How The New Query Loop Block in WordPress 5.8 Compares to the Toolset View Block


July 28, 2021

WordPress 5.8 includes the first feature towards Full Site Editing – the new Query Loop block. In this post, we compare between the Query Loop block and Toolset’s View Block.

The purpose of the new Query Loop block is to load content from the database and display it as a list of items. As this is very similar to the description of our View block, we thought that it would help to compare the two blocks and see what’s common and where the two differ.

How the New Query Loop Block Works

Query Loop displays posts from any post type on your site, including custom post types.

You can currently insert it into the body of posts or pages. Once Full Site Editing comes to WordPress, it will be possible to insert this block into templates for archive pages and single-post templates.

When you insert the Query Loop block, it displays standard WordPress posts by default. First, you select the layout for displaying the posts or click to start designing from scratch.

Query Loop block’s options for different display layouts

Once you select the layout, the Query Loop block switches to “editing mode”.

Query Loop block acts as a container into which you insert blocks. Because of this, the List view panel on the left shows you the structure and all blocks inside the Query Loop block.

The “List view” panel showing the structure of blocks inside the Query Loop

As you can see, there is a special block called Post Template. It is nested just under the Query Loop block. In essence, the Query Loop block pulls content from the database and the Post Template block handles the output.

Adjusting the Query Options

By selecting the Query Loop block, you can tweak different query options in the sidebar, including:

  • Post type selection
  • Order
  • Sticky posts display
  • Filters (manual selection of categories, author, or keywords)
Tweaking the query options in the sidebar

By clicking the blocks Display settings button, you can tweak additional settings, including:

  • Items per Page
  • Offset
  • Max page to show
Tweaking the display settings for the Query Loop block

Predefined Layouts

As mentioned above, the carousel view allows you to select one of the predefined layouts.

Here are a few examples of different carousel layouts you can choose from.

The Query Loop block also supports custom, predefined layouts you can use as Patterns.

When inserting a block, click the Browse all button, and in the panel that appears, click the Patterns tab. In the dropdown, select Query and select one of the patterns that appear.

Selecting predefined Query Loop layouts through Patterns

The ability to use Patterns for predefined layouts is interesting as it opens up a possibility for theme and plugin authors to come up with creative design ideas.

Displaying Dynamic Content

A list of posts only makes sense if you can display dynamic content coming from those posts. WordPress uses dedicated blocks for displaying different post fields inside a Query Loop.

There are currently 7 new blocks you can use to display dynamic content in a Query Loop block:

  • Post Title
  • Post Content
  • Post Date
  • Post Excerpt
  • Post Featured Image
  • Post Categories
  • Post Tags

There are currently two major limitations when designing a Query Loop:

  • There are virtually no design options for these dynamic blocks
  • There is currently no way to display custom fields

At the time of writing this article, there is no information or discussion of introducing such features. We can only wait and see how this goes in the future.

How Does Query Loop Block Work With Themes?

Thankfully, the new Query Loop block works fine with all Toolset recommended themes like Astra, Blocksy, Kadence, Page Builder Framework, and OceanWP.

If you use the Query Loop block and run into some display and styling glitches, it’s best to check with the theme’s authors.

Toolset’s Unique Approach to Dynamic Content

While WordPress now has dedicated blocks for different fields (with blocks for custom fields yet to arrive), Toolset does something completely different. It allows displaying the value coming from any field, inside any block. This means that you can display fields in different ways and also combine them together.

Here is the Toolset Heading block with options for displaying dynamic content and styling:

Using dynamic content in the Toolset Heading block

Styling options in the Toolset Heading block

And here is a list of fitness clubs on the front-end, created with Toolset’s View and with the WordPress Query Loop block:

Query Loop block

Toolset Views block

As you can see and we already mentioned, Query Loop cannot even display custom fields. Also, you cannot really adjust any styling or options so they are simply inherited from the theme.

It’s clear that the Toolset version looks cleaner and better organized. This is because, with Toolset, we use “regular” blocks that offer complete styling options. The WordPress Query version uses dedicated dynamic blocks, which are missing most styling features and don’t allow combining several fields into a block.

When Is It a Good Idea To Use The WordPress Query Loop Block and When Should I Use Toolset’s View?

As you can see, the WordPress Query Loop block is still in its infancy. You could use it for doing really simple lists of content, for example:

  • Show recent posts on your homepage
  • Show testimonials on your homepage (testimonials are a custom post type)
  • Show portfolio items on one of your pages (portfolio is a custom post type)
  • Show a list of posts from a specific category on your homepage

On the other hand, you will need the Toolset View block for anything else. These are the most common and important View block features that the Query Loop block is missing:

  • Display custom fields in your list of posts
  • Customize the styling of displayed fields

And of course, there are many more advanced, but crucial features you will often need:

  • Filter posts by anything (and not just categories and tags)
  • Add a custom search
  • Display parts of the list conditionally
  • Display posts on a map
  • Display related posts
  • Display posts using a masonry or collage layout

And many more.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the new WordPress Query Loop block has a long way to go before it really becomes usable for typical websites. We can probably expect to see more features introduced to it once the Full Site Editing arrives. This is currently slated (but could change) for the end of 2021.

