I relaunched WebberZone in mid-2015 as a single site to house all my WordPress plugins. Since then, I’ve moved most of my plugins under this banner and will move a few remaining ones over the next few months. I have also closed several of my lesser-used and outdated plugins in a bid to focus on a manageable few.
In 2015, I created a child theme for Flat Bootstrap. I had to make major modifications for a custom look and feel as well as design the stand-alone plugin pages. This included using the latest version of Bootstrap and Font Awesome (at least at that time). I didn’t want to splurge on a site-builder plugin given that this site and plugins don’t make enough money to cover costs!
Roll forward 5 years (I can’t believe it has already been that many!), WordPress has seen the rise of Gutenberg, a.k.a the block editor, particularly its integration in WordPress 5.0. Despite the initial controversy, I’ve personally found it to be a clean writing experience which is continuously being improved. After a few months of procrastinating, I decided to redesign this site using Gutenberg as the main editor/builder.
Building WebberZone 2020
The first step was picking a good theme that was best suited for Gutenberg. I first looked at Go which is quite a sleek theme but realised it didn’t have all the features, particularly widgets that I wanted. I then moved on to GeneratePress which is a fantastic theme and was close to settling on that. However, I wasn’t completely pleased with the outcome. I have been running Neve on SirConanDoyle.com and decided to give this a try. My few minutes of trying was sufficient to make me happily embrace Neve as the new parent theme for WebberZone.
It was easy to create a child theme for Neve and also import some of the styles that I liked from the old look. To add a few blocks, I’ve also installed Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg and CoBlocks. I’ve stuck to Font Awesome as it is simply awesome and has an easy to use WordPress plugin. For some reason, the network activation doesn’t work for this plugin but I’ve just manually activated on the two sites under this multisite install.
Customising and rebuilding
Neve is well integrated with the Customizer and it took me a bit of time to figure everything out. I like the ability to turn off thumbnails or enable some of the meta items when browsing posts. It’s included “page-builder” template was an easy way to build the full-width pages that you’ll see on the homepage as well as the plugin pages.
I then rebuilt the pages only using the inbuilt Gutenberg blocks and the blocks from the two plugins. I’d like an easier way to add the Font Awesome icons as I had to toggle the Edit as HTML for each block that needed an icon. I also discovered issues with this approach and some blocks from Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg where I couldn’t toggle back. However, with a good deal of trial and error, I’ve been successful in achieving the exact look and feel that I wanted.
What do you think about the new look? I’ve love to hear what can be improved.