Since its debut in 2003, WordPress has consistently grown in popularity all over the world.
What was once a user-friendly blogging platform has evolved to become the go-to content-management system (CMS) for everyone from entrepreneurs to even many Fortune 500 companies.
One of the many reasons for WordPress’ enviable success is the company’s dedication to consistent improvement. Recently, they rolled out their latest update, “Bebo”, which includes a brand-new publishing experience for users in the form of the WordPress Gutenberg editor.
Though the platform is renowned for its easy operation, there are still some things you should know before trying to use this new feature.
4 Things You Need to Know About the WordPress Gutenberg Editor
Over the years, WordPress hasn’t been completely impervious to criticism. For example, one reoccurring critique has been that its editor sometimes lacks flexibility and customization, especially for users who don’t know how to code.
This is where the WordPress Gutenberg editor comes in. As usual, WordPress has outdone itself, but here are the four things you should know about before you begin using it.
1.You Have Until 2022 to Switch
At the moment, the entirety of the editor has not been released yet, but many companies have still decided to make the switch and start using Gutenberg instead of waiting.
If, for whatever reason, you decide to hold off on the transition, know that you have until 2022 to switch over from the Classic Editor to this new version.
For those who work at a company that has adopted the update, you can actually disable the Gutenberg editor and continue using the Classic Editor if you want, but, again, only until 2022 when it will no longer be available.
2. The Interface Now Runs on Blocks of Content
The WordPress Gutenberg editor brings a lot to the table – with more features coming – but the most prominent change to the popular CMS is the content-blocks component.
In short, instead of the editor essentially treating all content as the same (unless you modify it manually), users will now choose what type of content they wish to create on a given “block” of the webpage.
From WordPress’ own description of the Gutenberg plugin, “The goal of the block editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable.” In short, WordPress wants to make it easier than ever for people to create complete content layouts. This is an especially helpful feature for those of us who aren’t comfortable trying to insert code where certain customizations are needed.
There will be three main categories of blocks, each with their own subcategories.
- Common Blocks
- Cover Image
- Formatting Blocks
- Custom HTML
- Custom Test
- Pull Quote
- Layout Blocks
- Text Columns
Users can also create their own blocks of custom content, which they can then save and reuse again and again in the future.
The good news is that these changes will not affect your old content. So, there’s no need to worry that it will display differently because of this update. Still, it’s probably a good idea to create a backup of your site just in case before making the switch.
The bad news is that, if your site depends on a page builder plugin, you may run into some problems going forward, at least until the publisher adjusts to Gutenberg’s new approach.
3. There Will Soon Be Much Greater Variety Between Layouts
For many users, it may be tempting to ignore the many advantages that the WordPress Gutenberg editor has to offer. While adjusting to content blocks is inevitable, they could decide to simply continue with their traditional format.
It’s really worth considering all the opportunities this new editor has created, though. Including rich media in all kinds of creative ways has never been easier.
While WordPress has long-been known for allowing a large degree of customization, expect to see a lot more differentiation between layouts going forward. This could be your opportunity to finally create the customized look your company has always wanted.
4. Creating Long-Form Content Is Now Easier Than Ever
There are a number of reasons it pays to create long-form content for your blog posts.
Nonetheless, one reason so many marketers don’t is because doing so is often a pain, even when you’re using the very user-friendly WordPress. Constantly having to scroll up and down in the editor to add or subtract text can be a very frustrating process.
Fortunately, this is something the new WordPress Gutenberg editor addresses.
First, there’s finally a table of contents located right in the sidebar. Now, all you need to do when you want to navigate throughout your post is click the handy links. No more scrolling and scrolling every time you realize a change is necessary.
Second, with the addition of content blocks, you can now effortlessly add anchors to each one. For many WordPress users, this has actually proven to be the most exciting announcement.
With anchors, you can link right to a specific header or section within your piece, making long-form content much more accessible to readers. It also makes it much easier to share various sections and add “jump to menus” to SERPs. This allows people to actually “jump to” any section on your page right from the SERP instead of having to click through to the article first.
Leveraging the WordPress Gutenberg Editor to Its Fullest Extent
As we mentioned earlier, the WordPress Gutenberg editor isn’t completely available just yet.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can’t begin enjoying a number of its benefits.
So, in the meantime, start getting accustomed to the new look, feel, and all the features of this latest evolution in WordPress. By the time the rest of the Gutenberg editor rolls out, you should feel very comfortable making the most of it.