GenerateBlocks is the brainchild of Tom Usborne, who has previously worked on GeneratePress and other popular WordPress themes. It was released in February 2020 to much fanfare. I’m always excited to see new themes and plugins that make WordPress more accessible because it’s one of my favorite platforms.
The plugin is very easy to use—and perhaps even easier than building a website from scratch using a standard theme. It comes with a collection of lightweight blocks that let you design your site without typing any code, making this plugin perfect for those who have little to no coding experience.
In this review, I’ll do a deep dive into all the features GenerateBlocks has to offer as well as my overall thoughts on the plugin. Let’s get started!
First off, what is a block?
A block is a single component of a website that you can add to any page on your website. You can mix and match them to create a layout that suits your design requirements, just the way you would use templates in a traditional theme.
Each block is designed with ease-of-use in mind. They are responsive, retina ready, and cross-compatible so they’re compatible with all devices.
And that’s just the beginning. GenerateBlocks comes with 27 blocks in total, which you can mix and match to create your own website design. The plugin also has an element library for even more customization freedom. I’ll cover both of these features in this review.
The free version of GenerateBlocks has four main blocks:
- GenerateBlocks is a lightweight, fast, and no code framework that can be utilized for any type of site.
- The platform has an intuitive design that takes advantage of WordPress styles to give you everything in one place while also being 100% accessible by default!
- All layouts are responsive out-of-the-box which means they respond well on both desktop computers as well as smartphones or tablets depending on what device the user chooses when setting up their website.
- Tom from the team answers forum questions regularly so if something comes about again through emailing them directly – whether it’s via contact form available 24/7 365 days per year!.
GenerateBlocks Pro Pricing
It’s easy to create your very own WordPress site with GenerateBlocks. The free version has everything you need for a basic website, but if that isn’t enough there are three different plans available:
- Personal at $39 a year for 1 WordPress site.
- Pro at $69 a year for 10 WordPress sites.
- Professional at $99 a year for 250 WordPress sites.
All of the premium plans include the following:
- 150+ pro templates
- Build local templates
- Global styles
- Block effects
- Asset library
- Advanced backgrounds
- Container hover features
- Custom attributes
- Support and updates for a year
181+ Pro templates let you build a website header and footer from scratch!
This lets you create styles you can use throughout your entire website. It’s also great for performance, as you aren’t creating entirely separate code every time.
GenerateBlocks Grid and Columns
Grids help you create the most advanced layouts with flexible grids. To add a grid, type /grid in WordPress Block Editor and there are 12 different types of Gridded your options to choose from!
Grids are a way to make your site layout more creative and interesting. With 12 different types of layouts, you can create the perfect page for any occasion!
CSS these days is really powerful, and the pro version of GenerateBlocks lets you harness it! Here are just a few of the amazing effects you can apply:
- Opacity and blend
- Box shadow
- Text shadow
You can easily hide elements or blocks on specific devices such as mobile and tablet.
Advanced backgrounds in the free version do not do much better. But, I love the pro version. It allows you to add gradient colors to your images.
Buttons let you drive conversions to add responsive buttons to your pages and blocks.
You can change the button:
- Background Gradient
- Icon (use included SVG icons or include your own custom SVG code)
The shape background module allows you to add different types of shapes and colors in the background of container.
- Random waves, angles, curves, and triangles
- Flip horizontally
The spacing component gives you precise control over your layouts, including:
- Padding (px, em, %)
- Margin (px, em, %)
- Border size
- Border radius (px, em, %)
- Outer z-index
- Inner z-index
The typography setting allows you to add google fonts in your container and Gutenberg blocks.
- Font family fallback
- Font size (px/em/%)
- Letter spacing
Google Core Web Vitals is the latest update initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web. As of May 2021, it will be part of their ranking signal and this means performance should not be taken lightly because it could affect your SERP’s positioning!
Take a look at the overall codebase size of GenerateBlocks versus Elementor, Oxygen, and Divi.
- It’s 87% smaller than Oxygen.
- It’s 93% smaller than Elementor.
- It’s 96% smaller than Divi Builder.
A block-based website is inherently lightweight because it has far less moving parts than usual. A traditional theme requires every single section to be built as its own template file which creates hundreds (if not thousands) of HTTP requests.
Ready to build your ultra fast loading WP site with GenerateBlocks?
As a reminder, this plugin is free and will always be. But as with all things in life, like love and happiness – there’s always a catch! 😜
The only drawback of GenerateBlocks is that you can’t generate static HTML files from it. However, this may not really be such a big deal because every page on your site will still have the dynamic power of WordPress behind it.
And if you want to generate a static file for some reason – there are plenty of great plugins to help you do just that 👍
So if you’re ready to generate something fantastic with GenerateBlocks, all you have to do now is head over the generateblocks.com
Blocks link together by using something called includes which only generate 1 HTTP request for each included file instead of 1 per line in the template file! You can see why blocks generate much faster pages than traditional themes.
I imagine this plugin will blow up having tons of active installs in no time flat! And I think that’s great news for the plugin dev team who deserve every bit of success they receive from their awesome work on this plugin.
To sum up, GenerateBlocks is an awesome plugin and I highly recommend it! If you’re going to create a website with WordPress, try not to use any other page builder. This combination will surely speed up your website significantly both from a development perspective as well as from the user experience standpoint.
All the blocks are SEO-friendly so they’ll help your site rank well on search engines. It comes with built-in localization for those who want to go global as well as multiple social media share buttons so you can generate a buzz about your website!
If you’re ready to start building fast and lightweight websites that are future-proofed for performance, then I recommend giving GenerateBlocks a try. The plugin enables blocks – which is the new way of doing things in WordPress!