new wp editor

All You Need To Know About Gutenberg the New WP Editor

When WordPress 5.0 premiered back in December, it made big waves as one of the most extensive updates ever released. For most people, the Gutenberg Editor was in the spotlight and for good reasons too.

Namely, this block-based editor is much more than an optional addition to the arsenal: it is designed to spearhead the revolution in the way sites are built and customized in WP. As such, it is a part of a three-stage roll-out overhaul, which will come to a close when WP becomes a fully-fledged site customizer.

For us users, Gutenberg promised a “streamlined editing experience” and the key question is whether it delivered on it. So, we are going to focus on the process of building pages with the re-imagined block editor, Gutenberg’s hallmark feature.

New editor in a nutshell

Gutenberg is available with WordPress 5.0 and there is a lot to unwrap in terms of improvements and features. Much-needed bug fixes and performance improvements are just the tip of the iceberg.

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Right at the first glance, it is obvious we are dealing with a revamped interface. The 5.0 iteration comes bundled with the new default theme “Twenty Nineteen”, which oozes minimalist design philosophy and champions user-friendliness. To delight on many, it successfully does away with visual clutter, unnecessary toolbars, and separated boundaries.

What you have before you is a clean canvas for any site-building and editing endeavor. As a user, you are given more freedom when it comes to crafting content and displaying it. This is all thanks to the refined method of structuring content.

So, we can finally bid farewell to the rigid old text windows and the practice of keeping all content within HTML files. Instead of these remnants of the old, we have content blocks as main tools for creating layouts.

How content Blocks System works

It is important to note that Gutenberg does not affect old content, which remains wrapped in Classic Editor. That being said, you can decide to convert old classic blocks into a new structure. That is a great way to get the best of both worlds: preserve the old looks and still take advantage of new features.

Speaking of which, inserting new multimedia to your site has never been easier. Blocks can be easily populated (via “+” icon), manipulated, and moved around. Even your old blog posts can be converted into boxes. If you created your blog before updating to Gutenberg with a few clicks you can update your old posts.

They also come in various forms:

  • images
  • paragraphs
  • videos
  • photo galleries
  • headings
  • texts
  • embeds
  • lists
  • columns
  • quotes
  • buttons
  • multimedia

Each and every piece of content represents its own block and blocks can be rearranged and styled with more flexibility than before. For instance, you may decide to turn text into a quote and all you have to do is change the block type, after which you receive a new set of options. Altering the layout or placement of elements is a breeze as well.

Various formatting options, toolbars, and settings (under cog icon) stand at your disposal. There are also widgets for integrating comments, posts, categories or shortcodes.  On top of all that, it is possible to reuse blocks via “add to reusable blocks”. This feature is particularly helpful for those who create a lot of complex blocks with similar styles and layouts.

Performance and compatibility

Previously, certain content editing actions used to involve a lot of scrolling down. With Gutenberg, we have handy pop-up toolbars, as well as multiple post-editing features (such as publishing, saving, permalink, tags, and categories) are in the sidebar.  Things like social embedding are much easier now as well: each embed functions as a separate block with its own settings.

Furthermore, a full-screen mode is a true life-savior when you want to keep distractions at bay and have a larger work environment for creating content.  It allows you to see the entire page and switch between Visual and Code editor whenever you want. This is one of the major reasons why eCommerce development companies seeking to get ahead of the game are employing Gutenberg.

Another benefit is that the tool is compatible with essential plugins such as Yoast SEO. Do bear in mind, however, that some themes and plugins could cause compatibility issues and glitches.  Hence, you might want to test the waters before diving into WP 5.0. In other words, it is a good idea to check them on a staging website.

The verdict: definitely worth a try

All in all, editing plays out without any coding or need to overcome a steep learning curve. Technical knowledge is rather basic, although once can freely choose to utilize HTML and CSS to one’s heart’s content. So, most users should be able to put together visual-stunning and highly functional pages and do it with minimal formatting hassle.

And even if you feel lost at any point, remember that you can temporary disable Gutenberg. You just have to roll back to the Classic Editor Plugin, which will be available until December 21, 2021. You can also use Gutenberg selectively. This works out by filtering its activation only for specific types of posts and pages.

That all means you are not risking much in the process of trying out Gutenberg. It is also worth revising once more that this editor is not yet finalized. This is just the first stage and reported issues and bugs will be ironed out in due time. Everything seems to be well-geared towards making a smooth transition to the block-driven workflow.

Conclusion

Gutenberg brings forth much more than some cosmetic changes. It gives us full control over website building and each individual block that is used in it. Most of the novelties revolve around the amazing new editor. Once you get used to the changes introduced by this tool, you should be able to build custom content fuss-free.  

Be aware that on a broader scale, new block-based editing system sets the trajectory for further evolution of the WP ecosystem. It is likely to reinforce WP’s position as the king of the CMS realm. So, brace yourself for the future and start generating bespoke pages sooner rather than later.

Editorial Staff
rkim4123@gmail.com

Editorial Staff at 85ideas is a team of WordPress experts led by Brian Harris. Here to share amazing tuts, guides and collections.

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