Do you need to worry about today’s launch of WordPress with Gutenberg?

Get prepared for the launch of Wordpress 5.0 with Gutenberg
Dec 6, 2018

Today, WordPress is rolling out a major version update known as WordPress 5.0. As part of this big update they’re also introducing Gutenberg a new editor which promises to significantly change the way we use WordPress for adding and editing content.

WordPress has been around since 2003. Over the years, the platform has become the preeminent content management system worldwide. Despite minor updates and improvements, WordPress has retained its classic editor. The WordPress classic editor is quite powerful but it is also inadequate for the evolving content editing needs of modern websites.

This is where Gutenberg comes in. The upgrade brings an all-new editor to your WordPress Dashboard. This editor has been specifically built to offer more flexibility and efficiency to curate exactly the kind of content you want.

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is an improvement on the WordPress editor. It allows you to create rich content effortlessly by using new feature such as blocks. Some of these features were compatible with WordPress but had to be added through third-party plugins. With Gutenberg, you can access these features directly from the editor. This means that you can now curate rich posts directly on the page and customize the outlook of your content precisely. Gutenberg also makes the whole process easier and quicker.

Wordpress Gutenberg Screenshot

What are Blocks?

When it comes to the blocks feature in Gutenberg, think Lego blocks. Blocks are chunks of different types of content such as text, images and videos. Gutenberg lets you add different types of content as blocks because it achieves better results. You can edit one block without disturbing another block. You can also position the blogs in different ways to achieve different content outlooks. This ensures that you are able to add the content you want, exactly the way you want and then edit it without any hassle.

Blocks essentially isolate different types of content within a style or template of your choice. You can add blocks for different types of content such as audio, video, galleries, lists, paragraphs, headings, tables, widgets and more.

Designed for the visual-centric content

Content consumption habits of online readers and website visitors have changed drastically over the past few years. When WordPress started as a platform in 2003, websites and blogs were text-centric. Today, visual-centric revolution has taken over the web. Virtually every post, blog and piece of content today comes with a mix of text, video, images, audio and other types of data.

Gutenberg reflects this by offering an editor that caters to this change in content creation trends. This editor simply makes it easier for you to create diverse and customized mixes of content. The result is that you are able to create the same visual-centric piece of content but with a smaller effort and better editing capabilities.

Gutenberg is compatible with your current theme

This is true for the most part. Most WordPress users do not need to worry about their theme with the new upgrade. You will probably need to make minor tweaks and update the current content on the website. But these updates should be minor and you will be able to quickly bring the website up-to-speed with Gutenberg.

Available as a plug-in

WordPress has made the Gutenberg upgrade available as a plug-in. This offers you an excellent opportunity to tinker around with the new version without actually migrating to it. You might want to try playing with the plug-in on a separate WordPress installation and not on your main website.

To switch or not to switch

Gutenberg brings in major changes for the WordPress platform. Many businesses may shy away from adopting it because change sounds disruptive. However, in the long-run, Gutenberg promises to be the future of WordPress content editing.

That being said, businesses have a choice for now. They can continue using the older classic WordPress editor or they can switch to Gutenberg.

How does this affect content producers?

Writers, editors, bloggers, publishers – many stakeholders are directly affected by the Gutenberg upgrade. Virtually anyone who has been using the older WordPress editor is in for a change. Is this change good or bad?

In the short-term, the new Gutenberg editor may necessitate a learning curve for the users. It may also require some hands-on training and getting used to. So things might slow down a tiny bit at the workplace. A good workaround for this is to let the team try the plugin first and then make the switch when all hands are steady.

In the long-term, Gutenberg offers numerous benefits for the content creators. It offers a lot more flexibility and customizability of the content. It significantly expands the aesthetic possibilities for content’s outlook on a website. So bloggers, editors and publishers can now use content blocks to define content styles.

The classic WordPress editor requires some knowledge of HTML and coding if you want to customize the content style. Gutenberg allows you to customize the visual elements without requiring any knowledge of coding.

On the downside, some of the plug-ins that you need for your posts may not be compatible with Gutenberg. So you can either wait for these plug-ins to get Gutenberg-ready or you can go with an alternative that has the updated capabilities in place.

The Future of WordPress Publishing

Gutenberg may look like a major change and businesses may baulk at adapting it. But it is a change that is here to stay. The older WordPress editor has been in need for an overhaul for quite some time. It’s been a while since digital content has undergone a visual revolution. Content creators now require greater flexibility and advanced features when producing and styling the content for an online audience. They also need the process to be easier and quicker.

Gutenberg offers all of this and more. It is the next step in adding and editing website content. Businesses may take a while to adapt to it and the switch may come with a very brief hiatus – but they will have to take the leap sooner or later.

Author:

Ryan Stemkoski

Principal / Interactive Director

Ryan is a Creative Technologist at Zipline Interactive. He has over 15 years of experience planning, designing, developing, deploying, and marketing websites and mobile applications for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
More Articles
Ryan is a Creative Technologist at Zipline Interactive. He has over 15 years of experience planning, designing, developing, deploying, and marketing websites and mobile applications for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
More Articles

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