For almost 2 years now, I’ve occasionally heard the word “Gutenberg” mentioned at WordPress MeetUps and Events. When I saw a session at WordCamp last spring on the schedule about Gutenberg, I made sure to attend. What was talked about during this session, we were told, was mostly speculation. However, we were given a few links and videos to watch, which is what I want to share.
If you are a retailer who has a website, this is my guess of what’s going through your head about now, “Why should I care about Gutenberg?” Well, Gutenberg is going to be used in the WordPress update 5.0 sometime in 2018. “Why should I care about WordPress?” If your store has a website, you might want to know if your website will be affected by Gutenberg. It’s also good to know that the chances of your website using WordPress is 1 out of 4.
Do you have a WordPress site? If your not sure go to BuiltWith.com put in your domain name then hit “Lookup”. If you see “WordPress” in the list of results: then your website uses WordPress. If you are a retailer who uses AWG’s Website Digital Services, here are the providers who use WordPress: Freshop and Brick Custom Websites.
With WordPress, depending on the theme, you can make all kinds of adjustments: logos, colors, side nav etc. However, at the end of the day, you still have one big column down the middle of the page. This is my biggest complaint as a Web Designer. You have to install a page builder plugin using “Shortcodes” just to make more than one column! Once you start using a page builder, changing the theme gets more complicated.
Gutenberg uses blocks that can be moved to different positions on a page, and even moved to different pages.
Three Gutenberg roll out stages for WordPress sites:
- Inclusion in WordPress 5.0 (4.9.6 is current during the writing of this article post). This stage will introduce blocks and focus on post editing.
- And 3. Will introduce page templates and full site customization.
WP 5.0 is planned to come out in 2018 – Gutenberg beta downloads are available for trial.
Don’t fret; there will be a long migration period. Shortcodes will still work with Guttenberg, and you can opt out by not declaring “editor” support.
Notes from video: Matt Mullenweg – State of the Word 2017
Here are a few features shown in this video about Gutenberg that I look forward to:
- When you start building a post, you can change your mind mid way through on how many columns you want to use. Currently, when you start building a WP page you need to consider the number of columns you want to use even if your using a page builder. Sometimes, the number of columns is set in stone in the very beginning, when you pick out your theme, and the only work around is knowing html. Gutenberg might help by making starting a new website a little less daunting!
- Table of Contents: makes it easier to navigate when editing a post by clicking on headlines kind of like anchor links. Yeah, less searching and scrolling!
- Table of Contents: also warns you if you veer from consistent design practices. Say you can’t remember if you were using H2 or H3 for headers, you don’t have to go back and check. I see a lot less post-it notes in my future.
- You can save sections of a blog post as “reusable”. Let’s say you have a mantra you want to adhere to in all of your posts with the text, “Less is More”. You can insert the reusable text into all of your future posts to remind yourself not to yammer on too long.
WordPress doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. If I were a betting person, I’d put my money down for WordPress to outlast other CMS platforms. Currently, I manage about 42 websites and 10 of them are using WordPress. I predict the WordPress number will grow.