The new WordPress Gutenberg Editor

The New WordPress Gutenberg Editor

The new WordPress Gutenberg editor launched in November 2018 causing confusion and panic to the non-technical WordPress Community. While some of us don’t like change we have to move with the times and its worth embracing the update as this new built-in WordPress editor aims to simplify website creation and editing for the average non-technical website user.   Its more advanced than the classic WordPress editor offering a drag-and-drop website builder with movable building blocks.

In this post, I will walk you through the basics of the new Gutenberg editor and the essential things that you need to know about it.

A More Advanced WordPress visual editor

With the new editor, the goal is to make the interface more intuitive for its users. In other words, WordPress wants to make it easy for anyone, especially non-technical users and those just getting started with WordPress, to create, edit and customise the finer details that make a website just right.

It’s more than just an editor

Gutenberg isn’t just an editor replacement but a paradigm shift in how users edit content in WordPress. It’s a client-side interface that uses a block-based system to build up content.  Users don’t need to know HTML or how to write shortcodes. They can control a site’s entire layout – back end and front end – from a single interface.  Its going to be so much easier for people to build their own websites on WordPress.

Here’s how the editor looks:

Gutenberg Editor
The new Gutenberg editor aims to combine the best features from website builders with the power of WordPress. Users can create and edit entire layouts from a single place.  Its not quite a page builder because its not free form like most page builders but its easier for users to style regular content like blog posts or standard web pages using true drag and drop features.   There’s no responsive design settings or advanced styling options so its not as good as a premium page builder but this will change in the future.  At the moment for someone with basic web design knowledge this offers more functionality than the classic editor.

What’s different between the Classic and Gutenberg Editor

The purpose of the Gutenberg editor is to provide a simpler, easier to use alternative to WordPress’ current open text editor where you don’t have to:

  • Import images, multimedia and files from the media library or add HTML shortcodes
  • Copy and paste links for embeds
  • Create features images to be added at the top of a post or page
  • Add excerpts for subheads
  • Add widgets for content on the side of a page

In other words, Gutenberg doesn’t actually change how WordPress functions. What it does change, however, is the way users interact with it, whether they’re creating a web page or just editing it. So instead of shortcodes and meta boxes, with the new editor, users will be using simple blocks.

What are blocks?

Blocks are the individual modules of your page that you can use to customise your content and layout..  You can have blocks for: Headings, Paragraphs, Quotes, Images, Galleries etc.

To add a block, click on the “+” sign located on the upper left corner and select the block you’d like to add to the page:

Gutenberg Editor blocks
You can use the arrows (on the left side of each block) to move any block vertically.

The new Gutenberg Editor makes the creating and editing processes easier and also cuts down on the use of widgets, shortcodes and plugins that can slow down a website. For some people it will take a while to get used to but in the long run its a great function. We have to move with the times and WordPress are certaining doing this. For those that cannot quite adjust to the new Gutenberg editor you can download the Classic Editor as a plugin.

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