Introducing: Role Manager for Gutenberg

Introducing: Role Manager for Gutenberg

Last Updated on June 27, 2022

I’d like to introduce you to our new User Role Manager. With it, you can allow your clients to edit the content of your blocks, but disallow them from altering their designs. Now in Stackable Premium version 2.8.0.

WordPress User Roles Provide Different Access Levels to Users

In WordPress, each user is assigned roles. These roles allow or restrict users to do specific things in your site. You can learn more about WordPress roles here.

Usually, we assign different user roles to our clients so that they would only have access to things that they would want to change, and things that if they change won’t negatively impact the overall design or performance of the website.

For example, we usually don’t want our clients to deactivate and delete plugins, or change the current theme, or even change some theme color settings.

We use User Roles because we ❤️ our clients.

User Roles Don’t Really Work in Gutenberg

We have a problem though. When it comes to Gutenberg / the Block Editor, User Roles don’t really work well.

You can’t restrict your clients to only edit certain parts of the content. Either you give them full editing access to the entire content, or you give them zero editing access.

Unless your client is really techie, then most of the time they would only want the ability to change things like their service descriptions, write ups about their products, or at the very least, their office telephone number.

We want to empower them and let them edit the contents of their website when they want to, but at the same time we want to ensure that the designs that we’ve poured hours creating for them remain stunning.

To address this problem, we’ve created the Role Manager.

Introducing the User Role Manager For Gutenberg

If you’re a Stackable Premium user, you will now have a new Role Manager setting available in your Stackable > Settings admin page. It should look like this:

The Stackable Role Manager is really simple to use, if you want to only allow page content to be edited by all users that have an Editor role in your site, you just toggle the switch.

All roles available in your site will be listed in the Role Manager, so if you’ve added new roles in your site using a plugin like User Role Editor, you should be able to use them too.

Allow Your Users to Only Edit Block Content

You can toggle any user role to either have access to:

  • Full editing mode – they have full controls over the styles of every block.
  • Content only editing mode – the inspector is locked and they cannot modify the settings of the block, they can however still modify the block’s content (text, images, icons).

The best part here is that Content Only Editing mode even works for native Gutenberg blocks and other non-Stackable blocks! 🤘

How Content Only Editing Works In Gutenberg

Content Only Editing mode works by locking out the inspector and other parts of the Block Editor.

The interface is changed in a few ways when Content Only Editing is enabled:

  • The inspector options are hidden
  • Adding of non-text blocks are disabled
  • The block moving buttons are hidden
  • The block width/wide/full toolbar is hidden
  • The edit as HTML option is hidden
  • Reusable blocks are hidden
  • The remove button is hidden (except for text blocks)
  • The patterns tab is hidden (new WordPress 5.5 feature)

Users can perform the following functions:

  • Editing block text, images, icons and links
  • Adding text and heading blocks
  • Functions that blocks allow you to perform on the block itself (for example adjusting size of the native image block)

Here’s a video that summarizes what you can expect with Content Only Editing turned on:

User Roles Work For Any Gutenberg Block

As mentioned earlier, our User Role Manager doesn’t only apply to Stackable blocks, but it also works for native blocks and should also work for any other block plugin that you have.

So expect a unified experience across the entire Block Editor.

Important: Content-Only Editing Isn’t Bullet-Proof

This is not however a bullet-proof way of preventing someone from changing only the content. Gutenberg is an amazing editor, and while you can add some things in it, there are some limitations as to what we can restrict with Content-Only Editing.

Shortcut keys like delete, copy and pasting blocks; and advanced methods of editing blocks, like through the Block Editor’s Code Editor mode are still possible.

Other Notable Changes in This Version

  • We updated the URL Picker, it now looks like the native URL Picker
  • The Image Box block now has alt text based on the title or subtitle of the column.
  • Partial WordPress 5.5 compatibility (we have some amazing things for this)
  • The Stackable admin menu now won’t show for users that don’t have the manage_options capability
  • A bunch of other bug fixes that I won’t bore you with


I hope you guys enjoy the new Role Manager. Now you can have some peace of mind knowing that your clients are editing only the content in Gutenberg.

Let us know your thoughts about this new feature in the comments below, and be sure to join the Stackable Community in Facebook.

0 thoughts on “Introducing: Role Manager for Gutenberg

    1. Hey Jack,

      The Patterns Tab is hidden to prevent clients from adding sections that may effect the overall design of the website. However, thanks for bringing this up – we may look into this further given this new insight! ☺️

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