Gutenberg Blocks Design Library is a new plugin that provides pre-built page designs, including demo content, using only the default core blocks that come with WordPress. The free version comes with 50 different designs that users can import from the growing Gutenberg Blocks Design Library. These include simple designs for all kinds of page building items, such as text with images, columns with headers, call-to-action sections, team member listings, testimonials, contact page layouts, and more.
The plugin is fully compatible with other Gutenberg themes and plugins, since it simply adds styles to existing core blocks. It can be used in combination with block collections, such as Atomic Blocks, Editor Blocks, CoBlocks, Caxton, Kadence, GhostKit, WooCommerce blocks, and many others.
There are a few major advantages to this approach. Simply adding styles to core blocks means that the plugin doesn’t introduce a bunch of new blocks for users to scroll through in the block inserter. It also ensures data portability. If a user ends up deactivating and removing the plugin for any reason, the content is still there in the default block design.
Although Gutenberg Blocks Design Library is compatible with any WordPress theme that works with the new editor, the appearance of the the pre-made designs vary somewhat across themes. I tested various blocks with different themes and found that it seems to adapt to the active theme’s look and feel. This can be a positive feature or a negative one if the user is hoping for the designs to match the demo exactly.
After installing the plugin, the design library is available by toggling the carrot icon in the menu at the top of the editor. The user is then prompted to import 50 free designs.
The creators of the Gutenberg Blocks Design Library have also built a commercial subscription service to sell “pro designs.” Pricing during the beta period starts at $9/year for a single site. The company aims to have 1,000 commercial designs available to subscribers by November 2019. They plan to release new designs every other week.
The Gutenberg Blocks Design Library is helpful for users who don’t need the more advanced capabilities of a full-featured page builder plugin but still want some simple, pre-built page elements. The placeholder content makes it easy for users to know where to insert their own content. It is much more intuitive than importing an XML file for demo content. This plugin is a great example of the interesting new product opportunities that Gutenberg has introduced by replacing tools that previously might have been built with widgets or cumbersome shortcodes.