On November 19th 2018 the much-anticipated Gutenberg editor will be launched by WordPress. A block building editor, Gutenberg makes it easier to layout and develop your website — doing away with complex CSS, a gatrillion plugins, and you can see what your page will look like without repeatedly clicking ‘preview’.
More importantly, the Gutenberg update will ensure the WordPress editor cuts a competitive edge against other site-building platforms.
There’s been much chatter within the WordPress community prior to launch. Some conversations praise the benefits of the new editor. But far more have involved website developers discussing plugin and theme compatibility concerns. Their main worry: broken client sites.
After attending the WordCamp Brisbane event I wrote up some of my own thoughts and concerns about Gutenberg from a copywriter point of view.
Now, with less than a week to go until predicted launch if you’ve not considered how WordPress Gutenberg will affect your small business’ website, it’s time to.
Get the lowdown on WordPress Gutenberg
As a non-tech WordPress person, I’m not going to try and explain all the ways Gutenberg may or may not break your site. I’m far from qualified.
Instead, I’d like to talk to you business to business and share the articles I’ve found most useful when getting my site Gutenberg ready. (And I’m still a way off being done.)
Even if you have your site managed and looked after professionally, it’s good to have an awareness. Hopefully this will give you an accurate picture of what’s likely to go down in the coming weeks.
Some of these articles were written several months ago. As Gutenberg has been in constant development, there are changes and updates all the time.
Getting your WordPress website ready for Gutenberg by WP Buffs
If you’re reading all this and saying, “Guten-what?” then start here. The WP Buffs have put together a really top-line overview of what Gutenberg is, four ways it could affect your website and possible countermeasures.
What’s new in WordPress 5.0 by Kinsta
Kinsta are a managed WordPress hosting company, so have to be bang up to date on WP developments.
Their guide covers a lot. Give yourself about 15-20 mins to read and take it all in. Main points:
- A classic editor plugin will be available if you’re not Gutenberg-ready by the 19th, but this will be phased out over time.
- Not all themes and plugins will work. Test everything to see where fixes are needed.
- Don’t take the low review rating for Gutenberg as law. Lots of people have been testing and reviewing while in beta, so would be dealing with bugs and glitches.
- Install Gutenberg on a test site and start getting to grips with it ASAP.
- Back up your entire site.
Gutenberg Migration by WP Tasty
WP Tasty is a series of plugins developed for food blogs. Their Gutenberg guide gives a really good step-by-step process to test plugins with the new editor. Specifically, their own (which makes sense) but as far as I can make out the method can be applied to test any plugin.
This is great for showing you how to integrate and start using Gutenberg with minimum fuss.
Take care of your copy
Copy and content *shouldn’t* be affected by the arrival of Guttenberg. At most, a few bits here and there might need reformatting. It’s hard to say. From what I understand losing any content is low risk.
However, as an over-cautious writer who’d be devastated for you if your small business loses important copy, I suggest backing up your content. Just to be on the safe side.
Get to know Gutenberg
In case you’re a bit like, “I FEAR CHANGE!” I suggest doing the following two things to help yourself:
1. Read the Gutenberg handbook from WordPress.
2. Play with the Gutenberg editor (especially useful if you don’t have a staging site).