Ultimate Blocks, one of the many Gutenberg block collections that have sprouted up, launched before WordPress 5.0 with eight blocks. The collection has since doubled in size, adding features like accordions, social sharing buttons, tabbed content, a progress bar, and star-ratings. Many block collections are loosely organized around serving a specific user demographic. This one is aimed at bloggers and marketers.
Ultimate Blocks’ latest release includes Reviews, a new Gutenberg block that is unique to this plugin. It allows users to easily add rows of review criteria and will automatically calculate the cumulative star rating. Users can also edit the title of the review, author name, review summary, and call-to-action button.
One of the most interesting features of the plugin is that it is schema-enabled, which means that the reviews use a standard schema for structured data that can be easily read by applications like Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, and others. For example, when Google finds a schema-enabled review, it can display it as a rich review snippet with stars and other summary info. These snippets may appear in search results or in Google Knowledge Cards.
It’s important to clarify that this block is for the site owner to write their own reviews. It’s not a block that adds a frontend form for visitors to leave reviews. It’s more useful for site owners who want a nice way to display their own reviews for books, movies, restaurants, or any other type of information.
After testing the plugin, I was impressed by how the star rating calculations all work live inside Gutenberg while setting up the block. The back and frontend styles also match fairly well. The Reviews block is generic enough to be used for virtually any type of review a user wants to display. It would even more useful if the author expanded it to support frontend review submissions, which would allow users to create their own community review sites.