You might have felt some tremors in the WordPress world. On December 6, we witnessed the release of WordPress 5.0 and with it came the new editor we know as Gutenberg. It’s a new block-based editing environment in WordPress and the impact it’s going to have will be massive. Some welcome it with open arms, while others are critical. There is also a large group of WordPress users who don’t have a clue what’s going on. Here, we’ll introduce Gutenberg: WordPress’ new block editor.
As of WordPress 5.0’s release on December 6, 2018, WordPress has a new default content editor. Called the WordPress Gutenberg editor while in development, “Gutenberg” is now just the “WordPress editor” or “block editor” if you want to be more specific.
The new block editor brings with it a completely different approach to content creation in the form of blocks (hence the name…). And in this post, you’re going to learn exactly how to use those blocks, and the new editor’s other features, to create content at your WordPress site.
Gutenberg is the project name for the new WordPress block editor, which replaced the WordPress TinyMCE editor as the default WordPress editor in WordPress 5.0.
While Gutenberg was the official name while the editor was under development, it’s now just “the WordPress block editor” or “the WordPress editor” because it’s officially part of the core software. As such, you’ll often see me refer to it as the “block editor” in this post, rather than “Gutenberg”.
When you open the new WordPress editor for the first time you’re probably looking for the interface we have all grown accustomed to. That, however, is gone. We now have a very clean writing environment, with great typography and lots of space for your content to shine. On the right-hand side, you can open the settings — per document or per block — by clicking on the cog icon. Clicking on the three dots beside that cog lets you switch to the code editor so you can make your edits on the code side of things
It’s more than an aesthetic update, though. Gutenberg completely changes the editing experience by moving to a block-based approach to content (more on exactly what blocks are in a second!). While the current focus is on content creation, the eventual goal is to have the Gutenberg block editor “go beyond the post into page templates and ultimately, full site customization.” That means eventually you’ll be able to build your whole site using blocks, including landing pages and other important content.
The new WordPress editor introduces blocks. Previously, your content lived inside one big HTML file and for every enhancement there had to be something new: shortcodes, custom post types, embeds, widgets and the like. All with their quirky interfaces and weird behavior. Now, you can build your content precisely like you make a LEGO set: all from one box, following a standardized and straightforward set of instructions.
By using this blocks concept, you can now determine what every part of your content is. Not only that, you can define their specifications per block. So, for instance, you can turn a single line of text into a quote by changing its block type. After that, it gets a new set of options that you can set. You can change the type of quote, its placement, text decoration etc. This goes for all blocks. There are blocks for, among other things:
Every block you make can get its own layout and settings. And you can save these as reusable blocks!
Gutenberg Is The Future
Contrary to popular opinion, Gutenberg is not a replacement for the current text editor. It is a new way to build websites. I like to think of it as Facebook for WordPress.
You don’t need to be a computer geek to publish things on Facebook or any other social media platform. Gutenberg is just a way to bring this simplicity and flexibility to WordPress, so that people don’t need to code in order to create and publish websites. That’s why I think it is going to be the future, not only for WordPress, but for the web in general.
Granted, Gutenberg has a long way to go. People (including me) have had issues with its implementation, but soon we will have Gutenberg-ready themes, plugins and tools surfacing everywhere. Nevertheless, you have to start somewhere. So, you might as well be a part of this change from the beginning.