The release of WordPress 5.0 is around the corner and one of its biggest attractions is the Gutenberg editor. It is another beneficial feature of the open-source CMS which will encourage people to convert Drupal to WordPress or migrate from other platforms. There are numerous ways in which Gutenberg will affect WordPress users. It will completely change the way they have been adding or modifying content on WordPress. The new editor is also expected to be more user-friendly for people with limited technical knowledge.
Let’s take a look at how Gutenberg is going to impact the open-source platform and its users.
1. Transition To A Block-based Editor
The current default editor TinyMCE has been present since 2005 when content primarily consisted of text. Modern users want to create rich content with images and videos to enhance visitor engagement with their interfaces. TinyMCE has the facility for adding media but it is not as good as some other editors in the domain. Gutenberg is a block-based editor which allows people to create various blocks of different types of content. They can create blocks for audio, video, images, embedded media, widgets, and other content types. Users can make several blocks at a time and modifications made to one will not affect the others. They can also save a created block to use it again in the future. Eliminating the need for entering shortcode or HTML, it enables even amateurs to create visually-appealing rich media pages.
2. Some Plugins May Turn Redundant
As is the case is most major transitions, there will be some problems while working with the new editor. Most of the major plugin developer would have updated their products to make them compatible with Gutenberg. WordPress is an open-source platform and many independent professionals contribute towards its development. Many plugins created by individuals or small firms may not get updates on time resulting in issues. Website owners must make a list of all the plugins they are using and check whether their status. They must be prepared, though for complete redundancy of certain plugins or limited functionality until the release of updates. Most professional firms inform their users well in advance about the update release schedule of their products.
3. Most Themes Are Expected To Be Compatible
Themes are another aspect of the platform where Gutenberg will affect WordPress users. Many people are concerned about how their installed themes are going to adapt to the change. The new editor is expected to be compatible with most of the templates. Using blocks to create and add content is not going to cause any major issues. The final outcome though may vary from one theme to another and may not be as expected. Gutenberg has a feature of wider or full alignment for most of the blocks. Let’s say a user creates a block with a full-width image. This new image will not render perfectly if the template does not support such images.
4. Getting Used To The New Editor
A majority of people including professional developer will need time for getting used to the new editor. It is available as a plugin and users can download and activate to experience its features. It will be sensible to do so as it will prepare them for the future when Gutenberg will become the default editor. Getting familiar with blocks can take some time for people who have so far worked with TinyMCE. The current editor will also be available as a plugin once it is removed as the default editor. This is being done to help people who need the old functionality for various reasons.
5. Improvement In The Productivity
Gutenberg makes the process of adding content more efficient and flexible. Dragging and dropping blocks instead of entering shortcodes or HTML makes the process simple for non-developers too. There are numerous pre-formatted blocks for different content types with the added feature of individual formatting for each block. Unlike the current editor, the user sees all the changes as and when they are being made. All these features make content addition and modification simpler and faster, improving the productivity of the whole process. This is by far the biggest and most positive impact that the new editor will have on WordPress websites.
Gutenberg will affect WordPress users for the better and it is a welcome change which was long overdue. There will be some issues initially but once things settle down, the editor will make the open-source platform even more productive and user-friendly.