8 Best Features Of Gutenberg That Makes It Exclusive
WordPress 5.0 has been officially released in December 6th of 2018. With this new, WordPress finally integrated Gutenberg block editor as its default editor.
Before Gutenberg was officially merged into WordPress core, Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, was hoping to get 100,000 active installations with the plugin version of Gutenberg that was basically contributed for test basis, as stated by Bridget Williard, Representative of WordPress MarketingTeam.
Matt Mullenweg is very optimistic about Gutenberg and so are we.
Gutenberg, however, is welcomed with mixed impressions by many WordPress users. To learn more about Gutenberg, today we will dive into the complete details of this new feature and what it has on the plate for us.
What is Gutenberg:
Gutenberg is an advanced block editor of WordPress. Initially introduced as a plugin, Matt Mullenweg wanted to check out the influence of Gutenberg among the WordPress users. So far it was both good and bad.
With Gutenberg, you can insert media files, rearrange them and design multimedia contents using blocks without even requiring any solid skill sets.
According to Morten Rand-Hendriksen , an experienced web designer and developer,
“The web up until this point has been confined to some sort of rectangular screen. But that is not how it’s going to be. Gutenberg has the potential of moving us into the next time.”
Gutenberg explores an entirely new possibility with Block Contents.
While implementing codes was a common practice with Classic Editor, Gutenberg is includes Little Blocks, that allow users to add a variety of contents.
Since Gutenberg is newly integrated with WordPress as the default editor, people did face compatibility issues. However, you can still switch back to Classic Editor if you find it hard to work with Gutenberg (although eventually, you have to get used to it since it is after all the default editor).
If you compare both Gutenberg and Classic Editor side by side, you will see how Gutenberg provides wider space for your contents. This is actually a great benefit for people who are working from laptops or tabs.
Many contributors and volunteers of WordPress have been working relentlessly to improve this new block editor for the past 7+ months and providing assistance to the ones who are having a hard time using Gutenberg.
Gutenberg – A Complete Block Editor
Gutenberg offers so many types of blocks that make creating posts easy and requires minimum coding skills. Let’s take a look at all the block types available:
Now let’s look at the several exclusive features that make Gutenberg different.
1. Dynamic Toolbar:
WordPress version 5.0 offers you the integration of ‘What You See Is What You Get’, more widely known as WYSIWYG interface. FYI, WYSISYG is a system where the editorial back-end almost looks identical to the output.
Hence you will get a good idea about how your design will look, directly from the edit mode.
Gutenberg lets you create separate blocks for each type of contents, for example, paragraphs, titles, images, etc and lets you edit each block separately with their respective toolbars.
Different types of blocks will display different toolbars suitable for editing the specific content types.
For example, in paragraph blocks, you can change the text color, size or background colors of your selected block. For an image block, you will get a toolbar that lets you set alt text, change image size or add links to it.
You can also use additional CSS from the individual toolbars for your selected block to use a custom style or attributes.0
Previously in WordPress, you had to use third party tools or HTML codes to insert tables.
Gutenberg includes a separate block type just for inserting tables.
You will get options to choose the number of rows and columns for your table.
Click on Create and your table will be created.
You can also edit the tables to insert/delete rows or columns.
You can also switch its style between regular to stripes from its toolbar. Hence, you do not need codes or extra plugins to create tables.
3. Column Blocks:
Gutenberg has also added responsive text column blocks where you can now arrange your text inside two responsive columns, insert other blocks such as image, headings, paragraphs, media files, codes and even switch back to classic editor for individual columns of Text Blocks.
Gutenberg offers, by default, 2×1 table for Text Block. However, you can add more columns by using the Text Block option.
Hence, you no longer require third party plugins or additional coding to create columns.
4. Full-Screen Mode:
The Gutenberg also allows you to go on Full-Screen Mode. Meaning your dashboard options can be hidden while you are editing. Once done editing, you can turn Full-Screen Mode off to get dashboard options again.
You can choose Full-Screen Mode from the options on the top right corner (three dots) of the page.
You can see some other modes there:
Top Toolbar: Turning it on will mean the toolbar for any blocks you select will appear at the top of the page rather than above the block.
Spotlight Mode: If you turn it on, the selected block will be normal, but the other blocks will appear faded. Hence any block you select will stand out for you to be focused on it.
These options make it easier to edit and focus on your work.
