The Plus Addons for Gutenberg recently added support for dynamic data to their collection of Gutenberg blocks. I have been waiting for this feature before reviewing the plugin and am excited to take a look. As we will see, the Plus Addons for Gutenberg is a unique block collection. The video includes a brief overview of the Plus Addons and a walk-through of the Gutenberg theme builder functionality that is built into the optional Nexter theme. It concludes with a discussion of the strengths, weaknesses, and future of these products.
I purchased the pro version of The Plus Addons for Gutenberg and the Nexter Theme when they were first released. I was familiar with the Elementor addon and it looks like the plan with the Gutenberg version is to bring similar functionality they have with Elementor into Gutenberg. There are widgets and functionality in Elementor that I don’t have with my other Gutenberg addons, features like image hot spots blocks, so the idea of a full suite of blocks caught my attention. The wide array of page builder like blocks is one of the things that makes The Plus Addons unique.
The first Gutenberg release had a lot of widgets and features, but it didn’t include support for dynamic data and there were some bugs. I especially found the initial version of the Nexter theme to be counter-intuitive for things like setting the content width. The recent releases have addressed that issue and streamlined the process. They also released support for dynamic data.
I am a fan of Kadence, Astra, and the Generate Press themes. The Nexter theme doesn’t have the same range of features. I think I’d view the Nexter theme to be something like the Hello Elementor theme, best used when you want total control and to build from scratch. The Nexter Builder worked well and I was able to create the single and archive templates for the Custom Post Type. The Plus Addons are flexible enough that I was also able to create a custom loop that included a custom field. That is a powerful feature that provides good flexibility.
You can use The Plus Addons for Gutenberg with any theme, and of course the dynamic data features work regardless of theme, but in this video I’m focusing on using the blocks to create templates with Gutenberg. Out of curiosity I tried The Plus Addon blocks with the Twenty Twenty-Two theme and the Full Site Editor. It doesn’t look like they have been optimized for that environment yet. The blocks work when viewed on the front, but in the editor some of them don’t show any data or even a placeholder. I spoke with the team and they mentioned that they plan to support the Full Site Editor once it comes out of beta and is more stable. Full Site Editing is currently undergoing a lot of changes.
The pro versions of the theme and blocks addon were first released about 7 months ago. They require the free version to also be installed and remember when we looked at the free versions of WordPress.org there were not a lot of active installs. There were 200+ installs of the theme and 800+ of the blocks, so they are taking some time to pick up steam. I mentioned that when they were first released there were some bugs and while making the video I also ran into some glitches, like I showed with the custom archive not showing correctly the first time. The good news is that when I reached out to support they responded quickly. So, I think there is a lot of interest in the Plus Addons for Gutenberg, but perhaps people are waiting for it to mature.
I think it is worth having The Plus Addons on your radar if you are interested in building creative sites with Gutenberg. The creativity, extensive set of blocks, and the experience of the team set it apart from many of the other block addons. I’m glad I purchased The Plus Addons and am looking forward to trying it with the Full Site Editor when support for that is released.