WordPress Gutenberg – What you need to know

August 13, 2018

If you’ve updated WordPress recently, you’ve no doubt seen the prompt to give the new Gutenberg Layout Editor a trial run. Named after the printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg, WordPress aims to revolutionise online publication much like the linotype machine flipped the print publication industry on its head.

The Biggest Change

Rather than a simple visual editor with the option of more in-depth coding, the Gutenberg editor will now allow you to drag Blocks to add content within the page. These blocks will then designate an area within the page for a certain content type. Text, images, galleries, widgets, shortcodes, and even chunks of custom HTML will now be designated into blocks that are self-contained. No longer will you wonder why your images aren’t centring. The image code will be handled by its own block and will not be affected by other code fragments elsewhere in the text.

Each of these parts are self-contained blocks.

Why Blocks?

By shifting to this new interface, WordPress is aiming to make page creation a far more user-friendly experience, even for those web developers without an in-depth knowledge of HTML and CSS. Blocks will show changes in real-time, giving you a true What You See Is What You Get editor that will minimise the time it takes to draft, preview and publish your content.

Additionally, each block is self-contained. If you embed a video in a block with a faulty HTML tag, the tag will not break code further down the page. This will make troubleshooting coding errors far easier than what the Classic editor is capable of currently.

You can try it now

Gutenberg is available to try right now. Once you have installed the plugin, you can try all the available editor functions on a new or existing post. Currently, the function of backward-compatibility is still in the planning phase of Gutenberg’s development, so it’s a good idea to see if your existing themes and plugins will work with the new editor before the WordPress 5.0 update.

The Change is only there if you want it

WordPress is going to automatically update to Gutenberg in version 5.0 of WordPress, becoming the new default editor. However, if you don’t like the new system, they have already added a plugin that will revert the editor to the Classic Editor you know. While we highly recommend that you give Gutenberg a try before you switch back, it’s up to you to decide if you’re ready for a change.

As always, give us a shout if you have any questions. We’re always happy to talk WordPress. vs

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