In this second entry in a series about the upcoming Gutenberg 5.0 WordPress upgrade, I wanted to try something a bit differently. I wanted to discuss using Gutenberg from the standpoint of a mildly experienced WordPress user, namely me.

To put things in perspective, I have used WorddPress very basically in the past, but with a bit of hand-holding at times, and many more times pleas to the designer to fix my errors or help in getting something done. So from my standpoint, I am a newb at this. I let the designer do the heavy stuff.

What I did was install a basic WordPress theme at random, (Avenue, version 3.0.0, by Smartcat), and then the Gutenberg plug-in. When searching for the plug-in, I found was that there are already several plug-ins available to use. The Gutenberg plug-in I used was Version 2.7.0, by Gutenberg Team. The other plug-ins I saw, which I did not install, were:

  • Gutenberg Custom Fields, version 1.5.1, by Riad Benguella
  • Map Blocks for Gutenberg powered by Google Maps, version 1.1, by Web Factory, Ltd
  • Stackable – Ultimate Gutenberg Blocks, version 0.4, by Gambit Technologies, Inc.
  • Gutenberg Spacer Block, version 1.1.0, by Rich Tabor from Gutenkit

Since I did not install these, I obviously can not endorse or rate these. So here we are, with a WordPress site and Gutenberg plug-in installed. Under the Gutenberg menu, there is Demo, Feedback, and Documentation tabs. Of course, I jumped right into the demo since I like to play around to see things work. After all, why should I read the documentation until I run into a problem?

From my understanding, everything is in moveable blocks, including images, paragraphs, etc. According to WordPress.org when talking about blocks:

“These blocks are a unified way to style content that currently requires shortcodes, embeds, widgets, post formats, custom post types, theme options, meta-boxes, and other formatting elements.”

What I immediately liked was the fact that I could take a paragraph “block” and move the entire paragraph with the click of an arrow until it was positioned where I wanted it to be. That is great for someone like me who has a tendency of writing paragraphs and then sometimes wandering off on another subject and then back again. No retyping. And it tells me where it fits immediately.  Of course, I do have to remember to have every paragraph in a “block” for that to work. Again, though, it fits my style of writing and I see that as a positive thing.

Another thing I noticed and like is that you have the options of changing a page to HTML, Edit visually, convert to blocks, or convert to a shared block. Switching to HTML is my area of expertise and that makes it easier. Editing the sample page was a breeze except one thing. It took a while for me to figure out how to add an image to the page. I also noticed that once you converted everything on that page to blocks, I couldn’t find a way to convert them back to the original format. I guess I have to ask the designer or actually read the documentation. Incidentally, the designer is also my wife so I have a limited amount of points to use up.

Have you tried to set up a “dummy” site and work with Gutenberg? How has that worked and if you don’t mind, in your comments, let me know your level of expertise as well.

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