I’ve seen two bloggers write postsabout how they have been screwed by reusable blocks, just in the last week. I think I understand them (reusable blocks, not those users 🤣), so if you are using them, but are not quite sure why you’re using them, read on…
Imagine that you are running a jumble sale. You want to publicise the thing, so you get 1,000 leaflets printed up. “Come to our jumble sale, in the church hall, 11 AM on Saturday”, or whatever. Makes sense, right? Because you don’t want to write it out 1,000 times.
So one person comes along, takes a leaflet. Someone else comes along 5 minutes later, takes another leaflet. Both people are reading exactly the same information. Church Hall, Saturday, 11 AM…
Those are reusable blocks. When you want to publish the exact same thing, again and again, you use a reusable block.
Next, imagine you are writing your christmas card list.
The first card reads “Dear Fred, Happy Christmas, Harold.”
The next one reads “Dear Mabel, Happy Christmas, Harold.”
The one after reads “Dear Bob, Happy Christmas, Harold.”
And so on. Each card is almost the same, but slightly different. In that scenario, you’re stuffed. You have to write all the cards individually.
So, in that case. you can’t use a reusable block. Even though only one word is different, each message is still different.
What this means in Blogland
If you write the exact same text, in post after post, then investigate reusable blocks.
For example, if you host a prompt, and you write some preamble, and every time you run the prompt, it is the same (including any links, formatting etc. Everything.), look at using a reusable block.
But, WordPress does not understand “nearly”. So, if you write something slightly different each time, reusable blocks are not for you.
Now, how many times do you write the exact same thing, same formatting, same links, and all? Almost never, right? So, what that should tell you is that there are very few occasions where using a reusable block is any use. And that is absolutely true! That should be everybody’s gut instinct.
So, when I have text that is almost the same, how do I avoid typing it all out again?
Well, the best way I have found is to go to my list of posts. Each post has “…” written right at the end of each line.
Click “…” and a menu appears. One of the options is “Copy Post”. This takes the original post, creates a new post, then copies everything from the old post to the new. I can then start making those changes.
At the end of this, the old post is left unchanged. The new one is saved as a Draft post until I publish it. Exactly what you would expect.