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?’

Have you used the Gutenberg editor?

Here’s Donna’s question in full.

#bloggingtips #blogging #Gutenberg #GutenbergEditor
Donna’s question

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.

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

Connect with Donna.

You can connect with Donna by clicking on the links below.






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

If you have any questions about blogging, please leave them in the comments section. I’ll even feature you in the post I publish that answers your question.

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210 thoughts on “Have You Used The New Gutenberg Editor?

  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 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing this follow-up post about how you’re liking Gutenberg. I’ve tried it once, it wasn’t that bad, but it did take longer to write the post than I cared for. I shall give it another try, based upon your words of wisdom and by you pointing out some of the cool features of it. Thank you!

    1. It does take time to get used to it, Shelley. However, with practice, I’ve found I’m writing posts faster and faster. In fact, I write them more quickly now than I did when I was using the classic editor, so I’m actually saving myself some time.

      I had to fish your comment out of my WordPress spam folder. Not sure why it ended up in there, but I saved it.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

      1. Thanks, Hugh. The blocks make it neat, but I found it broke up my stream of thought at first. I’ll have to keep trying it. Glad to hear it does get better with practice. Thank you for going fishing and finding my comment. I don’t know why it went to spam. Sorry to hear it did. Another thing to figure out in WP! 🙂

  3. Well, I guess I will let it roll out then Hugh thanks to your informative blog post. I’ve been on the fence about trying to disable it but if we have to deal with in 2020 anyway … I like all the features you have shown us, but, just as you say, I picture myself looking at the screen and not knowing where to start … I have some e-mail subscribers and I’d rather not send out something that looks “off” so I set aside time this afternoon to try to disable Gutenberg (much as I did when Microsoft kept sending Windows 10 without my approval) … we are also getting Windows 10 at work in the next few weeks and I thought if I have two new things to learn I might just lose my mind. It is my understanding you could go in and disable Gutenberg but it looks like that is only the business plan and I am on the premium plan. If we can enlarge the font, I would like that because they reduced the font size in my theme a few years ago and I had to manually enlarge everything – most people read in Reader, but it looks enormous to me. Maybe I can reverse that after Gutenberg rolls out. I’m saving all these references and will let it roll out the end of April. Gulp! Thanks Hugh – Linda

    1. I was exactly the same, Linda. Looking at a blank screen and not having a clue where to start. That’s why I then decided to stop fooling myself and looked for some guidelines and instructions on how to use Gutenberg (the links in this post). They helped me immensely. I also set up a draft post (which I still have) where I could try Gutenberg. That also helped me build confidence in using it.

      All WordPress users can still switch between the classic editor and Gutenberg. However, by the end of next year, WordPress will start to remove support for the classic editor. It will still be there for bloggers to use, but there will be a gradual decline in support for it.

      Guthenberg is already rolled out, although WordPress is still making improvements to it and eradicating bugs that can still cause problems when using it. It does need time to get used to, but that time will be well invested, especially when it comes to writing posts. I really disliked Gutenberg when I first tried it. Now, I’d never go back to using the classic editor.

      1. Well Hugh, you certainly restored my confidence in taking a stab at it at least.
        I was prepared to do what I could to hang on to it. Tomorrow I turn 63 and suddenly I feel less inclined to have to learn new things … I don’t like that about myself and must change that mindset. You had so many pluses for using Gutenberg and that is what changed my mind. My concern was because I use so many photos in my posts and I had concern there would be a steep learning curve for that aspect since I mix the narrative in with the photos … it takes quite a while for me to do a long post. I will use a draft document as you suggest and set it to launch at some time long into the future so I can play with it and no danger of hitting publish accidentally then. I draft all my posts in Word and just cut-and-paste them over to WordPress. I am hoping nothing changes on my blog itself. Thanks again for your insight – learning new things will keep us young I must admit.

        1. Happy Birthday, Linda. I sometimes wish everything would just stay still, but the world of technology is so fast-paced and seems to change every day. I’m glad you’re testing out Gutenberg. It’s really not as bad as some have made out. It’s more about getting used to it. I’m exactly the same when I sit down to watch a TV show I’ve never seen before.
          Have a great day today.

        2. Thanks for the birthday wishes Hugh – it is very ugly weather today, rainy and windy, so I think today is the day I bite the bullet! We’re having some ugly weather this upcoming week, so I might not be posting much anyway, so I will give it a go and hopefully it does not mess up my blog site or theme. Thank you again.

