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Originally published at

As I mentioned in my 2018 Year in Review, Jeffrey Carandang and I have recently joined ranks, doubling down our efforts to making CoBlocks absolutely brilliant. And after months of very challenging work, we finally have something to show you. And we think you’re going to like this. A lot.

Introducing the new CoBlocks, a suite of page building blocks for the WordPress Gutenberg block editor.

This is the Gutenberg page builder you’ve been waiting for. CoBlocks will make you rethink what WordPress is capable of.

See for yourself. 🎬

Breakthrough block system

You may think that Gutenberg isn’t quite ready yet for building full web pages yet, but I’d suggest otherwise. With tens of custom blocks, including our new Row block, this latest release of CoBlocks lays the foundation for crafting beautiful webpages within the block editor. …

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The Graffiti Board at WordCamp Atlanta, 2018

Believe it or not, this year was my first WordCamp Atlanta experience ever. While I have lived in Georgia for a number of years, I’ve never been able to make it. But let me tell you, I sure am glad I made it this year.

In short, WordCamp Atlanta blew my socks off. It was a weekend full of thoughtful talks, bright folks from all over the world, awesome parties, and a lot of what makes the WordPress community so vibrant — diversity.

My first WordCamp talk — ever

Saturday afternoon, I had the pleasure to speak on Gutenberg block development. In fact, there were three talks on Gutenberg this weekend, not to mention a workshop dedicated to Gutenberg development on Friday! …

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If you know me, you know I’m a stickler for building beautiful and highly intuitive user experiences. I’m always looking to make my own WordPress themes simpler and easier to use.

After spending quite a bit of time within the Gutenberg editor, I thought the editor’s toggle controls would be a great addition within the context of the WordPress Customize API. So I developed a Customizer control inspired by Gutenberg’s inspector region for my WordPress themes.

Here’s a quick guide on how I built the toggle control and how to add it to your theme’s WordPress Customizer. Let’s get started!

A case for the toggle switch

Toggles are deployed within an interface to represent an action, such as turning something on or off. …

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Download the Amazon Polly for WordPress plugin on

AWS and WPEngine recently launched a WordPress plugin designed to bring the power of Amazon Polly to WordPress — and it’s super cool.

So what exactly is Amazon Polly?

Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service that uses deep learning technologies to synthesize text into human-like speech recordings.

The Amazon Polly for WordPress plugin makes adding accessible audio recordings of your posts super easy. I’m impressed, so much that I have already added the plugin to my blog, and updated my own WordPress theme, Tabor, to support the new plugin.

Check it out for yourself by listening to this article. 👍

Setting up the Amazon Polly for WordPress plugin

While you do need an AWS account, the Amazon Polly for WordPress plugin is super simple to use and not too difficult to get up and running. …

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Ulysses is a fantastic writing app. In fact, the app has been my go-to writing companion for a couple years now, and I honestly couldn’t be happier with it. The minimally beautiful app is a pleasant writing experience that few competitors have come close to copying.

While Ulysses has a number of built-in themes and styles, I wanted to build a custom style based on Tabor, my popular WordPress theme for content marketers and writers.

Increasing workflow efficiency

A key element of my publishing workflow is exporting a draft for my editor to edit and then publish to my blog. By styling the exported Ulysses HTML document in a similar fashion to the actual published content, my editor has a much better experience keeping each post’s formatting as I originally intended. …

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Ever since WordCamp US, I’ve started writing and publishing Gutenberg blocks on as part of my GutenKit project. I wanted to share, and reflect upon, a few quick-fire thoughts I had after some solid conversations about Gutenberg with other WordPress folks.

So here they are:

  1. It will be interesting to see exactly how Gutenberg and WordPress themes will interface. I personally lean towards as much objective styling as possible, without forcing structural limitations, or interfering with subjective styles.
  2. Will we see more WordPress plugins that add blocks for any WordPress theme to style, or more WordPress themes that add specific blocks to itself? …

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As I mentioned last week in my 2017 Year in Review post, I’ve been learning quite a lot about how WordPress themes will interface with Gutenberg and developing Gutenberg blocks myself.

Sure, there are a number of unknowns surrounding the project, but if you’re still worried about the pending release of WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg, now is a better time than ever to start educating yourself.

I had the idea for a content spacer block as I was having a tough time creating ample spacing between even the simplest Gutenberg blocks. …

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After months of waiting in the WordPress theme review queue, I’m stoked to finally release my first WordPress theme on the Theme Directory. Introducing York Lite, a lovely WordPress theme for bloggers and photographers.

Why I’m re-launching York Lite

I originally released York Lite on my theme shop as a lead generator for the theme’s Pro version. Over the past year, it has been quite a successful campaign, having recorded just over 10,000 downloads.

There’s no doubt that freemium WordPress themes are a big chunk of the WordPress theme industry. York Lite & York Pro have been two of my most successful WordPress themes to date. And since I’m all about maximizing the profitability of free WordPress themes, I decided to release my first WordPress them, York Lite, on the official theme directory. …

Major wins, lessons learned and a new baby girl.

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Each year I like to reflect on what I’ve accomplished over the last 365 days, reviewing any major wins, lessons learned, and failures too. Last year was full of adventure: new products, new friends, and a new baby. Let’s get started!

ThemeBeans Annual Review

While the theme market in general has tanked for the vast majority of theme developers, ThemeBeans has been growing quite consistently. I suppose that’s because there are still folks who pay for quality code and thoughtful design.

Year over year, ThemeBeans saw a 58.8% growth in revenue and an 19.9% increase in average revenue per customer. Both metrics are attributed to the new Theme Club offering solid marketing strategies, further exposure through content offerings and of course auto-recurring licenses. …

I recented added Gutenberg styling to my latest WordPress theme Tabor. Here’s what went down and what I learned.

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In the a couple months or so, Gutenberg will revolutionize WordPress publishing as we know it. It’ll finally bring a much-needed standardized content creation experience to WordPress. There’s just one small caveat.

Innovation simply can’t happen without WordPress theme developers committing to the Gutenberg experience. If Gutenberg will become the de facto editing experience for the average WordPress user, why not make it the best experience possible?

So after an inspiring trip to Nashville for WCUS, I decided to jump on the Gutenberg ship myself and start styling the upcoming editor within my latest WordPress theme, Tabor.

Here’s how it went, and what I learned along the way. …


Richard Tabor

Founder @themebeans + Avid Marketing Fanatic and Writing Enthusiast.

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