5. Reusable Blocks:
Another great feature of Gutenberg is Reusable Blocks.
Sometimes you may wish to use a certain content block more than once. Maybe you will need to use that exact data on several posts or you may need to repeat the same content on the same post. Hence, you can mark that particular block as a reusable block.
Here’s how you do it:
Once you chose to mark it as reusable, you will have to name it.
This block will be saved as a reusable block which you use on any posts you want.
Simply click on the add block button and scroll at the very bottom. There you will see the Reusable tab and under that, there will be all the blocks that you marked as reusable.
You can choose the one you require. Once the block is added on your post, you can now edit it if you want.
Keep in mind that editing it will apply changes to wherever this block has been used globally. If you just want to edit this particular block, then you will need to remove it from a reusable block.
Although I gave the examples using paragraph blocks, the Reusable block feature can be used for any block type. Most people use it to add a company logo or advertisement images to several posts. It saves a lot of time.
Gutenberg allows you to insert buttons within the post edit mode without any custom codings.
When you create a button block, you will be able to work with the text and link of your featured button.
Here, you are provided with some basic style features such as you can choose the shape-outline of the button. You can also edit the color of the text inside and the color of the button also.
However, to edit it’s style further and to change the size or alignment, you need to apply addition CSS.
7. Custom HTML Block:
Gutenberg also includes Custom HTML block where you can insert codes and see the preview right away within the block.
Here, any HTML code you apply, you will be able to see preview of it.
This is a great initiative and it will save users a lot of time. As they don’t need to switch back and forth between the visual editor and text editor to preview their contents.
8. Social Embed Blocks:
The embed block allows you to display your recent social media shares based on the site you choose.
There are several sites integrated here. Whichever you choose, you will need to embed that site link in the block. For example, if you choose Twitter you will need to embed using your Twitter ID.
Once you provide your link and click on embed, your social media activities will appear within the block.
However, to change the dimensions and alignment of this block, you need to add Custom CSS.
As you have seen, the features mentioned above are the some of its best features that make Gutenberg more advanced than other editors.
Gutenberg now made page posting so much easier. It is the example of extreme advancement in WordPress. No wonder why Adrian Zumbrunnen, a leading UX designer at Google, marked Gutenberg as an alternative beginning for WordPress.
“This will make running your own blog a viable alternative again.”
— Adrian Zumbrunnen
Even though there are so many awesome features that Gutenberg offers, there are cases where it is not considered as great. Let us look at some reasons why Gutenberg is not appreciated by a lot.
Cons Of Gutenberg:
Although Gutenberg is great and it is a viable alternative beginning for the WordPress users. As it is completely a new feature, it will still take some time to make it fully compatible with other components of WordPress.
●Gutenberg used the modern programming language JS library, React. However, the majority of the themes and plugins for WordPress were developed using jQerry or other less modern JS libraries. As a result, a lot of people faced severe difficulties since the release of WordPress 5.0. People had to download and use the Classic Editor plugin to make their websites work properly, as now most plugins became incompatible. (This issue will not last long since developers have already started working on creating block support for their themes and plugins.)
●People who were used to using classic editor are facing difficulties in coping with using a completely different interface. Even though Gutenberg is a more advanced editor to make things easier, it is a plugin with lots of features and takes quite some time to get to know its proper implementation.
●Many top faces in the WordPress community didn’t see Gutenberg as a good addition to default WordPress. According to Joost de Valk, a developer of Yoast SEO, there is highly a chance that Gutenberg may not have a full accessibility feature. You can check out here to learn more about the reaction of others while using Gutenberg with a screen reader.
Well, everything will have some facts that will not satisfy all. Nevertheless, most expert developers already recognized Gutenberg as far better than any other editors WordPress could offer.
It is not unusual to face some challenging issues at the beginning of a new feature. Gutenberg, in this case, is not just a feature, it is an integration of a whole new Post Editor. It has changed the way we worked with WordPress classic editor before and made it much easier.
Hence, it may take some time to get things settled with Gutenberg. However, people will soon need to get used to Gutenberg since it has been announced that Classic Editor will no longer be provided with official support by WordPress by 2021.
Hence, developers have enough time to make their themes, plugins, and websites compatible and likewise, ordinary users have enough time to learn to use Gutenberg effectively. It’s better if people start studying right away and take advantage of Gutenberg block editor.