It’s been a while since I developed a plugin for WordPress. In the last few months I started using Gutenberg quite intensively and, well, I felt in love with it.
I tried many grid builders and I was never satisfied. I love Gutenberg mainly because it let me compose contents rapidly and I don’t feel pain like with other composers. Sure, Gutenberg is still missing many features (not so many, come on) but it’s a quite young and promising project.
I think themes and other builders will converge to Gutenberg in some way. Some builders already supports Gutenberg (Divi, Elementor, etc.) and that means a lot!
So, I was so convinced by the success of Gutenberg that I wanted to make something with it. I had an idea, few months ago. I thought how hateful it when you have a WordPress website full of shortcodes that don’t work anymore, because they’re from an old plugin you don’t want to use anymore. In the worst scenario, you still need that plugin but the plugin is dead or outdated. In such cases you’ll have a lot work to do in order to clean all pages with these shortcodes and many replace them with a new plugin.
So my idea was to make a plugin which extends the native functionalities of WordPress but avoiding issues if the owner of the site deactivated the plugin (for any reason).
I then started to develop a plugin called Extended Gallery Effects which enriches the native Gutenberg galleries with a lot of features:
- hover effects
- text alignment
- square images
So you can create a WordPress gallery with hover effects easily. The nice thing is you can use it and whenever you don’t need the plugin anymore, the galleries will keep working without issues!
I made some nice demos you can see here: https://wp-gallery-effects.com/demo-galleries/
As you can see this plugin supports 100% WordPress galleries with text and captions. The process of adding captions is exquisitely easy and fast because you can add caption on the images using the native Gutenberg gallery block.
This is also a Premium-only plugin. I thought a lot about whether to keep using a freemium model to monetize my work. I always used that. My other plugins have a free version and a Premium version. This time I wanted to try a different model because I can hardly keep supporting both versions. A free plugins means a lot of visibility but it also means a lot of extra work in order to guarantee the right support to free and paying users. A free trial is also available if you need to try the plugin, also I provide a full refund 30-days period. I understand someone won’t like that but I think this is necessary in order to keep a high quality.
I think other developers should try to work with this idea in their mind. I understand it’s not always possible (you can’t make an e-commerce by simply extending a native Gutenberg block) but probably there’s something that can be improved in that sense.