Gutenberg Editor: A History of Revolution and the Future of Editing in WordPress

Words by NJI
Published December 10, 2018
Last Updated July 8, 2024

Well the day has finally arrived: WordPress 5.0 and the new default text editor known as Gutenberg are officially here. There is much to explore and be excited about, but there are also some sharp edges. The folks at NJI Media have you covered. Let’s dive into Gutenberg and find out why WordPress made the switch and what it means to you.

A Bit About Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized Europe when he created the printing press using movable type in the 15th Century. Since then the planet has been transformed with the compounding effects of information sharing, idea distribution, and innovation rendering. Perhaps this is why WordPress decided to name their next generation editor after the man that revolutionized content sharing.

Like Gutenberg’s famous invention, the new WordPress editor also uses the concept of movable blocks. With this transition to the use of blocks, WordPress brings into its core a more flexible, freeing page design  manager. Up until now, complete page component and layout management tools have been available as plugins, and recently the Gutenberg editor itself as a plugin. However, with the release of WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg is now the default WordPress page content editor.

About Those Blocks

Gutenberg contains content sections or components as “blocks”, creating a more visual representation of dynamic page content. The blocks can be anything from text, media, buttons, widgets, social media pulls, and tables. Developers can also create additional custom blocks by extending the Gutenberg block system. A Gutenberg post is essentially a series of blocks.

Screenshot of a WordPress editor interface. The screen displays a welcome message saying, "Say Hello to the New Editor" and invites users to try it. Below, there is a space to add a title and write a story, with various editing tools on the sidebar and header.

Tips for Project and Content Managers

Now is the time to play around with Gutenberg and get a feel for it. There are numerous tutorials and assistance for it. While Gutenberg has been in beta for sometime it is easy to overlook the notification at the top of your WordPress admin panel. (After all, we are constantly bombarded with so many notifications these days, who can keep up?)

If you need help getting started, NJI would be happy to assist with creating an isolated, non-production environment where you can safely explore. Gutenberg is here to stay, and the interface is very intuitive; there is no reason to put off familiarizing oneself.

Screenshot of a WordPress webpage announcing the upcoming release of the Gutenberg editor. It encourages users to try the new editor or keep using the Classic Editor. The page explains how to test Gutenberg and provides links for more information and feedback.

NJI is Prepared

Since WordPress 5.0 is just out today, only newly created websites will be made in 5.0. Websites created in the past will remain there, with all their functionality, until they are gravitated and merged into WordPress 5.0. The option exists to download and activate Gutenberg, but you shouldn’t do so unless you know what you’re doing.

For sometime, NJI has been preparing for the changes coming to WordPress. From creating an original Gutenberg-based website to transitioning an existing website from the classic editor to Gutenberg, we’ve put it through the paces. Updates to plugins, themes, and WordPress itself are part of the regular cycle of development. Typically we combat these as they come, especially when major updates are released. More frequently we’ll notice that a random plugin needs an update as part of our regular maintenance. There are procedures in place for this and those regular updates I mentioned earlier are usually a result of someone finding a flaw, fixing it, and notifying others.

With Gutenberg we’ve taken the same approach to test, learn, and master it so our clients can rest easily. This is part of what we do, learn new technology so you can focus on your mission. As always, NJI is here for you. Challenging the status quo of both technology and client relations.