In this review I’m taking a look at Greenshift for Gutenberg. Greenshift is a unique suite of blocks distributed in 5 plugins. There is a free core plugin in the WordPress plugin directory and then an Advanced Animation addon, a Marketing and SEO Addon, a Chart addon, and a Query Addon. In this video we will do an overview of Greenshift and then, so you can get a feel for how it works, we will do a walk-through using the Query Addon in the Full Site Editor to create templates for a Custom Post Type.
Information About Greenshift
Greenshift recently migrated away from Freemius. The suite includes 5 plugins.
Discussion and Conclusions
I worked with blocks from the Greenshift Query Dynamic Addon and overall I was impressed. Here are a few pros and cons.
The biggest con was when working in the Query Loop Builder there was lag. I think much of this is Gutenberg’s fault, as the core Query Loop block is known to be laggy also. The slowness in showing the options, such as the dropdown to pick the post type, may have occasionally resulted in me making the wrong selection or hunting for an option that wasn’t yet visible. That was a bit inconvenient.
One suggestion would be that when we are working in a template in the Full Site Editor that we have the ability to pick a record to use as a preview once, and let that be the default for preview / placeholder data, rather than set the source block by block. That might be an enhancement. But while I’m pointing out that this would be an improvement, lets be fair and note that core only shows generic placeholder images and text, and most Gutenberg addons in the Full Site Editor do also, so the ability to see real data is a step above the default behavior.
The other con was very minor and that was that sometimes the place holder text, when you added a block, didn’t automatically disappear when you went to fill it out, like with the Advanced Heading or Advanced Text blocks. Not a big deal, but I had to backspace and manually delete it each time.
The pros far outweigh the cons. The Advanced Text Block was nice for adding custom fields inline and made adding the post meta easier. The Meta Getter Block was another nice block for working with custom fields.
I got a chance to take advantage of reusable blocks with the block I created for the post meta. Which reminds me that the Greenshift Reusable Blocks functionality includes some theme builder features that can be used with classic themes. This seems kind of unique for a Gutenberg addon.
A very nice feature of the Greensift Query Loop Builder was the ability to edit the item template. That works both in the Full Site Editor and also in the regular Gutenberg editor when creating a post listing. The ability to edit the template provides a lot of flexibility for creating custom loops.
Greehshift has an active Facebook group and I was happy to see that the team is quick in answering questions there, just as they are in the WordPress plugin directory. So, support seems good. There is a lot to dig into, and all of the options could be a bit overwhelming, but I see the team releasing frequent fixes as well adding enhancements based on user feedback, so Greehshift is rapidly improving.
In the video I barely scratched the surface of the Greenshift block collections. I only looked at one of the addons. The Greehsift All in One package is very well rounded with a number of interesting and unique blocks. Greenshift is quickly gathering steam and is worth checking out if you are looking for a full featured Gutenberg addon that works in the Full Site Editor.