Gutenberg, What Is It and What Now?

Gutenberg Screenshot

Gutenberg is just around the corner and will make its debut in the upcoming WordPress v5.0. This post discusses the basics of what Gutenberg is and your options if your not ready to make the switch.

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is the next generation editor for WordPress and will be the default in version 5.0.

Rather than just having paragraphs and headings, and the occasional shortcode, Gutenberg works on the concept of blocks. Each paragraph, heading, image is its own block but blocks can also be used to do so much more such as including a list of the latest posts, embedding a Twitter message or YouTube video, or an opt in for your email list.

Essentially, they bring the widget experience much loved to manage our blog sidebars to that of our posts and pages.

Won’t this just work?

For the most part, yes.

Gutenberg should work in its most basic form with your existing theme, even without modification. Gutenberg includes a set of generic styles that should be integrate decently with your theme.

However, to get the best experience and make use of advanced features, themes need to be updated to better integrate the new options. Your theme provider should update your theme if it is actively being sold or you may need to contact your designer or developer to have changes made.

What about my existing posts?

They should continue to work as normal. Gutenberg does not change how WordPress internally provides the post content to your theme.

What if I am not ready?

Classic Editor is available to install from the WordPress Plugin directory.

Alternatively, you can make use of Classic Editor Gutenberg block to access the classic editor from within Gutenberg. Simply click the + icon to add a new block and select Classic Editor from the block selection popup that appears.

If you use a more advanced theme that comes with its own custom editor such as WP Bakery, you may wish to wait until your theme developer gives the OK to update to WordPress 5.0.

Can I try Gutenberg now (pre release of WordPress v5.0)?

Sure. You just need to install the Gutenberg plugin from the plugin directory.

This entry was posted by Colette Snow on at and is filed under .