Transitioning from JavaScript to WP, a whirlwind of confusion

Hey yall

I am a React/NextJS Developer trying to pickup WordPress, super new to this whole thing. I was trying to build a site with Gutenberg but hit a wall when I wanted to implement a Card Carousel.

Scoured the plugin market but had trouble finding a good one that isn’t locked behind a paywall. Any features beyond the most basic skeleton requires a $40 subscription

It’s really frustrating cause coming from a react ecosystem where i can find tons of free libraries and third party packages.

Now I’m not saying people shouldn’t profit off their works but like, its kinda daunting as a newbie trying out WordPress, I am not about to drop $99 a year to buy some page builder or $30 a year to get a carousel on a site that I am practicing on.

Am I missing something here? Is almost every feature outside of Gutenberg just locked behind an annual paywall? How can I practice without committing $70 a year, or is the only solution to build my own Gutenberg carousel slider from scratch


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