Is A WordPress Page Builder Plugin Necessary?

There is a consensus among many WordPress users that a page builder plugin is an essential piece of the WordPress pie. In order to build a WordPress website, you must have a domain, website hosting, WordPress, a theme, and — a page builder. But is this true? No. It’s not.

Unfortunately, page builder plugins have been hammered into the brains of WordPress users through relentless advertising, evangelists, and supporters that have claimed they are a necessity.

Don’t get me wrong. WordPress page builders have served a need in the ecosystem for many years. However, their “need” is coming to an end. The introduction of full site editing and block themes within WordPress 6+ renders most page builders obsolete — when using the right theme.

Don’t worry. Page builders won’t go quietly into the night. They are too engrained within the psyche and workflows of too many WordPress users to simply disappear. And they shouldn’t disappear. The users that love their page builders should continue to keep using them. But I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss using WordPress blocks and a block-based theme without the use of a page builder.

A customer recently approached us, confused about switching themes and abandoning their beloved builder plugin. They wanted to simplify their WordPress page building experience. I proceeded to explain that we have a block-based version of the theme they were using — the Natural Theme.

Natural Block theme
The Natural Block theme

However, they were struggling with the concept of no longer using their page builder. So, I proceeded to explain by providing the following response:

I’ll try to provide some clarification regarding page builders. If you’re using the latest version of WordPress (Version 6+), and a block theme like our previously suggested Natural Block theme, a page builder plugin is entirely unnecessary.

​As of WordPress version 6, a new way of customizing a theme’s design and page layouts was introduced using the full-site editor in combination with a block-based theme. As a result, every aspect of a block-based theme can be customized directly in WordPress — without the need for a page builder plugin.

​Unfortunately, there are not many block-based themes available yet in the ecosystem because this new approach to building WordPress themes is so different when compared to the way that themes have been constructed for the past 15+ years. Since the WordPress ecosystem is comprised of many third-party product developers (like ourselves), many companies that have aligned themselves with a builder plugin are reluctant to switch to this new way of constructing themes because it means changing their entire business model — and probably rebuilding all their products.

Since ​we never aligned ourselves with any builders other than our own, we have remained more flexible in this regard. As a result, all our focus is now being poured into block-based themes and the new WordPress editor.

​In truth, the new way of building pages in the block editor is superior to using a builder plugin. Essentially, builder plugins rose to popularity over the past 8+ years because a solution for customizing every aspect of a theme did not exist within the WordPress platform itself. However, that has all changed with the recent versions of WordPress. Plus, it’s getting better with every new update.

​Builder plugins should still technically “work” with block-based themes and the latest versions of WordPress. And some still offer unique functionality you can’t find using blocks — yet. However, most builder plugins are unnecessary. In my opinion, they just confuse the process of customizing a WordPress theme by introducing a different user experience. I think the best way to simplify the page building experience in WordPress is to stop using a page builder plugin, and start using the WordPress block editor in combination with a block-based theme.

I wanted to share my response because I believe this a common misunderstanding amongst so many WordPress users. Like most things in our world these days, there is an overwhelming amount of information and misinformation regarding this topic.

Gutenberg, the full-site editor, block-based themes — they are all relatively new introductions to WordPress. And honestly, the introduction of these new features and technologies has created a rocky transition for many users, developers, and product providers like ourselves. Change is hard. However, as somebody who has been intimately involved in designing and developing WordPress products for nearly 15 years, I approached this transition with an open mind. I’ve discovered the new solutions are great, and they keep getting better. So, it might be time to abandon that clunky old page builder, and try a block-based theme.

Check Out What’s New In Organic Blocks 2.0

It’s a new year, and big changes are in store for WordPress and Organic Themes. All of our hard work in 2021 will come to fruition in 2022. The Organic Blocks update is the first step towards this new future.

Next, we will introduce our new block-based theme for the Full Site Editor early this year. Although the STAX theme is currently under development, the demo links below showcase each block within the new theme. As a result, it provides a preview of the upcoming STAX theme and beautiful examples of Organic Blocks in action.

In this article we provide an overview of the plugin updates, with demo links to examples for each block. So, let’s dive in!

9 New WordPress Blocks

Organic Blocks 2.0 introduces 9 new blocks. The plugin now contains 20 premium blocks for the Gutenberg editor. Each new block is described in detail below.

An Organic Themes Update: Changes Are Coming

Great changes are on the way! Our blog has remained somewhat silent for several months. However, Organic Themes has been working diligently behind the scenes. The WordPress platform and themes are changing. And Organic Themes is evolving with those changes. A pivot is upon us.

First, let’s talk about the changes happening within WordPress. Then, we’ll get to the changes coming to Organic Themes.

