Gutenberg. Does the name ring a bell? The latest exciting WordPress development is named after the inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg. The project aims to create an even more user-friendly method of approaching content creation. This system offers a user a better idea of how a post or page will look on the website front-end.
By switching over to this new content editor, you can get a much better idea of how your content will display on your website, before pressing publish. Currently the editor layout creates a sense of disconnectedness from the end product.
Images courtesy of envato.com
Gutenberg: The Inspiration behind the Name
The invention of the printing press not only revolutionized the recreation of books, ideas were spread more radically. Literacy power was placed into the hands of the common man, challenging the stronghold of the government. For instance, Luther’s 95 Theses were printed on “broadsheets”, which soon became the method of producing newspapers, enabling democracy.
Might sound very dramatic to compare the invention of WordPress with Gutenberg’s press, but both powerfully changed the way we look at the world. It might seem that WordPress is all about website creation, but at its heart lies the same potent power as the printing press to create freedom of the press, excuse the pun.
The Gutenberg Project was started in the beginning of 2017, welcoming public input to usher in the next big revolution in the WordPress system. The first public release was in June, with weekly updates thereafter. Users were encouraged to provide feedback after testing it out in WordPress admin.
A New Way of Approaching Content Creation
This editor update will benefit everyone using WordPress to make a living. The changes influence various areas of the system. Developers can produce interactive templates for their clients to effortlessly update content, without the worry of crashing the website with one stray click.
For instance, imagine creating a custom block on the About page with employee details that can be updated as the company grows and changes. Plugin developers can now easily integrate changes in posts, custom post types, pages and sidebars, without having touch TinyMCE or remain restricted by the toolbar button. Gutenberg’s blocks have created an easy-to-learn, single entry point for a variety of extensions, instead of the random effects of new plugins on the system. A lot of users have opted to port their plugins over to the improved UI.
Theme developers don’t have to bundle together a ton of plugins or try to recreate the wheel by building new page builders. With the Gutenberg in place, you don’t have to watch endless YouTube videos to figure out all the interface steps. The system provides a standard structure to create rich post layouts and every theme can compete with multi-functional premium themes, without restrictions to a single theme. No more design or layout compromises!
Core developers can work in modern technology without worrying about compatibility with outdated programming. So many core WordPress elements can now be simplified – widgets, menus and the way the editor. A universal set of code and concepts are incorporated, with an instantly responsive interface.
With the goal of democratizing publishing, a whole new world has been opened up by Gutenberg. Web hosts can now recruit people that were too skittish before to try WordPress because it seemed too complex and difficult to set up.
From Imagination to Realization
The power is back in the hands of the commoners. Gone are the days of staring at strange short-code. Drag over text from Word and watch the system clean it up and neatly place it into blocks, automatically. This revolution will inspire people to write more, instead of worrying about the tedious process of post creation. By mastering how the blocks work, users can instantly understand 90% of other plugins.
It’s not just a huge step forward for WordPress, this new system will affect the whole web. These changes will create a whole new set of opportunities. Remember, Mr. Gutenberg himself had to deal with all the sceptics when he introduced the world to the printing press.
Obviously there are still kinks to iron out in the system. The creators of Gutenberg are eager to listen to feedback from real-life users to improve this new creation even more. By the time WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg will be incorporated in it.
Changes and Improvements in the Content Creation Process
When posts start incorporating mixed content types, the current editor begins to become very stubborn. Spacing is an issue and you have to understand the mysterious short-codes. In general, it’s not a very intuitive experience.
Gutenberg tackles the issue of combining text, multimedia plus specialty content by breaking down the content into manageable blocks. Each block links to a content type – from text, to images, to quotes and more.
Instead of dumping all the content into one field, the different types of content is placed in separate blocks. All you have to do is add a block, fill it with content and move on the next element you want to add. After you’ve added the blocks, you can move the blocks to display the content as you have envisioned it. To edit the content, click on the block and change it.
The incorporation of the Gutenberg editor will come with an adjustment period. Old users might find it a bit disorientating in the beginning, while new users will quickly catch on to the way the system operates. Change is always a challenge, but the excitement in the WordPress community about this new development should reassure current WordPress users that this is a positive transformation. Currently it is available as a separate plugin to test out before it will become a permanent part of the next WordPress version.
Going Beyond the Basics
With the Gutenberg editor, plugin and theme developers can create custom blocks to complement specific products. For instance, a food blog website can use a custom recipe block. Predefined fields can be added such as instructions, ingredients and photos. The user can then effortlessly add new recipes to a post or page.
The beauty of the blocks, is that the developer can add all the preset styling and design elements. The user simply adds the content and Gutenberg takes over to produce content fitting into the website’s general design style. The current editor has the knack to lose custom layouts or styling.
The new editor will be completely customizable to suite the specific needs of the client and their product or service. Currently there are the options of custom post types and fields, but the Gutenberg blocks will streamline the process so much more.
What Are The Concerns?
Gutenberg is stirring up a lot of mixed reactions from the WordPress community. The approach to content creation is completely new and fresh. A few plugin and theme developers feel frustrated by certain elements of the system, such as the way that block data is controlled and current product compatibility with the updated editor.
A big concern, is backward compatibility. There are speculations that the update to WordPress 5.0 will create a lot of issues including crashing of page builder plugins or customizations being incompatible with the changes. The Gutenberg developers are listening to all the concerns and making sure that the transition will be seamless.
But as with all the other WordPress updates, the users can rest assured that the team behind the formidable content management system always consider the impact of changes. WordPress always rather err on the side of caution.
We Manage Your Site Likes Embracing Change
The Gutenberg Project has definitely challenged the WordPress system in a creative way. Adapting to a new way of doing things is always difficult, but our WordPress developers look forward to seeing just how powerful this new editor will be.
Our aim is to empower our clients with an easy to use WordPress outsourcing system. We want to make your life easier. Let us help you create a highly functional website. If you prefer a hands-on approach, we will provide you with the tools to manage your own website.
Contact us now to set up a strategy session.