There is a new publishing experience on WordPress that you may have heard about recently, called the Gutenberg. This new feature is an easier way to make your website’s content look like it does in your head without any code!
What is Gutenberg Publishing
The new Gutenberg editor uses blocks to build any type of website. This new publishing editor is replacing a half-dozen inconsistent ways of customizing WordPress, bringing it in line with modern coding standards, and aligning with open web initiatives. Now making rich content is going to be easier and more intuitive for any skill-level of web designer and regardless of technical abilities.
Many people already think that WordPress is the greatest way to show off your content to the world, but now it is going to be accessible and usable by many more people. It has always been easy to use WordPress, IF you knew how to code. Now, you don’t need to.
Live Demo of Gutenberg
The Gutenberg Blocks
The Gutenberg utilizes blocks to build and style out content. According to WordPress, “These blocks are a unified way to style content that currently requires shortcodes, embeds, widgets, post formats, custom post types, theme options, meta-boxes, and other formatting elements. By allowing rich customization without deep knowledge of code, blocks make good on the promise of WordPress: broad functionality with a clear, consistent user experience.”
The current WordPress editor is an open text window—it’s always been a wonderful blank canvas for writing, but when it comes to building posts and pages with images, multimedia, embedded content from social media, polls, and other elements, it required a mix of different approaches that were not always intuitive:
- Media library/HTML for images, multimedia and approved files.
- Pasted links for embeds.
- Shortcodes for specialized assets from plugins.
- Featured images for the image at the top of a post or page.
- Excerpts for subheads.
- Widgets for content on the side of a page.
As we thought about these uses and how to make them obvious and consistent, we began to embrace the concept of “blocks.” All of the above items could be blocks: easy to search and understand, and easy to dynamically shift around the page. The block concept is very powerful, and if designed thoughtfully, can offer an outstanding editing and publishing experience.
Gutenberg Compatibility with Existing WordPress Features
The Gutenberg project is actively addressing compatibility concerns. Blocks are the de facto new mechanism for building content features, and we recommend that developers migrate any features they offer that are well-encapsulated by blocks. However, support for existing WordPress functionality will remain, and there will be transition paths for shortcodes, meta-boxes, and Custom Post Types:
- Will continue working without changes.
- There is a new “shortcode block” to help inserting them.
- There’s a planned mechanism for previewing them in place.
- Some will continue to work with no changes under the new UI.
- Some will need updates (particularly those that rely on the DOM for operating).*
- Several can be converted to native blocks (particularly those that are rendered on the front-end).
- Some can transition to new Gutenberg native extension points outside of the content area.
- There will be a mechanism for conflicting meta-boxes to load the classic editor instead with a notice.
Custom Post Types
- Are supported by Gutenberg.
- Need REST API (show_in_rest) declaration.
- Can opt out by not declaring “editor” support.
- Will be able to declare supported and default blocks.
Opting Out of Gutenberg
Gutenberg will not be fully functional until sometime in 2019. But are you worried because you love the way you work now and don’t want it to change? There will be the option to opt out of using Gutenberg and continuing building, coding and designing the way you know how. Download this custom editor to keep on trucking the way you want to.