WordPress is an open-source CMS people utilize to build their websites. It is easy to manage, free of cost, customizable, search engine friendly, and media friendly. According to the latest stats, about 34% of the Internet is powered by WordPress. So, WordPress is a big deal, and it’s undergone a major change.
Gutenberg is the new editor for WordPress pages and posts which will lay the foundation for an entirely new publishing experience and content creation.
What are the Differences?
The old WordPress editor treated everything as a big single text field, so if you wanted to add any complex functionality, you had to use shortcodes. Shortcodes are used to reference functionality provided by other plugins such as calendars. Gutenberg breaks everything down into blocks and is quite extendable with hundreds of plugins that offer additional functionality. The editor is named after Johannes Gutenberg, who started a revolution by inventing the printing press (circa 1439).
How Can I Start Using the New Block Editor?
The Gutenberg editor is fully integrated into the WordPress 5.0 version. If you want to stay with the old editor, you can use the Classic Editor plugin which has support until 2022. You can try Gutenberg, but be sure to make a copy of your site before you do it. The demo editor is available here if you want to start exploring its features right now. The expectation is that many visual editors for WordPress will align with the Gutenberg’s block-based system over time.
Is Gutenberg Completely Compatible?
It’s still not entirely in harmony. There is much work to be done for third-party plugins and themes to ensure 100% compatibility. We recommend those who haven’t tried Gutenberg to test compatibility on a staging server before trying it on your live WordPress website.
There’s good news for those who’d like to use Gutenberg on blogs only. There’s a plugin called Gutenberg Ramp which WordPress users can use to enable the editor on specific post types selectively. For example, you can leave the classic editor for all other posts and allow Gutenberg only for blog posts. That’s also great if you want to use Gutenberg for parts of WordPress that are more generic (in case you have a lot of custom development on your WordPress website.)
Are There Any Bad Things about the New Block Editor?
Gutenberg is not fully compatible with all themes and visual editors. Especially alternating between the two.
WordPress released the Classic Editor allowing WordPress websites to bypass the Gutenberg editor and continue using your theme’s visual editor. Please note that you will need to install and activate the Classic Editor to disable Gutenberg. Since there are so many theme and plugin combinations it’s always best to consult a WordPress design expert for advice before making any major changes.
You can check out the Gutenberg development blog to get updates and see bugs fixed and changes made in each version.
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NOTE: This article is informational only and not intended as recommendations.