When WordPress 5.0 is finally released, the Gutenberg editor will replace the classic editor as the default WordPress editor. This will constitute a major overhaul of the publishing experience on WordPress. Every WP user, therefore, needs to know how to use this new feature.
The Gutenberg Rollout
WordPress has several exciting developments in store and Gutenberg lays the groundwork for a brighter, better new WordPress. Gutenberg is WordPress’ first stage of a 3-pronged rollout strategy. Besides redeveloping the editor, the other two stages of this strategy include an in-depth focus on page templates as well as transforming WordPress into a comprehensive website customizer. Currently, Gutenberg exists as a beta plugin. A stable release is expected to appear as the default WP editor when WordPress 5.0 comes out later this year.
The Gutenberg Environment
This new editor for WordPress is named after the founder of the movable printing press, Johannes Gutenberg. It has been developed with a single goal of making it easy to use the visual editor on WP. One way it achieves this is by introducing blocks and offering extra advanced layout options.
When using Gutenberg editor, you should expect the following:
- A modernized way of writing, editing and publishing content that focuses on simplicity and usability
- Blocks that unify multiple interfaces
- Development of premium blocks that are superior to both widgets and shortcodes
- A new tool that allows developers to achieve full site customization.
Getting Gutenberg Editor
First of all, Gutenberg only works with WordPress 4.8 or newer. The latest Gutenberg version can be downloaded from the WordPress repository or by searching it out from the “Add New” plugging option on your WordPress dashboard.
Once installed, Gutenberg won’t replace your default WP editor but instead appears as a link under your posts. Through this link, you can now open the Gutenberg editor.
A Gutenberg menu will also be added to your dashboard
Note: After the release of WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg will be your default editor on WP. The
classic editor will be relegated to an installable plugin.
Using Gutenberg Editor
At first glance, you can tell that Gutenberg is very different from the editor that you are accustomed to on WordPress.
Gutenberg editor offers you a clean writing environment that is free of distraction with impeccable typography and plenty of writing space. This editor really focuses on putting writing first hence particularly favorable for folks who do their writing on laptops.
The settings on Gutenberg can be opened per document or per block from the cog icon placed on the top right-hand side of the editor. Next to this cog(setting) icon, are three dots that let you switch to a code editor.
Blocks are at the core of creating content using Gutenberg. Blocks are modules that are preconstructed to help a user lay out the content of their WordPress site more clearly and consistently. The blocks essentially present a unified styling technique that doesn’t require advanced programming or other formatting functionality such as shortcodes, post formats, theme option, etc.
The block concept allows for easy and quick customizations. Through these blocks, one can define what every aspect of content is. One can further define their specifications per block. A single line of text can, for instance, be changed into a quote by adjusting its block type. Every block type comes with a unique set of options that allow one to set the placement, decoration and many other content features.
Gutenberg offers blocks for lists, quotes, paragraphs, headings, images, galleries, codes, shortcodes, widgets, buttons, embed elements, etc. Every block can be customized to have its own layout and can also be saved as a reusable block.
Comparing Gutenberg And the Classic Editor
Gutenberg, just like the classic editor, is primarily designed to edit content only. It, however, is different
in the following ways
- It includes various extensible blocks that have defined attributes
- It mainly focuses on content creation and, therefore, the interface offers minimal interactions
with developer tools. The UI, therefore, resembles a front-end editor.
- Content created with the classic editor can be converted to Gutenberg fully. However, Gutenberg content can only be partially converted to classic.
- Content in Gutenberg is stored as semantic HTML comments while in classic, it is stored as
Given that Gutenberg is a new and significant change, it is vital for you to check that your products will be compatible with this editor. Gutenberg affects shortcodes, custom post types (CPT), metaboxes as well as any content generated. WordPress themes, in turn, modify the editor via editor styles. Most plugins are nonetheless compatible with Gutenberg.
Overall ratings of Gutenberg stand at about 2.3 stars out 5. Positive reviews praise this editor for its large writing space that is offered by a distraction-free interface. The pros of using Gutenberg WordPress editor therefore include:
- Gutenberg is easy to use even for non-technical and beginner users.
- It makes it easy for a user to create WordPress posts that have a wide variety of multimedia content.
- It lowers the overreliance on TinyMCE.
- Developers of themes and plugins can create customize blocks effortlessly.
- Using blocks is easy, fun and the new alignment option they offer is brilliant.
- Gutenberg works great across all platforms including mobile.
- It allows for the development of full-width templated, high-resolution, responsive designs.
Most negative reviews about Gutenberg come from users who are reluctant to adopt this editor for
various reasons. That notwithstanding, the editor has several drawbacks including:
- It is incompatible with some of the popular plugins, e.g. Jetpack.
- It lacks markdown support.
- It does not support responsive columns.
Since Gutenberg is still in development, we hope that most of these drawbacks will have been resolved by the time a stable release is unveiled in WordPress 5.0. For now, users are highly encouraged to try this exciting editor and have fun with the functionality it offers.