WordPress 5.0 is expected to be released this quarter. The new version of the popular content management system: the Gutenberg editor. This article explains what this means and what (major) changes WordPress users will have to face.
The Gutenberg editor marks the dawn of a new era in the history of WordPress. The way in which contributions have been created so far will change fundamentally – and this is just the beginning of numerous other innovations that lie ahead for us under the name of the legendary book printing inventor.
Because WordPress must and wants to remain future and competitive. In recent years, numerous providers of website construction kits have sprung up that offer laypeople very simple design and editing options and require neither shortcodes nor HTML or CSS knowledge.
The competition doesn’t sleep, of course. WordPress, on the other hand, wants to further expand its current market share of around sixty percent and make access as easy as possible for potential users. However, there are also many users who have been using the CMS for years and reject Gutenbergization – change can hurt.
What are the changes Gutenberg has brought about?
Blocks, blocks and blocks again – that’s the point. The familiar text window disappears and all post elements from the headline to the continuous text to the images are generated with the help of blocks, which can then be moved back and forth. A contribution in the future will therefore consist of a series of blocks with different functions.
The system strongly reminds of the functionality of the so called Page Builder, which is used in many WordPress themes. The Gutenberg editor will certainly make life harder for this editor in the medium to long term. If you want to try it out before the WordPress 5.0 release, you can do so with the official Gutenberg plug-in.
What does Gutenberg mean for my website?
The big question is the compatibility with the used theme and the used plug-ins. Here the code must be adapted so that everything works perfectly – and not every developer can do that. Therefore, you should not update to WordPress 5.0 without first creating a back-up. In case something doesn’t work, there is the free plug-in Classic Editor. This allows you to deactivate the Gutenberg Editor. It is best to install the extension before updating to the new WordPress version. Even better, copy your website and run the update in a test environment – it’s safe.
What’s next for Gutenberg?
As already mentioned, the Gutenberg project does not stop with the editor. In two further phases, the system of blocks will ultimately be brought to the entire website. In the second phase it will probably find its way into the customizer used to design the website layout. Previously known elements such as widgets and menus will probably give way to the blocks.
In the third phase, WordPress will probably release a new default theme based entirely on the block system. Furthermore, it can be assumed that more and more themes based on Gutenberg will come onto the market and thus the conventional concept will be replaced step by step. So it remains exciting …