What Is Gutenberg And How Does It Affect My Website

What Is Gutenberg And How Does It Affect My Website

What Is Gutenberg And How Does It Affect My Website


Overview of the Gutenberg WordPress Editor and How to Use it

The WordPress world has been rocked to it’s core with Gutenberg, the shiny new block editing system that overtook the Classic Editor on December 6th, 2018. You may not even realise this has happened.

Unless you have gone into your website and updated it to 5.0 yourself and then tried to edit your pages, you may be none the wiser that these major changes have happened in the background.

Adding content to your website is now a strange and unfamiliar venture—one that took many WordPress users by surprise. Let’s review the long list of changes and how they’ll impact you moving forward.

Why did they Change From the Classic Editor?

Gutenberg isn’t just a new editor. It’s a branch of the new tree that will make up a future WordPress; something that signifies something greater. And the reason being is this: with heaps of user-friendly platforms like Wix and Squarespace on the market, WordPress is determined to keep its footing as the #1 CMS.

Gutenberg is stage one of a three-part strategy. Next on the not-so-distant horizon are page templates, then full website customisation. Gutenberg is the first step in making WordPress a seamless, easy-to-use platform that’s geared toward the average user, rather than one who is familiar with code.

Now, we do like that concept, as we build all our websites in a way that is easy for clients to edit themselves, but do we feel Gutenberg is ready for the average user yet?…read on to see our thoughts.

So What Exactly is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is WordPress’s new block editing system, named after Johannes Gutenberg, who revolutionized the world by inventing the printing press over 500 years ago. While Gutenberg won’t refashion every facet of the written word, it does come with cutting-edge features that encourage ease of use and intends to make things quite simple for a web novice.

The image here shows the page you will see when you upgrade your WordPress website to 5.0 >

What Is Gutenberg

In Gutenberg, Everything is Now its Own Block

The distinction of Gutenberg is its block features—drag and drop units that remove the tedious customization process of the previous editing system. Handling content is advertised as  ” never been easier “  in the polished, larger writing environment where there’s lots of room for creativity.

Now, when you’re adding content, instead of everything jammed together in a single HTML file like that of the Classic Editor, all of your content is built like Lego. Blocks are stacked together but separate, and can be made of:

  • Paragraphs
  • Headers
  • Quotes
  • Lists
  • Images
  • Galleries
  • Codes
  • Widgets
  • Shortcodes
  • Columns
  • and much more!

All blocks are customizable with their own separate settings. It’s like workers in an office, where the worker is a block and the office is the entire piece of content. Each worker has their unique job and specifications, but everyone works closely together for the bigger picture.

This may sound similar to what standalone Visual Builder plugins, and it is!  Visual Builders have been on the market for a long time and are sometimes built into themes.  WordPress have adapted the same concept of a drag and drop system like plugins such as WPBakery Page Builder, Beaver Builder, Divi Builder and Elementor Builder to name a few, although there are many more available.

How to use Gutenberg

There are a lot of notable differences in the Gutenberg WordPress editor. Unlike the minimal features of the classic editor, Gutenberg is as simple or advanced as you need it to be.


To begin using Gutenberg and have a play with the new system, simply navigate to Pages from your Dashboard and if you’re making a new page, go to Add New. * Please note, if you have a WordPress website already that is maintained by a company for you, Gutenberg may have been disabled by your design company.

Building With Blocks

Below you will find a basic overview of the block system. We will provide a more in depth tutorial at a later date.

Adding a Block

For every new page or post, the first block will be the title. To make a new block, either press the tab key to begin a new block in the paragraph setting, or use your mouse to add a block from the search bar or below an existing block.

Formatting Blocks

Each block is complete with its own toolbar. Here, you can use your mouse to select between different settings, add images, change paragraph text to sub headers, and much more. Apart from the toolbar, the right column of your screen will give you extra features to customize each block.

Moving Blocks

Each block can be moved up and down with a simple drag and drop. If you need to reorganize images or reorder text, just click, drag, and place the block where you’d like it to be.

Save and Reuse Blocks

For those who frequently add specific content to blogs, saving blocks is extremely helpful. To save a block, locate and click the menu button on the blocks toolbar that you want to save and select “Add to Reusable Blocks.”

On your next post or page, click on the “Add Block” function, and scroll down to locate “Reusable Blocks.” Select from your saved blocks, and voila! Your saved content magically appears.

How To Disable Gutenberg

Some people do not want to use Gutenberg or you may have a website already built and it doesn’t work now after the update. This has happened to a lot of users and left them in a panic.

There’s no avoiding Gutenberg as it is in the main core of WordPress when you update to 5.0 but you can switch back to the Classic Editor via a plugin—available until the year 2022 at least). View details here: WordPress Classic Editor

Also plugins such as WPBakery Page Builder are WordPress 5.0 compatible and have given you an option to tick a box to disable Gutenberg and continue using their visual builder without the need for the classic editor plugin above.

This means your website design will not be affected by the new update and you can take your time to decide if you want to learn how blocks work.

Keep It Classic

Final Thoughts 

No one can force WordPress to go back to the classic editor and all software and systems have to update and grow from time to time, some for the worse and some for the better. Gutenberg does have a lot of users and developers who hate it, but we can see why WordPress have created this new system.

Do we like it?

Currently, No… The reason for this is that there are many superior visual builders on the market, and Gutenberg just isn’t anywhere near the level that the third party builders are in order to make it easy for the client to edit and understand. Do we think it will get better? Yes, of course. They will listen to complaints and will continue to develop it, and when it reaches the same level as the builders out there already, we may consider changing client’s sites to Gutenberg blocks.

Will we make that change at the moment? No, because we just aren’t happy with the level of customisation it provides, and the way it currently works.

Ultimately, it could be a system that is simple and easy to use that will help your content shine even brighter, but not just yet.

Are you having issues since you upgraded to WordPress 5.0 or need some help to understand it or disable it? The please send us an email and we will be happy to help you.

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