I attended WordCamp Phoenix 2019 earlier this month, and as expected, it was beneficial. This year was its 10-year reunion, and the multi-day tech conference was open to all, beginners through experts. It covered WordPress design, development, marketing, e-commerce, and business.
One of the talks I attended helped me gain a better appreciation and understanding of the new Gutenberg editor, a big, and controversial change when it went live with the December 2018 WordPress update. Here’s just a few comments and ideas.
First, I get that the classic WordPress editor was archaic and cumbersome, and a change was needed in order to move WordPress forward.
An Improved Content Creation Process
The idea behind the Gutenberg editor, named after printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg, is to provide a user-friendly manner for creating content that more closely resembles how a page or post will look on the front end of the site. The result for site owners is that they get a better sense of exactly how their content will look on their website as it’s being created.
Posts with Mixed Content Types
The classic editor can be a bit problemsome when it comes to having text, multimedia, forms, and other specialty content included in a single post. It’s difficult to get spacing just right and you often have to deal with cryptic Shortcodes. It doesn’t make for the most intuitive experience.
However, the Gutenberg editor employs “blocks,” breaking down content into different types. For example, different blocks are available for text, images, videos, quotes, etc.
Block positioning can be moved up or down so that each one is exactly where you want it.
The Future of WordPress
Gutenberg lets us format content in a standardized way, and one that WordPress themes and plugins can finally tap into.
From what I’m gathering, Gutenberg isn’t “just” a new editor. Gutenberg = vast potential.
With Gutenberg, WordPress didn’t just “catch up” with the competition: with Gutenberg, WordPress is showing it is superior to the competition. Its openness and expandability has taken yet another giant leap into the future of online publishing.
We long-time users just need to get acclimated to the new editor, and by experiencing its flexibility and power, will be grateful for the change. If you’re still not quite keen on the idea of using it, you can download the Classic Editor plugin; activating it will bring you a sense of familiarity and comfort.