While many WordPress users have known about the Gutenberg editor and WordPress 5.0 for some time, it’s all finally here. The Gutenberg editor offers a new and different WordPress publishing experience than users may be used to – which could be a good thing! Beginning in 2017, “Project Gutenberg” aimed to make publishing with WordPress a more visual experience with less coding, which creates a more user-friendly option for the average consumer trying to add content to their website.
Head’s up: this post contains a lot of information about the notable features of the update, as well as how it impacts your site, and what you need to do. But, if you’d like a personal summary, a quick run-down, or additional training, please reach out to us anytime! We’re here to help and more than happy to walk you through it.
The Gutenberg editor offers a variety of new features that could make creating more customized content simple.
- Content Blocks – All content on pages and posts will be created using blocks. These can be as simple as headings, paragraphs, and images – to more specialized elements, such as Instagram feeds, pull quotes, columns, and more.
- Custom Content Configuration – Gutenberg provides a lot more custom content options and layouts that make it possible to customize your site without having to add a bunch of coding. This feature will likely lead to more variety across WordPress sites in general.
- Increased White Space – This is a simple addition, but it makes a world of difference visually. Gutenberg creates a cleaner writing experience in WordPress with added white space.
- Alignment Options – This update allows you to select either full or width wide alignment. This change gives you the option to maximize the impact of your content on larger screens and devices.
- Custom Blocks – Those craving consistency across posts will love this update. Custom blocks allow users to create branded blocks that offer maximum creativity and consistency across posts. Additionally, developers will be able to create custom blocks to share within the community for everyone to enjoy!
How will it impact your site?
How WordPress 5.0 impacts your site will depend on a number of factors. The most noticeable change will be the editor. The classic editor will be completely replaced by Gutenberg – so previous users will immediately feel the impact. Because the Gutenberg editor relies on blocks to create content on your site, users will need to re-learn how to build content on their websites. As with any new tool, there is obviously a learning curve. To aid with that, WordPress 5.0 will ship with a new theme, called Twenty Nineteen, which has been built specifically for the Gutenberg editor. This will enable users to build and develop pages and posts on their site using the new editor.
For those who either can’t figure it out, or just want to stick with what they know – there is an alternative. Anyone who doesn’t wish to use the new Gutenberg editor can download a plugin that allows users to restore the classic editor on their website. You can find more information on this plugin, here.
At Results Repeat, we use a dedicated page builder solution to build your websites. While the new Gutenberg editor will offer casual users more options to customize the appearance of their website, it lacks many of the custom features and interactive elements that we use when developing websites for our clients. As a result, the Gutenberg editor will have very little impact on websites that Results Repeat has created. We will continue to use our solutions to create cutting-edge websites – while optimizing them to work with the latest version of WordPress. Like any other major update for software and hardware, the launch of version 5.0 can have unforeseen effects on your website. We have scheduled a timeline for deployment of WordPress 5.0 by late January, which allows us time to test our websites on the new version in a staging environment – to prevent or fix any potential issues with your websites, moving forward. Our goal is to make the transition to WordPress 5.0 as seamless and worry-free as possible.
What Do You Need To Do?
It’s important to stay on top of any plugins you are using on your website. As with any update, there is potential for conflicts with existing plugins, which can result in a loss of functionality or even breakages to your website.
If available – you should definitely set your site up in a staging environment. Being able to test WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg builder in a staging environment will be invaluable to you, as it lets you spot and fix any issues away from your live website.
You should also prepare your current content for the new blocks. Blocks are what will be used to build content with the Gutenberg editor, and when you make the changeover – existing content will be turned into classic blocks. You can keep them as-is or begin the process of converting them to the new blocks that the Gutenberg editor offers.
Ready or not, WordPress 5.0 is here – and in WordPress, Gutenberg is the new black. If you’re not ready for the new builder, you can use the classic builder plugin with WordPress 5.0. When you do decide to make the transition, be sure to do your due diligence. Prior planning will prevent any obstacles or headaches down the road! Test, test, and test once more! Test your plugins for compatibility and find any replacements you may need. From there, take the plunge and enjoy the new Gutenberg editor!