WordPress is introducing Gutenberg as a new way to add and edit content on WordPress websites, based on a Block Editor concept. The full WordPress 5.0 version isn’t available yet, but the (Beta) Plugin is. When WordPress 5.0 arrives, Gutenberg will be built-in to it, and it will change the way we build WordPress websites.
I’m not an expert in Gutenberg, or creating websites. This post is simply to show you how a novice website builder (me), has installed the Gutenberg plugin, and started using it right from the get-go. I created this page on my iPad Pro, not a desktop or laptop, so if things look different on your screen – that might be why.MD
At the WordPress Meetups I attend, I’ve been hearing about how good Gutenberg is going to be. And when I found out that a Gutenberg (Beta) plugin was available, I thought about installing it – but I didn’t.
I sat back for a while, and waited
Eventually, curiosity got the better of me, and I installed the plugin. And then I sat back again, and waited. Installing a new plugin is one thing; activating it is something else.
I was a bit hesitant because I had read some reviews that hinted that it wasn’t quite ready – one review even suggesting that it might break your website. I was excited about trying it, but certainly didn’t want my site to ‘break’, even though I’m not sure what a broken site looks like.
When the videos from WordCamp Sydney 2018 were released recently, I couldn’t wait to see them. I followed the link to YouTube and tuned in to see the Panel Q&A on Gutenberg. An experienced website builder gave it the thumbs up – having activated the plugin – with no adverse effects on her site.
That was all the encouragement I needed. I activated the plugin and figured out where to start. Super fast – super easy.
So what does Gutenberg do?
Right out of the box, I began by adding a Quote to a blog post I had started a few days before I downloaded the plugin.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.Albert Einstein
All I had to do was just click on the + sign, and add a block to write a Quote in. What makes it really easy is being able to add the author of the quote, in a pre-determined place. Before Gutenberg, I used to spend a lot of time trying to make sure the author tag stayed close to the quote, without being picked up in the formatting assigned to the quote itself, usually a Heading. With the Gutenberg block – it’s all taken care of.
It doesn’t matter that I started the blog using the traditional method – Gutenberg just slid into place, effortlessly.
And to see if using Gutenberg from scratch is just as easy, this post was created using Gutenberg – from beginning to end. It couldn’t have been easier.
Block-based, and easy
It’s the blocks that make Gutenberg easy to use. Instead of building a page in a single block, Gutenberg provides multiple blocks for adding text, images and quotes (plus a whole lot more). By having everything in blocks, I can move them up or down the page without having to mess around with cutting and pasting.
Each item is in its own block. This paragraph is in one block, and the images (below) are in their own. This gives me the flexibility to move things around without the risk of losing the whole page, or messing things up.
It gives the page flexibility
Adding a new paragraph still works the same way. Hitting the Enter or Return button moves the cursor down to the starting point of the new paragraph. But instead of continuing the text in the same Block as the previous paragraph, Gutenberg slips a new block in, without you even noticing – until you want to change something. When you click on the paragraph, you open up the Block – and the manoeuvreability comes into play. You can easily change the paragraph to a heading, or move the block up or down the page, or even convert the text to a list.
Adding a photo
Just click on the plus-sign to add a Block and the available options open up. Select the Image icon, and add your photo. You still have the same features – either select a photo or image from your Media Library or upload a new image. It’s all just easier with Gutenberg.
I Love It!
This is only scratching the very outer layer of what the Gutenberg plugin can do. I have only played around with the parts that are relevant to me, right now. As my needs grow, so will my learning.
In writing this naiive and humble outline of my short journey with Gutenberg, I hope I have inspired you to get that domain name you’ve been thinking about, download WordPress and the Gutenberg Plugin, and start creating your own website.
And for the more experienced WordPress website creators, I can’t wait to read about your journey with the new Gutenberg (Beta) Plugin.