How to build a niche WordPress site with Gutenberg and Neve

January 25, 2021

In this guest post, the authors of the popular Neve theme share their vision of creating custom sites with Toolset. Did you ever use Neve? Check out this post and let us know, we’re keen on hearing your thoughts!

The evolution of the block editor and page builders brought casual users in the position of putting whole sites together on their own. And so new doors opened for us, the non-developers.   

Neve is a WordPress theme that offers full Gutenberg compatibility. You’ll learn how to customize your pages and sections with Neve and Gutenberg, leaving the classic Customizer to the side. And all without a single line of code. 

Why is Neve an optimal solution and what does it have in store for you? We’ll talk about that too.

Let’s dive in!  

Blocks are the future of WordPress  

Prepare for the reigning of the blocks in the upcoming years. WordPress as we used to know it will slowly transform until there will only be blocks. 

The block editor will soon become the main full-site editing method as the development team announced the transition to global customization via the block editor. The first full-site editing theme is already out, while the third-party authors are working on adapting their own themes and plugins to blocks.

At this moment, though, not so many themes work well with Gutenberg; you can count them on the fingers of one hand. 

But Neve is one of those few themes that blend flawlessly with the block editor.

Why Neve?

Before getting to the part where you install and customize Neve, you might want to know why this theme is a fitting choice for you in this context. 

Neve was built with Gutenberg in mind, which will facilitate the process of building a niche site. What does that mean? It means that Neve’s code is fully compatible with blocks, so you can use them together and not get interrupted by errors, unsupported functionality, unrecognized elements, or bad looks on the front-end.

Neve will work with Gutenberg so you can customize your pages and content via your favorite editor in an easy, intuitive way.

Finally, Neve provides you with a huge collection of ready-to-use designs for the block editor. This makes it very easy to start working on your projects.

How to build a niche site with Neve and Gutenberg

Now, assuming that you’re familiar with finding the right WordPress hosting service for your needs, setting it up, and installing WordPress, let’s go straight to the part where Neve comes into play. 

The theme comes in two flavors: free and premium. We’ll show you how to create a good-looking website with the free version, so you can also test it yourself as you read.

So install Neve for free by uploading the archive or by searching for it in the repository (via your WordPress dashboard).

Now that it’s live on your site, it’s time to import your favorite template for Gutenberg. Go to AppearanceNeve OptionsStarter Sites. The first thing you need to do is to activate the  Cloud Templates & Patterns Collection plugin. You just have to click a button, Neve will install it for you.

In the next few seconds, you’ll see the whole library of templates built for all the page builders the theme is compatible with. There are over 100 starter sites available for the block editor, so the hard job comes only now when you have to browse through all the designs and choose the one that best suits your plans and site profile.

Make sure to select Gutenberg and check the templates that look appealing to you. Neve comes with a wide range of designs and layouts for most of the niches. 

You’ll find templates for blogging, agencies, portfolios, restaurants, doctors, artists, online shops, freelancers, traveling, podcasts, fashion, sports, events, and a lot more.

These are just some general categories because you’ll even find very specific niches if you search for them using keywords or have the patience to go through all. These specific niches include starter sites for barber shop, charity, music band, wellness spa, print shop, farm, vet center, pharmacy, transport, job listing, escape room, and all sorts of small niches for your business. 

Keep in mind that, while some of the templates are free, you’ll also find premium designs that only come with Neve’s Business plan (together with other advanced features), which starts at $99.

Okay, so you found the perfect template for your niche. Click Import and follow the recommendations. That entails backing up your site before activating the template and choosing what content you want to import. When the importing is complete, your site is ready to be customized.

All the templates come with Otter Blocks – a Gutenberg extension that provides new interesting blocks for you to create fresh sections. So, apart from the default ones the block editor has, Otter will bring you a few more options. 

Customize your WordPress site with Neve and blocks

This is where the fun comes in. To start customizing your site, go to Pages and select the page you want to customize. 

We’ll take the homepage as an example. So, when you click on Home, it will lead you to the block editor and you will be able to make changes in real time via blocks. Each element on the page is a block you can easily modify or replace with other blocks. You can also remove those blocks that you don’t need or like. 

Same goes for the other pages. You can say goodbye to the Customizer we were all used to when we were personalizing our websites in the classic fashion – which will soon be referred to as the old fashion. 

If you are logged in, you can also simply visit your site on the front-end and click the Edit Page button that appears in the bar at the top of the screen.

Assuming you’ve worked with blocks before, editing a page is just as easy as writing a post. Click on the element or content excerpt that you want to customize and check the options you have for that particular element in the right sidebar.

You can remove the sections you don’t want and add new ones to your taste. That leaves you full flexibility in deciding how your live website will look by displaying elements that will keep your visitors engaged and will drive them to take action.

But that’s just the blocks. If you want to customize the layout of a page or post, click on the Neve logo at the top of the sidebar and you’ll see all the options that are available in the theme for that specific page/post.

When you’re editing a post, you can click on the Neve logo and choose not only the layout but also the elements that you want to display or hide and the order in which you want them to appear. 

Create custom post types with Toolset and Neve

Apart from being compatible with Gutenberg, Neve is also integrated with Toolset, which means that you can create custom post types and archive pages that inherit the theme’s default options.

I will create a custom post type with Toolset as an example and show you how to customize it with Neve.

After adding new custom post types to your WordPress site, together with their custom fields and taxonomies, go to the Toolset Dashboard to see them all in one place. 

As you can notice, I built two custom post types: Content Courses and Design Courses (as seen in the admin menu too). I selected Price and Date as custom fields and created a few custom taxonomies for each – beginners, creatives, storytelling.

Now it’s time to design a template for each custom post type. In the Front-end column that you can observe in the above screenshot, you have a button to create your own template for your custom post type. It gets you right to the block editor.

After you created a template, in the editor’s sidebar you can find all the Neve options that you can assign to it. Click on Document and scroll down to Theme Options (Neve) to change the layout.

You can choose the layout (boxed or full-width), the sidebar position, footer credits, the style of the comments section, and the scroll-to-top side.

The same applies to WordPress archives. Create a template for your custom post type’s archive and look for Neve’s options in the sidebar. Make sure to select the main WordPress Archive block from the Block Navigation list to be able to see the theme options. 

Wrapping Up

Building a website is not easy but, when you find the right combination of tools, you might be surprised to see how much control you have over the whole development process. At least compared to years ago when WordPress was hardly a DIY platform.

Once the block editor appeared on the horizon, the themes began to adapt to the visual customization, and here we are today. Mix Gutenberg with Neve and you’ll have a blast seeing how versatile and simple it is to create your own online presence. 

What’s cool is that you can test everything without paying a dime. Move your business online today with Neve theme and the block editor for a smooth user experience. 


Did you already try the Neve theme? What are your thoughts?

Share with us in the comments and we’ll get back to you!


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