8 Factors To Consider When Choosing A WordPress Hosting Provider

Considering the variety of WordPress hosting options available, choosing the right one for your website isn’t always easy. This is especially true since managed hosting companies make bold – and sometimes outrageous – claims that make it difficult to differentiate marketing from the cold, hard facts. 

There are many factors to consider when looking for the right WordPress hosting provider. In this article, we will go over 8 of the most important things you should consider when making your choice.

Let’s get started.

3 New WordPress Blocks Added To The Organic Blocks Bundle

We’re excited to announce the release of 3 new WordPress blocks within the Organic Blocks Bundle plugin. The collection now contains 12 premium blocks for the WordPress Gutenberg editor.

We added the new WordPress blocks to replace some popular shortcodes from the retired Organic Shortcodes plugin. The new blocks are a major improvement over the old shortcodes. Additionally, each new block features several customization options. As a result, the blocks can be styled to match your website design and colors — directly within the Gutenberg editor.

Toggle Block

WordPress Toggle Block
An example Toggle Block.

The Toggle Block displays content within an expandable box that may be toggled open or closed. As a result, it’s an excellent tool for creating FAQ and documentation pages.

View Toggle Block Examples

Modal Block

WordPress Modal Popup Block
The Modal Block displays content above your website content.

The Modal Block displays content within a dismissible pop-up container. Clicking the modal button or text link will reveal the pop-up content. Which then displays above the rest of your website content.

Pop-up modals are a great tool for displaying content that you would like hidden from the rest of the page content. For instance, a contact or newsletter form, or a list of downloadable files.

View Modal Block Examples

Alert Block

WordPress Alert Block
A simple Alert Block added to the page content.

The Alert Block notifies visitors of important information on your website. It’s a useful tool for notifying visitors of changes, sales, and promotions on your website.

There are two ways of displaying the Alert Block. Directly within your page content, or as a dismissible pop-up upon first loading a page.

View Alert Block Examples

These new WordPress blocks are a useful addition to our growing Organic Blocks Bundle plugin. Additionally, 9 more premium blocks are available in the bundle. Get the plugin today, and spice up your WordPress pages!

The Updated WordPress Restaurant Theme – Version 5

2020 has been a rough year, to say the least. When it comes to businesses, the pandemic has been particularly difficult for restaurant owners. During this time, restaurants are transitioning to taking orders online out of necessity. As a result, Organic Themes has worked to make that transition smooth using the updated WordPress Restaurant Theme.

WooCommerce Integration

WooCommerce is the most popular and powerful eCommerce solution for WordPress. As partners of WooCommerce, Organic Themes understands how to develop themes to work perfectly with the platform. We applied that knowledge to Version 5 of the Restaurant Theme.

As seen in the updated Restaurant Theme demo, WooCommerce is seamlessly integrated into the website experience. Additionally, the Restaurant For WooCommerce extension will provide your website with everything it needs to process delivery and pickup orders.

Gutenberg Blocks Bundle – A Collection Of WordPress Blocks

The Organic Blocks Bundle is a growing collection of blocks for the Gutenberg editor created by Organic Themes.

Organic Themes was among the first companies to release a free block within the WordPress plugin directory — the Profile Block. Additionally, we were the first to publish a tutorial on How To Create A Custom Block For Gutenberg. An article that was copied by many.

As partners of Automattic and WooCommerce, we’ve kept a watchful eye on Gutenberg since its inception. We have witnessed new blocks introduced into WordPress, Jetpack, and WooCommerce over the past year. Since Gutenberg is rapidly evolving software, it was important that we didn’t duplicate any of those existing blocks within our collection.

So, we created a suite of blocks designed to compliment the existing blocks in the Automattic arsenal. The result is the Organic Blocks Bundle. A useful collection of 9 purposeful blocks.

Many Organic Blocks are designed to display existing WordPress content. Additionally, we chose to develop these blocks using the ES5 Javascript syntax. As a result, Organic Blocks can be edited on a web server without the need to compile changes. That’s a big deal. It means our blocks are customizable — even for amateur WordPress developers.

Organic Themes Partners With WooCommerce To Release New Themes

Organic Themes is very excited to announce a partnership with WooCommerce — the most popular eCommerce solution for WordPress.

As the company grows their theme offerings, we are thrilled to be a part of the expansion. As a result, Organic Themes has released 2 new themes on the WooCommerce website — Threads and Artisan.

The Threads and Artisan themes have undergone extensive reviews to guarantee that they are optimized for both WooCommerce AND Gutenberg. As a result, they are among the first officially Automattic approved WooCommerce and Gutenberg themes available. Meaning, the themes are developed to a standard worthy of the makers of WordPress itself.

It’s a BIG deal.

Organic Themes has long been partnered with Our new partnership with WooCommerce now ensures that our products are developed at the highest standards of WordPress and WooCommerce. As a result, the knowledge we have gained from working with these companies is incorporated into all of our products.

