To Gutenberg or not?
The WordPress update 5.0 promises major changes on the horizon with the introduction of the new WordPress editor, Gutenberg. The release date is soon, but unknown. We all wait in anticipation for the new WordPress 5.0.
The WordPress 5.0 update will change the current style editor to a content block editor. An editor with a name, Gutenberg. Chances are if you are a WordPress user you have heard rumblings and complaints about Gutenberg, but what is it? Are your sites ready for the new update?
As it stands right now the content editor most commonly used in WordPress is the Tiny MCE editor. The Gutenberg editor not only expands upon the current editor but it also fundamentally changes the way content is made. Both post and pages will be made using a block format, meaning content can be added one block at a time. Creating content in this way reduces the difference between the way content looks when it is being made versus when it is live on your website. It also expands the current editor’s functions:
For example, there will be a content block for tables. No longer will you need Tablepress or other plugins to fill in the void left by the previous editor.
The current blocks available are:
The tables below are an overview of the current blocks available as well as possible embeds.
|COMMON BLOCKS||FORMATTING BLOCKS||LAYOUT BLOCKS||WIDGETS|
|Paragraph||Pull Quote||Separator||Latest Posts|
The embeds available are:
|WordPress||Funny or Die||VideoPress|
Are you ready for Gutenberg?
As with most things the theory is often better than the reality. Currently, it’s been found that Gutenberg will introduce some complications to WordPress, causing some current content, content from plugins, customized editors or page builders, and themes to break. The best way to determine if anything on your site is going to break during the new update is to try out the Gutenberg editor before the update occurs.
Currently, the Gutenberg editor is available as a plugin on the WordPress 4.9.8 update. Once downloaded, you will see a callout to try Gutenberg. I recommend creating a staging site that is an exact copy of your live site to try it. This, of course, will prevent any issues to your website if something breaks.
Once a test site is created and Gutenberg plugin is installed, spot check the front end of your site. Make sure the theme has not broken, and all the content using plugins are still present.
Next, is where the fun part comes in, create a new post or page using the new editor. Test any and all of the current blocks and embeds. This will let you know what works and what doesn’t. This also gives you a glimpse into the block style content builder. After you have familiarized yourself with the editor you should attempt to edit a previous post.
Gutenberg in action:
Gutenberg claims to be backward compatible, however, in my personal experience this is where most of my sites have broken instances and find it best to recreate the old content then try to edit them.
Currently, Gutenberg is in the second stage of development and welcomes all feedback. Once you have tested your site and documented everything with screenshots, you can offer feedback to the development team. This is crucial for them to know so they can address the problems before the release of WordPress 5.0.
You can access the Gutenberg support page here:
What can you do once WordPress 5.0 is released?
If you find that the update breaks your site it will be possible to disable the Gutenberg editor by adding a plugin called “disable Gutenberg” this will restore the familiar editor. However, this will only be a temporary solution: eventually, the Gutenberg editor will be standard for WordPress.
You can find the above-mentioned plugin here:
Remember Change is (suppose to be) good.