In the early days after the block editor arrived in WordPress, block collector plugins exploded onto the scene and quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of users. Plugins like CoBlocks, Kadence Blocks, and Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg offer dozens of blocks in a single package, mostly focusing on blocks not offered in the core. The WordPress.org block directory has prompted the creation of single block plugins, allowing users to find and install them in the block editor.
Since block themes typically include less custom CSS than traditional themes, some plugin developers are experimenting with applying cool styles to core WordPress blocks. Snow Monkey Editor, created by developer Takashi Kitajima, is one such plugin that does not include any custom blocks. Instead, it extends the block editor to give basic blocks unique styles, making them look like custom blocks.
For example, Snow Monkey Editor will take a simple paragraph and turn it into different styles of alert, post-it, speech, etc.
In addition to paragraphs, the plugin has additional styles for image boxes, including different flowing and shadow shapes.
The List Block also includes several different pre-made styles to make lists more interesting.
The plugin places a monkey icon in the block toolbar which provides more formatting options for the text, including background color, badge, font size, highlighter, font size. letter spacing, line height and text color.
Snow Monkey Editor also includes some utility and display settings for all blocks, including the following:
- Hide on smartphone size or tablet size or pc size. (Using Media Query)
- Hide by user roles. (Using
render_blockfilter hook. If it does not pass this filter, it is ignored)
- Scroll Animation
- Publish date and time settings
- Unpublish date and time settings
- Modify locking by user roles. (Only administrators can set it)
These settings basically allow editors to do things like fade out selected blocks on a set date, hide content based on device display size, and prevent content from being edited by different user roles. Some of them could be useful when building websites for clients.
The collection of styles for different blocks reminds me of the old days before the block editor when users created similar formatted text using shortcodes. This new block-based approach is much less complicated and allows users to quickly preview styles while working in the editor.
The Snow Monkey Editor plugin is available on WordPress.org and has over 10,000 active installs. It can be used with any theme as the styles are mostly subtle and harmonious. If the plugin is disabled, block styles revert to base styles by default. Takashi Kitajima has also created a Snow Monkey Blocks plugin with around 3 dozen custom blocks, a Snow Monkey Forms plugin with 13 blocks, and a Snow Monkey theme for those who want more add-ons designed to work with Snow Monkey Editor.