I don’t want to toot our own horn too much, but it’s an important message to our existing customers and all consumers of WordPress products:

Organic Themes provides some of the highest quality themes available for WordPress and WooCommerce. Period.

Now, let’s get to the themes!

Artisan Theme

The Artisan Theme is designed for makers of DIY goods. Whether you’re sculpting beautiful pottery or creating custom skateboard decks — the Artisan Theme is designed to turn that passion into a profession.

Threads Theme

The Threads Theme is designed for selling t-shirts and apparel online. The shop features a unique full-screen layout, in which products are displayed in a uniform grid. It’s an excellent website solution for launching your clothing brand online!

During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to establish an alternative means of income. Our hope is that these new WooCommerce themes will assist your efforts to sell goods online, and pocket some cash doing what you love.

Moving forward, Organic Themes is excited to work with WooCommerce, and release more themes in the future.

10-Year Anniversary Sale

In early 2010, Jeff and I launched Organic Themes from his apartment in Napili, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Over the past 10 years, we overcame several personal and professional challenges. Today, our friendship and business partnership is stronger than ever. If you’re interested in our journey, read the full story here:

How We Created A Tech Startup In Hawaii
Jeff and David launching Organic Themes on Maui in 2010.

In celebration of our 10-years in business, we are offering a 25% discount on all Organic Themes products and memberships. Sale ends April 30th.

To redeem your discount, use the following code during checkout:


Unfortunately, our 10-year-anniversary coincides with the global COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a strange time in the world, and we wish all our customers good health and safety.

During this time, many people working from home are motivated to put their ideas into action. This is inspiring at a time like this, and we want you to know we are here to support you!

Stay safe, practice social distancing, and should your attention turn to building a WordPress website, Organic Themes is here to help.

Coronavirus Response

Organic Themes is a very small company of friends and family. Fortunately, we’re able to work from home and monitor each others health closely during this pandemic.

Additionally, we will be taking every precaution possible. We believe it’s better to be overly cautious under the circumstances. As a result, our team will be refraining from any WordPress meetups, conferences, or social gatherings. All meetings will take place online via Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts.

We want our loyal customers to know that we’re here, we’re healthy, and we continue to provide our products, services, and support during these trying times.

In recent days we’ve seen an increase in activity on our site. People working from home are motivated to put their long held ideas into action. This is inspiring at a time like this, and we want you to know we are here to support you!

Helpful Resources

The following section includes a few helpful resources regarding the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Tracking Map

The following site from the John Hopkins University is an excellent resource for tracking the global expansion of the coronavirus:

The John Hopkins COVID-19 Tracker

COVID-19 Information and Public Announcements

We’re avid fans of Sam Harris. He is a rational, logical, and moral voice in the best of times. His podcasts with experts on the coronavirus are insightful and informative. The first podcast is somewhat alarming, as it should be. The second is more hopeful. We recommend both:

Podcast #190: How Should We Respond To The Coronavirus?

Podcast #191: Early Thoughts On A Pandemic

Additionally, experts have advised that keeping the growth curve down is vital to getting through this pandemic. This article illustrates real simulations on how to keep the curve down.

In short, extensive social distancing is key. It’s recommended to “shelter in place” if at all possible. Organic Themes is adhering to these practices.

Stay Safe And Healthy

The owners and employees of Organic Themes heed the advice of health and science experts. We take our health, and the health of others seriously at all times, and particularly under these circumstances.

Should you choose to start a WordPress website with your newfound spare time, we would love to help! Please reach out to us with any questions.

More importantly, we want our friends, family, colleagues, and customers to stay safe and healthy during this time. Thank you for your continued trust in Organic Themes, and we wish you all good health.

Bulk Block Converter

How To Convert WordPress Classic Content To Gutenberg Blocks

Organic Themes is excited to announce the release of the free Bulk Block Converter plugin. We created the plugin to help users migrate their content from the classic editor to WordPress 5 blocks.

Download Bulk Block Converter Plugin

After upgrading from WordPress version 4 to version 5, previously created content is contained within the WordPress “Classic” block. Converting that content into individual blocks requires editing each page and/or post separately. If you have several posts and pages in need of conversion, it’s a long and tedious process.

The Bulk Block Converter plugin vastly improves the process of converting old content to blocks. The plugin scans all of your WordPress content for posts and pages that contain the “Classic” block. Then, it returns a list of all content available for conversion. Choose to convert content individually, or bulk convert all posts and pages to WordPress blocks.

How To Setup bbPress Forums With Your WordPress Theme

Forums are perhaps the earliest evolution of online communities. However, their relevance has stood the test of time. An online forum is great way to provide support or build a community on your WordPress website.

bbPress is a free forum plugin for WordPress. It’s maintained and supported by the WordPress Foundation. As a result, it’s the easiest and most affordable solution for adding forums to a WordPress website.

