Sarah Gooding
Last month WPZOOM released a free plugin called Block Patterns for Food Bloggers that I finally got the chance to test. Food blogs commonly have a strong focus on category and tag-driven grid layouts with big featured images and multiple sections showcasing different types of recipes. Prior to the block editor, customizing these types of layouts would be beyond reach for most WordPress users. They would have to rely on the theme to provide the right layout or enough user-friendly options to change it.
This plugin offers 19 beautifully designed patterns that are fully customizable, making it easy for food bloggers to create complex layouts. Once installed, users will find a little icon at the top of the editor, which launches the patterns in a modal.
The modal displays a grid view of the patterns, a list view with larger images, and allows users to preview the patterns with a mobile, tablet, and desktop view.
Patterns look exactly like the preview when you select and insert them. They include all the images and text so users don’t have to guess how it all fits together. Most patterns simply require replacing the content with your own but can also be used as a starting point for additional customizations. For example, users can drop in this set of featured categories and edit the links to their own categories.
Some of the patterns, such as the different post grids, will require users to make some edits to the block settings for the Query Loop to get it to display the specific categories, author, post type, etc.
The plugin also includes two different “About Me” style Hero sections for introducing the food blogger, as well as an Instagram profile pattern with a small grid of images, and a book feature. There are patterns for a newsletter signup design, and a search form design with a browse section and quick search categories.
Check out the demo on WPZOOM to see all the food blogger patterns in action and an example homepage created with only the patterns in the plugin.
Block Patterns for Food Bloggers is a fun plugin to play with because all the patterns are harmonious to each other, so it doesn’t look like they were all mixed and matched from different plugins. They should drop seamlessly into any WordPress theme or can be used on a blank canvas style theme without an issue.
If you are food blogger who is eager to build your own website but have not found a theme that works for you, this plugin could be all you need to make your own layouts. It covers everything from recipe index pages to featured sections that you would find on any food blogger’s homepage.
WPZOOM published a few helpful tips on the plugin page for customizing the patterns:
Although these patterns are presented with food pictures and placeholder text, they could easily be used for any other type of website. If you have a custom post type for movies, books, portfolios, team members, or any other kind of content, these patterns may be just as relevant.
Although some might contend all these patterns should be uploaded to WordPress’ official pattern directory, I can see the value of offering them as a unified collection in a plugin. Patterns mashed together from the Patterns Directory do not always have a unified design. There are already a few plugins that offer general pattern collections but it would be great to see more niche pattern collections like this one with a unified focus and design. It makes page building much easier than simply relying on core blocks and block collections.
Block Patterns for Food Bloggers is available for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory. It works just as advertised and does not include annoying upgrade advertising in the admin.
Thanks, definitely looks interesting—thinking of a site I am converting that has a lot of book reviews. . . .
This is really cool! Thanks for also covering the query loop too. There’s so much to learn w/ blocks, but the more I begin to grasp, the more and more it makes so much sense for future development. I also wonder if there are more plugins like this that I’m just not finding on the repo.
This is a great example of where I personally think “themes” will become – a set of block patterns that include images, words, and design elements that work for a specific type of website.
If we look at the history of WordPress themes, so many have been sold because they look like what the user wants. A food blog theme has food words & images, plumber site has plumber words & images, and on and on (and often only in the thumbnails). Of course, just swap the words and images for what your site is and the business category of the theme is often irrelevant.
That’s what I think we’ll see with block pattern packages – they will be offered with a look and feel for types of sites as general users / site builders will looks for block pattern themes that match what they plan to build. But that’s also a good thing as it will help jump-start the DIY website creator and get them past the initial black-page paralysis.
Spot on, Peter. A great way to explain how I feel and what I believe is the future of modern WordPress themes / building.
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