New Block Gallery Plugin Offers a Suite of Photo Gallery Blocks for Gutenberg

The new Gutenberg editor has basic support for galleries with a few nice features, such as the ability to set the number of columns and automatically crop thumbnails for a more uniform appearance. If you need more control over your galleries, Rich Tabor’s Block Gallery plugin is currently the best option made specifically for use with Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0+. It offers a suite of photo gallery blocks with minimal, tasteful styling that fits unobtrusively into virtually any site design.

Block Gallery currently offers three different blocks, including masonry, fullscreen stacked, and a carousel slider. Each block has its own settings that offer more customization for the specific gallery type.

The plugin also makes use of Gutenberg’s block transform utility to allow users to seamlessly transform galleries from one style to another with one click, as demonstrated in the video below.

A demo of the new Block Gallery WordPress Plugin

“I built the Block Gallery plugin originally as a proving ground for exploring how my portfolio WordPress themes at ThemeBeans will interface with Gutenberg,” ThemeBeans founder Rich Tabor said. “I do not particularly like the idea of disabling the block editor on portfolio custom post types, so I wanted to find a clever way for folks to use different sorts of galleries to showcase their art, illustrations, photos, etc. Block Gallery was born out of that exploration.”

Tabor said that although the core gallery block is much more robust than the classic editor’s gallery system, he wanted to give users more flexibility in how they display media. His favorite feature of the project is the ability to morph gallery blocks into different types.

“That means every image, settings, display option, and color selection are each migrated instantly — if a user swaps out a selected gallery for a different type,” Tabor said. “For instance, folks can morph from a masonry gallery to a carousel slider in a single click, without having to re-upload/assign images or select any options. It’s all done behind the scenes, automagically.”

Tabor’s Block Gallery plugin is a major leap forward for galleries in terms of usability. It offers a beautiful implementation of features that would have been difficult to imagine before the block editor. Block Gallery currently has more than 400 active installs after a little more than month in the official directory. Watch for that number to jump as more people begin using the new editor when WordPress 5.0 is released.


9 responses to “New Block Gallery Plugin Offers a Suite of Photo Gallery Blocks for Gutenberg”

  1. Very nice implementation and very versatile. One little quibble. When you install it you see a message ip WP admin:

    “Block Gallery requires the Gutenberg block editor. Please deactivate Classic Editor to continue.”

    Not sure why that is required as it will work anyway when you are editing in the block editor.

    Is someone trying to rub salt in the wounds?

  2. Hi Sarah, did you have the chance to try and compare this plugin to the Meow Gallery? The Meow Gallery does also this (real-time preview, similar layouts, etc…) but also work with the classic editor and the shortcode.

    We actually thought it was better to use a shortcode (created automatically by our Gutenberg block, so invisible to the user) so that the gallery output stays up to date, even if there is an update or a change in the system. With a Gutenberg “statically” generated gallery, you might have, one day, to go through all the pages where you used the block in order to refresh it.

    I put a lot of thoughts into this for the past few months so I would be really interested in having yours as well.


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