You may have found that your favorite block collection is missing something you need. You know, the one with 40 or 50 blocks. Or conversely, you may find you are only using a handful out of the whole bunch and wonder if there is another option. We’ll there is. Munir Kamal who runs the Gutenberg Hub website has started releasing single purpose blocks that do one thing well, are reasonably priced, and come with an unlimited site lifetime license.
In this review we’ll take a look at the Better YouTube Embed plugin. What caught my eye is that it promises an easy performance boost, so I wanted to try it out.
About Gutenberg Hub
Gutenberg Hub started around 2018 and one of the first services it added was a block layouts collection. Today we would call those layouts “block patterns.” The website hosted a number of layouts of different types that you could browse. When you found one you liked, you could copy the pre-designed block layout from its collection and paste it directly into the Gutenberg editor.
A long time Gutenberg enthusiast, you might know of the founder, Munir Kamal, as the developer of the popular EditorPlus plugin which I reviewed back in 2020. At that time, many Gutenberg users were stymied by the lack of style options and the lack of uniformity of design features across blocks. It provides standard features for all core blocks, such as animations, sizing controls, typography options, border, background, and box-shadow settings. EditorPlus also provides options that can be set by device size, another missing Gutenberg feature. As icing on the cake, there is no lock-in since the style options are just CSS, if you disable the plugin you don’t lose any content or have a mess to clean up.
Gutenberg Hub has a pretty extensive blog, with video tutorials, developer guides, and code snippets, and user tips. All of this is to say that Munir Kamal is familiar with helping users and extending Gutenberg.
Gutenberg Hub Shop
A relatively new addition to Gutenberg Hub is the shop area. Here there are single purpose blocks for sale. Currently everything is 50% off, so you have prices from $9 to $69. The blocks come with unlimited site usage and a lifetime license. There are currently 19 blocks available:
- Link any Block
- Youtube Slider Block
- Better Youtube Embed Block
- Dall-E AI Image Generator
- Query Sort Block
- Query Search Block
- Query Taxonomy Filter Block
- Query Result Count Block
- Query Load More Block
- AI Writer
- Content Toggle Block
- Gallery Slider Block
- Justified Image Gallery Block
- Progress Bar Block
- Counter Block
- Circle Progress Bar Block
- Flip Box Block
- Hover Box Block
- Masonry Gallery Block
Note that you can purchase any block separately, but that there is also a bundle of 5 query-related blocks together.
If you click on the View Details link on the bottom of any of the cards you go to a page that has information about the block and how to use it. There is also a video. This is currently the “documentation.” Most of the blocks are pretty straight forward, so it is probably enough.
Gutenberg Hub is currently using Freemius for purchase and your account, but the Freemius SDK is not included in the plugins, so no Freemius files are installed on your site. It is worth noting this however so that when you create a login for Gutenberg Hub to realize that it is a log into Freemius … so you don’t accidently overwrite your Freemius password. When you login to Gutenberg Hub your account pages are actually an embedded iframe of the Freemius account information. It is has been integrated and styled to be a part of Gutenberg Hub.
Testing Better YouTube Embed
The first thing I did after installing the plugin was go to a page I have with a video. I tested the default core YouTube embed block on GTMetrix first. You can see that there is some blocking and contentful paint.
Next I swapped out to the “better” version and tested again. So, just swapping the block got a better score.
The plugin has some customization options. The “Play Mode” options are:
- Inline, which is the default
- YouTube, which is a link to YouTube
- Lightbox, where the video opens in a popup
You can adjust the aspect ratio, if needed, and disable some of the default YouTube player features. There is also the option to customize the player button.
Here is the final page using the new block.