WordPress has a big change coming: Gutenberg. Gutenberg is the new editor that will completely shake up the way content is managed in WordPress. It is due to be released at some point in 2018 and will have a considerable effect. If you’re managing a WordPress website at any level it will be important to dive in and understand how these changes will affect your site!
So what is Gutenberg? (No, we don’t mean Steve.)
Put simply, it’s the new way for you to edit content on your website. The new editor aims to make laying out and editing content easier and more flexible. Ultimately, it is designed to be more intuitive through its clear interface and usage of flexible content “blocks”.
The first time you create a new page using the Gutenberg editor you will find a big blank canvas. Don’t be scared!
All Content is in blocks
Blocks are the new way of adding content to your pages and posts. Some standard block types you might use include:
The variety of content you can add to your website through the editor is also increasing, with the addition of blocks such as tables, Twitter, audio and columns. You can insert any block on a page and move it around, so flexible!
Other page settings such as Author, Featured Image and Publish Date are now managed from a right-hand menu.
How Will The Update Affect My Current Website?
The Gutenberg WordPress release is still under development and your website won’t be automatically updated to the Gutenberg release when it becomes available. However, as WordPress does require regular updates, you will eventually have to make the change. So what do you need to know to be prepared for this when it happens?
Some care will need to be taken when updating your website to Gutenberg. You’ll need to be sure updating to Gutenberg won’t break the design or functionality of your website (on both the editor and web pages). You’ll need to be especially wary of how Gutenberg affects any plugins and custom themes your website uses.
While Gutenberg is still under development, you can preview how the new editor will affect your current website by using a plugin released by WordPress. This plugin installs the Gutenberg editor and allows you to view how it will affect your website when it is released. The plugin may affect your website in unexpected ways, so be sure to test it on a staging website first.
Gutenberg offers an intuitive, flexible way of managing websites with some major changes. With these changes it will be important to consider how your existing website will be affected.
Don’t be afraid…get excited! Install the Gutenberg plugin on a staging website (a copy of your current website) and take a look. Make sure you understand the changes before you’re forced into them.
If you need more help to understand how these changes will affect you, there are many ways to get in touch! If we built your site for you, and you have any questions at all, email us at [email protected], and one of the team will come back to you with the answers.