Like many of us that rely heavily on WordPress every day, I admit to getting caught up in the maelstrom of panic and apprehension ahead of the WordPress 5.0 release. A quick straw poll of public opinion seemed to indicate that the 5.0 release, and implementation of the new Gutenberg editor therein, would be the end of days.
I’d personally tested Gutenberg at multiple earlier stages of its development and was less than enthused; the interface was confusing and difficult to work with. That said, Gutenberg was clearly the future of the WordPress project and I pride myself on trying to remain as
Well, we’re practically at the
If you’re a
Here are a few of my favourite items that I’ve learned to love in making the leap.
Easy to convert legacy posts to Gutenberg
The first time you load an older post or page in Gutenberg you’d be forgiven for letting out a sigh. You’ll see your older pages and posts presented in one big “Classic Block” as default when you switch over. Converting older posts is going to be a pain, right? Nope, not so. The new Gutenberg editor offers a handy one click tool that converts content into the new block format.
It’s not 100% foolproof, sometimes certain legacy content can fox the conversion process; that said, I did write a lot of stuff by hand so perhaps I’m an outlier. For the most part, it’s quite painless. I’ve found that going back and converting high traffic and evergreen content pieces
I didn’t think I’d use this feature half as much as I ended up doing. One of the websites I run often references local businesses. In
using Gutenberg’s re-usable blocks, I simply save the address block as a re-usable block. It’s a simple process to then re-insert that block into future pieces.
This has a huge added benefit too – should you update a single instance of a re-usable block, all other instances will update, too. Back to my own website, if a business address changes, it’s just one small edit and the change propagates through all the posts and pages using that block. Nifty!
Copy and pasting in the editor
Another item I didn’t expect to love quite as much as I do, is the new processing of richly formatted content. Let say a site contributor sends me an article replete with links, intricate formatting, pictures etc. For the most part I can cut and paste this directly into the Gutenberg editor with little to no further work need.
The editor will retain formatting on text, respect headings, keep links as is – even try to auto import images and their layout style. It’s very slick and I’ve found it a huge time saver when importing third party content into the editor.
Simpler spacing of paragraphs
This is now a thing of the past. Want to add a little space between blocks to make the content appear a little more readable? Just use the default spacer block and specify the gaps you want to place between items.
Live preview, no more HTML
I find myself reaching a lot less for the preview post option. Largely speaking, what you see in the Gutenberg editor is what you’re going to get in the final published article. Of
Should I move to Gutenberg?
After my own
Gutenberg certainly has some issues: usability, compatibility (in some small instances) and transparency remain items of concern. 5.1.x is set to release in February hot on the heels of a number of micro updates to the 5.0.x branch. As the releases pile up, issues are being resolved fairly speedily.
If you’re worried about compatibility we’d definitely recommend using a staging feature like the one we offer on our WordPress hosting. This feature allows you to copy your site to a test environment with one click, copying it to the live site if you like, too.