The Future of WordPress: Gutenberg

Gutenberg is the new way to edit content in WordPress. It replaces the tired TinyMCE post content editor and can do a lot more too – think shortcodes, widgets, menus, and even custom fields. It is a client-side interface built with React that uses a block based system to build up content.

It is being developed as a feature plugin over on GitHub and it has been scheduled to land in core in the next version of WordPress, version 5.0 estimated for the first half of 2018. Here’s a great roundup of Gutenberg information.

Gutenberg is an important step forward for publishers, reducing the visual difference between how content is crafted in the admin and how it is rendered on the frontend. It also opens up the possibility of unifying all the various different parts of the site building process, like the customizer and widgets.

Here are some important facts in favor of Gutenberg:

  1. “The goal of the block editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable.”
    – From the Gutenberg plugin description on WordPress.org.
  2. You can add Gutenberg to any WordPress site today as a plugin downloaded from the WordPress plugin directory. The Gutenberg plugin is usually updated weekly as new features are included.
  3. Many of the features of Gutenberg are still being implemented, and new versions have changed previously implemented UI and features.
  4. It is a step forward for the WordPress core editor. The WordPress visual editor has been stagnant for years. While it’s predictable, it’s not exactly a fantastic experience. The goal is to have an interface that is more intuitive for new users like those offered by Wix and Squarespace.
  5. Unlike many other page editors, if you uninstall Gutenberg, you won’t break your website. The special HTML comments are retained in the content so that you can reactivate Gutenberg without losing previously arranged blocks.