What is Gutenberg?
What are the benefits of the WordPress Gutenberg editor?
Before Gutenberg there was another editor now referred to as the classic editor. It had features similar to Google Docs or Microsoft Word. While it was relatively easy to add and format text and images, it was much more difficult to create custom page layouts without knowledge of HTML and CSS.
Gutenberg has changed the course of WordPress. It has opened the door to beautiful, custom layouts by almost anyone. Gutenberg has also reduced the need to use plugins like Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Divi.
Use Blocks to Add Content and Make Layouts
The foundation of Gutenberg are numerous content-specific blocks. These blocks can easily be selected, customized, and rearranged on any page or post. Blocks are separated into various categories and range from simple text to columns with various widths. Each block has its own set of customizable options and ways in which it can interact with other blocks.
Preview a Page or Post While Editing
Before Gutenberg, it was common to spend a lot of time editing and previewing a page while working on it. Now, you are able to view the page come together as you work on it. You should see very little change once you switch from the backend (editor) mode to the frontend. Not only is the Gutenberg editor easier to use, it makes the process much quicker.
Easily Extend Core Blocks and Add Custom Blocks
While it does take some coding knowledge to extend (add functionality to) core blocks, new blocks with their own settings can be added quite easily. The easiest way to add new blocks is to install plugins from the WordPress plugin directory. If you’re looking for something more custom, I recommend creating a custom block using Advanced Custom Fields. This approach does require some coding knowledge, but is much simpler than creating a custom block.
Maintain Brand Consistency
One of the features of Gutenberg that is appreciated is the ability to create custom color palettes. This is huge for maintaining brand consistency. Setting a custom color palette does require custom coding, however any color can be selected using the built-in color picker. Regardless how the color is selected, the ability to set branded colors for almost any element is essential for consistency.
How does the WordPress Gutenberg editor work?
In addition to individual blocks, your theme may provide you with a set of preset block arrangements called block patterns. These are intended to keep layouts consistent across pages and posts but with unique content.
Similar to block patterns, you may choose to create reusable blocks. These block groupings are intended to be used as clones across the site. They make it super simple to update content (like an opt-in section) across the site.
What is the history of the WordPress Gutenberg editor?
Gutenberg is named after Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. The name Gutenberg was originally (and still is) used as the name for the plugin which was used to first introduce and test the new features within WordPress.
Gutenberg wasn’t received with open arms by most long time WordPress users, but has slowly been embraced by many. (Big changes are always a little scary and difficult to accept.) Developers have learned how to work with Gutenberg and maximize its potential.
The average WordPress user is the biggest winner in this change, however. With more flexibility in creating pages and posts they have had to rely less on “tech support” and create more beautiful, user-friendly content.
Gutenberg has married the functionality and freedom of WordPress with the ease-of-use that comes with platforms like Squarespace and Showit. Now you can have a website with an unbeatable foundation without sacrificing customizability.