In the second quarter of 2018, it will become even easier to produce blogs and websites in WordPress thanks to the implementation of a new publication method called Gutenberg. WordPress’s “G” project is to be integrated into the WordPress core.
What will the impact of the Gutenberg editor be? Will it change the way we work? What does this mean for existing websites?
Everyone will be impacted by the Gutenberg editor! It uses blocks to create all types of content, text, images, video, forms etc. and will replace the various current methods – which vary in their consistency – of personalising your website.
Another advantage is that it makes these tasks accessible to anyone, regardless of their levels of technical skill. And while it was never a strict imperative, you now no longer have to know how to code to personalise WordPress.
How easy are the blocks to use in Gutenberg?
Up until now, when using the editor in WordPress, you had a simple text field to write in. To create complex pages or blog articles, you had to juggle between the media library, widgets, shortcodes to insert a slider for example, cut and paste etc.
The designers then came up with the idea of blocks – like the ones already found in certain WordPress themes or some “page builder” extensions like those on SiteOrigin.
All of the elements above, including text, take the format of either a static or a dynamic content block, which is then easier to copy, move, duplicate etc., making overall usage clearer and more dynamic.
Types of blocks available:
The three stages of the Gutenberg project
- The first, and most fundamental, stage involves the integration of the Gutenberg editor into WordPress 5.0, with priority on content. These newfangled blocks will be able to be used in writing articles, with the focus on the presentation.
- The next two stages will deal with the personalisation of the page models and then the overall site.
The Gutenberg editor is a genuine revolution, and as such, the designers want to give site developers time to adapt. They are therefore leaving existing functionalities such as shortcodes and meta boxes in place.
Later on, theme and extension developers will have new tools to help WordPress users design their own highly impressive sites with a minimum of fuss!
Test the new Gutenberg editor now!
If you are the curious type who would like to help in developing this new editor, now’s your chance! The WordPress coders have made it available as an extension to get as much feedback as possible from testing in real-life conditions.
Go on your dashboard to Extensions > Add, and then choose “Gutenberg”. Alternatively, you can download it here: Gutenberg plugin
Once you have done that, the best way of helping the creators of this extension is to use this procedure for the Gutenberg editor.
You can provide as much feedback as you like here.
What will the transition to Gutenberg and WP 5.0 involve for existing websites?
There are three options:
. Upgrade to WordPress 5 with Gutenberg
. Switch to WordPress 5 while keeping the conventional editor
. Stay with version 4.9 since your website does not allow for a controlled update – obviously not the ideal solution!
In the first two cases, save everything beforehand – something it never hurts to be reminded of.
Begin by cloning the site elsewhere, then add the Classic Editor extension. Next, test the website fully in Gutenberg Editor mode. If there are no serious bugs, away you go – activate the WP update on the original version of the site.
If, however, you find that certain essential elements such as specific extensions or developments are incompatible, try option two. Update WordPress to version 5 and activate the Classic Editor extension which will cancel out Gutenberg editor.
If you refuse the update to WordPress 5 and stay in version 4.9.x, then unfortunately sooner or later you will encounter maintenance problems, so as you can imagine, it is best to try to avoid this particular scenario if at all possible. That said, it may be unavoidable in the following cases:
- Presence of a page builder with no Gutenberg support and which does not function with the Classic Editor extension,
- Compatibility of extensions or themes with Gutenberg which will be abandoned in the short or medium term,
- Unstable installation,
- Installation on multiple sites of different kinds.
The last word on WordPress 5 and Gutenberg
If you already have a live website: plan ahead and test the transition to WP 5.0.
If you intend to make your own site: play around with Gutenberg... or of course ask us for help!
For more information: https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/