        3. Thanks to your post I tried the Gutenberg Editor today Hugh … even did a simple post which I’m including. Not a lot of razzmatazz, but I got it done. I passed your link with its embedded guides along to fellow blogging buddy Shelley as she was “on the fence” about crossing over to Gutenberg as well. I’ll add more pictures like I usually do as I get accustomed to it but for now … I’m pleased I gave it a try. When WordPress does an upgrade, do you think it will change format within Gutenberg and the blog site as well? here is my post: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2019/04/14/b-is-for-biting-the-bullet-and/

        4. Well done, Linda. I’m so pleased you gave it a go. The post looks great. The more you use Gutenberg, the more confident you will become at using it. And don’t forget to practice on a ‘test’ post in your draft folder. I’ve called mine ‘TEST POST” (in bold letters), so it stands out and won’t have me clicking on the ‘publish’ button.
          Thanks, too, for passing links to my post to your readers. Shelley has been in touch and has also published a post using Gutenberg. She also did a great job with it.

        5. Thanks Hugh – I didn’t try too many things yet and initially I intended to do it as a test post as you suggested and then I decided since we have an ugly weather week coming up, thus not much walking to be writing about, I’d just use this test post as an actual post. Shelley is more advanced than me right now and will get up to speed more quickly as she does a daily post. I must get acclimated though as I use a lot of pictures on the weekends when I go for nature walks. I also do all my posts in Microsoft Word and cut and paste them over to WordPress. I discussed this with Shelley – she only drafts her daily posts right in WordPress. I also blog at a hyperlocal newspaper which has a different format, so must do my posts in Word to transfer to their site … their photos are gallery style, also different than here at WP. In your opinion Hugh, would you advise I cut-and-paste my narrative over as one block and separate them into blocks then, or transfer from the Word document one paragraph at a time? Thanks again for your insight … I passed your post with its helpful links on to other bloggers for when they are ready to go to Gutenberg.

        6. I also draft my posts in Word (I sometimes use Grammarly) and cut and paste the whole post over to WordPress, but Gutenberg places each paragraph into a separate block for me, Linda. However, I did find that some of the older posts I converted to Gutenberg did show up in one block. It may be something WordPress is still working on and will gradually roll out to all its users.
          I do agree that the photo feature is probably not as useful as it could be on Gutenberg, but that is something I know WordPress is currently working on. They are rolling out updates for Gutenberg almost every day.

        7. Thanks for letting me know this Hugh – I was hoping I was not the only one who drafted in Word and cut-and-pasted over to WordPress. That’s good to know how Gutenberg treats the document as a whole – I wondered about that, since WordPress is intuitive when we write comments here in the notifications and it “suggests” where to begin a new paragraph if we are getting too long-winded. It’s good to know the updates will enhance the photo features.

  4. Great post. Thank you!

    I do my writing in an app called Ulysses, which can post directly to WordPress. But I often tweak it before finalizing and I’ve been using Gutenberg to do that. I really like it, but have had many issues trying to get my images to layout the way I’d like. While there are many more settings for image layout, it seems hard to get two images side-by-side and have the next paragraph start on the next line. I’ll have to keep playing around with it.

    Good info in this post.

    1. I’ve set up a ‘test’ post where I can practice using Gutenberg, Rob. I haven’t tried using the column block as yet, but it’s on my list to try out. The more I use Gutenberg, the more I like it. I also think that the layout of blog posts look much better when Gutenberg has been used.

      I’ve not heard of Ulysses. I tend to write all my posts in Grammarly and then convert them over to WordPress.

      Thanks for the visit and the follow.

      1. Thank you for the suggestion about the column block. I hadn’t even seen that in the list and, after some testing, it appears to be just what I need. I really appreciate it!

  5. Thank you, Hugh, for another informative and helpful share. I’m learning as I go. It’s intimidating at first, but once you let that go it can be an enjoyable learning experience. Thanks again for sharing. Heading over to Janice’s blog now. Cheers! 🙂

  6. This is interesting and almost (I repeat almost) convinced me to try Gutenberg again. I tried it once and thought it was awkward and difficult (not a surprise on WordPress) and am fairly certain that when I have to switch from Classic I will likely quit WordPress. I’m glad to hear some folks are having success with it and am envious that you figured it out. I’ve never had a problem with layouts, technical stuff, etc. but this one stumped me. 😉
    Hope this week is treating you kindly. 🙂

    1. I found Gutenberg very difficult when I first tried using it, Donna. In fact, I disliked it a lot. Then I read some guides and instructions on how it worked and how to use it. I also set up a test post in my draft folder where I could practice using it. It took me a few weeks to get to grips with it, but I soon found myself getting more and more confident with it. I was amazed by how the very first post I published using it looked far better, compared to to the posts I’d published using the classic editor. I also noticed that I found reading posts written by other bloggers who have used Gutenberg, to be far more comfortable and more enjoyable to read.

