Your Quick Guide to WordPress 5.0’s Gutenberg Editor
If you’ve been using WordPress for a while, WordPress 5.0’s release may not sound like good news. Its most recent version includes Gutenberg, a brand spanking new editor that requires a learning curve.
After you log in and see that Gutenberg has replaced the classic editor, it can be disorienting. You have to write paragraphs, upload images and even create tables differently.
It’s like you have to relearn how to format website content all over again–something that used to be straightforward with the classic editor.
Not to worry. Today, we’re going to break down how to use Gutenberg. From creating a blog post to other functions you might be unfamiliar with, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get started.
What is Gutenberg?
Launched in December 2018, Gutenberg is WordPress’s new editor. Using it, you can create blog posts and content for your web pages.
Previously, WordPress users had to utilise the classic editor when creating content. The classic editor wasn’t intuitive and could be difficult to use for first-timers.
As the years went by, we saw the rise of drag and drop editors like Squarespace and Wix. Users no longer had a hard time figuring out how to use an editor. They could easily choose what type of content they wanted to add and where to put it.
The type of online content we see has also evolved. The days when lengthy blog posts were the top content marketing medium are long gone. Now, entertaining and informational videos, GIFs and other forms of media have taken over.
Gutenberg is WordPress’s answer to both concerns. With it, first-time users can create content without knowing a single line of code. They can also expand beyond writing blog posts and add videos, GIFs and other elements.
With the classic editor, whatever you’re creating functions as a whole. If you delete an image, for example, all the paragraphs and other content below it will move up.
Gutenberg doesn’t function that way. You need to create a block for each type of content you want to add. If you have two separate paragraphs, you’ll need to create separate blocks. The same goes for:
- and so forth.
Look at this post to see a complete list.
With the classic editor, you can highlight everything by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A. That won’t work with Gutenberg. If you have a paragraph block open and hit Ctrl+Shift+A, you will only highlight that specific block.
Creating Content Using Blocks
If you’re using Gutenberg for the first time, you might be in for a shock. You’ll have to relearn things that you’ve been doing for years.
But Gutenberg isn’t going anywhere. Based on WordPress’s statements, it appears that the classic editor will soon no longer be available.
Difficult as it may sound, you only have to learn how to use Gutenberg once. It can then help streamline your whole content creation process, giving you more time for other tasks.
How to Create a New Block
Let’s say you’re creating a paragraph block.
As soon as you create a new post with Gutenberg, it will lead you to a page that has automatically created blocks for the title and first paragraph. Hitting enter will create a new Paragraph block.
If you hover your mouse over the paragraph block, you will see a plus sign surrounded by a circle on its left side. Click that, and you will see a bunch of block options.
Choose the one entitled Paragraph. The same process is applicable when creating blocks for other functions. These include:
- creating columns
- writing code
- embedding media from Youtube, Tumblr and other sites
- adding images
If you know how to write code, you might write the Code block. It allows you to customise your blog post even further.
Next to each block, you will see downward and upward arrows. These arrows allow you to rearrange your blocks, allowing you to rearrange your post content quickly.
Should you switch to Gutenberg?
So, you’ve been using the Classic editor for years. You don’t have time to learn how to use Gutenberg. Some users have even reported experiencing issues with their plugins after installing WordPress 5.0.
Is it worth all the trouble to switch to Gutenberg anyway?
The answer is, you might not have a choice.
Right now, you can still continue using the classic editor after you install WordPress 5.0. The Classic Editor plugin is available for loyalists.
If several users run your website, they can even see different editors when they log in. You can assign editor type depending on what they’re comfortable with.
Let’s say User A wrote the post using Gutenberg, but User B is more comfortable with the classic editor. User B will see the classic editor when they open the post even if User A wrote it with Gutenberg. Cool, right?
However, according to the plugin’s official page, it will only be maintained until about 2022. After that, you might not have a choice but to switch to Gutenberg. If you’re unhappy about that news, you still have a couple of years to get used to the new editor at least.
Gutenberg is designed to streamline the entire content creation process.
With the old editor, you would have to copy and paste text or photos to rearrange them. Gutenberg renders that unnecessary. You can rearrange content and embed media with a single click.
However, it may not be as easy to use as it sounds–especially if you’re used to the classic editor. Standard keyboard shortcuts like CTRL+Shift+A only highlight a specific block with Gutenberg instead of the entire post.Users have also reported experiencing issues with plugins after installing WordPress 5.0.
Despite these challenges, it appears the age of Gutenberg is truly dawning on us. It represents WordPress’s attempts to be more user-friendly and to catch up with competitors like Squarespace and Wix.
Will it work or not? We’ll find out in the coming years.
Cornerstone Digital is a web development company in Sydney. If you’re struggling with WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg, we’d be glad to help. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected]
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.