Since its appearance in 2003, WordPress, the most famous open source software, never ceased to evolve and reinvent itself. Version 5 has experienced a lot of news and especially has seen the replacement of the classic text editor, which you all certainly know, by a new text editor, Gutenberg. If it is now possible to stay on the historical, you should already be familiar with the one that will become your default text editor in a few months, a few years at most!
Gutenberg at the first look
Even a text editor, could you imagine… You’re used to the classic editors of WordPress? The skinning of the interface of Gutenberg should at first surprise you, or at least not leave you indifferent.
You might be baffled by the lack of information on the screen: you will, at best, by default, the left sidebar. You will need to dig to better understand the functioning of Gutenberg.
HTML, a markup language, gives pride of place to the concept of structuring. Each open tag is closed, and the different elements fit into each other to give browsers and search engines a well-structured and consistent source code.
This rigor and structure are found within Gutenberg, whose logic of operation is a block by block. After filling out your article title, you’ll have to complete your content block by block.
You can easily insert a block between two others, move them by drag-and-drop, and take advantage of formatting options specific to each type of block. For example, it is possible to define a drop cap in a paragraph block.
Very many blocks available
The features that are natively integrated by Gutenberg are very numerous, each block can be associated with a different type of content. You will find many options.
The most common blocks:
- Paragraphs Titles Hn (H2 to H4 by default)
- Bulleted or numbered
- Galleries or images
Files Blocks associated with formatting:
- Back to the classic editor
- Tables Excerpt from
- Custom HTML Code
- Pre-formatted elements
- Quotes highlighted Couplets
The blocks associated with the layout:
- Media & Texts
- Elements Read more
- Page breaks
- Recent Articles
- Short Codes
- Recent Comments
Features associated with the most difficult page to find
You will need time to understand the richness of the features. But the minimalist interface may well confuse you and complicate the search for elements before well visible. You may have trouble, like me the first time, to find how to modify for example the permalink of your page or your article.
Advantages and disadvantages of Gutenberg
The new generation WordPress text editor already has its fans … but also its detractors! In all objectivity, what are the qualities and limitations of Gutenberg?
Limit the use of layout extensions …
The many features allow you to produce visually clean content by meeting 90% or 95% of the needs of editors and site publishers. In fact, you will no longer necessarily need to install an extension of the Page Builder by SiteOrigin to format your content: videos, tables, columns, image galleries, integration of content from social media, all or almost is available natively.
While using the extensions of his choice!
The essential extensions so far to SEO, like WordPress SEO (YOAST), are still operational. So you’ll always be able to control your Title, Meta Description tags or Meta Robots via your favorite extension, even when running under Gutenberg.
To adopt an SEO-Friendly approach, you can use SEO Writing Assistant. This SEMrush feature, which gives you tips for optimizing your content based on SEO criteria, is also available as an extension compatible with WordPress.
You will be able to know the optimal length of your content, discover the terms to use and evaluate the quality of your title. Coupled with an SEO press-type extension, All in One SEO or WordPress SEO, the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant is the ideal extension to produce texts that better meet the different semantic criteria of the algorithm.
An opportunity to better structure your content
Another advantage of Gutenberg? The use of blocks can be cleaner in the structuring of its content. A beginner, unfamiliar with the standards enacted by the HTML5 standard, can more easily produce a well-structured and semantically rich content through the many formatting options.
A publisher who is still young, who has to grow in maturity.
The only reproach I make today to Gutenberg is that of youth. While the classic WordPress editor was perfectly mastered and bug-free (or almost), Gutenberg offers a disruptive and disturbing approach at first glance. The interface can still seem messy and some bugs remain … It will be like this for a few more months.
The switch to Gutenberg can also cause problems of display among users who previously went through an extension of bet in form.
Should we move to Gutenberg?
If your WordPress update suggests you move to Gutenberg, I can only encourage you to accept. After a period of adaptation, you will master the subtleties of a text editor that is minimalist in appearance. You will learn to better structure your content and enrich them with features that you did not use before.