Blocks have become an indispensable component for managing content in WordPress since the Gutenberg editor was officially released earlier this year. Not only does WordPress include some nifty blocks right out of the box, but we're starting to see plugin developers take advantage of them and provide some interesting ones as well.
One of those plugins is WooCommerce. That makes a lot of sense seeing since WooCommerce is part of the Automattic family of products.
Blocks are not exactly new to WooCommerce. Well, blocks themselves are a relatively new concept, but WooCommerce was early on the bandwagon to leverage them as a plugin.
For example, the Newest Products block makes it trivial to showcase the most recently added products to a WooCommerce store catalog. In the past, that would have required manually entering and linking up each product. Now, all it takes is dropping a block into place and then on to the next task.
There are a whole slew of blocks like this in WooCommerce. So many, in fact, that making an online store itself has also become somewhat trivial. Sure, sure, e-commerce isn't easy. But at least the part about building a fully functional store that offers a great user experience is less of a worry.
Here are all of the block currently offered by WooCommerce:
- Newest Products: Show off the most recently added products.
- Best-Selling Products: Display top-sellers.
- Product Categories List: Embeds an unordered list of all available product categories that link to category pages.
- Products by Category: Create a custom list of products by searching product categories.
- Featured Product: You guessed it! Same as a featured category, but linked to a specific product page.
- Hand-Picked Products: Create a custom matrix of products from the catalog.
- On Sale Products: Highlights only products that are currently marked as on sale from the full retail price.
- Products by Attribute: This lets you put items together by product characteristics. For example, you could make a page just showing large clothing sizes.
- Top Rated Products: This one puts all of your products with the best reviews.
Phew, that's a lot considering this all comes with a standard WooCommerce installation! Seriously, this opens up a huge range of possibilities for building store pages and driving sales.
New WooCommerce Blocks
If 11 blocks were not enough for you to do some pretty awesome things already, WooCommerce is actively developing more and has recently shipped two new ones.
The first one is which is an offshoot of Featured Product. Let's say you have introduced a collection of products filed under the same category. This block is a perfect way to spotlight that new tag by dropping in a hero component. It takes the description and featured image of the category and places them into an attractive layout that would otherwise require time and development.
The second new block is Products by Tag which is another useful way to group products together on a page or post, just like the Products by Category block. Choose one or multiple tags and those products will display together in a grid.
WooCommerce has really opened the floodgates, giving both developers and store owners new and interesting ways to build an online shopping experience. These are the types of features you might expect to see in some proprietary enterprise-level e-commerce software, but they are freely available in WooCommerce, which is freely available to install into WordPress, which is freely available to anyone who wants a website.
Give WooCommerce a try and see how it can up upgrade your online store.
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