Episode 058: Is Gutenberg Powerful Enough to be WordPress’s Future?

Gutenberg, a new way to edit WordPress content, and it is getting both a lot of love and hate from the community. The new UI is very drastically different from what we are used to, even as I type out this very post, I wonder what it will mean for me (if) when Gutenberg is merged into core and becomes the new de-factor editing screen.




WordPress Gutenberg Screenshot


How is it different?

Gutenberg is a completely new take on how we work with content in WordPress. One of my main concerns was that it would take away from the experience of meta boxes which I love to create using a plugin called Advanced Custom Fields (ACF). Gutenberg leverages a new structure called “blocks” where each block is a piece of the content and can be unique, whether an image, or WYSIWYG editor.

Blocks will be easy to setup and create, however as of right now, they ultimately get stored in the same place, the content.

How will Gutenberg affect most WordPress sites?

Most blog sites won’t be affected too much. If you (or your client) is running a pretty basic blog site that doesn’t leverage any really custom meta boxes for the content, then the migration (at this point) should be pretty simple. You should be able to easily have your content in the new editor without having to do anything more than installing the latest version of WordPress (or for now, the plugin).

How will Gutenberg affect highly customized WordPress sites?

This is where it gets tricky. As of right now there isn’t much you can do if you have a highly customized WordPress website. If, like me, you use ACF to create meta boxes for very custom pieces of functionality, then it may be an uphill battle. Even this post, which isn’t a “post” but a “podcast” custom post type, has a 2 large sections of meta boxes for the files for the podcast (audio and video) as well as some other pieces of information that are crucial to keeping my iTunes and Google Play Store Feed active. (Yes, we are on both, check us out!)

Its still really early for Gutenberg

As Mike said, Gutenberg is still in really early phases of development. Even though there is kind of a clear “timeline” for when it will make its way into core, right now its still in early stages so there is a lot more to go over. Shortcodes for example, which is something we talked about, they cannot just remove all compatibility for them as so many WordPress sites, and mainly plugins, use shortcodes.

Gutenberg Links

We mentioned a few links during the conversation:

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