How to Pick Block-based Themes in WordPress

Block-based themes allow users to use the full site editing features of WordPress. With the integration of the site editor in the WordPress 5.9 release, developers have become more active in releasing block themes.  This article highlights three block themes that have been released.  We will provide descriptions of the themes that can help you to distinguish between them. After comparing the themes, we’ll provide recommendations on how you can pick your next WordPress theme.

Examples of Block-based Themes

Review each theme below and click through the slideshow to see the different features of the theme. Each theme can be loaded freely. If you’re trying to look closely at the theme’s features, we recommend that you load it on a test site.

Avant-garde

This is a very simple block theme with a few options. Small header footprint with three different footer options.  Business-oriented with patterns for a portfolio, services, and advertising. This theme is perfect for small businesses that simply want to have a quick informational site.

  • Avant-garde Theme - description
  • Avant-Garde Front Page
  • Avant-Garde Page pattern
  • Avant-Garde patterns
  • Avant-Garde Template list

Catch FSE

Minimal design and built on the foundation of the Twenty Twenty-two theme, Catch FSE includes several custom patterns in the free version of the theme.  To access the other patterns you would need to purchase the pro version.  The theme’s default colors are dark, but that can be changed with the global styles if needed.  There are also specific template parts and blocks made with the theme in mind.  This is a good beginner blog theme with more options available in the pro version ($59.99) of the theme.

  • Catch FSE Description page
  • Catch FSE Front page
  • Catch FSE Patterns
  • Catch FSE Template parts
  • Catch FSE - Templates list

BlockPress

Blockpress is an impressive block-based theme that includes many well-thought-out options to help you build your site.  You can tell that some thought and planning were put in when this theme was made.  It provides many various headers, footers, and query options that allow you to build your entire site using their patterns. At the same time, it still adheres to the WordPress full site editing features so that you can add your own touches.  The theme is tagged for e-commerce and includes a full-width template with RTL(right-to-left) language support and wide blocks.  If you’re looking for a block-based theme that gives you flexibility, this is definitely a great choice. 

  • Blockpress description page
  • Blockpress front page
  • Blockpress patterns
  • Blockpress Template parts list
  • Blockpress Templates list

Picking a Theme That Works For You

The themes that we have selected above include a very simple theme, another theme that can be expanded with its pro version, and a very flexible, all-purpose theme that provides many features.  Along with these types  of themes, you will want to consider a few key factors when selecting a theme:

  • Purpose of your site
  • Budget for purchasing a theme 
  • Time required to create your site
  • Design and functionality that you need for the site

Simple, Minimal Design/Functionality, and Free Themes

Many themes in the WordPress directory will have descriptions that help to determine how they can be used.  Though, it’s very easy to shape any site to your purpose with the WordPress customization features.  The first theme, Avant-Garde, is a very simple theme, with few options, and made specifically as an informational site. 

Due to its simplicity, creating a site with a theme like Avant-Garde would take minimal time.  The only factor that may prove to be negative is the simplicity of the design and limited functionality.  If you don’t want to spend time creating those features for the site, then a simple theme like Avant-Garde may not be for you.

The cost of building a site may always be an overriding factor, especially, if it’s free.  Just make sure to carefully estimate the time that you may have to spend to meet a client’s needs. Simplicity can often hide unexpected complications as you develop your site.

Paid Themes

Many themes in WordPress are teasers because they provide some functionality, and then give you descriptions of the expanded features that you can get if you just purchase the “pro” version of the theme.

The strength of this kind of theme is that they may often have the specific function or design that is needed for the site.  The obvious issue might be the cost of the theme.  However, if it can save you time in development, then it might be an overriding factor in making it your selected theme.

All-purpose Themes

One of the primary reasons for making WordPress full site editing a reality is to empower the user so that they can save time and money to create or edit a website on their own. This not only makes WordPress a better option for many people but also expands its user base.  

Block-based themes that have been well-designed include almost everything that users need to build their own website. If you have the time then you can use a theme like Blockpress to build a site that can easily be updated and upgraded in the future. 

Selecting an all-purpose theme for your WordPress site would seem like the best solution. However, the various options that you can select in a theme like Blockpress can be a deterrent to some people as there may simply be too many options that result in a longer development time. However, the free cost of the theme and its flexibility are typically overwhelming factors when making a choice for building your WordPress site.  You may simply need more time to make it work for you.

Picking a WordPress theme is often a personal choice, but with a little consideration of important factors, you can pick the best theme that meets your needs.

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AC
Arnel Custodio Content Writer I

As a writer for InMotion Hosting, Arnel has always aimed to share helpful information and provide knowledge that will help solve problems and aid in achieving goals. He's also been active with WordPress local community groups and events since 2004.

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