Gutenberg Hub launches online page builder app using WordPress templates – WP Tavern

I’ve been raving about the power of templates for what seems like forever at this point. And, just when I’m starting to wonder what this feature will look like, someone surprises me with a new idea. Often that person is Munir Kamal.

He mentioned that he would be sharing a “small” page builder app tied to the WordPress template library earlier this week. Today he publicly announced that he was live on Gutenberg Hub.

The app is still in the design stage, but the current online version is working well. It is basically an interface that allows users to piece together templates to create entire pages. Unlike the block editor itself, users cannot directly edit content. Instead, they can mix and match templates, copy the block code, and paste it into the editor on their WordPress installation.

When first visiting the Subsite Builder on Gutenberg Hub, users will see an empty canvas with a list of basic template categories in the left sidebar panel. To insert a new design into the page, simply select a category, search for a favorite design and click on it:

Inserting a model into the Builder application.

Users do not need to stop after inserting a single pattern. The idea behind this project is to create an entire web page from multiple templates. Next, grab the resulting block code via the “Copy Code” button and paste it into the WordPress editor. It’s a convenient way to play and try out new ideas.

By default, models are presented for a desktop view. However, users can check how the design responds to tablets and mobile devices.

The builder pulls all of its current templates directly from the WordPress template directory. The API is public and allows others to build applications on it.

Although Kamal made no indication that he would feature models outside of the official repertoire, that’s probably not out of the question. The Builder UI has a section called “Core” in the sidebar. I’m only speculating, but I guess he plans to extend this in the future.

A menu button is located in the upper right corner of the Builder interface. This opens the browser interface. It allows visitors to customize the layout:

Application Builder with a left sidebar displaying a list of WordPress block template categories, in the center a content canvas, and on the right an inline template browser.
Navigation panel on the right.

There are options to move entire designs up or down, delete or duplicate them. In my experience so far, this was an easier way to make adjustments than when trying to select large groups of blocks in the WordPress editor.

The only feature I would ask for is a “back” button. It is quite easy to open the browser and delete an inserted pattern, but it would be faster to undo this action via a dedicated button in the toolbar area.

The Gutenberg Hub builder does not allow visitors to customize template content. Its purpose leans more towards layout creation. Customization happens when users paste everything into their own WordPress editor.

Perhaps my favorite feature of the app is that users can share their creations with others. The Builder creates a personalized URL for each variant and facilitates sharing on social networks:

Application Builder with an overlay to share both a direct link and select from multiple social networks.
Popover after clicking the share button.

The concept of sharing is almost integrated into the block system of WordPress. Because everything is built on a well-rounded set of standards, the tools that others build on top of it make it easier to pursue payment.

Although this project is still in the design stage, I can’t wait to see where Kamal takes it in the future. He also shared a short YouTube clip of the Builder in action.

About Sandra A. Powell

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