WordPress Gutenberg

Chase Raz

Chase Raz

WordPress Gutenberg

WordPress isn’t my jam.  Let’s start there.

But, I run ChaseRaz.com with WordPress because it’s easy, efficient, and we require our students in the undergraduate business programs at Full Sail University to use WordPress to power their portfolio websites.  I ought to practice what I preach, even if doing so wasn’t necessarily my idea.

A computer running a program
A computer running a program that is obviously not WordPress

I have to say that I was a bit hesitant to jump in and try out the preview version of Gutenberg because I knew that some themes and plug-ins wouldn’t be compatible.  I thought, “Hell, what’s the worst that could happen?” and installed the preview anyway.

… and I’m really surprised at how much I like it.

The new layout editor using “Blocks” is quite nice, even if it does seem to contain a few things to learn.  I do like how much faster the workflow seems to be in authoring and publishing articles, and I like that some of the age-old UI components are updated, but still right were the previous version left them.

I think what impresses me most is the contextual panes for each type of block: image, heading, audio, paragraph, etc.  These tools help speed up common tasks by bringing visual controls for such actions right into a control panel.  What a relief to not have to necessarily redefine CSS styles for each site, or to have to rely on tons of design plug-ins for simple expected publishing formats, like a drop cap for instance (that’s the big letter at the start of a paragraph in some publications).

I really think that WordPress got the name of this update right by calling it “Gutenberg”.  This is a very publisher friendly tool.

All-in-all, I’ll give an initial two thumbs up to this new interface, even though I’ll wait until the final release to truly make up my mind.  Either way, WordPress is advancing with or without me, and so far I’m quite excited to go along for the ride.