Are You Ready
for Gutenberg

Gutenberg is more than a public book repository or the first mass-produced Bible. It is the new editor that will be released with WordPress 5.0.

Matt Mullenweg
In 2017, Matt Mullenweg introduced Gutenberg at WordCamp Europe. Its purpose is to simplify website creation and editing to the benefit of the non-technical user of WordPress.

Blocks

The concept borrows from the Medium writer’s platform for simplifying the editing platform with the introduction of Blocks into the WordPress CMS platform. Each paragraph has its own block and can be styled in a way according to its needs. The editor itself uses TinyMCE, a simple visual editor that gives you direct simple styling queues.

The initial editor starts with the title header and a “+” for the first paragraph you can work with. By default, each new section can be set to a picture, a heading, or a gallery. If you have a need for more choices, click on the “+” and see a list of other elements you have available.
The list presented clicking on “+” includes:

  • Common Blocks
  • Formatting
  • Layout Elements
  • Widgets
  • Embeds
  • Additional Blocks provided by other providers (An example being Yoast Structured Data Blocks.)

The last element in that list is a good point. We can extend what is available to be used in a Gutenberg controlled page by creating a block or extending what is there already. (This is custom work, so your mileage may vary based on the developer and need)

Site Builder

While it is more than an editor – Gutenberg provides some simple tools to extend easy page editing and creation – it will not likely replace tools like Beaver Builder, Divi, or Visual Composer. It does certainly give you more functionality out the door for a website using WordPress that was available prior.

Availability

Gutenberg is currently available as a plugin at WordPress.org by the Gutenberg Team. The current release, v4.6.1, has been packaged in WordPress 5.0 released December 6th, 2018.

Currently, Gutenberg has more than 600,000 active installations. While WordPress would like more people to install it, it is suggested that you ensure that your website has been updated to the most recent version of WordPress – version 4.9.8 at the time this was written.

If you have not kept your site up to date or need to give your site attention, it is suggested you contact your agency to update.

A11Y – aka, Accessibility

Matias Ventura posted an article recently on Make WordPress addressing some of the current concerns.

He writes “While a large amount of work and effort has gone in building mechanisms necessary to make the editor accessible for a wide user base, it is entirely possible to recreate the post that comes with Gutenberg plugin using the keyboard. In many ways, these tools are better and more sophisticated than what we offer in the current editor.”

There are a number of options available he details in his post including:

  • Region Navigation
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Block Navigation
  • Slash Command
  • Toolbars and Sidebars
  • High-Contrast Mode
  • Components
  • Autoformatting
  • Audible Messages

Keyboard shortcuts

A list of keyboard shortcuts is available in the Gutenberg editor.

Don’t Fret

If you are not ready to start using Gutenberg, you needn’t worry. The Classic Editor is available as its own plugin now.

Gutenberg is not set to change all your content to block based, or Gutenberg styled content. The post won’t change until you go to make an edit. I might even be so bold as to suggest to have both the Classic and Gutenberg editor in place until you feel comfortable navigating around Gutenberg.

Not certain your site is ready for Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0? Contact LaunchBrigade and let us test your site.

Ready? Let's get this party started
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