Hello all,

Today I want to share with you my first impressions about the trendy Gutenberg WordPress plugin that as you might know Matt Mullenweg talked about in the last Europe WordCamp 2017.

Gutenberg is an alternative to the default editor of WordPress that is focused on the user experience. It works with different blocks where the user can add multiple content and in some different ways.

As Matias Ventura, who is one of the developers of Gutenberg, explains the idea of this editor borns together with the Post Formats to solve the problem of create a post with different Formats. But also with the aim of giving to the user a more intuitive way of post creation, and not just write a text.

Basically, with this plugin you can create a mix of the different post formats like quotes, links, normal text, etc. but in the same entry. With the possibility of change it later or add more content/elements.

However, I need to say that is just a beta version for now, but probably it will be a core functionality in the new version 5 of WordPress.

Gutenberg WordPress plugin demo

Integration with WordPress

This project is a big change for WordPress, for the developers but also for the users with a huge impact in the way of the content introduction. But, don’t be afraid. This doesn’t mean that breaks all the compatibilities with older posts, themes or functionalities, all the contrary it’ll have fully compatibility with our existing website in terms of coding and old posts.

As you can see, if you install the plugin, it has the same appearance as our Dashboard, and seems part of the core. But if you feel lost in this new tools, don’t worry, you can switch to the original editor of WordPress whatever you want or tell Matt your thoughts ;).

How it works

For now, you can install it from the official plugin repository of WordPress. Once you install the plugin, it’ll appear an option of the Dashboard to create a new post or to see the Demo.

From the view of the user

For one hand, from the point of the user, my first impressions are very good. If you see the Demo it gives you an example of a part of what you can do with Gutenberg, and starts giving you some ideas and the magic starts flowing.

Some of the things that I don’t specially like is that each paragraph it’s automatically created in a new block. However, if you press Shift+Enter it make the paragraph in the same block. I don’t think that this kind of content introduction can be organized or neither be useful for an extensive post.

Of course, you can also add widgets, what makes a big change for the way of constructing all the widget areas.

Something that has impressed me it’s the quantity of embeds that we can add now via blocks, like spotify, Issue, Meetup, Tumblr…

Some of new content introduction is the division between the Text Editor and the HTML to keep separated two different ways of text introduction.

Regarding the compatibility with multiple devices the plugin can be used in a responsive manner, and, for sure, it can be used perfectly in mobiles, tablets and more.

Laptop and notebook, blogging with Gutenberg WordPress plugin

From the view of the developer

From the other hand, If you investigate a little bit more the code once you publish a post, you’ll notice that all the blocks creates the semantic structure of each part of the content.

But, how it works? Basically, the blocks are organised and separated with HTML comments. Yes, with comments. If you are a WordPress developer, you might know that the HTML comments are already used to create Custom templates. So, these comments work like tokens to tell WordPress the beginning and the end of a block.

The advantage of comments is that they divide the different blocks and It doesn’t have any effect in the front end of the page, as they are invisible. However, the HTML comments have a grammatical function to define the language of the comments and their order; besides, they have a defined syntax without any close tags.

And, what about the function of adding content? It works in the same way, when you add the function “the_content” all the content will appear in the front end, this means that your old post are going to work as well without doing anything.

Conclusion

It really breaks the way of the post writing, and make it more efficient without losing intuition, and elevating the customization in to another level.

If I’ve convinced you, it can be found in the official plugins repository of WordPress, but as I told you be aware that for now, the plugin is not recommended in live websites. It’s better that you add it to a production website, as it’s in beta.

So, open your mind, start your creativity moment and give an opportunity to this new concept of content introduction to create something amazing!

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