The first major change to WordPress’s visual content editor in years, Gutenberg has been designed to eventually take over from the TinyMCE editor. Named after the inventor of the printing press: Johannes Gutenberg, this new editor will be implemented in WordPress version 5.0, though it can be installed earlier as a new plugin.
WordPress’s aim with Gutenberg has been to simplify content creation. With a more responsive visual editor, Gutenberg aims to target even the most inexperienced web users, with a more user-friendly layout.
What do the new changes mean for your website?
The fundamental idea behind Gutenberg, is to simplify web development, through the integration of a more consistent block design. Now, different types of content can be easily displayed without the use of plugins, custom fields or HTML, suiting even the most novice of WordPress users.
Instead, each piece of content, whether that be an image, video, audio file or other embedded media, will be contained within its own block. Meaning, any changes made to one block, will not affect other blocks. This allows for users to switch between themes and designs effortlessly, without affecting the layout of their content.
Gutenberg has also introduced some new alignment options, creating a more adaptable web design. Users can now align their content to suit larger and full-width screens, rather than previously being restricted to just left, right and centre alignment options.
Are there any drawbacks to Gutenberg?
Whilst its received a generally positive reception, some users have voiced their concerns about the new ‘block-style’ editor, with many afraid that WordPress websites across the internet will now be at risk of looking the same. However, WordPress has allowed for blocks to be customised to adapt to different themes, thus eliminating the problem. Though it will prove to be a lot of work for web developers during the initial stages of Gutenberg.
The issue has also been raised that currently, Gutenberg doesn’t offer responsive columns, although again WordPress has mentioned that this as well can be introduced further along.
What to make of Gutenberg
WordPress has clearly stated that their goal with Gutenberg was to allow anyone, no matter of experience or skill-level, the freedom to create “rich post layouts,” (https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/handbook/reference/faq/) whilst simplifying the content creation process for these users.
Though there may be some initial hiccups for existing WordPress users, only sites with heavily customised content may be affected. Even so, WordPress is the most popular website builder, so there’s no doubt that developers will quickly be on the case to fix these initial problems.