It’s a buzzword creating a lot of conversation within the WordPress community and causing digital marketers across the globe to plan and strategize for the after-effects—Gutenberg. A major new feature that has been in development for over a year, Gutenberg is coming with the release of WordPress 5.0 and is the largest side-initiative ever merged into the core of the open-source project. Here’s some background on Gutenberg and how WebDevStudios (WDS) is planning for it.
What Is Gutenberg?
Named after a revolutionary publishing invention that changed the printing industry, Gutenberg is a big upgrade that will be a part of the WordPress 5.0 release this spring. It is a significant enhancement to the editor; and in the context of WordPress, the software that currently powers 30% of all the websites you view on the internet today, Gutenberg is a brand new editor that allows you to create and publish blocks of content. Users will now have more control over the layout of their content, rather than just writing and a publishing a single article.
An update like this is huge. The WebDevStudios team has been in the preparation and planning stages for Gutenberg and the effects it will have on our clients’ websites and our own sites for several months now since it was announced in early 2017.
Working with Blocks of Content
WDS has been building client sites like this for several years, utilizing blocks of content that can be used and reused in various areas of a website in order to simplify a client editorial workflow and provide them with finite control over what content is displayed on their website and where. This has always been accomplished with plugins like ACF, CMB2 and customized development around the meta fields core feature of WordPress. With this previous experience and real-world knowledge and application, our team already feels prepared to work with Gutenberg and familiarize our clients with it.
Gutenberg Preparation and Internal Training
To get an idea of what Gutenberg looks like and how it affects the way users will interact with it, we recommend watching this demonstration of the tool from December’s WordCamp US.
Meet WDS Blocks
In preparation for Gutenberg, our Engineering Team has been hard at work on creating a framework that we are, internally, calling the WDS Blocks project.
We have already done this with other plugins, like ACF and CMB2, by wireframing out a default frontend experience, coupled with the required engineering to make it all work together to standardize content blocks that are utilized on many websites, such as:
- Hero / Header modules
- Content Grids
- Photo Galleries
- Pull Quotes
- Call To Action blocks
Our Stance on Gutenberg
One of the reasons we love WordPress is the solid foundation that it creates for all web development projects. The WordPress Core software allows us the ability to extend and customize as necessary for every website project we support. Gutenberg is an exciting new way to create and manage content in WordPress. This new feature ships with some great core blocks and, of course, we can easily extend Gutenberg to give our clients a truly customized experience that fits their needs exactly. We are very excited about the future of WordPress including the new content experience provided by Gutenberg.
How Will Gutenberg Affect Existing Sites?
One question that comes up frequently is how will Gutenberg affect existing WordPress websites? The idea of any WordPress core feature affecting your existing and future content is a scary one. At WDS, we are taking a proactive approach to the Gutenberg release. We are currently creating integration plans to review with all of our current clients. These plans are very specific to each client’s current website setup and content editorial flow. Some of our clients will be able to use Gutenberg on day one, while others will need a lengthier integration and rollout plan.
Is Gutenberg right for everyone? Not every feature of WordPress is right for everyone. Most content creators will be able to leverage the power of Gutenberg and content blocks on their website. While this powerful new content experience is an amazing enhancement to WordPress, it’s important to use the right tools for the job. At WDS, we work closely with all of our clients to architect the best WordPress experience to hit their project goals.
The Future of WordPress and Gutenberg
Gutenberg is a sign of the growth and potential of WordPress. More than a blogging engine, WordPress is quickly becoming the website platform of choice for eCommerce, mass media conglomerates, enterprise-level corporations, and small businesses alike. We believe Gutenberg will continue to develop and empower website owners and companies to have more control over the look, feel, and experience of their website. As WordPress begins to take over more of the market share of the web, we see Gutenberg as a vehicle to drive this expansion, and our team at WebDevStudios is ecstatic to be a part of the ride. We invite you all to join us on this journey.