WordPress 5.0 – the arrival of Gutenberg

The release of WordPress 5.0 is on the horizon in the coming months, with speculation and discussion on the latest version ongoing since last year. There have been mixed reactions from across the WordPress community, in particular to the introduction of the new content editing tool ‘Gutenberg’- however the Zesty Development Team have been utilising the tool and are confident it is nothing for users to worry about.

Gutenberg should cause little to no front end disruption but it marks a significant change for back-end users. Early testers have been reluctant to embrace the new tool, as it is vastly different to the longstanding status quo and many are apprehensive about the potential disruption it will cause users. Whilst the shift in user experience will be dramatic initially, ultimately it will improve user experience and overall visual presentation of content which is of ever-increasing importance.

 

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is the new content editing tool that will replace WYSIWYG editor (What You See is What You Get – current text editor tool) which currently manages WordPress content. It marks a big change with the introduction of editable content blocks – in which all content will be inputted, styled and arranged on page. Drag and drop functionality will be incorporated and should help simplify media embedding and overall content management.

The block building process will be formulaic and therefore once users master this they will not need any further training or coding skills to incorporate media rich content on site.

Gutenberg text editorNamed after Johannes Gutenberg, a German printer and publisher whose introduction of the printing press to Europe in 1400s began the Printing Revolution. WordPress’ long awaited Gutenberg hopes to revolutionise content management, advancing user experience and capability, with a view to further elevate WordPress’ market dominance.

‘The all-encompassing goal of Gutenberg is to create a post and page building experience that makes it easy to create rich post layouts.’  WordPress

Will Gutenberg affect all WordPress users?

Yes. The introduction of Gutenberg will be a substantial learning curve for all users – beginner, intermediate and advanced. To reduce impact and disruption we advise users to test prior to upgrading.  Our Support and Maintenance clients can benefit from exploring the new features and familiarising themselves with the new user experience in a development environment before rolling update out to live site, which is our approach for all WordPress updates.

Gutenberg aims to improve and simplify content management for users. WordPress has said it aligns with their ‘content first approach’, seeking to improve the consistency of user experience.

Early adopters will reduce potential disruption by testing Gutenberg, establishing any potential issues with plugin or theme incompatibility and to familiarise themselves with the new navigation.

Gutenberg- text editor

Zesty’s recommendations for users

As with all new releases we recommend users undertake testing prior to updating to WordPress 5.0. Test your site’s plugin and theme compatibility as issues and bugs are to be expected prior to and post initial launch. It’s important to note that although Gutenberg is nearing completion, the current tool it is not the final version and any bugs/ issues you find should be resolved prior to official launch.

Internally the Zesty Development Team have been conducting local testing to minimise disruption and issues;

  • Staying up to date with Gutenberg updates via WordPress website
  • Writing the necessary CSS in FE builds
  • Testing alongside existing plugins and themes
  • Ensuring all custom meta fields function correctly

On release Gutenberg will be integrated with WordPress 5.0 core, users will be notified via notification within their WordPress Admin update page.  For those who don’t want to use Gutenberg straightaway they will need to disable it and revert to the Classic Editor via installation of a third-party plugin but be warned, this will just be a means to an end as the option to disable Gutenberg will not be permanent. Once third party plugins begin utilising Gutenberg editor they will no longer support development for older editor tool. Several high-profile plugins, for example YOAST and ACF Pro have started to use it and the results have been impressive so far. The Zesty Team are looking forward to embracing the new features and managing the transition for our clients.

Need more information?

For Gutenberg updates from WordPress visit their site here. Got a question? Browse the Gutenberg FAQs.

Keep an eye on our website for further updates and if you have any questions contact our Client Delivery Team who will be happy to advise.