5 Common Questions About Gutenberg

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is a new content editor being integrated into WordPress core sometime in 2018. It’s the largest shift in the editing experience the platform has ever seen, and is a big step in changing the platform’s user experience.

The project is in active development and there are a number of issues still being ironed out.

When will Gutenberg be released?

If you’d like to check it out, Gutenberg is already available as a plugin in the WordPress repository and can be installed on any WordPress site. However, given that this project is still in active development, I would not recommend installing this on any live sites.

The release of Gutenberg will be in WordPress’s next major release, 5.0, which is expected sometime in 2018. The release date has been pushed back a few times to give the project time to mature.

In the meantime, there has been some discussion of bringing Gutenberg to WordPress.com first. Because of the more focused, blog-based model WordPress.com websites work in, I think this will help with the overall transition.

Will Gutenberg break my site?

Maybe. Matt Mullenweg has spoken about a “Transition Cost” which some websites may experience. The belief is that this will be worth it for the community as a whole, however, in the short term website owners should keep up to date with the coming changes.

The exact rules on whether Gutenberg will be opt-in or opt-out for existing sites are still being discussed, but it seems like Gutenberg will be opt-out.

Can I turn Gutenberg off?

At this time, yes. Add this filter to your functions.php file.

add_filter( ‘gutenberg_can_edit_post_type’, __return_false );

This function could also be modified to display conditionally based on post type.

Can I create my own Gutenberg blocks?

You can! This is actually one of the most exciting aspects of the new editor for me. The new editor blocks present a lot of opportunities to create flexible and dynamic page content without depending as much on metaboxes and widgets. Eventually, the Block API is intended to replace the Widget API and widgets could be included within site content quite easily.

Something important to note is that developing for Gutenberg is fairly different than the practices most WordPress developers are accustomed to. Gutenberg uses modern javascript libraries like Node and React which can be intimidating when first dipping your toe in. While ultimately these offer the best opportunities and long-term viability, they can be a hurdle for first-time developers.