TL;DR – Genesis Custom Blocks is now available on WordPress.org. This new plugin has the feature parity with Block Lab and gives Block Lab users, free and Pro, a new foundation for custom block building in WordPress.
For the last few months, Luke, Ryan, and I have been working hard on laying the groundwork for the future of custom blocks at WP Engine. A massive part of this was ensuring that the incredible community of Block Lab users are easily able to join us at our new home. We’ve worked to ensure that the new plugin works just like Block Lab did and that the transition (migration) between the two plugins was as simple and seamless as possible. With the official release of Genesis Custom Blocks, we have achieved just that.
You can now confidently join us at Genesis, continue building custom blocks with the powerful features familiar in Block Lab, as well as be in the right place to leverage all the new features we have planned for the future.
Migrating to Genesis Custom Blocks
If you’re running Block Lab on your WordPress site, we’ve built you a super simple migration tool. All you need to do is install the latest version (v1.6.0) of Block Lab and you will see a new menu item to help you seamlessly move your blocks over.
The “Migrate” menu item available in v1.6.0 of Block Lab
This page will take you through a simple and automated step-by-step process for migrating your blocks.
What about Pro Customers?
If you’re a Block Lab Pro customer, this migration tool works for you as well. The only difference is an additional step which helps set you up and connect with Genesis Pro, which will provide you with those Pro features you love.
Your Genesis Pro subscription date will be set as of the migration date, so you’ll be able to continue receiving pro features and updates for another whole year. Genesis Pro also includes unlimited sites, which is a really nice upgrade if you’re currently on a Solo or Freelancer plan.
Block Lab Pro Customers will have received additional instructions in their inbox for this.
So where is Genesis Custom Blocks going?
Joining WP Engine meant that we were able to take all the cool things we were doing with Block Lab and strap a rocket to them. Now that we’ve established the baseline and are able to provide a simple migration workflow, we can now fire up that rocket. In fact, we’ve already started.
Plans that you can expect to see roll out before the end of the year include:
- The addition of new fields.
- A redesign, including a React JS refactor, of our Block Builder interface. This work lets us implement a number of ideas for the Block Builder UI around previewing and interacting with your block as you build it, without needing to create a dummy post/page.
- Block Previews and Descriptions.
- Conditional fields (also powered by the new React JS interface).
Genesis is more than just Custom Blocks
This new plugin isn’t on it’s own, but it still works on its own. Genesis Custom Blocks is part of a growing suite of tools for building better sites faster in this new paradigm of block-first WordPress. The Genesis Custom Blocks plugin will be as focused as its name implies, but the additional tools in Genesis can further equip WordPress builders and developers. Using a Genesis theme isn’t required. You can learn more about the broader Genesis platform here.
Q: Do I have to migrate? Can I keep using Block Lab?
A: Yes. The Block Lab plugin will continue to work. Luke, Ryan, and I will work on compatibility/security until early 2021. However, Genesis Custom Blocks is functionally structured (free and Pro) the same as Block Lab, so we encourage you to migrate. Especially if you want to leverage the upcoming features we have planned.
Q: Do I need to use any of the other Genesis plugins or themes to use Genesis Custom Blocks? I.e. the Genesis Framework.
A: No. Genesis Custom Blocks, like Block Lab, can operate completely on its own.
If you have any questions about all of this, please feel free to get in contact.