Introducing Gutenberg, the Soon-To-Be New WordPress Editor

Gutenberg For Wordpress

It may be old news, but in case you haven’t heard: WordPress is currently developing a new tool that will eventually replace the post editor you’ve been familiar with for years. It’s called the Gutenberg editor.

Gutenberg aims to change the way we think about our WordPress post content. Similar to a page builder plugin, Gutenberg uses the concept of “blocks”. Some of the basic blocks are:

  • Heading
  • Paragraph
  • Image
  • Quote
  • List
  • Gallery
A screenshot of the new Gutenberg editor being used to create a new post.
Creating a new post with the Gutenberg editor

 

This is a big change to an area of functionality that has largely remained unchanged since WordPress was conceived.

Plans are for Gutenberg to be introduced to WordPress core in version 5.0, sometime later in 2018. Right now you can try it out by installing the Gutenberg plugin.

 

What does this change mean for your WordPress site?

The new Gutenberg editor has implications for content creators and theme/plugin developers alike. Content creators will need to learn the ropes of this new user interface – though, from the testing we’ve done, it seems fairly intuitive and user-friendly. If you use a page builder plugin like Visual Composer, this change might not affect you much at all.

For developers, the change may require a bit more consideration. Many themes and plugins include custom post types and custom field meta boxes, both of which will be affected by Gutenberg.

 

Custom Post Types

Custom Post Types that include the editor will show the new Gutenberg editor if the post type supports REST API (show_in_rest = true).

 

Custom Field Meta Boxes

Many meta boxes will continue to work just fine with Gutenberg. However, because the user interface is getting quite the overhaul, meta boxes that include JavaScript or jQuery code that modifies or interacts with the DOM may require re-work. It’s probably a good idea to download the plugin and get a jump-start on testing your products.

Right now you can follow along with Gutenberg development on GitHub or read up on the official documentation. If you’re averse to change, fret not: WordPress has created a plugin that will restore the original editor once Gutenberg is included in core (which there is no official date for yet). But we hope that this change will make the WordPress experience easier and more enjoyable for all of its users!

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