Hey there Sea Changers. Today I am going to take a look at the old upgrade debate with my GenerateBlocks Free vs GenerateBlocks Pro review. I have been working with the GenerateBlocks WordPress plugin for quite a while and have really found it to work really well with not only this website, but also others that I run across a number of different niches.
Recently on one of these sites, I realised that I was having to duplicate a lot of my work and wanted a way to reuse a few of the blocks that I work with. I did some research and found that I couldn't save my blocks as templates without a plugin upgrade which led me to a decision between:
- Finding another plugin that allows me to do what I can do.
- Upgrade my current plugin to allow me to save templates.
So, if you use the GenerateBlocks free plugin and are wondering whether an upgrade is for you, let's check it all out below…
What is a WordPress Plugin?
Ok, so the first thing we probably need to do here is quickly outline what we are looking at so we are clear on exactly what it is that we are comparing. So for those of you new the world of web development, WordPress is a website builder that allows for site creation via a visual editor without the need to write or edit code.
Part of this process includes the use of plugins which, once loaded onto your site, add additional website capabilities such as:
- E-Commerce capabilities
- Social Media Sharing
- Advert embedding and creation
- Call To Action setups
- Email integration
- Site health and security
- And so much more that I could list them for hours
This means that you can add all manner of functionality to your website via the addition of plugins specific to that task or need.
There are 1000s of plugins available that can be added to a WordPress site with many available in both free, and paid upgrade versions. One thing to keep in mind here however is that in general, most WordPress plugins are created and sold by third party developers as compatible addons found within the plugins section of the WordPress editor.
In general, the rule of thumb is that if you choose a plugin that most closely relates to what your want your site to do, then you should be able to customise it to your needs.
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Why upgrade a ‘pro' plugin?
Upgraded plugins – generally referred to as ‘Pro' versions – provide access to greater customisation and functionality options. This is similar to most software platforms where basic functions are provided for free with advanced options available at a price.
These are not always required and are usually only considered as the site grows and more options are needed (such as in my case). Additionally, many new websites chop and change between plugins a number of times until the owner settles on one that performs exactly as they need. Only then would I recommend upgrading to the pro version of your chosen plugin.
Note: In this instance we are discussing the process of paying for an upgraded version of your plugin in order to add some extra functionality and customisation. This does not include updates which are implemented by the theme developer from time to time for reasons such as fixing bugs, improving functionality or enhancing user interfaces etc.- you should never be charged for a plugin update.
Let's now go back to our GenerateBlocks plugin and highlight the differences between the free and pro versions below:
Ok, so if you check out the GenerateBlocks website (yes, many plugins have their own website) we can see it described as a means of adding “incredible versatility to your editor without bloating it with tons of one-dimensional blocks”. In short, the plug in adds increased options to the WordPress block editor to allow for greater control over blocks and their groupings.
Note: You will need to enable Block Editor within the Settings > Writing section of your WordPress editor to access the GenerateBlocks functionality.
Those downloading the GenerateBlocks Free plugin for their website can expect to see the following functionality and customisation options added to their block editor stripe:
These work as follows:
In the general block editor, blocks are added and worked on one by one. Containers allow for these blocks to added inside one larger block (called the container) where you can format such areas as the container width, padding, and margin etc. which will adjust everything inside it as well.
Essentially, this function allows for greater graphic design capabilities with your web pages.
The Grid Block allows for greater control over columns within web page content. This includes:
- The ability to wrap columns on multiple lines.
- Functionality to keep adding columns forever to build multi-line grids.
- Creation of portfolio displays, sales boxes and so on.
- Multi grid formatting and alignment.
The Headline element enhances the generic block editor functions with the addition of greater formatting and control. It also makes it easier to convert to CTAs etc as well.
As with the Headline feature above, the Buttons feature also allows for greater control over functionality, formatting and placement on the screen. I personally use this function to really enhance sales CTAs etc.
Additionally, the following is also included:
As mentioned above, upgrading to a Pro plugin provides access to increased functionality and customization options. However, in many cases (this one included) upgrading also provides access to extra services and support. For the GenerateBlocks plugin this includes:
- Full access to pro templates
- Premium support
- Use on up to 250 websites
Additionally, added functionality is included as per below:
In terms of actual use, the main changes you will see here are:
- Ability to add and use templates
- Increased formatting and control over containers and elements
Why did I upgrade?
My original reason for downloading GenerateBlocks was for two reasons:
- I wanted to add clickable graphics on my home screen to enhance reader navigation
- I wanted to add buttons to my site for CTAs and Sales links – the generic block editor didn't give me enough control so I incorporated containers to allow for multi-button set up.
However, as I started to use this functionality, I was wasting a lot of time re-doing each element in my site. I did try a few other plugins however even though they do include templates, I did lose some of the other features I was using in the free version of GenerateBlocks. Hence, the upgraded template functionality has saved me countless hours as I have been able to create my elements as a template and simply install at each need.
As an added bonus here, I have used the pre-made ‘professional' templates to created landing pages for my new training package within this site as well.
How much does it cost
Costs to upgrade to the Pro version of GenerateBlocks are as follows:
And there it is – my outline of the difference between the GenerateBlocks Free vs GenerateBlocks Pro WordPress plugins. I hope it was helpful and gives you the information you need as you ponder your own plugin upgrade however as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.
Oh, and especially comment if you have installed the GenerateBlocks Pro WordPress Plugin on your website – I would love to hear about your experiences.
Until next time
Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price. This may include sales made via Wealthy Affiliate or GenerateBlocks. I am an affiliate of GenerateBlocks and use the Pro version on all of my websites.
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