Advantages + Hurdles of Gutenberg

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This is Tutorial 5 in the Gutenberg 101 series.

While Gutenberg may seem like a big change from the classic editor you have grown accustomed to, Gutenberg does come with many advantages.

The advantages include:

  • Easy for non techies and beginners to use. It much easier for a new to WordPress person to learn to drop and drag blocks for content rather than to edit everything via HTML or to install multiple plugins to get the desired layout. While there will undoubtedly still be a learning curve it should be much smaller. Plus is just fun to drop and drag blocks around.
  • Mobile Friendliness – Gutenberg is mobile friendly right out of the gate! It is so much easier to write or edit a post or page from your phone with Gutenberg.
  • Helps writers to visualize their content because what you see is what you will get.
  • Reusable blocks – No more copy and pasting the same data over and over again. You can save your most used blocks to use again.
  • Extendability – Plugin and theme authors have the ability to create new blocks that can be used within the Gutenberg editor.
  • Less distractions for writing – If you write your content directly in the WordPress editor, the slimline design of Gutenberg will have less items to distract you plus you have the ability to hide the settings menu.
  • No more copying and pasting lengthly embed codes. With Gutenberg you can embed most video, audios, documents, etc. from other websites with only the URL.
  • Widgets in your documents! Have you ever wanted a list of pages or featured posts in your content? Before you could not do it without custom code or a plugin. In Gutenberg you can simply use a widget anywhere in your document.
  • / Shortcut – This keyboard shortcut allows you to quickly add new blocks.

Gutenberg Hurdles

Of course with any new features there are going to be some bumps and hurdles and Gutenberg has it fair share. Below are some of the disadvantages of using Gutenberg:

  • Backward compatibility with plugins and themes will be an issue. Plugins and themes that add meta boxes or use custom fields may not initially work with Gutenberg. YoastSEO is one that is ready to go and works nicely with the new editor. Any plugin that adds options to the editor, such as YoastSEO, will still appear at the bottom of the editor.
  • Currently the custom fields options are not enabled in Gutenberg. Many themes and plugins rely on these fields to customize the content. The custom field data is still there you just cannot edit it or add new custom fields. In order to work with custom fields you will need to install a plugin such as the Gutenberg Custom Fields plugin.
  • It is something else you need to learn. If you run your business on a WordPress based website then learning a visual editor is just another item on your to do list.

One thing you need to remember about Gutenberg is that while it resembles a page builder it is not a true page builder yet. It sure seems to heading that way in the future. For now though, it only allows you to edit and format the post with blocks not the entire page. For example if you have your blog posts setup to display with the sidebar on the right side, you can not change the position of the sidebar using the Gutenberg editor. 

Now you’ve learned all there currently is to learn about Gutenberg. But, what if you absolutely hate it and want to revert to the classic editor. You can do that…read this post to find out how!

The best way to prepare for Gutenberg in the WordPress 5.0 release is to install both the Gutenberg plugin and the Classic Editor plugin. Start using both so you are used to them. Click here to find out how to install the Classic Editor plugin.

While many plugins and themes have already become Gutenberg friendly, many have not, and many are still in the process. Using both the Gutenberg editor and the Classic editor now will allow you to test plugins and themes for compatibility and you won’t waste any time trying to figure stuff out when Gutenberg officially replaces the classic editor.

Just remember that Gutenberg is still in active development and bugs and issues will still be found and fix. If you need some help or want to get involved here are some important links:

Some people will love the new Gutenberg visual editor and some people will hate it. While having the option to fall back to the classic editor via a plugin is nice, Gutenberg is here to stay. If you will be using WordPress for any amount of time in the future you need to take the time to learn all the ins and outs to get the most of Gutenberg.

Ready to give it a try? Click here to download a free Gutenberg prep checklist.

While you are here, you will want to read this . . .

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