If you pay any attention to the WordPress community you may have heard some rumblings about something new coming soon. Something that is going to change the way you use WordPress. Something that is going to change the face of WordPress. That something is Gutenberg.
What is Gutenberg?
Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, said, “It’s time for WordPress’ next big thing, the thing that helps us deal with our challenges and opportunities. The thing that changes the world. Gutenberg.”
Gutenberg is a new project in the WordPress community that has a lot of people excited and a lot more people apprehensive. It is a new visual editor for WordPress that will allow you to drag and drop element blocks into your posts and pages. It is a significant change from the current editor and has received mixed reactions from WordPress users, developers, and designers.
This new visual editor is named after Johannes Gutenberg, the man who in in 1439 was the first European to use movable type. He is credited with the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type; the use of oil-based ink for printing books; adjustable molds; mechanical movable type; and the use of a wooden printing press.
The purpose of this change is to help those with little tech experience to easily and simply create different formatted types of content. The Gutenberg visual editor will be released in WordPress 5.0, which doesn’t have a firm release date yet but will probably be sometime in 2018.
You may be wondering why a new visual editor is even needed. The current editor works just fine and everyone is used to it, so why change it? The current editor is very old and has limitations. If you want to format the content extensively you have to do in the text editor with HTML, edit the CSS, or even edit theme files. Advanced formatting is impossible with the editor as it currently stands. While Gutenberg doesn’t fix all these issues initially, it eventually will.
Test Drive It
If you give Gutenberg a test drive before it is officially released in WordPress 5.0 you can do so by downloading and activating the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. I highly recommend giving it a try before its release in WordPress 5.0 so you know what to expect and you won’t be surprised by the changes.
Follow the steps below to install and setup this plugin:
- Login to your WordPress administration dashboard with administrative privileges.
- Go to the “Add New Plugin” page (Found in the menu under Plugins).
- In the top right hand corner search bar type in Gutenberg.
- The Gutenberg plugin will be the first plugin in the results.
- Click on the Install Now button. This will download the plugin to your WordPress site.
- Click on the Activate button. This will turn the plugin on.
Once you have activated the plugin you will see a new menu option on your dashboard, aptly named Gutenberg. While there are no settings you need to set, the options allow you to see a demo of the plugin in action, a link for support, a link to leave your feedback, and documentation.
The official launch for it is November 27, 2018.
Download “Gutenberg, The New WordPress Editor” guide and checklist to learn more about what to expect from Gutenberg.