WordPress version 4.9 is releasing soon. And questions about the new content editor Gutenberg being included could start. As of now it’s not clear that the new editor will be in this release. And if it is included with WordPress 4.9 it will be as an option. That means leaving the “classic” content editor in place for users. While having a button to use the new one instead.
Listen to this episode about the Gutenberg WordPress Editor Update:
For those that don’t know Gutenberg is the new content editor for WordPress. It’s not a feature or plugin or page builder. But a replacement for the existing content editor. The classic editor that has been used by everyone since 2003 is about to look a whole lot different.
WordPress handles content in several ways:
- Page templates
- Post formats
- Custom post types
With Gutenberg this is supposed to replace all these in due time. Thus leaving developers and users alike wondering what WordPress will look like.
I’ve tested Gutenberg at every new release on the theme I’ve created called Molecule. No conflicts are reported so it’s all good. But, it’s definitely something to get used to as you can see in the images below.
You can view an example layout here.
What does this mean for your existing WordPress Theme?
Most themes and plugins will be updating to be compliant to Gutenberg. Yet, once the update is released check with your theme or plugin author. If you are using a commercial theme things could get hairy. Depending on how you are using it within the authors standards. Or actual intentions it should be used under.
What about plugin conflicts?
Again, this depends on the author of the plugin. But for well known plugins like Yoast SEO and other SaaS based plugins you’ll be fine. These are not single author entities. But actual corporations that depend on users and upgrades for revenue. Yet you should still ask your webmaster to test and backup your files. Before doing any upgrades on WordPress, Themes, or Plugins it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What about my host?
This is where things are going to get shaky for all those that bought a GoDaddy or Bluehost account for few bucks. At Element 502 we strongly recommend a managed WordPress solution. As these changes to technology are inevitable. And need more time and resources that your cheaper hosting simply cannot, and will not provide.
What about my page builder?
If you are using a page builder you should be fine if it’s SaaS based. Or even commercial with a large support system like Visual Composer. But contact your page builder author to check. And if your theme has a page builder built into it you should check with your theme author. And as a side note, ask why it’s not in a plugin for better support and portability.
What does this mean moving forward?
WordPress is ever evolving to meet the demands of it’s users. This is not a whim or simple upgrade. Current users will be jarred by the changes, but see it’s not as devastating as thought. New users will find it more straight forward and familiar to use. Much like other market CMS’ like Square Space or Wix it’s pretty intuitive. But in WordPress’ favor it has a larger community with more options for your sites appearance. And far superior extendibility with plugins and development because it’s open source. Not in a closed loop like the others with extra costs at every turn.
Gutenberg will be a huge change but a positive one as long as the classic edit is still opted in. Without doing so WordPress could create problems as Gutenberg is new. And as with anything new, it requires testing and more testing and testing again. It is reassuring that they are taking their time with it as it is a core update. Thus not an option to add via plugin. So every WordPress website worldwide will be using Gutenberg by WordPress 5.0 or earlier.
If you have questions about Gutenberg, and what it will mean for your website experience, please contact us at Element 502. You can also check out the project on GitHub here.
We are planning a seminar for our local customers to educate and train about the new editor and it’s experience. If there is enough interest we are more than happy to organize this and assist.
If you like this post please share and leave a comment below. And be sure to check out our new video tutorial series the WordPress Minute by me. Also watch for future episodes on WordPress Minute. As well as when Gutenberg arrives I’ll do some videos highlighting its new features as well as a new blog post. Until then, keep WordPress-ing.