I definitely toyed with the idea of not writing this post but decided it was one that really needed to be written. I know there’s potentially going to be some issues with Gutenberg but I’m keeping an open mind for the moment and giving it a try.
What is Gutenberg?
Gutenberg is a new post/page editor for WordPress and they promise that it will provide more flexibility when writing posts. Basically, it turns your blog posts into a series of editable blocks rather than one full page editor.
You can add Gutenberg to your current WordPress site by adding the plugin and you can also add the plugin for the classic editor too if you want to keep it as a standby option if Gutenberg doesn’t work for you.
I’ve used the block method is WordPress in a couple of different ways before so it wasn’t that new to me but it’s still taking some getting used to as some of the menu options aren’t in the same place as before. I have to admit that so far it’s been making my blogging much faster as I tend to add my content in pieces anyway so I can add the blocks as well as change the layout seamlessly. For example, my travel essentials post has headings, paragraph text and images throughout the post but I was able to add them when I wanted using the blocks and could control the spacing too which I find harder to do using the classic editor. It also means that if I still need to take photos then I can do this and add them to the post later on but not ruin the rest of the post by doing so. The other bonus is that it’s now incredibly easy to post photos next to each other and has reduced the amount of coding needed which for me is always a good thing.
One thing I did notice is that some of the blog post options that were so easy to find on the sidebar of your post are now accessed via the cog next to the publish button in the top right hand corner of the screen. It’s not an inconvenience that they’re there, just annoying how long I spent looking for my featured image option!
The major downside that I’ve found is Gutenberg is only recommended for new blog posts. For anything already published it’s advisable to stick to the classic editor as moving them to Gutenberg could cause too many issues to the layout and formatting of the post.
There’s also been some talk of conflict between Gutenberg and some of the plugins. The advice I’ve seen is to make sure that all plugins are kept fully updated and to install the Classic Editor plugin as a precaution in case anything goes wrong. This means that you’ll still be able to publish blog posts even if you need to disable Gutenberg.
This post has ended up being a lot longer than intended but somehow has felt necessary in getting the major points across. Overall, I love the new way of composing a blog post and it works for my style of blogging. It also means I don’t need to learn any more HTML in order to get my posts looking the way I want them to which is definitely a bonus. While I am aware that there might be the odd issue with it, it’s the same for a lot of new software and plugins that are added as it’s generally the users that become the testers and end up identifying the issues. That being said I’m used to being an early adopter and happy to give it a try if it makes blogging easier for me.