What You Need To Know About Gutenberg: The New WordPress Editor

An exciting development in WordPress is coming in version 5.0 slated to launch later in 2018. A brand new editor, named Gutenberg, is going to change the way we build and interact with WordPress sites.

WYSIWYG

We have commonly referred to the content editor within WordPress as a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get). Though it was more true of a statement than editors of past, what you are seeing in that editor can, and often does, look completely different than how it looks on your site. Gutenberg addresses that by allowing styles and markup to be consistent (or varied if the developer chooses) from editor to frontend.

Another limitation of the WYSIWYG editor is that it does not allow for complex markup. It does paragraphs, ordered and unordered bullets, horizontal rules and headers quite well. But, for example, if you wanted to have a section of a page have a background image with an overlay opacity, you had to move outside of the WYSIWYG editor and use custom fields. Custom fields are a way of attaching meta-data to a post. The way we’ve used Custom Fields at Syrup when building our clients’ sites has been by using Advanced Custom Fields PRO. ¬†We’ve constructed a flexible way of adding content to a page in a method we call ‘components’.

Going Forward

Our plan for later this year is to do away with our Advanced Custom Fields ‘components’ and move the same options to Gutenberg ‘blocks’. We have yet to completely prove the concept, but all signs are pointing to Gutenberg as the future of WordPress as a viable and “current” CMS. We will be jumping on board.

Backward-Compatability

With the rollout of Gutenberg, you might be thinking, “Hey, my site wasn’t built with Gutenberg in mind. Is it going to break?” No, it’s not going to break. I’ve added the Gutenberg editor to a few development sites for our clients as a test and everything works as it had. Now, you may not be able to utilize all the amazingness that comes with the new editor, but you’ll see some of it – especially in blog posts and other “straight content” pages.

More Details

For full details on the project, please visit:
https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/

If you’re interested in contributing to the project, visit:
https://make.wordpress.org/core/5-0/

Lars Miller

Lars is a front-end and WordPress developer.

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