For years there haven’t been any major changes to the WordPress editing environment. But with the release of the WordPress 5.0 version, the old TinyMCE editor that we all knew and got used to has been replaced by a new, exciting interface for content editing – the Gutenberg editor.
The new visual editor introduces an entirely new way of content creation in the form of blocks. So let’s find out more about it.
What is Gutenberg?
Gutenberg editor is a complete overhaul of the old editing environment. It’s WordPress’ promise to make writing rich and engaging content simple, hassle-free and intuitive. It also brings us a modern, distraction-free interface.
The old editor with just one big blank content field is now split into smaller parts – blocks. Each block is a separate, standalone part – module – of the page that comes with its own functionalities. Each block can be modified and styled separately, moved around the page easily, duplicated or reused on other pages or posts.
Why is it so important to embrace it?
Gutenberg is the present and future of WordPress. It is now the default content editor. Yes, there are ways you can switch back to the old editor, but sooner or later you will have to embrace it and learn it because Gutenberg is here to stay.
Gutenberg is all about blocks
At the heart of Gutenberg are blocks. They are smaller parts that together form your content. They are pre-made modules that allow you to lay out your content easily and consistently.
The previous WordPress editor made content placement on the page a very tedious task. To achieve even the simplest layouts, we had to use a combination of page builders, shortcodes, custom meta fields, and other formatting elements.
Gutenberg, on the other hand, makes writing content very simple and intuitive. By using blocks, you can quickly customize the layout of your content to meet your needs and preferences. You can add blocks by clicking on the plus icon and select them from a menu that appears (see image below).
Out of the box, Gutenberg comes with a large selection of blocks designed for different purposes. From image, multimedia, text, widget blocks to more advanced custom HTML and embed blocks. There’s really a whole bunch of options to choose from. Each one’s got its own purpose and use. For example, if you need to add social media posts or videos to your content, you can do it very easily with one of the many embed blocks available. And there are no programming skills required!
The default blocks that come with Gutenberg will take care of most of your needs, but the real power of Gutenberg comes with its most amazing feature – reusable blocks.
Say you are adding some specific content or element to your pages over and over again. Or maybe you plan to use it in the future. You can simply add this content to a block and save it as a reusable block (see image below). The next time you write a new page or post or edit an existing one, it will be available for you to reuse. This way you can spare yourself the hassle of copying and pasting content from old posts. Awesome, right?
Gutenberg pros and cons
Gutenberg brings to WordPress a new, clean interface, with a minimal design that has all the essential tools for creating rich and engaging content. It’s also an important step forward for publishers, reducing the visual difference between how content appears in the admin area and how it’s actually rendered on the web page.
Blocks also bring a lot of different layout options and flexibility right out of the box. This means fewer plugins, page builders, shortcodes and other clutter is needed to manage your content effectively.
On the other hand, Gutenberg comes with a learning curve for those who are new to the concept of blocks. It’s a relatively advanced page builder that will take some time and effort to master.
Just like any new software, it may contain bugs that can cause unexpected issues. Furthermore, many popular plugins are not fully compatible with it yet. But since Gutenberg is a WordPress project at its core, it’s guaranteed it will be under active development and it will only get better.
You know how they say “You are always a student, never a master.” This is very fitting for Gutenberg. The WordPress team is moving forward to make WordPress better. And so should we. The awesome new features that Gutenberg brings about are going to open endless possibilities and ultimately make content writing more fun.
What do you think about Gutenberg? Did it make the content writing experience better? Drop us a line below.