WordPress v5 is here with a brand new editor.
Yes, the release of WordPress 5.0 not only has the normal set of enhancements and improvements, but it comes with a radical new direction for the WordPress editor. It replaces the old native text editor with its new “What You See Is What You Get” editor called Gutenberg - in reference to the inventor of the printing press.
Gutenberg replaces the (archaine) text editor in WordPress with an editor that allows users to create content blocks for images, text, videos, and a slew of other elements that they would want to add to a site. The old text editor has been around for years and years and is definatly in need of an update. But its more than an update of the way content is entered.
It is a fundemental change in the architecture of how WordPress will work. Gutenberg is the first phase of a three-phase change to WordPress. Following on the heals of the editor changes, the second phase will bring new capabilities and structure to page templates, followed by the third phase of making WordPress a full site customizer.
Keep your current editor the same ... or not.
At the heart of the Gutenberg editing experience are blocks. Blocks provide content aware building pieces. For example, if you want to put in an image you grab an image block. Want a headline, grab a headline block. Want to put a table into your post, grab the table block.
Previously everything you entered into the text editor was one big conglomeration of content. Images, videos, text, etc were all put into the same container.
Gutenberg does away with that. Now you can grab a block that is specifically designed to hold they type of content. This approach compartmentalizes the content and can offer far greater control and flexibility over the old text editor. And it also gives developers the oportinity to create new types of blocks. There will be a lot of creativity with this in the WordPress community.
BeaverBuilder is still the Master Builder.
Does the above sound somewhat familiar to you BeaverBuilder fans. (Not using BeaverBuilder? Find out about it here.) Gutenberg blocks are somewhat equivalent to the BeaverBuilder modules (as well as the modules in other page builders.) This is the first iteration of Gutenberg and - in terms of maturity and features - it is far behind BeaverBuilder.
If you use BeaverBuilder to design pages, posts, or custom post types, keep using it. Gutenberg will not be replacing BeaverBuilder anytime soon. The best use of Gutenberg will be when creating simpler posts that don't have a lot of layout requirements. You could do that with a few Gutenberg blocks.
Or, if you would rather not spend too much time learning the nuances of editing with Gutenberg, just pop into BeaverBuilder and do your creation with that.
Yup, you heard me correctly. You can use BeaverBuilder just like before. When you first drop into editing content you will see the option to edit the page using BeaverBuilder just like prior to WordPress 5.
What might be the future hold?
I wouldn't worry too much about it. WordPress has an incredible infrastructure and active user community. Changing the architecture to Gutenberg opens up a whole new world for developers and creatives. I expect that we are going to see a surge in new blocks that are going to provide capabilites and usages far beyond what any of us are currently thinking about.
And I also think it is possible BeaverBuilder actually leverages Gutenberg and becomes native Gutenberg blocks - seemlessly integrated. Hmmm... could there be a BeaverBerg in the future?
So embrace the new direction in WordPress and get ready for a better WordPress future.
Here's an introductory video by MAKTV to help you get familiar with Gutenberg.