Ben Binesh
Ben Binesh

Gutenberg: WordPress is changing?

What to expect with the transition to WordPress 5.0

Gutenberg: WordPress is changing?

Introduction

Gutenberg, named after the inventor of the printing press, is a newly-updated editor launched for WordPress that is meant to make website editing easier for the individual or company that is not tech-savvy.

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The visual editor is simple and elegant, making the experience of building a website much less cumbersome. And yet, smaller IT companies wonder if this new advancement in website-building technology will put them out of business. We’ll cover these topics and more in this review of Gutenberg.

Gutenberg Facts

Gutenberg will be inbuilt with WordPress 5.0. It can be used as a plugin with WordPress 4.8. In version 4.9.8, there is a “Try Gutenberg” callout within the user Dashboard, requesting that users give this latest technology a test run.

How does Gutenberg work?

The current visual editor uses shortcodes and HTML to make things work. Gutenberg doesn’t replace the default WordPress editor, but makes basic website building more simple and straightforward. For example, it allows website developers to build a website using blocks. The blocks are easy to drag and drop. In this way, the process goes much smoother and is more intuitive for any user.

What’s new?

  • Blocks: This is a fun way to create a website. The responsive blocks for images, text, buttons (you name it!) are easy to place wherever a user wants one. There is even a block for white space – a “spacer” – to provide a cleaner look around photos or text.

  • Tools: Interaction with the block is simple. Any tool to edit the block is available right there. There’s even an option to edit in HTML and format the block containers using code. This neat feature even allows the user to see a preview right away, rather than having to switch back and forth between text and visual mode.

 

  • Classic editor plugin: After WordPress 5.0 comes along, the old way of doing things will need to be used as a plugin, which means WordPress has decided that Gutenberg is here to stay.

 

  • Custom themes: Creating a personal theme will not be as complex. The blocks are the key to this ease of theme and layout creation. This editing and building component combines the best features of page-builder plugins, like Divi and Visual Composer, and other DIY platforms such as Medium, Wix, etc.

Drawbacks

Gutenberg seems to have it all, with its smooth interface and simple blocks. What is it lacking at this point?

  • It does not support responsive columns yet, but this could be added as it is updated.
  • There could be compatibility issues with other plugins.
  • There may be a possible lack of full support for some popular WordPress plugins such as Jetpack and Yoast SEO.
  • It seems there are problems with backward compatibility, forcing developers to rework any existing applications so that operations go smoothly through the changes. Potentially, Gutenberg may bring out a wrapper that provides TinyMCE backward compatibility.

 

How does this affect IT Hands’ development of websites?

We like to look at the positive ways that Gutenberg will help us as developers.

First, this easy way to build content blocks will allow developers an easier path to create themes that support content block sites. Instead of needing a visual editor like Beaver Builder, Gutenberg will allow themes to support drag-and-drop layouts natively. Ideally, this will cut down on site load times, since less-bulky content block plugins will no longer be necessary.

Then there were rumors that users would need to have a deep understanding of React in order to use Gutenberg, but that is not true. Anyone can use it and can build a fine website, though our developers at IT Hands will still have an edge on website development with our more thorough knowledge of how to use React to create components using JavaScript.

The advent of Gutenberg could help clients with low budgets. A simple-to-create website will open the door for many more businesses to access the web with their products. For clients already on WordPress they will require additional support from their IT partner to make the transition when Gutenberg moves in to stay with WordPress 5.0.  Finally, IT Hands will be able to use the content block site to create a quick prototype for clients so they can have a website up and running fast. Because Gutenberg does not charge any subscription fee, this would be a useful method to follow with our clients.

Conclusion

As Gutenberg opens WordPress to anyone, it provides IT companies the chance to build and grow their own businesses. Our IT developers see Gutenberg as the drawing board. We will use it to do a quick mock-up for more complex websites. Contact us to begin drafting your new website at solutions@ithands.com.