The new Gutenberg update for WordPress has been the most significant update for WordPress in the last 15 years. Named for Johannes Gutenberg, father of the printing press, the update is a complete overhaul of the administrator console, on the back side of the website.

Why Should You Care?

The comprehensive Gutenberg update will require some professional support. A certain amount of technical expertise will be needed to make sure any previous customization on your site, is seamlessly married into the new update.

This is where Web Design by Knight comes in. Many of our clients have sites built in WordPress and will need to be updated. We have been anticipating Gutenberg for more than a year and have long since been prepared for the transition. In December we began laying the groundwork and implementing support measures, to ensure your functionality was not compromised in the transition to the Gutenberg update.

In addition to phasing in the new editor, updating the plugins (pieces of code that approve functionality) will also be required. Going forward, we’ll continue to monitor the existing plugins on each site as Gutenberg is fully and completely installed on each client’s website.

What Exactly is Changing?

Everything. In Gutenberg, the entire editing experience is different.  The new design tools now operate on a drag and drop system, making it a little more user friendly. Gutenberg will also update all the supporting elements of your website like plugins or themes for security and improved functionality. Here’s a quick bullet list of the most significant changes that most web designers are talking about.

Blocks – In the past, blogs have been written on a page, to which other elements were added. The new “block” system assigns a block for each element. A title is one block. An image is another, and so on. This is so helpful to designers who almost always need to move and resize elements, once they are in place. This feature saves a lot of copy and pasting here and there, which wastes a lot of time and energy.

Options – Design options will now be more streamlined, and will change according to what block you are working in. If you want to edit an image, you’ll get the image tools. Likewise, when editing text, only the text editing tools will appear. Gone is the massive, all-encompassing toolbar.

Editing – With the old editor, the design on the back end looked somewhat different than what it looked like on the front end. This made for a lot of back-and-forth to get things exactly right. With the new editor, what you see on the back side will look nearly identical to what you see on the front side.

Buttons – Buttons aren’t always appropriate on a website, but when you need one, you need one. The new Gutenberg has a whole new system for adding buttons with ease.

These are just a few of the fun things that will save time and allow designers more creative freedom. In general, most web designers agree Gutenberg offers a cleaner design interface and greatly improved functionality.

How Will Gutenberg Change My Website?

As a Web Design by Knight client, you should see no difference at all on the front side of your site. However, as always, if you have any questions about functionality or notice an issue, feel free to contact us.

At this time, all of our clients have been updated to Gutenberg, but there will continue to be additional updates to refine the system. We’ve already seen 5.1, released last week. This was the first major update to Gutenberg/5.0.

In summation, we are looking forward to working in the new Gutenberg editor. The new editor promises additional options and expanded functionality. Change is inevitable. While it can sometimes be awkward, the end result will be better productivity for all.