It is pretty clear that Gutenberg will become a new standard. But only time will show how easily users get used to a complete change in the way how content editing in WordPress works. End-users who are already in the process of testing Gutenberg are giving in general a positive feedback – it seems that easier content management in the style of Medium suits people.
Mainly developers are awaiting the official Gutenberg launch. This rich content editor should ensure backward content and Mark-up compatibility, but it’s questionable how developers will deal with the compatibility of their themes, plugins or third-party Page Builders. And if they ever get into changing the “old” WordPress themes.
Some authors of the premium WordPress themes have a negative view on Gutenberg. They consider it a competitor to their own, custom-made Page Builders. This is because there is a huge amount of work behind these Page Builders. Custom Page Builders become redundant once Gutenberg editor arrives. But it is not necessary to look at it as an imminent threat. So far, Gutenberg lags far behind most of the most used Page Builders.
The improvements brought by the Gutenberg editor
New Gutenberg replaces the original WYSIWYG content editor in WordPress, and sooner or later it will be the preferred editor in all WordPress templates. It will provide much more functionality than the original editor, so in most cases it will no longer be necessary to install another Page Builder. Thanks to Gutenberg, the use of content editors will be unified. Users will save on the fees for the third-party Page Builders. But it is unclear what prices will template developers set for their Gutenberg templates.
Block-based writing blocks
Gutenberg brings a completely new way how the editor works. It makes the content manipulation much easier as was the case previously. New content is added to Pages and Posts via blocks. You just need to click the “+” symbol in the editor. This way, you can add any type of content, such as gallery, videos or embed codes. Even custom blocks can be created.
Shared blocks and dynamically loaded content
Gutenberg automates work with blocks. Once a certain content type is created, it can be repeatedly used across the entire website. This way, you can set up different templates with a predefined layout of individual blocks. At the same time, each change in a given block will trigger the automatic update of content wherever that block is used.
The nested blocks functionality is primarily for developers who build their own custom blocks. Gutenberg allows developers to disable certain changes in the block so the users can’t add something that simply doesn’t belong there. For example, the block containing team members will have photo gallery disabled – users will be able to add just those elements that the developers let them (let’s say just a photo and a description of the particular person).
Child blocks are directly linked to parent blocks. This means they only work when the parent blocks are present in the content. Otherwise they won’t be displayed on the page.
The best feature of Gutenberg according to Matt Mullenweg is the support of copy & paste functionality. Thanks to this you can copy any content from a variety of sources (like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Evernote etc.) and paste it directly to the content editor without the previous formatting spoiling the appearance of the WordPress website. Copying of URL links should also work automatically – not as is the case now when the link needs to be copied into clipboard, text for the link highlighted, URL added and finally submitted for the link to become active.
So when will WordPress 5.0 be released?
Here is the proposed release schedule for WordPress 5.0:
WordPress 5.0 Kickoff meeting: October 3, 2018 (Today! Now!)
Beta 1: October 19, 2018
RC 1: October 30, 2018
Release date: November 19, 2018
We know there is a chance that 5.0 will need additional time, so these dates can slip by up to 8 days if needed.
WordPress 5.0 with Gutenberg included is imminent and it comes available rather soon. We are looking forward to get going with this interesting way of creating content. While it will surely attempt to eliminate plugin based/additional drag and drop builder which we have been accustomed for the last years, it will take some time before this happens. Most probably a couple of years will pass, but for sure developers should prepare for this.