As many people know, WordPress is the number one CMS for websites with around half of all online websites running on it. Throughout the years, the content editor that WordPress runs hasn’t changed a great deal, until now that is.
Enter Gutenberg. The new editor for WordPress that allows a more fluid user experience within the WordPress content management system, soon to arrive as a default feature of WordPress. If you want to get the editor now before it’s full release as part of WordPress, you can download the plugin here. Do note that the plugin is currently not ready for production websites (as mentioned here), so only use this on test sites. There is also an example of what might be possible with the Gutenberg editor here.
There’s not long to wait for Gutenberg, it’s due for release for WordPress 5.0 which has a penciled date of April 2018. Keep your eyes pealed, as the brand new editor could be part of the next update. For this reason more than usual, do make sure to backup your database and files before updating to WordPress 5.0!
Where does the name come from?
Gutenberg is named after Johannes Gutenberg. Born in 1400, Gutenberg was a Blacksmith, Goldsmith, Printer and Publisher from Germany. He was the first person to introduce printing presses to Europe over 600 years ago. In 1450, he had a press in operation, that possibly printed the first item to be printed in Strasbourg.
What are the positives of the Gutenberg editor?
Gutenberg brings with it a range of benefits, and it will always be a good thing to break away from TinyMCE. WordPress will be better for having it’s own editor that is specifically designed for the CMS around it. Instead of having to learn multiple methods of editing, Gutenberg should allow users to learn one method of editing everywhere.
Creating tables with content is now much easier. You can now add them as blocks within the editor instead of having to use table HTML code, thus making it much easier for beginners of WordPress administration.
Image from https://kinsta.com/blog/gutenberg-wordpress-editor/
Live HTML Editing
A new feature to the editor is also live HTML editing. Think Microsoft Frontpage, the user can write HTML in the editor and press the preview tab to see how it looks. This saves time from the current TinyMCE Editor, where the user has to press ‘Preview’ every time a change is made. Of course it’s advisable to keep HTML out of the editor wherever possible, especially if you aren’t HTML savvy. However, this feature will be a great time saver for people creating content heavy pages.
Templates and Placeholders
WordPress.com states that another benefit of the editor will be the use of Templates and Placeholders. Users can build complex layouts with not much knowledge, if any, of coding. Blocks available include decks, video, embed and headline amongst many others. This gives the user a more flexible way of creating, within their website.
Building pages will be done one way, everywhere
As mentioned earlier, there will now be a standardised way to build pages in WordPress. No more using different ways of doing things per page, and writing lots of code in the editor that confuses the everyday user. WordPress will be shipping with a bunch of editor details which allow a much cleaner and more refined way of working for the end user.
Over the years we’ve seen clients create page builders for section fronts or marketing pages using Field Manager, Advanced Custom Fields, or a custom-built solution. Having a well-defined approach within core could provide a framework to support a wide variety of commercial and custom solutions. This common standard could in turn make content and data more readily portable across the various page building approaches. – WordPress.com
Hold on to your hats because WordPress is looking on getting a lot simpler in the future. There are some really cool features on the way with Gutenberg, and the above is only a few of them.