At the moment when you need to create a fully functioning and customized list of content in WordPress, the Toolset View block is still the far best solution out there.

Did you try the Query Loop block? What do you think of its current features? What do you expect to come in the future?

Share your thoughts and we’ll reply!


Comments 11 Responses

  1. There’s no comparison as of right now, but keep it that way by staying ahead of the curve…

    Focus on making view queries faster, focus on making the map view cutting edge, and add multiple relationship filtering to the query filter (this is a huge one)… And for godsake, don’t discontinue Views.

    Blocks is nice and I’d recommend it for most, but unlike Views, Blocks is not remotely usable for the highly customized websites that I work on.

    Do that, and I’ll never look at Gutenberg or any other CPT tools.

    • Hi, Lloyd, thanks for the comment! Just wanted to say that you don’t have to worry about Views, as we always said, we will not remove it and we keep supporting it. 🙂

  2. Hi,

    Our database consists of thousands of posts with a few custom post types and multiple custom fields for each CPT and we have Views that pulls from that database.

    Is terms of performance, is there a difference between Views or Query Loop?

    • There shouldn’t be much difference. Both the WP Query block and Toolset View will do one query to the database to get the items. From there, it’s a matter of what you included in the loop. Try it and let us know?

  3. I, like Lloyd, also struggle with Toolset blocks encompassing all the things I could do with Views and still trying to walk with a ‘foot’ in both worlds (Views & Blocks) but overall, from 2014 forward, I end up using Types & Views to provide the STELLAR performance & efficiency for both data entry personnel (to enter CPT info) AND to save their visitors TIME by building a variety of views that, when change is needed, only happens in one place.

    It’s all a journey and I applaud the work towards more fully utilizing the Guttenberg features, but I, too, hope Views doesn’t go away anytime soon, unless/until Blocks provides the same level of advanced functionality for complex, CPT heavy sites, with massive amounts of CPT entries – 🙂

  4. I install and use Toolset Blocks now but never use the Block editor. I stick with the Classic view as I agree it is far more flexible for me to code my own HTML. Do you not do the same? I don’t believe Views offers anything that Blocks doesn’t, especially when I only use the Classic interface and ignore the Block editor.

  5. Just out of curiosity, I tried the query block, but it was not showing CPT (which I created in Toolset Types) in the dropdown box.

    Besides, it is a very basic block and has very basic query filter options.

    I don’t think it is even a 1% closer match for Toolset from any angle.

    Out of the way, I am not a big fan of Guttenberg Blocks. I find it very complicated and difficult to deal with. The right options sidebar is so tightly cluttered that I have to collapse all the sections and open the required section only to change the settings.

    I am using Beaver Builder + Beaver Themer, so I do most of the work over there. I use blocks only for Toolset, but thinking of reverting to Toolset classic.

    • Hi Alok,
      yes, the Query Loop block detects custom post types created with the Toolset Types plugin. Are you sure you have at least one post of that post type? But I can see the post type in the dropdown even without individual posts of this type. If you do need any help with the Query Loop block and Toolset, please open a ticket on our support forum but as you said – the Toolset View block provides more options and filters. Thanks for sharing your feedback and thoughts on how you find Gutenberg. Using classic Toolset is also fine, it gives you more granularity.

  6. Hi! I have used Content Views Pro for the past few years but have really embraced using blocks. I’m using the WordPress 5.0 Query loop block to display our pumpkin carving pattern posts (we have about 1,000). The Query Loop works great except I am trying to to display random spacer images between each post listing. We serve ads and the space image allows us to target these images instead of the main featured images.

    I have tested a random image short code and that works great outside of the Query Loop. Inside the Query Loop, the fist entry generates a random image and replicates that same image to the other listings.

    Here’s an example page:

    As you will see the “Trick or Treat” image is the same and not random. I’m guessing this is a limitation of the Query Loop.

    My question is will Toolset View Blocks display my posts as shown on that page, but also allow me to add a random image short code that will work for each posting?

    I just wanted to check before purchasing.

    Thanks so much,


    • Hi, Jack! Thanks for an interesting question and sorry for the late reply. For some reason, your comment got “lost in moderation”. From what I see, you have solved your issue on the page you linked to?

      In any case, it’s hard to answer your question because I have no idea what that “random image shortcode” even does and how it does it.

      However, you can use the code Shortcode block inside a Toolset View Blocks and they will render.

      If you didn’t already, you can purchase Toolset and see if this works. We have a 30-day no-questions-asked refund policy so it’s plenty of time for you to see if it’s working. And, you can ask our supporters if you have any additional questions.