles of your active theme.

This custom block is designed to work with any theme, so long as the Gutenberg plugin is active. With the release of WordPress 5.0, the Gutenberg content editor will be integrated into WordPress core. Then, the Gutenberg plugin will no longer be required. In the meantime, users must have the Gutenberg plugin active to use the Profile Block

The profile block on the front-end within the Origin Theme.

Try the Organic Profile Block with Gutenberg! Install the plugin directly from your WordPress dashboard by searching for “Organic Profile Block” under Plugins > Add New. Otherwise, download the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory here.

Check back with Organic Themes for more custom blocks in the future!

Horizon – A Horizontally Scrolling WordPress Theme

Are you sick of all WordPress themes looking and behaving basically the same? Don’t you wish your theme was different? Well, the Horizon Theme is here to break the mold. This new theme scrolls horizontally rather than vertically — providing an exciting and unique user experience!

The Horizon Theme should be experienced to be fully appreciated. The theme utilizes CSS columns for displaying your website content in a horizontal layout. As a result, the content flows like reading a book — or a brochure. This makes the Horizon Theme an excellent website solution for advertising products, services, destinations or anything in a brochure inspired layout. Additionally, it’s an excellent theme for bloggers and authors that want to provide their readers with a lasting impression.

Horizon is fully responsive. On mobile devices, the layout switches back to a more traditional, vertically scrolling layout for convenience. The theme also includes page templates for a portfolio and testimonials page. Portfolio and testimonial posts are displayed on the page templates in a unique style, different from the blog post design.

In case you were wondering, the theme has been tested with Gutenberg. It is fully compatible with blocks and the upcoming WordPress editor. Additionally, the theme is compatible with our popular Organic Customizer Widgets plugin for building custom pages. However, pages using Organic Widgets will display in a traditional vertical layout.

Horizon strives to be different, and that’s a good thing. With a saturated market of WordPress themes that look vastly similar, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Make your website stand out with Horizon!

How We Created A Custom Block For The Gutenberg Editor

A rebirth of WordPress is underway. Like it or not, Gutenberg is coming, and it is going to change things. So, with all the buzz about Gutenberg, we decided to build our first custom block. In this post I’ll outline how the block was created, the resources used, and my feelings on the subject.

Let me preface this post by stating that I’m primarily a WordPress theme designer and developer. I’ve dabbled in a few plugins as well, but my JavaScript experience is limited to simple jQuery.

When I discovered that blocks were primarily developed in the ES5 and ESNext JavaScript languages, I was intimidated. Despite my ignorance of JavaScript and the lack of documentation on blocks, I managed to build a custom block. I learned a great deal in the process.

A Custom Block For Profiles

I found a handful of helpful resources for building custom blocks. However, the examples were extremely simple. I wanted to create something more practical. So, we settled on building a Profile Block.

The Profile Block features an image, name, title, bio and social media links. It provided the opportunity to create an “Editable” block with custom controls and inspector options. Essentially, it utilizes every aspect of blocks.

The Profile Block plugin is available on Github and the WordPress plugin directory. Read More

A Free WordPress Theme For Musicians, Bands and Entertainers

Christmas has come early for musicians in need of a website! Music Lite is a slimmed down version of our recently revamped Music Theme. It’s an excellent and free WordPress theme for musicians, bands and entertainers on a tight budget.

Organic Themes has long catered to the struggling artist. Our free WordPress themes like Portfolio Lite and Structure Lite are popular among artists and designers. However, Music Lite is our first free theme for that other struggling artist — the musician.

Music Lite Theme Features

The Music Lite theme has a sleek, dark and fully responsive design. It features a home page template, tour dates, blog and compatibility with popular music player plugins. Additionally, Music Lite is fully compatible with our Organic Customizer Widgets plugin. As a result, you can build dynamic pages to display a discography, fan testimonials, featured merchandise and more! Read More

WordPress 4.9 Has Arrived – The Major Update Before Gutenberg

WordPress 4.9 is here! It’s the last major update before Gutenberg. The new content editor will be implemented into the platform with version 5.0 early next year. However, WordPress 4.9 is all about the Customizer. That makes us happy.

Organic Themes was an early adopter of the WordPress Customizer. We have been implementing theme options into the Customizer for several years. More recently, we released the Organic Customizer Widgets plugin that transforms the Customizer into a page builder using custom widgets. As a result, the latest WordPress update will only enhance any Organic Theme. The improvements to the Customizer include the following features:

Scheduling and Collaboration Options

Now, you can schedule the release of a new website design within the Customizer similar to scheduling the release of a new blog post. Additionally, you can save drafts and share new designs before they go live. This can be accomplished by clicking the settings icon next to the blue “Publish” button.

Customizer scheduling options using the StartUp Theme and Organic Customizer Widgets.

This new feature is very useful when collaborating with clients or a team. Essentially, it eliminates the need to setup a staging domain in many cases. For instance, if your client is updating their old existing site to a new theme, you can simply setup their whole site within the Customizer, and send the draft to the client for approval. Once approved, there is no need to fiddle with domain and DNS changes. Simply publish the new design within the Customizer.

Customizer CSS Syntax Highlighting

We were thrilled when the option to add custom CSS was implemented into the Customizer. In many cases, it eliminated the need for child themes. As theme developers, this change made providing support to our users much easier. However, actually writing the CSS within the Customizer was a bit cumbersome. God forbid, we were forced to use spaces instead of tabs.

With the WordPress 4.9 updates to the Customizer writing CSS is now a glorious experience. It feels like writing CSS within Atom. Additionally, the autocomplete works beautifully for adding properties — saving valuable time when making quick customizations.

Choose From Thousands Of Free Themes

The entire WordPress.org free theme directory is now available within the Customizer. This means you can preview thousands of available WordPress themes for your website before activating the theme of your choosing. Currently, Organic Themes offers 6 free themes within the WordPress directory — and counting. Our free themes have many thousands of active users, and hundreds of thousands of downloads. Try them today within the Customizer!

Beyond The Customizer

WordPress 4.9 introduces the new Gallery Widget, as well as enhancements to the existing Text Widget. The new and improved widgets are great news for our Organic Customizer Widgets plugin. We have implemented basic styles for the Gallery Widget within the plugin. Additionally, the updates to the Text Widget provide more flexibility within the plugin.

Organic Themes is very encouraged by the release of WordPress 4.9. It’s another step in the right direction. A step towards the simplification of the platform. Ultimately, leading to an admin experience where content and design are managed by the Customizer and Gutenberg as predicted. If you’re using an Organic Theme, rest assured your theme is prepared for the future of WordPress. If you’re a designer or developer, now is the time to begin familiarizing yourself with the Gutenberg editor. More good things are on the way from WordPress.