This review takes a look at a new Gutenberg solution called Cwicly, pronounced “Quickly.” This is a kit that includes a block-based theme, a Gutenberg blocks addon, and Advanced Custom Fields Pro. You can use ACF Pro, along with the free CPT-UI to create your Custom Post Types and custom fields, and then use the Cwicly theme and plugin to create the theme templates. Cwicly is new and it is not a a good fit for all situations or types of sites, but I think that we will be seeing more solutions like this now that Gutenberg Full Site Editing is a thing. So, in addition to an overview and review, I also want to take some time in the conclusion to talk about this emerging trend and what it means for WordPress site builders.
The video version has the full walk-through. The text version here is a summary.
What Is Included in the Toolkit?
Cwicly includes a theme. The theme serves as a blank slate for Full Site Editing. Generally it does a good job.
There is also a Gutenberg Blocks addon. The Cwicly blocks are useful for creating FSE templates. They provide three main features:
- They have conditional display options which are pretty extensive. You can create display conditions based on logged in status, the current user variables, date and time variables, the value of cookies, the return value of a short code, post variables, and so on.
- Many of the blocks give you access to dynamic data. These are the standard types of fields such as post fields, site fields, and author fields. It also has support for ACF fields. There is a specific block for working with ACF repeater fields.
- The Cwicly blocks provide a uniform set of layout and design settings. These are also pretty extensive and include things like animations, transitions, dividers, as well as standard ones like margin, padding, typography, CSS classes, HTML attributes, and so on.
As mentioned, Cwicly includes ACF Pro. This is embedded in the theme and requires the theme to use. All of the features of ACF are available.
What’s Covered in the Walk-through?
In the video we look at the Cwicly website, do a tour of the editor to see the blocks, and take a look at the large library of predesigned Gutenberg sections.
I pause the video and create a Custom Post Type using CPT-UI and ACF as shown in this post / video. Take a look at that if you are not familiar with how to create Custom Post Types.
We then do a full walk-through of the Full Site Editor and show how to create a header, footer, index page as well as the steps for creating FSE templates that are automatically applied to your Custom Post Type. A single and an archive template are created.
Discussion and Conclusions
The Full Site Editor works, though there are some rough edges. Hopefully these will be smoothed out with WordPress 5.9 and subsequent releases. I imagine that we will be seeing a lot of the Full Site Editor in the future, especially when this functionality is merged into core. We will also see a number of third parties offering solutions similar to Cwicly’s Gutenberg Kit. I give Cwickly credit for getting out there early, when you are breaking new ground and the path is not very well traveled.
I think the idea with the Cwicly theme is that it is supposed to be a blank slate and I think it serves that purpose well. The Cwicly blocks were generally improvements over the core blocks offering conditional display options, access to dynamic data, and a uniform set of layout and styling options. There were some glitches, but remember that Cwicly is new. As far as I can tell it just launched several weeks ago. The developer was very friendly and responsive so we should see the issues addressed quickly. The icing on the Cwikly cake is the inclusion of ACF Pro, which combined with the dynamic data features, makes this an interesting solution.
For professionals, it didn’t seem to me that Full Site Editing was ready yet as an alternative to the pro versions of theme builders. However, Full Site Editing could be getting to the point where do it yourself site owners could use it. I know that some people are excited about FSE while others are definitely not interested. What I see with Cwicly, and other solutions on the horizon, is that we will have more choices, and that is a good thing.