What is Gutenberg?

What is Gutenberg

Last updated - July 8, 2021

The world’s most popular content management systems WordPress has changed drastically over the years since its creation in 2003. It started as a blogging related platform to becoming the biggest website creating platforms which can be used in creating more sophisticated website and programs. It is an open source network that relies on other third-party applications, themes and plugins to create a sophisticated online application.

WordPress has evolved over the years with different features and innovations. The latest innovation in the world of WordPress is the Gutenberg. These have caused a lot of buzz online and there have been many controversies lately if this is just another WordPress editor or a page builder.

The Gutenberg is one of the major changes embedded into the WordPress 5.0, which is set to replace the TinyMCE which is a WordPress backend editor. This has sparked a lot of outrage and controversy among WordPress users. The Gutenberg was developed to solve the issue of using too many plugins for simple website layout and formatting.

Therefore Gutenberg is an all in one editing plugin that will solve all your editing and formatting needs in a sort of what you see is what you get basis (WYSIWYG).

Origin of the Gutenberg

The term Gutenberg was derived from Johannes Gutenberg the man who invented the Printing Press. The new Gutenberg was introduced to WordPress in 2017 as a plugin and is set to become the recommended and default WordPress editor.

The Gutenberg will aid website designers and non-designers to design a website using blocks without writing a single code while incorporating some HTML tags.

To do this the Gutenberg uses blocks and there are blocks for virtually anything you could think of such as text, images, videos etc.

What is a block?

A Block is a drag and drop feature in the Gutenberg that provides customizable items in form of “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) experience. Blocks represent different types of content and it varies from texts, images, headers, title etc.

This is a unique way of creating content on your blog

With these latest updates, contents will now be built on blocks which will become a fundamental part of the WordPress editor. Unlike the previous classic editor, the blocks allow you to quickly and easily move items within the WordPress environment.

Gutenberg will deliver a totally new user experience to WordPress environment and a good competition to other top drag and drop page builders.

The aim of the update is to revolutionize the WordPress editor to a more dynamic, sophisticated and a modern one since the classic editor has been the default editor since the creation of WordPress.

Gutenberg contains blocks for:

  • Text: Paragraph, Heading, Subheading, List, Table, Button, Text Columns
  • Media: Image, Gallery, Cover Image, Video, Audio
  • Others: Columns, Quote, File, Code, Custom HTML, Embeds, Short codes, Quotes, Code & More

Is Gutenberg A page builder or an editor?

If you call it an editor or a page builder you are right because it is the combination of both. It will replace the TinyMCE. Gutenberg is a combination of the Visual Composer and the TinyMCE so It can function as a page builder and an editor already pre-installed in the latest WordPress 5.0 and will be in the future WordPress versions. But in its current form, the Gutenberg is a page editor what this means is you cannot totally take out the place of the page editors.

Pros of Gutenberg                                

You can create beautiful designs and posts without having to install other page editor plugins

  • It is user-friendly
  • It allows mobile compatibility

Cons of Gutenberg

  • Compatibility issues with some theme
  • It will take time for some people to understand how it works
  • Most plugins will have to be rewritten or upgraded to work with Gutenberg
  • It currently has a poor rating

How to install Gutenberg on your site

Since Gutenberg is still a plugin and hasn’t been made an integral part of WordPress, it will be great to check compatibility and also understand how it really works. This can be done within a test server and if you must do a live test, ensure you first backup your WordPress site. Here is how to install Gutenberg

  1. Login to your WordPress admin
  2. Navigate to Plugins Click Add New
  3. In the search box, Search for “Gutenberg”
  4. Click Install and Wait for the Installation to complete.

Once It completes, the button changes to Activate

  1. Click Activate – Your Gutenberg plugin is now live for testing

Once the plugin has been activated, your website default editors will automatically change to Gutenberg, when you visit the page or post section of your site.

How The Gutenberg will simplify your website design

Unlike the previous classic editor the Gutenberg will bring lots of spice into your design, it gives you the flexibility to make custom designs. With inbuilt blocks, it gives users the ability to create beautiful designs with little or no website design experience. The Gutenberg will completely change website design forever. As it will give users without coding experience to build professional websites.

The Gutenberg Interphase

Analyzing the Gutenberg WordPress Editor

  1.  – Allows you to add new blocks

B – The Undo / Redo Buttons used to reverse

C – Add Title

D – To Preview / Publish or Update Post

E – Document – document settings, features the featured images, categories & tags etc.

F – Block Gives quick access to the settings of a specific block that is selected

G – This is where all your content goes, it is the body of the page where all your blocks appear.

