Gutenberg: The New WordPress Editor

Posted: 09th of August, 2018

WordPress is constantly changing to make the lives of its users easier, and give them more control over their websites. WordPress 5.0 introduces a whole new editing experience, which is based on blocks. Say hello, to Gutenberg:

Gutenberg Adding New Post

The idea of Gutenberg is to make the editing process a lot easier, and more modular. Gutenberg is built with “blocks”. Blocks are effectively a section, which can be moved around, carrying everything inside of it. So say you want to move an image up the page, simply drag and drop, it’s done.

Gutenberg allows developers (like me) to build custom blocks, meaning as a business we can provide more tailored and fine tuned solutions for you.

Gutenberg’s History

Gutenberg has been in development for around a year and a half now. When new WordPress core features are being built, they’re built as standalone plugins. This means changes won’t break core, and can be developed in a separate environment. Over time, this has been built to be a robust plugin, leveraging the power of a powerful JavaScript framework, called React. Using React means the entire user experience is streamlined, smooth and efficient. Browsers don’t have to process loads of lines of code, developers make everything re-usable and more efficient, and users get one hell of an experience!

 

Gutenberg or Visual Composer?

Many of our sites are built with Visual Composer, a page builder plugin which at present is a LOT more powerful than Gutenberg. VC is a well known page builder, with a lot of support, but will it fade with the upcoming release of Gutenberg? I’m not too sure. Visual Composer isn’t powered by React or a similar framework, however it’s very well built and is constantly changing to be more efficient on the frontend, as well as in the backend editor. VC has a *ton* of addons, all which integrate with other plugins such as Contact Form 7, WooCommerce, modals, counters, carousels, and loads more. At the moment, VC is years ahead of Gutenberg, however with Gutenberg being merged into core later this year, we’re going to see thousands of developers building addons for it.

 

Can I try it?

You sure can! If you log into the backend of your WordPress site, you should see a notice, telling you about Gutenberg. Click the blue “Install Gutenberg” plugin and let WordPress do its thing. After a few seconds, you’re ready to rock and roll! Head on over the create a post or a page, and test it out!

Your existing content should work with Gutenberg, allowing you to separate things out and move it around how you like. Have a play and let us know how you get on 🙂

At the moment, Gutenberg will be installed as a plugin. Later this year it will be part of core, and you’ll see it disappear from the plugin list. No need to worry about this.

 

What Happens if I Don’t Want It?

If you don’t want to install Gutenberg, you don’t need to do anything yet. Once WordPress 5.0 is released, your site will use Gutenberg automatically. In order to use the default editor with the new version of WordPress you’ll need to install the classic editor plugin. This will revert you back to what you had in the first place.

Ash Scott

Ash is a front end developer who specialises in WordPress Development. With an interest in pixel perfect, modern designs he can put an entire site together on his own if needed. Ash works on a lot of projects at home, providing small business solutions to streamline their business. Doing this also enables him to keep up with modern Front End and WordPress standards and technology.