Gutenberg: What’s in the blocks?

WordPress is in the process of changing their word editor. The new editing experience is called Gutenberg. This new approach to how posts are done on WordPress has caused quite a stir in the online community and has users a bit confused.

What is Gutenberg?

Well, originally, Johannes Gutenberg was a famous printer in the fifteenth century, who was able to create printed books (mostly Bibles) for the masses. Sounds kind of familiar, right?

Skip forward a few hundred years, the modern Gutenberg is the tool millions use to create digital text for the masses. In other words, Gutenburg is basically a brand new editor for WordPress that is simpler, lighter and more modern. It consists of different blocks of paragraphs, headings, images and embedded videos. The argument is that the blocks will be used to build your post, much like playing with Lego’s.

According to Matt Mullenweg, one of those responsible for the new editor will allow users to finally be able to build the sites they see in their imaginations.

“The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery,” said Matt Mullenweg

Apart from the new blocks, Gutenberg also introduces a new look and feel for the editor.

What is going to change?

  • WordPress will be easier to set up, making it possible for people who previously found WordPress too complicated to set up to reap the benefits of WordPress instead of platforms like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace.
  • Shortcodes will be a thing of the past, enabling users to be able to do things they were never able before.
  • Text pasted from Word or Google Docs will get cleaned up and converted to blocks automatically and instantly.
  • Developers will be able to create templates that do not break when clients made minor adjustments.
  • Plugins will be easier to integrate with every part of the post

So, what is the problem?

Despite the fact that the new editor will allow greater freedom for everyone, there is a lot of criticism. One big problem is the accessibility issues in the frontend output and in the backend.

When is Gutenberg coming?

The coming consensus is that it will be implemented soon, but not before the first half of 2018. It will most likely land in WordPress 5.0.

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