WordPress is an amazing Content Management System (CMS) that powers websites across a wide variety of industries. In fact, more than 30 percent of the top 10,000 websites run on WordPress. It is open source, meaning that it is free to use and hundreds of developers donate their time to keep the platform safe, secure, and fast. Our development team at North Star Marketing consists of a few developers that help give back to that community through volunteering time and speaking at WordPress Meetups and WordCamps all over the country.
Getting Ready for the New Gutenberg WordPress Update
North Star has helped hundreds of clients – from schools, colleges, and healthcare networks to banks, accounting firms, and manufacturers – reach key audiences through engaging websites that are built on the WordPress platform. We’re making sure all of the websites we host continue to function seamlessly when the next major update to WordPress, Version 5.0, is rolled out in the next month. If your website currently utilizes WordPress, keep reading to learn what to expect with this latest update.
More Editing Flexibility
Version 5.0 features a new editing experience called Gutenberg. Named after the inventor of the Printing Press, Johannes Gutenberg (1394-1468), the new content editor will take the place of the WYSIWYG editor in favor of a feature block content area. This block system will give designers and developers a better editing experience that more closely matches the front end of your site. WordPress even gives you a great place to test out Gutenberg on their website.
Many WordPress users may not realize Gutenberg is a fundamental shift in not only the publishing side of the CMS, but also the coding side of the platform. WordPress has always prided itself on being able to update without the risk of breaking features that might have been in the code for over 10 years. That is wonderful for users, but very difficult for developers because WordPress hasn’t done the best job of keeping up with newer technologies. That all changes with Gutenberg. Developers and designers will now be able to come together to work on a simple editing experience that looks beautiful on the front end and back end of your site.
When you open Gutenberg for the first time, you will notice a complete shift in how the back end page editing is laid out. The publish button is moved to a floating menu bar at the top, and you just click on the text to edit what you want. You click on the plus button to add a new block, and the settings for that block are found on the right side of the screen.
Once you are familiar with the block concept, you will notice that everything is a block and can be added very simply to your content. This will be taking the place of common shortcodes that we add to sites, such as calls-to-action, accordions, and testimonials.
Gutenberg is going to be great for websites moving forward, but if your site wasn’t designed and developed to take advantage of the new editor, it can cause some serious layout issues with your content.
For North Star-hosted WordPress sites, we have activated a new plugin called Classic Editor to address the Version 5.0 compatibility issues. This will allow your site to continue to use the current editing experience familiar to your website managers. You will not have to worry about any compatibility problems, and your site will keep running in its current format.
Free Webinar to See Gutenberg in Action
The North Star Marketing development team is currently working on putting together a webinar to review some of the major features of Gutenberg. We invite you to sign up, and we’ll keep you posted on the particulars.
Upgrading to Gutenberg
At North Star Marketing, we build custom websites that take advantage of the technologies that are available at the time of development to keep your site pages consistent and beautiful. Each site is different, and therefore each site will require different edits to become compatible with Gutenberg. If you are a North Star client, the first step is to contact North Star Marketing and let us know that you would like a quote on updating your site to Gutenberg. We will then test your site and put together an estimate for the switchover. If you are not a North Star Marketing client and are considering either upgrading your WordPress site to Gutenberg or developing a new site, click here to start the conversation.