Have You Used The New Gutenberg Editor?

Thank you to Donna Connolly, who blogs at Retirement Reflections, for asking me a question about blogging after reading my recent blog post ‘Do You Have A Question About Blogging…’

Here’s Donna’s question in full.

#bloggingtips #blogging #Gutenberg #GutenbergEditor

Yes, I’m using the Gutenberg editor, Donna. I’ve written this post using it.

I’ve read more blog posts complaining about the new Gutenberg Editor than those that give it any praise or credit. I found that to be of great shame, given some of the circumstances surrounding the reviews it’s been getting.

Many of those who complained about Gutenberg hadn’t even attempted using it. They’d ended up getting to it by mistake; many panicking as soon as they saw what was in front of them on the screen.

Others had tried using it but had not given it the time it deserves. Just like learning to ride a bike, or ice-skating for the first time, I think we all have to practice and try new things out before telling the world just how good or bad something is.

You wouldn’t review a book before reading it, would you?

How many times have you read or heard this quote?

“The more you write, the better you will get at it.”

Well, the same goes for Gutenberg. The more you use it, the better you will become at using it.

Why ‘First Impressions’ shouldn’t always count.

When I first used the new Gutenberg Editor, I found myself getting very frustrated with it. It was new and, like most things that are new, I tried using it without reading any instructions or guidelines.

However, with practice, I soon got used to it, and it wasn’t long before I found myself liking it a lot. What I thought as a foe, soon became a friend.

#welcome #hands
Image credit: Pixabay

Since the beginning of 2019, all my new blog posts have been written using Gutenberg. I’ve been so impressed with it that I”m now gradually in the process of converting all my most popular posts to it.

I’ve come across a few bugs while using Gutenberg. However, rather than complaining about them and doing nothing about it, I’ve reported the bugs to WordPress. They’ve gone out of their way to get rid of them.

Is the Gutenberg editor better than the Classic editor?

In my opinion, yes it is. And it’s not only me that thinks my blog posts look better when written with Gutenberg. Many of my readers have told me that the layout of my posts are far better to read than what they used to be.

What are the benefits of using Gutenberg?

There are lots but, just for starters, I love the fact that my posts can now have sub-headings that stand out (like the sub-heading above this paragraph). Sub-headings help break up what otherwise can be seen as uninviting blocks of text. I’ve found reading the posts of other bloggers who have used Gutenberg to be smoother and far more comfortable to read.

My reading experience has become even more enjoyable because of Gutenberg.

Sub-headings also come with a choice of five different sizes. That may not sound very interesting or exciting, but it’s something I think gives blog posts, written with the Gutenberg editor, an edge over the Classic editor.

Even colours come into play.

Text can now be easily inserted onto a coloured background, to highlight it (like I’ve done with this paragraph). There are lots of colours available to choose from.

Size can also matter.

You can also change the size of the font in your post, as well as in each paragraph, from normal to medium, large or huge. I’ve changed the size of the font in this paragraph from normal to medium.

And how about starting a paragraph with a large initial letter? You can’t do that with the Classic editor, can you?

Pingbacks are guaranteed to work.

When I was using the Classic editor, a new page would usually open in the same window when a reader clicked on a link in my post. This resulted in my blog being closed down on their screen. That’s not something any blogger wants happening, is it?

This happened even though I had ticked the ‘open page in a new window’ box. I found that I had to go back into the post and tick the box again! It wasn’t happening with all WordPress themes but, with Gutenberg, it isn’t happening at all.

Gutenberg is completely mobile friendly.

Image by geralt on Pixabay

Unlike the Classic editor, you no longer have to worry if the theme you’re using is mobile-friendly or if your ‘mobile friendly’ settings are working.

As more and more readers read content on mobiles and tablets while on the go, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that they will always be able to read your posts. Therefore, you will know that you’ll never lose readers and visitors to your blog because they are not able to read your posts on a mobile or tablet.

Save time by instantly dragging and dropping images and links.

Gutenberg allows users to drag and drop images, links, music and URLs directly into a post. No longer does a user need to add images to their media library before adding them to a post. Gutenberg does this for you when you drop images and videos into a post.

Save time with no more cutting and pasting.

Another time-saving element of Gutenberg is that you can quickly move paragraphs (or blocks, as they are known) and images up and down the document by clicking on the ‘up’ or ‘down’ arrow that appears by the side of a block when editing it. No more copying, pasting and deleting as one had to do when using the Classic editor!

And here’s something else Gutenberg will save you time on. An editing bar appears at the top of each block, so you don’t have to scroll up to the top of the page for the edit buttons. This is especially useful when writing longer blog posts.

WordPress have plans for the Classic editor.

The word on the grapevine is that WordPress will be withdrawing support for the Classic editor at the end of 2020. That may seem like a long way off, but don’t make the mistake of not being ready for it when it happens. Give yourself plenty of time.

Tips and advice for using Gutenberg.

Donna asked me for some tips on how to use Gutenberg. The bests tips and advice I can give you is to give Gutenberg a try. Not only that, but gave it time. Don’t panic when you first use it. Take an hour or so to write and edit a post. Practice using it as much as possible.

I’ll be publishing some tips on using Gutenberg in upcoming posts.

But most importantly of all!

Remember what I said earlier about reading instructions? Well, I’ve found you two excellent guides on how to use Gutenberg. The first one has been written by blogging expert Janice Wald and can be found by clicking here. Click here to access the second guide.

There is lots more I could add about Gutenberg, but I want to end this post by thanking Donna for her question. Thank you, Donna!

#blogger #writer #retirement
Blogger and writer Donna Connolly

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Have you used the Gutenberg editor? What do you think about it?

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213 comments

  1. Thanks Hugh,
    I thought I would consider diving in with Gutenberg but as per your recent post re taking time out I am going to do just that, meanwhile doing my Gutenberg homework.
    Thank you so much & enjoy your break 🙂

    1. Thank you, Margaret. Giving Gutenberg a go while you have plenty of time on your hands is a good way to go about exploring it. It’s not a tool to use if in any kind of a rush. I’d recommend setting up a draft post using Gutenberg and playing with it. That way, you can discover what all its various elements do. I still have a draft post in my WordPress folder which I use most days before applying what I have learned to a brand new post and publishing it. However, the most important thing is to have fun using it. Don’t allow it to frustrate or defeat you. Remember to make it work for you rather than you work for it.
      Have fun using it. Many bloggers, including myself, believe it’s the future of blogging. Don’t be one of the bloggers who get left behind when support for the classic editor is withdrawn.

      1. Thank you so much Hugh for your words of advice and encouragement, I really appreciate it.
        Yes Hugh, I think this blogging lark should be fun and my gut feeling so far about blogging in general tells me to stick with it. As my late, wise, Irish mother r.i.p. used to say ‘look ahead’.
        Thanks also in leading me to recognise mum’s wise words of advice.
        Take care 🙂

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