With the release of WordPress 5.0 featuring a new editor called Gutenberg, the ‘new’ WordPress is a reality.
In 2016 at WordCamp US in Philadelphia, USA, Matt Mullenweg said that a new post and page editor would be coming to WordPress.
Mullenweg’s vision of a new editor was centered on a vision of a block-based editor where widgets, shortcodes, and other areas of WordPress are unified.
Instead of a large blank canvas, content in Gutenberg is created by using individual blocks that are independent from the content as a whole.
For example, you can edit the HTML of one block without it affecting other blocks.
The Gutenberg editor comes with more than 16 blocks to add content.
There are already many third-party blocks available as plugins.
Each block typically has two areas where you can manipulate its content. The Toolbar, which displays when hovering over a block, and the Inspector located in the right-hand sidebar.
The Inspector houses lesser used settings that require more screen space.
If you’re not ready for or you’re not feeling comfortable with the new editor or discover incompatibilities with themes or plugins, you can install the Classic Editor plugin.
This plugin will disable the new editor and replace it with the one in WordPress 4.9.8 and below.
WordPress has committed to supporting the plugin until December 31st, 2021.
New Default Theme: Twenty Nineteen
The new default theme in WordPress 5.0 is called Twenty Nineteen.
It’s fully compatible with the new Gutenberg editor.
It includes front-end and back-end styles to provide a WYSIWYG experience.
It also supports the Wide and Full image alignment options.
You can see the theme in action on Matt Mullenweg’s site.
What Happens to Existing Content?
Content not created in the new editor is placed into a Classic block.
This block mimics the old editor and provides users a choice to migrate it into blocks. However, migrating content into blocks is not required.
Most content should not be affected by updating to WordPress 5.0. 1
Where to Get Help Using the New Editor
For new users, the editor might be an intuitive experience but for many WordPress veterans, it introduces a steep learning curve. After all, the previous editor has existed for more than 10 years.
The Docs team and other volunteer contributors are working on putting together an initial document with release in 2019.
Until the official handbook is published, you’ll need to seek help and education elsewhere.
WordPress 5.0 – Essential Training
Morten Rand-Hendriksen for LinkedIn Learning has published a course on LinkedIn that takes new users through the Gutenberg editor.
It’s available to view for free for a few weeks.
WordPress Support Forums
Volunteers are standing by ready to answer your questions.
If you think you’ve discovered a bug, incompatibility, or are experiencing trouble with the new editor, you can write a post about it in WordPress support forums.
WordPress 5.0 Field Guide
The WordPress 5.0 field guide provides important links and information for developers and users related to this release.
WordPress 5.0 – A Beginning of A New Journey
WordPress 5.0 introduces the Gutenberg editor, but it also lays the foundation for what’s to come.
The first phase of project Gutenberg was the editor.
The second phase is the Customizer with a focus on full-site layouts.
The third and fourth phases will be shared and discussed by Mullenweg later on.
The new editor is part of a long process to reinvent WordPress.
Matías Ventura, Co-lead of the Gutenberg project explains why the need for Gutenberg existed.
WordPress has always been about the user experience, and that needs to continue to evolve under newer demands.
Gutenberg is an attempt at fundamentally addressing those needs, based on the idea of content blocks.
It’s an attempt to improve how users interact with their content in a fundamentally visual way, while at the same time giving developers the tools to create more fulfilling experiences for the people they are helping.
Matías Ventura, Co-lead of the Gutenberg project.
As the new editor makes its way across the world, it will be interesting to see what the reactions are from users who experience it for the first time.
It will also be interesting to see what the developer community builds that takes the editor to new heights.
WordPress 5.0 is the beginning of a new journey for the WordPress project.
WordPress 5.0 is named after Bebo Valdés who was a Cuban jazz musician.
1: Except for a frustrating bug that in some themes displays a horisontal scrollbar in full-width mode.