We have used the plugin to power the support forums on Organic Themes for several years. It’s an excellent plugin! However, getting the forums to appear exactly how you want may require some work.

In this article, I’ll help you integrate bbPress seamlessly into virtually any WordPress theme. Additionally, for the code inept, we have provided an easy method for adding bbPress forums as well.

A Unique Holiday Gift For Techies And Web Designers

Do you have a friend or family member that provides freelance website services or runs their own creative agency? A premium theme club membership is a thoughtful and unique gift for any WordPress web designer, developer, or freelancer.

Organic Themes is hosting our biggest sales event of the year! Save 30% on all WordPress products, services, and memberships!

Enter the promo code BIGSALE2019 at checkout to redeem your discount.

This Black Friday through Cyber Monday, an Organic Themes membership includes 40+ premium WordPress themes and our 5-star website builder — starting at $69. That’s 40+ themes and a builder for the cost of a single theme!

Save 30% On All Products

Builder Widgets 2.0 – A Bigger, Better, Faster WordPress Page Builder

We’re excited to announce the release of Builder Widgets Pro 2.0! We have vastly improved the premium version of the Builder Widgets plugin. The update includes 8 new widgets, additional options, and better performance.

Before I dig into the details, I’ll share a brief history of the plugin. If you’re already familiar with the plugin, skip ahead to the new features in 2.0.

Buy Builder Widgets Pro 2.0 | $39/yr
Photographer Theme Home Slideshow

An Updated Theme For Photographers

The Photographer Theme has always been a popular choice among professional photographers planning to create a WordPress portfolio website. So, we were careful to make sure it didn’t lose its original appeal with a major theme update. Instead, we implemented several improvements suggested by our customers.

The Problem With Most Photography Themes

Many WordPress photography themes suffer from a number of pitfalls:

  1. Full-browser width images that lose quality on large screens and retina devices.
  2. Large images that take considerable time to load, losing the interest of prospective clients.
  3. Flashy design elements and animation that distract viewers from the work.
  4. Website navigation that is difficult to locate and use.

We sought to avoid these mistakes with the Photographer Theme. The recent update is no exception. Instead, the theme features a minimal design with a focus on the photography.

Design Assets For Building Custom Blocks

Scouring the web, we were unable to find many WordPress block design assets. So, we created our own. Organic Themes is proud to provide these assets to help aid the block design process.

Creating a custom block for the WordPress 5 editor is easier with a good design mockup. Working through the design process will refine the user experience of your block. It will help you think about it in practical, step-by-step terms. Additionally, a design mockup will save a LOT of communication and guesswork for your WordPress block developer.

The design files are provided in the PSD and PDF formats for maximum compatibility. Now, let’s explain their contents.

The Widget Area Block Is Now Included With The Builder Widgets Plugin

Builder Widgets are awesome! They’re extremely useful for creating dynamic content sections on any page, such as featured content slideshows, testimonial sliders, pricing tables, portfolios, and more.

The plugin is perfect for building custom home page designs, one-pagers, or adding extra pizazz to any page on your website. Best of all, it’s a lightweight page builder solution that utilizes the existing power of WordPress. There are no bulky proprietary interfaces. There is no departure from the WordPress experience. Suffice it to say, it’s an “organic” page building solution.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out the plugin’s glowing reviews.

But what if you want to use Builder Widgets with Gutenberg Blocks? Well, now you can!

A Better WordPress Theme For Organizations

A Custom Block For Registering Widget Areas

The Widget Area Block from Organic Themes registers a new widget area within any page or post. So, now your favorite widgets can be added along side blocks within the Gutenberg editor. Best of all, it’s totally free!

There are thousands of useful widgets within the WordPress plugin directory. Widgets serve a wide variety of purposes. However, they are usually restricted to sidebars and footers, and cannot be added within the page and post editor — until now!

Using the new block, you can register multiple widget areas on any page or post within the WordPress 5 block editor. This is particularly powerful when used along side our Builder Widgets plugin.

A WordPress Gaming Theme For Guilds And Game Developers

The founders of Organic Themes have a long history with video games. So, it’s about time we released a WordPress theme for the gaming community. The Gamer Theme is designed to appeal to gamers and game developers alike.

In high school, Jeff and I played Warcraft II over a 56k modem, and GoldenEye: 007 on a Nintendo 64 among friends (Proximity mines only, of course).

In college, our roommates and us had many intense gaming nights gathered around the GameCube playing Mario Kart.

We even built our theme business in-between Starcraft II breaks.

These days, we play the indie strategy game Northgard long-distance to end the work week.

Gaming is an important part of our work and lives. At its best, gaming inspires healthy competition, team work, creativity, curiosity, and strategic thinking. Additionally, it keeps our long standing friendship from being fully consumed by operating a business together.