[Resolved] Multisite Strategies for Custom Layouts and Sections

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  • This topic has 5 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Tom.
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  • #1419533
    Michael

    Hi Tom & Team,

    I’m a web administrator for a 300+ WordPress multisite instance at a local university. We recently purchased GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks to use in this environment in an effort to compliment/replace the Genesis framework. One of the many challenges we have faced is to provide clients of varying technical skills the ability to develop child sites that represent their department, lab, service, etc at the university. In short, results are mixed. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is consistency.

    I’ve been experimenting with the Block – Hook Element on local multisite install as well as the GenerateBlocks Reusable and Patterns areas to see what’s possible. Basically I would like site admins of each child site to be able to place branded hero images, buttons, branded 2 & 3 column sections by just going to the Gutenberg area and adding them.

    StudioPress just announced Genesis Blocks Pro that has 26-pre-built full-page layouts as well as 56 pre-built sections. I’d like to do the same thing with GeneratePress & GenerateBlocks. I’d like to create these layouts and sections and include them into the GeneratePress child theme we offer. Maybe its already possible and I’m just missing it.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on strategies moving forward. It’s a balance between giving users too much structure where they feel restricted and the kitchen sink approach where they can create just about anything…and often do.

    Thanks much!

    #1419611
    Tom
    Lead Developer
    Lead Developer

    Hi Michael,

    GenerateBlocks Pro will have a similar option where you can add pre-built layouts and sections to the page. However, the user still has the ability to customize those layouts/sections as much as they’d like. I haven’t checked out the Genesis ones, but I assume it’s the same idea.

    Are you basically wanting a “locked-in” layout where the user can only adjust things like inner content/colors etc..?

    #1420874
    Michael

    Hi Tom,

    Great. We don’t want to lock-in our site admins but provide them a handful of quality options from which they can choose to build their site. My thinking is that if they are quality, they won’t really need to modify them much.

    For example, take the page hero as described in the GeneratePress Elements documentation. I’m not sure how similar this element is to the GenerateBlocks Pro solution, but I can tell you it would be awesome to be able to offer 2-3 page hero blocks that our site admins could simply add, edit the title overlay, background image, etc and be on their way. And if the GenerateBlocks solution retained the settings, specifically Display Rules, of the page hero element, that would be incredibly useful.

    Genesis highlights their block editing permissions (limiting editing of specific blocks, style settings, etc.), to specific types of users. While that would be useful as well, it isn’t as much of a priority in the contained environment of higher-ed. I usually know who my site admins are and who to track down if someone goes off the rails.

    Almost 3 years ago we pushed out a fairly lean theme built off of the Genesis Sample theme and integrated the Beaver Builder plugin that allowed our people to build their sites. At the time, it was a decent solution. Now my goal is to slowly migrate those users & sites over to a child theme using GeneratePress & GenerateBlocks and phase BeaverBuilder out completely replacing most of not all of those designs created in BeaverBuilder to the new theme(s) with blocks and Gutenberg. The goal being more consistent branding, layouts, etc.

    As I alluded to in my previous post, we have many different skill levels. Most (70%) are still afraid they are going to break something while 20% use the tools adequately while the last 10% (usually computer science or visual design majors student hires) do things that often times we had not anticipated. An interesting yet challenging mix.

    As always, thanks for all your efforts Tom. You and your team are great and we look forward to using GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks as the foundation for our multisite environments.

    #1421031
    Tom
    Lead Developer
    Lead Developer

    Aha, makes perfect sense!

    GenerateBlocks Pro has this exact thing, you can add your own local template and then choose from them in the Template Library block.

    You could also potentially create re-usable blocks and then convert them to regular blocks right now – that would give your users a few examples to choose from as well.

    #1421039
    Michael

    That is great news Tom. I’ve just scratched the surface on re-usable blocks so I’ll have to take a deeper dive on it now. I really look forward to Blocks PRO. Sounds like it’s gonna fit the bill! Thanks again.

    #1421062
    Tom
    Lead Developer
    Lead Developer
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