George Mamadashvili’s Bookmark Card block is the sort of simple plugin that is easy to overlook. It is one of those plugins that suffers from the lack of block discoverability in WordPress at the moment. Like many other one-off blocks, you don’t know you need it until you need it.
The plugin is essentially an embed block, but it is not specific to one website or service like Twitter and YouTube. Instead, it allows users to add a “card” for any URL in their content.
Mamadashvili has previously worked as a developer on several blocks for the Sorta Brilliant brand, which sported some of my favorite block-related plugins, such as Emoji Conbini. Unfortunately, those plugins are no longer in the WordPress directory at the request of the owner, Nick Hamze.
However, Mamadashvili has continued building separately. Yesterday, he launched Toggles, a block for creating FAQs, hiding spoilers, and adding simple accordion elements..
I have had his Bookmark Card block literally bookmarked for a few months, just now finally giving it the overdue trial run that it deserves.
The name of the plugin brings me back a few years. There was once a time when bookmarks were a common feature of the web. Entire sites were dedicated to managing them, and some people created their own bookmark pages on their WordPress sites. Some were mere blogrolls. Others were more advanced galleries with images. Even the “link” post format archive in WordPress has served as a bookmark system.
The idea of bookmarks is about preserving pieces of the web that interests us. So, I opened my dusty old recipe folder in Chrome and started putting together a recipes page for fun, hoping for some inspiration in my culinary pursuits.
Horizontal-style Bookmark Card blocks.
I enjoy this recipe page a lot more than the plain links hidden away in my Google bookmarks. I suppose I could get even more creative and break everything down by category on different pages.
The Bookmark Card block currently ships with two styles. The horizontal style, shown above, places the image to the right of the card content. The default style, shown below, adds the image at the top. Users can also try combinations with other blocks for unique looks, such as adding cards to the Columns block.
Columns of Bookmark Card blocks.
The plugin can be useful in many contexts. Users can add URLs that are not supported via the regular embed blocks. They may also enjoy the shared card style for all of their embedded links.
Future Ideas for the Plugin
The simplicity of Bookmark Card is part of its allure. However, it is also overly simple in some respects. The only option it provides is the choice between a vertical and horizontal card style. This limits its potential, especially if the default design does not match the user’s theme.
The plugin does not need a plethora of options. However, it could use some basics. Text and background colors are a must. Base typography options, such as selecting the font size, would be nice-to-have features. Integration with the Gutenberg plugin’s newer border-radius component would work well with this type of block. Like all blocks I test or use, I also ask that plugin developers add support for wide and full-width alignments.
A few additional styles or layout options would help. For example, a horizontal style that moves the image to the left of the card content would be a good option.
The plugin, which is currently at version 1.0, is a good starting point. However, it could be much better with just a handful of extras in future updates.