Difference between the Classic editor and Gutenberg

Here is a bunch of images that could help you understand the differences.

Classic Block


WordPress 5.0 Update

WordPress is one of the biggest website creation platforms in the world and also the biggest content management systems in the world. Over thirty-one per cent (31%) of websites online are built on WordPress.

Everyone is excited about the latest WordPress update which will be launched in late November 2018. The most significant feature of the WordPress 5.0 update is the Gutenberg editor which will be the default WordPress 5.0 editor.

The release date for the WordPress 5.0 is set at November 27 and it will experience two major changes apart from the minor bug fixed which includes:

  1. The Addition of the Gutenberg editor
  2. The inclusion of the latest 2019 Theme

This is one of the biggest changes to WordPress since its inception which many people might find difficult to adjust to these changes.

How to Prepare your site for WordPress 5.0 Upgrade

  1. Ensure all your plugins are up to date
  2. Ensure your theme is updated
  3. Upgrade to PHP 7.2(make Sure you backup your system before doing this)
  4. Ensure your server configurations is set for the update

Guideline for Upgrading to Gutenberg

  1. Test compatibility with your theme
  2. Break your posts into blocks before full upgrade

WordPress 5.0 Release Date

The Scheduled date for the WordPress 5.0 update was 19th November 2018 but been moved to the end of November/beginning of December 2018. While the next release is scheduled for January 22, 2019.

WordPress errors and Support

What you should know about the WordPress 5.0 Update

  1. It is a major WordPress update
  2. If you don’t update your theme or plugins there is a likelihood your site may break
  3. It is coming with a different editor which will take some practice to get hold of it
  4. It will help increase efficiency
  5. You may experience compatibility issues with some themes and plugins

It will be the first time since inception that WordPress will be undergoing a major change like this

Things you should do to prepare your site for WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg Update

  1. Test Your site with the Gutenberg Plugin before the full launch
  2. Ensure your theme and plugins are compatible with the latest update
  3. Review existing pages and prepare them for the blocks which are the core buildup of the Gutenberg

What if you don’t want the Gutenberg editor?

Well, the Classic editor will be available as a plugin. So If you are having issues with your site or having a hard time wrapping your head around the WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg editor, you can choose to install the old Classic editor. It will be recommended to install the Classic Editor just in case something goes wrong when you migrate to the WordPress 5.0.

With the new WordPress 5.0 update and the addition of the Gutenberg editor, it will forever impact on how WordPress users create and edit content. As WordPress seems to be moving from more of a blog creating platforms to a Website development platform that offers huge flexibility in its overall design processes.

Why you should Update to WordPress 5.0

  1. It makes content creation easy
  2. makes web creation easy even without technical knowledge of website design
  3. You can build clean, easy and sophisticated designs
  4. it will be a core of website development in WordPress
  5. It is mobile and user-friendly

One of the scariest things you can experience with your website is when your website suddenly stop working or has a bug and you don’t have a clue on how to get it fixed. Some users might experience some problem in the process of trying to migrate to migrate to Gutenberg or when the WordPress 5.0 upgrade takes place.

This might not be much of a problem for some techies but for a non-techie website owner, this could be a big problem.

What Happens To Existing Content?

WordPress is doing everything in their capacity to ensure that the upgrade will be a seamless process but it’s quite unfortunate that due to compatibility issues, server settings and configurations, unsupported plugins and other reasons. Some sites will experience little or major issues as a result of this upgrade. Some of the issues might be as little as trying to figure out how to use the new editor to something as big as the website not loading.

WordPress will also have the classic editor plugin embedded as a Classic text block within the Gutenberg which will mostly solve the issue of compatibility with the new Gutenberg blocks. This will ensure a smooth migration and upgrade which in turn ensure continuity.

However, should you experience any problem during the upgrade, there is no cause for alarm. Here are some of the issues you might encounter and ways to solve them.

  1. Blank Post Page:

Upgrade to the latest version of WordPress

Ensure your themes and plugins are up to date                                   

Make sure the theme is compatible with Gutenberg

  1. Page not loading Properly

Another issue you might encounter is your pages are not loading properly

  1. Install the Classic Editor
  2. Divide your contents into blocks
  3. Get a theme that is compatible with Gutenberg
  4. Page Not loading

This is everyone’s greatest nightmare, when your page suddenly stops loading

  1. Ensure your server settings is set for WordPress 5.0
  2. Contact your host if you cannot login to your admin
  3. If you can still login to the admin, deactivate all your plugins and try loading the site again if it does load, identify the faulty plugin and then uninstall it.

Further reading


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