Working with Laura Bowly Design since our business start-up in 2008 has been a great experience ... I interviewed four firms before hiring Laura, and I can honestly say that selecting her to support the magazine’s online efforts was one of the best decisions I’ve made.-Suzy Hopkins, Editor, Friends and Neighbors Magazine
By now, we’re all familiar with the changes that came to WordPress with the release of their 5+ update. WordPress 5+ moved the classic page editing experience into the world of “blocks”. In other words, WordPress no longer has the same classic WordPress editor or text editor that you’ve been used to using over the past decade.
WordPress 5+ introduced a new post/page editor called Gutenberg. The Gutenberg Editor replaced the classic WordPress editor, so if you are still running an older version of WordPress, this will be a big change in the way you edit posts and page. The goal, of course, is to make it easier for non-developers to build their own custom pages and posts layouts — moving WordPress forward to be more competitive with site builders like Wix & Squarespace (although note that Gutenberg is a page editor, not a page builder).
In some ways, once you are used to the interface, you will find the ability to easily add “blocks” of content refreshing, but there will be a learning curve and there is always a chance that some of the open-source plugins or special html code your site was built with will have issues with the transition. These are going to have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
The initial reviews of Gutenberg are mixed, but in fairness, change is always hard and WordPress is using this feedback to improve the page editor and have released several updates since it went live in late 2018.
For sites that have utilized the classic Page/Post editor, when initially enabled, Gutenberg will put all of the page/post content from the classic editor into one block called “Classic”. However, any new Page or Post that is added will utilize Gutenberg which breaks every paragraph/image/header into a separate block. This is how Gutenberg works – each element is its own block of content. You will click the “+” (“Add block”) button to add a new block. There are blocks available for all kinds of content: you can insert text, headings, images, galleries, columns, lists, and more.
This Gutenberg handbook link is a good place to go to familiarize yourself with the new interface: https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/handbook
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Gutenberg before you update from older versions, though for at least a few years, even if you update to 5+, you can put off the inevitable by using the Classic Editor plugin which will be supported through December 2021.
“Classic Editor restores the previous WordPress editor and the Edit Post screen and makes it possible to use the plugins that extend it, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor. By default it will hide all traces of the new Block editor and the Gutenberg editor”
A reminder, whenever you update your site, make sure you (or your host) has a full backup, and be sure to run all plugin & theme updates as well for best chance of compatibility.
And as always, if you need help, I’m an email away.
Working with Laura Bowly Design since our business start-up in 2008 has been a great experience ... I interviewed four firms before hiring Laura, and I can honestly say that selecting her to support the magazine’s online efforts was one of the best decisions I’ve made.-Suzy Hopkins, Editor