Extendify has simplified access to its pattern library with a new plugin that offers patterns and full-page layouts for WordPress sites using Gutenberg-friendly themes. The company has high expectations for the product, publishing it under the name “Extendify” as its flagship free plugin in the official directory.
Although a different version of the pattern library is included in Extendify’s popular Gutenberg Template Library & Redux Framework plugin, which has more than a million active installs, this new plugin is focused simply on site design tools.
“If you’ve tried out the Extendify Library previously, then you’ll find this new version is completely refreshed,” Extendify’s Head of Product Rich Tabor said. “We rebuilt the library, and all our patterns/layouts, from the ground up — with a focus on augmenting the editing experience of both existing and new themes.”
Extendify functions as a SaaS connector plugin that uses a custom API to fetch block patterns and page layouts from the company’s servers. Once installed, the plugin has no separate settings page. Extendify adds a “Library” button at the top of the editor to launch a modal with patterns and layouts.
If you haven’t selected a “Site Type” in the sidebar of the modal, all the patterns and layouts will be black and white. Selecting a Site Type will update the previews to show insert industry-specific copy and pictures with color.
If you find a page layout that you like, it’s easy to get a beautifully designed page in a matter of seconds. However, the way it is set up at the moment, free users only have access to five imports. Subscribers can get unlimited imports for $49.50/year for one site.
Users who are not planning to upgrade must be judicious about the patterns and layouts they choose to preview on the page. The plugin will warn free users about the remaining number of imports before proceeding. This mode of limitation may slow the plugin’s adoption, because users have to be careful about trying too many patterns and layouts on their sites. The plugin’s FAQs state that “Each user receives a limited number of imports completely free” but users would be better served by knowing that it’s a total of five imports before installing.
One of the good things about the plugin is that it is theme-agnostic and the patterns and layouts should still work nicely, even if you decide to change themes.
“All our patterns and layouts are built completely with core blocks, infused with a clever utility design system (which lets us have neat patterns like this one and are built to be Full Site Editing / Block Theme first – although we support most themes that support Gutenberg properly),” Tabor said.
Previously, Extendify’s pattern library was only available as an SDK inside the company’s other related Gutenberg projects. This plugin makes it more accessible for site builders who only need the pattern/layout capabilities.
“This effort was geared towards lowering that barrier and bringing the best of what we have to offer to anyone interested in building sites with the block editor,” Tabor said. “The new Extendify plugin is really the first big push in this direction, but we’re also leaning in on other ways to augment the editing experience to better empower both small business owners and site builders alike.
“Block themes are where the future is and we’re aiming for the pole position with this newest effort.”