What Are Gutenberg Block Patterns in WordPress and How to Use Them

When the WordPress block editor (also known as Gutenberg) was first released in 2018, it became easier to create dynamic web pages for your WordPress website. By 2020, new features were added to Gutenberg to support even more customization.

This included the launch of Gutenberg block patterns. Released with WordPress 5.5, Gutenberg block patterns allow you to use curated block collections to build a well-designed page in less time.

Keep reading to learn:

  • What Gutenberg block patterns are
  • When you should use Gutenberg block patterns
  • How to use Gutenberg block patterns

Gutenberg Block Patterns: Explained

Gutenberg block patterns (or simply, block patterns) are predefined layouts made up of regular Gutenberg blocks. The block patterns act just like regular blocks, meaning that you can edit them after you insert them.

However, the predefined layouts make it easier to create a more attractive page. With block patterns, you can choose from various layouts to customize each section.

Block patterns can be simple (such as a group of buttons) or have a specific purpose (such as a contact information section).

In addition to the default block patterns options, you can also create custom patterns. This means that theme and plugin developers can add their own block patterns, which gives you more options for customization.

Why Use Gutenberg Block Patterns

So, what do Gutenberg block patterns mean for you? 

Essentially, they empower you to create a more attractive web design on WordPress in less time.

When WordPress first released the Gutenberg editor, the blocks made it easier to create media-rich pages. Unfortunately, the blank canvas became a bit intimidating. Users had to think about the design of the page in addition to the content. 

After the introduction of block patterns, creating customizable web pages became a lot easier. Whether you’re a WordPress veteran or a total beginner, you can spend less time worrying about design and more time creating amazing content. 

How to Use Gutenberg Block Patterns

Using the Default Block Patterns

To access the Gutenberg block pattern feature, you will need to install WordPress 5.5 or later. Once your version of WordPress is up-to-date, the steps for adding a block pattern are similar to adding a regular block.

Begin by opening the WordPress page editor. You can do this either by editing an existing page or creating a new page.

Next, click on the plus + icon in the upper left corner to open the WordPress inserter interface. If you click the plus + icon within the page, you may need to select Browse All to open the inserter interface on the editor’s left side.

Once the interface is open, click on the Patterns tab.

This will let you browse the various available block patterns. The patterns are organized into categories such as buttons, gallery, and columns. 

The default Gutenberg editor offers only a handful of options to start. However, you can install certain themes and plugins that provide additional options (more on that later).

To insert a Gutenberg block pattern, simply click on your pattern of choice. The block pattern will be inserted into your WordPress page. 

Editing Block Patterns

Once the block pattern is on your page, you can edit all of the elements within the layout. Remember, the block patterns are made of individual blocks that have been curated into these templates. Therefore, they act just like regular blocks.

Finding More Block Patterns

If you want more block pattern options, you can install the Gutenberg Blocks Library & Framework plugin by Redux. This free plugin gives you access to their library of block patterns, which is updated consistently.

The library has thousands of block pattern layouts to choose from. Best of all, you can easily filter your search to find block patterns that work with your current theme and plugins.

Creating Custom Block Patterns

What if you want to create your own patterns?

Custom block patterns can be created and submitted by developers using code. However, if you’re unfamiliar with web development, several plugins can help you create and save your own custom block patterns without coding.

The Block Pattern Builder plugin by Justin Tadlock is a free plugin that allows you to create and save custom block patterns. Once you install and activate the plugin, creating a new block pattern is simple.

Start by inserting and arranging the individual blocks on your WordPress editor. Once you have them in a layout that you like, select the blocks and expand the menu using the three dots menu option on the right.

You’ll now have an option to Add to Block Patterns. Simply name your block pattern and save it to your library. The block patterns that you create are saved in the Uncategorized section of your Patterns tab.

With the addition of Gutenberg block patterns, WordPress continues to modernize its user experience. Now, with a library of predefined block patterns, you can quickly create nicely-designed layouts for all of your pages.

Various customization options and plugins make it easier than ever to create custom pages on WordPress. Using the new block editor and Gutenberg Block patterns means you can create an attractive professional website in a matter of days.

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Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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