WordPress this year have released a brand new, redesigned editor named Gutenberg. Based on rich content ‘blocks’, it greatly improves the page and post creation process.
Ever used a plugin like TemplateMoster’s Power Builder or SiteOrigins Page Builder? Well, WordPress is seemingly hoping to render those third-party plugins obsolete with their new page builder named ‘Gutenberg’. Currently released as a plugin, WordPress hopes to release the new editor preinstalled with the next major release of the core, WordPress 5.0. The plugin already has over 400,000 active installs, so is seemly being widely adopted already.
The editor has been completely redesigned from the ground up, based on ‘blocks’. These blocks allow the user to simply create media-rich content by dragging and dropping blocks into place, reducing the need for HTML coding, third party plugins and lengthy page creation processing.
The creators of Gutenberg have said they want to bring the WordPress editing experience into the modern times, not just in terms of the user experience but the underlying code as well:
The Gutenberg editor uses blocks to create all types of content, replacing a half-dozen inconsistent ways of customizing WordPress, bringing it in line with modern coding standards, and aligning with open web initiatives.
Another big feature of the new Gutenberg WordPress editor is mobile compatibility. Whilst the current WordPress editor isn’t bad at giving you an idea of what the page will look like once published, that’s all it is, a rough idea. This means an endless back and forth between editing the content, previewing, and checking on mobile screens. Gutenberg claims to put a stop to this, allowing you to see, in real time, exactly what your content will look like on mobile devices, and edit it directly.
As a nice touch, the WordPress team decided to showcase the features and experience of using the editor on the Gutenberg page on their website. When navigating to the page, you can hover over each of the content sections on that page and ‘Edit’ them using the new editor. An interesting way to showcase its ability.
The cynic in me points out the fact that WordPress seems to be suggesting a move away from third-party plugins, which many would argue are the beating heart of WordPress. In the marketing on their website for the new Gutenberg Editor, they say a key feature of it is the ability to “Do more with fewer plugins.” On its own, this seems like a harmless suggestion, they are simply trying to streamline the WordPress experience and allow you to do more with WordPress itself, rather than relying on multiple plugins. However, many see WordPress as just the core, bare-bones systems, with the themes, plugins and user content making up the individual site.
Having said that, I don’t think WordPress would even contemplate getting rid of plugins completely any time soon. But it’s definitely something to keep an eye on in with the future of WordPress.
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