Guttenberg: A Brave New WordPress

WordPress, the most popular Content Management System in the world, is rolling out a major reworking of, well,…everything. 

Version 5.0, named Gutenberg, named after Johannes Gutenberg, (duh) who invented movable type more than 500 years ago. While perhaps not as revolutionary as its namesake, this version of WordPress takes a very different approach to content creation, ditching the familiar text-based Admin for a visual, “drag and drop” interface.

True to its open-source roots, Word Press developed Gutenberg over the last 6+ months with the help of many contributors and volunteers with one goal in mind— to make adding rich content enjoyable and straightforward. By extension, this should also translate into richer experiences for website visitors/users across the internet.

Gutenberg will be released/developed/turned lose in three phases, 

  • The Page Editor
  • Page Templates
  • Site Builder/Customizer

 As of this writing, only the Beta Version of the Page Editor has been released. It is not ready to run on production sites just yet. There is a Gutenberg plugin for those who want a pre-release test drive.

PLEASE NOTE: Once Gutenberg is ready to go, it will replace the current version. If your sites are set to upgrade automatically, you will get an unpleasant surprise. You can revert to the original editor, and rescue your sites, by downloading and activating the “Classic Editor” plugin.

 

Hold on to your hats, this ain’t your daddy’s WordPress.

 

The old backend is completely gone, replaced by a blank page, or canvas, and a sidebar that gives you access to the editing features and several “Little Blocks.”  Each Block provides a different content type, such as:

  • Images
  • Text
  • Paragraphs
  • Video
  • Posts
  • Call to action
  • Button
  • Blockquote
  • Tables
  • Widgets

Each customizable Block can be dragged and dropped into position. You can see your additions and revisions as they happen, making editing easier for newbies and seasoned pros alike.

As stated above, if you’re not ready to upgrade just yet, Word Press is providing a “Classic Admin” plugin that will allow you to use the old Admin until you’re prepared to make the big move.

It must be said that in its present form, you cannot build a site in Gutenberg. The most you can do is edit content if you’re running a basic blog. You will still need a builder such as Divi, Elementor of Visual Composer. Advanced layout options will be added in later releases, giving Gutenberg builder capabilities

The Block or Module concept is not new. DYI platforms such as Wix and Squarespace, and builder themes and plugins such as Divi and WPBakery’s Visual Builder, have been using them for years. It reminds me a bit of Squarespace.

To get in on the fun, give Gutenberg a try and add your comments in the WordPress support forum or on GitHub or join the discussions in #core-editor on the core WordPress Slack.

There are plenty of resources that are just a Google search away,  For more information, see:

 

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