Gutenberg - The Next Big WordPress Update

WordPress version 5 will soon be upon us and with it comes a brand new default page editor called Gutenberg.

A disturbance in The Force – but what is Gutenberg?

If you’re involved with WordPress at all then you must have felt the tremors and heard the vastly differing opinions on this new feature. For those who don’t know, Gutenberg is a new content editor being incorporated into WordPress. This is planned to happen at some point in 2018. It will replace the existing content editor which is the tired looking TinyMCE editor.

Gutenberg can do a lot more and gives more flexibility than the previous content editor, using a block-based system to build the page. This gives users a better visual representation of what the actual page will look like.

Is Gutenberg a good or bad thing?

WordPress Gutenberg MemeOpinion is heavily divided on whether it’s a good or bad move. There are several other page builders/content editors available, some are free, others are premium, which give just as good or better editing experience.

News articles from Delicious BrainsYoast and plenty of others over the last months have given pros and cons for it. Some even going as far as saying that the WordPress user community has been ignored and people should be allowed to choose.

 

Will Gutenberg break my website?

Depending on the complexity of the website and how it was built there is a chance that the website will break. WordPress is very flexible and quite a lot of theme templates you can buy come with their own page/content builders. This will increase the possibility that your website may break.

What should I do next?

Unless you take steps to disable Gutenberg before WordPress 5 then it could make a mess of your website (and we hope you have a backup).

We would advise the following steps:

  1. Install the Classic Editor Plugin now. This will ensure that the original editor continues to work and Gutenberg doesn’t take over until you’re ready.
  2. Test and play with Gutenberg – There is a page on the WordPress.org website where you can try the Gutenberg Editing Experience without changing your own website.
  3. Test, test and test again – Create a copy of your website, separate from your main website and install the Gutenberg Plugin. Once WordPress 5 comes in this plugin becomes redundant but it will allow you to try it first and check how it will work with your website.

Somerset Web Services supports my website – What’s next?

For the customer websites we support, we’ll be contacting them shortly and disabling the Gutenberg page editor while there is a choice. We will then be discussing with them how they’d like to proceed, helping with testing where needed.

Can you help me?

Absolutely! If you’re not an existing customer and use WordPress for your website please contact us and we’d be very happy to help you.

 

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