You might have noticed a big announcement roll out of WP Engine this last week. WP Engine is taking big strides in eCommerce and bringing to market a focused WooCommerce offering, leveraging the 10+ years of experience of powering some of the web’s most successful online stores. You can read more about the announcement here.
What may not have been as obvious was the (very significant) role Genesis is playing and how it might inspire how you think about your own custom Collections. Effectively the eCommerce offering is a combination of 3 powerful layers:
- eCommerce optimized infrastructure
- Tools that improve the store creation, management, and growth experience for store owners
- Specialized support from eCommerce trained WP Engine support crew
Genesis Blocks is a massive part of #2. The ability for store owners to hit the ground running with a store that is built out with key pages, all designed to look amazing and be optimized for conversion. Genesis Blocks is powering this. 💥
Let’s break down the what and how!
Beginning with a Collection
Collections for Genesis Blocks were launched in November as a way for developers to create custom block experiences for site creators to easily spin up beautiful pages across their site. With the WP Engine eCommerce launch, we built out a custom eCommerce focused collection. This custom collection gives new store owners building a site without help from a developer a place to begin. We all know that where they finish will be wonderfully unique to their store, but we also all know that a headstart is much better than a “blank piece of paper”.
When signing up for the eComm plans, the onboarding experience gives them the option to quick-install the Collection or a blank version of WordPress.
Uniquely, this Collection is specifically optimized for the WooCommerce Storefront theme, but of course, being all blocks, it can be used with any other theme.
Easily Editing Content
Every collection is built with blocks. In this new Collection, these are WordPress core blocks, WooCommerce blocks, and Genesis blocks. Effectively, everything on every page is easily editable and customizable in the WordPress block editor. Store owners can start, in just minutes, with a beautiful starter-store and then easily step in and customize it according to their brand and store needs.
Ecommerce sites, more than any other site type, demonstrate the importance of performance and its impact on user experience. A better experience = more sales. Genesis Blocks is, and has always been, optimized for performance. It’s a fundamental guiding principle that informs all of our Genesis product decisions. Leading into this launch we further reviewed our codebase through the lens of eCommerce and found further improvements. The performance of Genesis Blocks is an important piece of this new eCommerce offering.
How Genesis Freelancers and Agencies can leverage custom Collections
The use of custom Collections with the free version of Genesis Blocks is a great way to deliver value to site owners in the sites you build, and we hope this example around eCommerce gives you ideas for your own custom Collections. If you’re an agency or freelancer that services clients, leveraging your own custom Collections as a boilerplate for new sites is a serious superpower that makes it easier for you to build and your clients to use the sites you build.
Creating your own custom Collections is very approachable for most WordPress developers with bread-and-butter WordPress development skills (e.g. light PHP, HTML, CSS). To learn more about building your own custom Collections in the free version of Genesis Blocks check out the Genesis Blocks documentation. I encourage you to dig into Collections and the templating features it offers. If you have questions or ideas, jump on over to our community Slack and say hi.