September 15, 2019

Introduction To WordPress Gutenberg Editor

What is WordPress Gutenberg?

For those who don’t know, WordPress is going to have a new text editor, and it is called Gutenberg. This new WordPress (visual) editor was named in honor of Johannes Gutenberg. Most of us know him, if you don’t, sorry, he is the inventor of the press, the device which revolutionized the way I, you and everyone wrote.

If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen this WordPress Gutenberg editor yet on your dashboard, don’t be scared, it is not yet part of the WordPress core just yet, but your wait won’t have to be for too long, however, as this will be in one of the next few future updates. There have been a few complaints from those who have used it but rest assured, these complaints are very likely to change in the nearest future because the WordPress Gutenberg team are working tirelessly to rectify any issue, improve user experience and also make the transition smooth.

So by the end of this post, you will have seen how to get started with WordPress Gutenberg even as a plugin before it gets into the WordPress core, and also get to see the pros and cons of this new development. So, here’s an overview of WordPress Gutenberg

First, let’s see how to get started using WordPress Gutenberg?

For the meantime, WordPress Gutenberg has only being released as a plugin, this is so, just so people can use it and give a feedback to the WordPress Gutenberg team on user experience, bugs etc.

To start using this plugin, you would need to install it the usual way you install a WordPress plugin:

  1. Go to plugins,
  2. Click on ‘Add new’
  3. Search for ‘Gutenberg’
  4. Click on ‘Install now’
  5. then ‘Activate’

After you finish with the Gutenberg plugin installation, the editor should be active and ready to use on your site.

Why WordPress Gutenberg?

The WordPress Gutenberg team stated that “The goal of this new editor is simply to make publishing content easier”. Because WordPress is the most popular CMS, it is important to use an editor that truly defines the class of WordPress.

According to Zack Katz, while speaking at the Denver WordCamp 2017 “Gutenberg is an important step for WordPress: Gutenberg allows WordPress to create content designs, not just to write articles, it’s one of the many transitions that WordPress brings to a simplified user experience.”

Here are a few things you must know about WordPress Gutenberg

  1. The mastermind of the WordPress Gutenberg is Matt Mullenweg.

In 2016, Mullenweg announced that the WordPress Gutenberg visual editor will be one of the top three goals of 2017.

Consequently, earlier in the year, Matt took over the leadership of the project at Gutenberg and then went on to appoint other team members, such as Matias Ventura and Joen Asmussen to lead the development.

  1. Gutenberg is only a plugin so far.

It is possible to use WordPress Gutenberg at the moment but only as a plugin which can be installed from the WordPress repository. The plugin is updated almost every week with new features.

It is also clearly stated in the software that it is in a BETA mode.

  1. Gutenberg will be included in the future versions of WordPress

The future versions of word press will have this WordPress Gutenberg come as the default WordPress text editor. WordPress Gutenberg is not a finished project yet and if you find that it isn’t working just as you dreamt of it, just hold on, the WordPress Gutenberg team is seriously working to make everything better.

Pros of the WordPress Gutenberg

Here, we will list those things we like about the new WordPress Gutenberg text editor.

  1. It’s an upgrade

The WordPress Gutenberg project is a step-up for the WordPress text editor, given that the current (and soon to be outdated) editor has been the same for a very long time, you will be safe to call it stagnated and old fashioned.

We have become too used to it, even though it has a lot of limitations and doesn’t present a fantastic experience.

The goal of this new editor is to have something intuitive and improve user experience like you would obtain both on Wix or Squarespace. This WordPress Gutenberg uses HTML components to store information/comments and that’s clever. Of course, these comments aren’t rendered on your live pages, but on the backend/admin area of your site.

  1. Not loving it? Uninstalling it is no problem

If you install the Gutenberg editor and you don’t like it, then there’s no problem at all, disabling or uninstalling it will not break your site, unlike some plugins you install and can almost not uninstall them, this is different. If after you uninstall it, you can decide to reinstall it, that’s fine too, and you will not lose your previous customizations because the special HTML comments are stored and retrieved for you immediately you reinstall or reactivate the Gutenberg editor.

It is important to note that without the Gutenberg editor, the HTML comments are only rendered in the page source, and are benign since they are only comments

  1. You can write your block

If you are a developer, you will like Gutenberg, because you will be able to develop your own blocks of content, making your content have a distinct look and unique to you alone. Content is now being published in blocks.

It is also important to note that the copy and paste function has been improved from previous versions where you lose your work if you attempt to copy and paste. This has been improved upon and in fact, you will love copy and paste now.

Cons of the WordPress Gutenberg

Of course, there are a few things which people do not love about this new innovation, and we will list them below. This list isn’t exhaustive, you’d find some things you don’t like which is unique to you, on the other hand, you may see some of these stuff on the con list as a pro.

  1. Browser editing

You will no longer be able to write in the browser, I really doubt if you used to, I wonder if anybody did. However, irrespective of if we did or not, that is considered a con by us, and we’d hope this is worked on in the future.

  1. Complex UI

The user interface isn’t as easy to learn as you would have expected, this is a turn off for many. Take, for instance, if you want to update a page, instead of the previous ‘one-click’, you now require two clicks.

The icons used are nondescript, and unlike what we know, there are not many clues to their function.

  1. Shortcodes

If you are a fan of shortcodes, using it is a bit tricky now. You will no longer be able to input your shortcodes within paragraphs or text columns. To use shortcodes, you have to enter it in the shortcode block for it to work.

  1. Images can no longer be embedded in paragraphs

Usually, you can embed an image in a paragraph or wrap a text around an image, but you can no longer do that, this is so because images now have their own blocks. You also need to embed videos or audios in their own block too. If you are a vlogger who loves embedding your youtube videos in your WordPress posts, you will no longer be able to do that within paragraphs or texts, but within the special video or audio block.

Introduction To WordPress Gutenberg EditorHopefully, this is a good exposure to the world of WordPress Gutenberg. You may give it a try to see if you really love it, or will continue to use the old text editor until WordPress Gutenberg becomes part of the WordPress core.

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About the Author

Sandesh Jangam is Developer, WooCommerce Expert, and Podcaster. He is working as a WordPress developer since 2014 and helping people with this blog. He loves to travel ancient temples, chilling at the beach and reading books

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