What Is Gutenberg? A First Look At The Future Of WordPress
Currently WordPress uses the WP Editor which allows users to create pages, posts and other content types. Also known as the TinyMCE Editor, it features a row of toolbar icons that look like this:
Take a good look because sometime in 2018 this is likely to disappear (or not be prominently featured in WordPress anymore. Exactly how Gutenberg will be rolled out is still a mystery but most believe it will be included in WordPress v5.0.
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Gutenberg, the name of the new system you’ll use to create content in WordPress, has been on a fast track towards release. It will revolutionize the way WordPress works. In the past WordPress evolved slowly giving users a chance to understand and accept changes.
But not this time.
This is going to be very different. Gutenberg is coming on fast and you ought to be aware of what is in store.
In short, Gutenberg uses the block editing system you have seen if you use platforms such as WIX or SquareSpace. Even email distribution systems like MailChimp use it. If you use a page builder like Elementor or Beaver Builder you already have an idea what I’m talking about.
With Gutenberg you’ll use drag and drop (not yet developed as of this writing) to create rows and columns in your page. You’ll then add text, images, videos, buttons and all manner of UI elements into Gutenberg blocks or, as the smart people who are creating Gutenberg call it, “Gutenblocks.”
Don’t you love it? 🙂
Why is WordPress doing this? To stay up with the competition and to set the standards for how web pages are made for years to come. WordPress is not in that position even though WP is the most widely used CMS by far right now.
Gutenberg is supposed to make it easier to onboard an expanding base of users who like the way SquareSpace, WIX, Medium and other CMS work. The goal is also to make current users work with a system that will support grid layouts, something that has been number one in the Suggestion Box for years. And it’s a giant step to the Holy Grail of simple, in-browser design (but we are not there yet).
Sounds Great But…
Here are some of the unanswered questions that the smart people are working on.
- Will Gutenberg be backwardly compatible with all plugins and themes?
Not likely. There is a good chance that some sites will break in Gutenberg. I’m not saying a large number so don’t panic but an earthquake of this magnitude will cause a number of sites to crack.
- Will some plugins become obsolete due to Gutenberg?Yes.
- Will there be a way to use the current WP Editor instead?This one is very hotly debated. No one seems to know. I’ve heard there will be a way to use what probably will be called the “Classic Editor.” Or someone will create a plugin so you’ll have access to it if you don’t like Gutenberg.
Have A Look
Here’s How Gutenberg Works
This video was made a few months ago and there have been changes since so keep that in mind.
You Can Try Gutenberg Now
Get a jump on what’s coming by installing Gutenberg as a plugin. Don’t use this on an active live site. because Gutenberg is under development. It will have some bugs and need some security fixes.
Keep in mind that when Gutenberg is released it one’t be a plugin. It will be in core!
What Does Gutenberg Mean For You?
It’s going to have an impact no matter who you are. Whether you use WordPress every day or just once in a while this is going to change everything. What you think of WordPress, how you work with it for you or client sites it’s all going to change.
I know I’ll be spending lots of time training and re-training people in class and in my WP A To Z Series.
What’s This Mean For WordPress?
The WordPress community and the folks at Automattic (the company that manages the development of the WordPress open source project know that a lot is at stake here. If Gutenberg is a smash it will gain an even bigger share of the market of CMS. That will be great news for everyone who has a financial stake in seeing WordPress succeed.
If Gutenberg flops it could mean the end of WordPress.
It’s that big a deal!
What do you think? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.