UPDATE WordPress 5.0 was released on December 6, 2018 and Gutenberg is now the default editor.
For a while now there’s been a buzz in the WordPress community about Gutenberg. Overall the Gutenberg project will provide a big update to WordPress. The initial introduction of Gutenberg is as a content editor. The Gutenberg Editor will replace the current WordPress Visual Editor. This new editor will change the way we add and edit content in WordPress pages and posts.
For now, WordPress users have the option to install and activate the Gutenberg plugin to replace the Classic Editor. Once WordPress updates to 5.0, the default editor will be the Gutenberg Editor instead of the Classic Editor.
But don’t worry – WordPress has not abandoned you. You will still be able to revert to the Classic Editor. This transition time between Editors offers a perfect opportunity to learn the Gutenberg way.
The Classic WordPress Visual Editor
This is what you see when you add a new page or post: the Classic WordPress Visual Editor. It’s a lot like the editor in Microsoft Word. And it has its limitations.
According to Matt Mullenweg, “The editor will create a new page- and post-building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.”
I agree that you will have a new experience when adding content but I have been pleasantly surprised at how intuitive many of the blocks are. And that it is not a huge leap from the Classic Visual Editor to the Gutenberg Editor. Still, content creators will need to spend some dedicated time learning the ins and outs of Gutenberg.
The Gutenberg Editor
And here is a sneak peek of the new Gutenberg editor. Each element is a block. So if you want a heading, you add a heading block. For an image, you add an image block. A button block creates a button that you can style (within limits).
Some Gutenberg Blocks are Still in Beta
Currently, some features of the Gutenberg Editor are still in beta [being tested out and tweaked]. For example, if you select the column block, there are some styling issues – no spaces between the columns and a little extra CSS is needed to have the blocks look professional.
We’re confident that WordPress will have these challenges ironed out before WordPress v.5 comes out and Gutenberg is the default editor.
For Those of You Worried About the New Editor
In spite of WordPress’s best efforts to introduce Gutenberg gradually and with a lot of support, we know that there are many of you who are worried about a new editing environment.
All of our Toronto WordPress Workshops now include the Gutenberg editor.