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ll be quitting WordPress, but hopefully, by then, you will have tried using Guthenberg a little more and grown confidence in using it. It certainly needs some time and, for me, I can confidently say it’s saved me a lot of time in drafting posts, which is another plus.

      Best wishes,

      1. I’m on my 8th tutorial and tried a draft post and followed the instructions and nope, still a mystery…Too bad because the way you, Janice, etc. describe it sounds cool. Oh well…
        Hope this week is treating you kindly so far. 🙂

  7. Appreciate the information. I like the Guterberg editor for the most part but have issues with inserting links. Also, so far it has not been a seamless experience while entering text. Since I have 2 blogs, I use the Classic editor on one and the Gutenberg on the other. That way I’ll learn to master Gutenberg withhout going crazy.

    1. That’s a great way to go about it, Eugenia. I now have a ‘Test’ post in my draft folder, so I play with Gutenberg to my heart’s content.

      I’ve not experienced any problems with inserting pingbacks or links (as yet). I hope it’s sorted out for you.

  8. Thanks Hugh – I’m one of those that’s been dragging my feet on the new Editor and elected to stay with the Classic Editor when it was rolled out. But, in reading this I can see the advantages, especially where you mentioned, in using the new Gutenberg Editor, it makes your site more mobile user friendly.

    I’ve recently received a Google Search Console notice that one of my Classic Editor written posts has a tag in it that takes it to a post that creates mobile viewing issues. I’ve racked my brain, researched and attempted to find ways to fix it but this may be the answer.

    I’ve opted out and elected to use the Classic Editor as a plug-in when the new Editor first came out, which is what I’ve been using ever since. But, is it difficult to revert back to the new Gutenberg Editor now and how difficult is it to go back to old posts (like the one I mentioned with mobile usability issues) and convert the content in the new Gutenberg Editor?

    Thank you for this information. It’s been most helpful and guess I need a kick in the pants to get up to speed.

    1. Hi Pat, thank you for your comments.

      I haven’t converted all my older posts over to Gutenberg, just the ones that receive the most hits and still gets comments. It does take a little time to turn posts that were written in the classic editor to Gutenberg, but I do maybe one or two a week, usually when I publish a ‘ThrowBackThursday’ or ‘FlashBackFriday’ post.

      I know a lot of bloggers chose to stay with the classic editor until WordPress had more time to sort out bugs and issues with Gutenberg. I’m still coming across a few, but report the problems to WordPress so they can deal with them. I’ve also given WordPress some feedback on how to make Gutenberg better, and they’ve gone ahead and implemented some of my suggestions, but not all of them.

      I really disliked Gutenberg when I first tried using it. However, I stopped fooling myself and read some guides, practised on a test post in my draft folder, and soon got the hang of it. I can honestly say that it’s a vast improvement on using the classic editor, plus posts written with Gutenberg look far better and are more comfortable to read. (That’s feedback I’ve had back from some of my readers).

      1. Thanks Hugh. After reading your post I did a little more research on my own and haven’t fully jumped in yet but was able to update my settings to allow both Classic and Gutenberg Editors. I saw where the new editor is more mobile friendly and thought would address a problem I was having.

        So, on the one post, where I was having mobile user issues, I went in and converted it to block (Gutenberg).

        Hopefully, this will clear up the issue and will be good to go from Google Search Console when they re-scan and do another scrawl.

        Can’t tell you how much this has helped for me and truly appreciate all the information.

      1. In liking or commenting, I am whisked back to WP requesting that I sign in (I am already signed in) but it never allows me to interact at that blog. This only happens with the Gutenberg edited blogs.

        1. I’ve not experienced that problem when liking or commenting on posts using my iPhone or iPad. Have you reported the problem to WordPress? I’m sure they’d be able to sort it out for you.

        2. You’re welcome. A few years ago, I had a similar problem with leaving comments and liking posts on my iMac. It seemed to be a problem with Safari. After I downloaded and started using Chrome (on the advice of another blogger), I had no further issues with it.

  9. I have been using the new Gutenberg editor for some time now and at first it was difficult, but now I do like it. I am still finding all its features, but I didn’t realize I could drag and drop images. Thanks for this post. That will save me a lot of time in the future.

    1. I think the answer behind getting to like using Guthenberg is by giving it time. I’ve seen too many negative reviews about it from users who didn’t even try using it for more than a couple of minutes. Like you, I’m still learning lots about it, but I like it more and more the more I use it.

      1. That is also how I feel. We are adaptable and once we know which buttons to push, we will post faster and better. I love the headings, ‘quotes’ fonts, and it is easier to upload videos. I think people will get into trouble if they try using both editors at once. My advice is to Bite the bullet and go full Guthenberg and you won’t look back.

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