Guten Tag Gutenberg

You have probably seen the Gutenberg prompts on your website, letting you know that a new editor is coming to WordPress.

In this post I want to tell you what Gutenberg is, how it will impact your WordPress site, and how to negate any problems it introduces.  Lastly I’m offering a testing service for you to trial the new editor in a safe environment.

What Is Gutenberg?

It’s a replacement for the standard WordPress text editor, it provides a visual way to drag and drop sections of content and arrange them on your page.

If you have used one of the new themes on the market you will already be familiar with the idea of a visual editor.

At the core of this process is the idea of a block.  You can drag and drop blocks and then put content into the block.

There are text blocks, heading blocks, video blocks, galleries, images, the list goes on.  As Gutenberg matures more and more blocks will become available.

For example gravity forms has developed a Gutenberg block so you can add and display a contact form with this new system https://docs.gravityforms.com/gravity-forms-gutenberg-block/.

In the past a plugin developer may have created a shortcode to display content on the front end, in the future they will be encouraged to develop a content block.

Blocks will be responsive out of the box, so you don’t need to worry about the size of the screen your site is being viewed on.

You can easily add columns to your post or page.  So a three column row with different blocks will be easily achieved.

Gutenberg is a visual builder so the design you make on the page will be reflected on the front end, not something we currently have with the

Gutenberg will be merged into WordPress at version 5 coming later this year, but it’s a very big change so you should be ready for it.


What If It Breaks My Site

There is a high probability that some of the themes out there are not going to be compliant, this has been taken into account and at version 5 you can install a plugin which will revert to the classic editor.  You can download it from here:

Classic Editor

Video Demo

Here’s a walk-through of what you can expect with the new editor.

My Thoughts On Gutenberg

I have my usual grumpiness about major changes being forced upon us (I’m still not happy with the theme customizer people), why Gutenberg cannot just stay as a plugin is beyond me.

I’m glad there is a planned roll back route with the classic editor being made available as a plugin.

But overall I think this will be a good thing.  I’ve been using visual editors with the modern themes for some time now and they are great.  They allow positioning and formatting of content in a much more visual manner.

Here’s a quote from the WordPress site

Gutenberg is more than an editor. It’s also the foundation that’ll revolutionize customization and site building in WordPress.

I see a major shake up in the theme world coming because of Gutenberg.

Staging Service

I’m offering a staging and migration service if you want to test Gutenberg in a safe development environment.

  • I will, migrate your current live site into the test environment.
  • Activate the new editor.
  • Give you access to test your site and try Gutenberg.
  • Offer support for any issues you may have and offer suggestions as to whether the classic editor would be a good icea until your theme is made Gutenberg compliant.
  • You have access to that development area for one day.

I’ve build 5 test beds that will be available on a first come first served basis, let me know if you want to book a slot.

This service costs £29 for a day’s hire of my staging environments.

My existing maintenance clients will get access to this service for free.

If you want to book the staging areas, drop me a link from my WordPress technical support page.

Wrap Up – Guten Tag Gutenberg

Winter’s Gutenberg is coming I recommend you test your theme with the new editor to ensure this big update doesn’t break anything.

It’s going to easier to build great looking posts and pages with Gutenberg, but expect some snagging issues once it’s first released while your themes and plugins are made compliant.

Photo Credit: Guy dicarlo Flickr via Compfight cc

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