Think WordPress 5.0 is just another new release of the popular content management system? Then you will be surprised, because with WordPress 5.0 some things will change “tangibly”. Let’s start with the most important change in WordPress 5.0: The classic WordPress editor, the TinyMCE, has had its day. By default, WordPress 5.0 gets a completely redesigned editor, the Gutenberg Editor, which is integrated into the core by default. You can test this new editor now. You have three options for this:
- You can try out the basic functions of the new editor directly on the testgutenberg.com/ test page
- Install Gutenberg Editor as a plugin
- Test the pre-release of WordPress 5.0
I will go into more detail about the various options below. First I would like to briefly introduce you to the most important changes and functions of the WordPress Gutenberg Editor and WordPress 5.0.
A look at the editing area of the new editor
Even the first glance shows: the WordPress Gutenberg Editor is completely different. The content is divided into blocks. This has advantages and disadvantages. In any case, it is one thing above all: unusual. The new editor should actually make WordPress even more user-friendly. Unfortunately, the operation is not as intuitive as one would like. In order to be able to work quickly and easily with the new editor, you need previous knowledge and you have to adapt. After all, Gutenberg is much more than just an editor, but much more complex, because Gutenberg offers you numerous functions that make additional page builders, shortcuts and widgets superfluous in many cases.
The WordPress Gutenberg Editor combines four fundamental innovations.
1. The content elements are divided into blocks.
There is a specific block for each content type, such as:
- blocks for copy texts,
- blocks for headlines/subheadlines,
- table blocks,
- blocks for quotes,
- Blocks for media elements like images, videos, galleries,
- blocks for sliders,
- blocks for code,
You can create a new block using the + symbol.
Pressing the Enter key is faster. In both cases, you must then specify what type of content the new block should be. The content type can be changed later. Simply click on the following icon and select the desired content type.
2. The editor becomes a design tool
For each block you will find a context menu with specific options and contextual information. On the one hand, this has the disadvantage that the content is broken up into a large number of independent units. On the other hand, you are much more flexible and have many more options, because:
- Blocks can be separated, connected and moved. The page structure can be changed quickly and easily.
- You can also assign your own properties to a block. Blocks can be formatted independently. You can also assign your own style to blocks.
Tip: Use the sidebar menu to decide whether you want to make settings for the entire article or the corresponding page, or whether the settings should only apply to the selected block.
In addition, you can also duplicate blocks, edit them as HTML, define them as reusable elements and much more. There are also numerous new functions for which you previously required plugins or widgets, such as buttons, cover images, full-screen images and much more.
3. With the Gutenberg Editor you have control over the entire page structure
You get what you see. With current WordPress versions, the WYSIWYG principle has so far only been limited to the content. With the Gutenberg Editor you now have control over the entire page structure, because now you can see immediately what your WordPress page really looks like – on different devices.
4. The WordPress Gutenberg Editor is just the beginning
The Gutenberg editor is integrated into the core of WordPress 5.0 by default. But this is just the beginning of a process that will continue to change WordPress step by step. Because the goal of WordPress is to enable the user to completely customize the website.
Would you like to test the new WordPress Gutenberg Editor?
As mentioned above, you have three options to get started with the new WordPress Gutenberg Editor right now.
Variant 1 – Test the new editor immediately at wordpress.org/gutenberg/
The easiest way to do a quick test is to use the Gutenberg Editor test page on wordpress.org. Here you can familiarize yourself with the basic functions of the new WordPress editor immediately and without risk. Create or modify blocks, format and style page areas, upload images or videos… anything is possible.
Here is the Gutenberg Editor test page on wordpress.org
Variant 2 – Install the WordPress Gutenberg Editor as a plugin
You can already test the Gutenberg Editor with your current WordPress version. Because the new editor can be installed and activated like a normal plugin.
Note: Not all WordPress themes and plugins are currently adapted to the Gutenberg Editor, so installing the Gutenberg Editor may cause problems. Therefore, do not install the Gutenberg plugin in your live environment, but test it in a test environment to be on the safe side.
Download the WordPress Gutenberg Editor Plugin
Don’t worry, if you don’t get along with the new WordPress Gutenberg editor, you can simply disable it and go back to the classic Tiny MCE editor.
Variant 3 –Try WordPress 5.0 as a pre-release
The new WordPress 5.0 is currently being worked on at full speed. You can follow the current development project on GitHub. To the WordPress repository. All you need is a GitHub account. (If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for GitHub for free.) Pre-release WordPress 5.0 is available at WordPress.org. The download file has the working title Gutenberg v4.xx
To download the pre-release of WordPress 5.0
No cumbersome installation is required to test the pre-release.
That’s how it’s done:
- Download the WordPress 5.0 Pre-Release as a zip file.
- You can then easily install WordPress 5.0 via the dashboard of a current WordPress version.
- To do this, simply select the Plugins menu item. Click Install Plugins and upload the pre-release zip file and try the new version of WordPress.
Note: You should not test the pre-release in a live environment. To be on the safe side, it is better to use a test environment.
When is WordPress 5.0 coming?
There are currently two possible dates. The ambitious goal for the release should actually have been November 19th, 2018. In view of numerous open issues, the release will be delayed. January 22, 2019 is planned as an alternative date.
Help make the Gutenberg Editor & WordPress 5.0 even better
Have you found a bug or suggestions on how to make the WordPress Gutenberg Editor and WordPress 5.0 even better? Open a ticket and send it to the WordPress community.
A bug reporting facility is available on WordPress.org
Here you can submit bug reports
Or log in to GitHub. There you can not only report bugs, but also submit questions about the Gutenberg project and suggestions for new features.
Open a ticket to WordPress Gutenberg on GitHub here
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Wolf-Dieter Fiege is Senior Specialist for Content Marketing & SEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Blogs of Host Europe GmbH, one of the largest providers of domain and web hosting as well as server products in Europe.