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The WordPress community has been working on a new project for a long time: Gutenberg. The intention is for Gutenberg to become the new visual editor within WordPress. In this way, WordPress can compete with platforms such as Medium, Wix and other website builders that offer front-end editors.
Gutenberg is a front-end editor for WordPress. This means that you can directly adjust your page or message, as you can with the Divi Builder of Elegant Themes. You do not have to go to the “back-end” (the WordPress admin-environment), but you will stay on your page, just like your visitors see it. The plugin is also named after Johannes Gutenberg, who is seen as the inventor of printing in Europe.
Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0
If you follow the WordPress news a little, chances are you’ve heard about Gutenberg. At the moment Gutenberg can already be downloaded as a plugin, but the ultimate goal is that Gutenberg will become part of WordPress 5.0 (the current version is 4.9). This new version of WordPress should be available in April/May this year.
Why does WordPress itself come up with an editor plugin?
WordPress sees, according to CEO Matt Mullenweg, that the user experience is becoming increasingly important when it comes to content. The customer sees the content more and more as an experience and is guided by the visual structure. WordPress wants to respond to that user experience with the editor plug-in, Gutenberg. The editor plug-in will ultimately have to work in such a way that you can easily spot important content. The plug-in will support content and even the information in the sidebar can be supported by a blog post.
Gutenberg will work with so-called Blocks. These blocks are elements that you can “drag” on a page or in a message. These blocks will be used for cases that now require shortcodes, widgets, theme options and other formatting options. Fortunately, this does not mean that shortcodes will no longer work, but that they could be used less. In addition to blocks that will be standard in WordPress, as a developer, you can add your own blocks to a theme or plugin.
Benefits of Gutenberg
The advantages of a project like Gutenberg speak reasonably for themselves. Still, I like to list a number of important benefits.
- The visual editor of WordPress has been unchanged for years. Everything in this editor works fine, but it is not always easy – especially for beginners. With Gutenberg, WordPress becomes more intuitive for new users.
- Another advantage: in my experiments with Gutenberg good and clean. The content you make with Gutenberg will, therefore, be ‘future proof’ and will work well in all major browsers.
- Finally, developers get the option to create their own “Blocks”. This way large websites can also make use of Blocks in a convenient way.
Here at UDEMY, you can follow lessons about WordPress’ new Gutenberg interface written by Marion Black.
Pitfalls of Gutenberg
Of course, there are also a number of important pitfalls to a big change like Gutenberg. For example, Gutenberg is less suitable for actually writing content. For me, as a frequent blogger, this will certainly take some time getting used to.
In addition, it may be that simple tasks with Gutenberg take a little longer than in the current situation. Especially when you just use Gutenberg, the icons that are used can cause confusion. On smaller screens, it can also happen that Gutenberg is difficult to use.
Another major disadvantage is that you can no longer add shortcodes to paragraphs. For this, you will soon have to use a “Shortcode Block”. But, do not worry: your existing content, with shortcodes, will continue to work.
Just like shortcodes, you will no longer be able to add images to your paragraphs. “Images” get their own Block in Gutenberg. The same applies to videos from YouTube, Vimeo, etc.