Everybody is getting ready for WordPress 5.0 – Developers on various Core teams are working feverishly merging Gutenberg into the WordPress core. With the 2nd beta version available, Themes and plugin developers are making their products compatible with the new default editor or building guard rails around it. We see lot more opinions on Twitter from bloggers and content creators. Some express joy working with Gutenberg, and some are opting for the Classic Editor. Blocks for the editor are mushrooming in various initiatives. This Round-up post is extremely rich. Grab your favorite beverage and enjoy! — Birgit 💕
Also take your time to read the various comments. It’s gives a lot of insights on what Gutenberg developers are aiming for and what their process is. The discussion is very civil and thoughtful.
The post was one of the more rationale and reasoned looks at everything, and I really appreciate Joe and the team’s work in putting it together. It’s a starting point for prioritizing the extensive accessibility work that has gone into improving WP’s core editor already, but a key thing we have to fix is the team working in a less adversarial way with all the other contributors to WordPress — for example collaborating on posts like this, not tossing them over the transom.
Gutenberg 4.1 lists new features: Page & Block Navigation, High Contrast Mode, Auto formatting, Audible Messages, “options” modal, video for Cover block and plenty of bug fixes. It’s available as release candidate. Speaking of release: Yes, WordPress Core 5.0 Beta 1 was released early this morning. More blocks for your content, plugin authors are getting ready for the block editor as well as Themes builders. Another vast array of goodies for the Gutenberg early adopters. Have fun – and keep testing Gutenberg! — Birgit 💕💕
Peter Roesler wrote in Inc about the new editor in WordPress and reaches corners outside the immediate WordPress Community. This week, it’s all about the good, the great + the “going to take some getting used to” elements of Gutenberg.
WordPress 5.0 – a major milestone, will have the new visual editor, code named Gutenberg, included as the default editor. The WordPress Core Team built fall backs into Gutenberg and also created the plugin called Classic Editor to help sites, that are not yet ready for Gutenberg for various reasons. In addition, plugins like Gutenberg Ramp and others take the idea further and offer more in-depth and more granular migration paths. A warning, for small business site owner or a content creators, this post will lead you astray into the weeds, and might be too much inside baseball.
Over the last couple of weeks, a few people came out with their ideas, how they want to cater to the people who don’t want Gutenberg in Core, beyond the already available Methods to avoid Gutenberg. They oppose Gutenberg in principle. Others fear the Classic Editor might not be around long enough to make it the foundation of a multi-year migration strategy.
WordPress Versions and security patches for older versions.
Several times on twitter or in the support forums, I suggested to people unhappy with Gutenberg as well as the Classic Editor to stay on 4.9.x until they are ready to go Gutenberg. Some laughed at me “Are you serious?”. Well, yeah. People are not all updating to the lasted WordPress version. Only 62% of active WordPress installs are on version 4.9, the other 38% are working with older versions.
All security updates issues via the Core Team are regularly also patched back to earlier version. The oldest is 3.7 released in October 2013. It was the first version that made automatic updates available to WordPress sites. The Security Team issues the last Security updates in June 2018 and WordPress 3.7 is now available in version 3.7.24.
Matt Mullenweg on Classic Editor
I love that people are using the Classic Editor plugin! There is an infinite number of ways that WP can be used and not all will be ready for Gutenberg when 5.0 is released, Classic allows people to still be able to update core and stay current with releases, and with the click of a button try out Gutenberg again in the future if they want to. It’s also trivial to maintain because Gutenberg also uses TinyMCE, so Classic Editor users will still get improvements and updates to TinyMCE — I won’t say “forever” but I don’t see any reason why we can’t maintain classic for the edit screen for many years to come.
“Forking is a Feature” is the title of Anil Dash’ post from 2010 ruminating about the open-source community and marking the point in time when forking went from being the ‘nuclear’ option to a ‘feature’ of creating new things for a projects. He also explains how Git and GitHub facilitated ‘mass-forking’ by design.
In answer to the announced forking of WordPress without Gutenberg – ClassicPress, (more below) Gary Pendergast, composed his version of “Forking is a Feature” for 2018
Both articles highlight that forking is a very healthy way to pursue different paths in software development. Technologists have come to an insight “some problems are better solved with lots of different efforts instead of one committee-built compromise” (Anil Dash)
There a various reasons for the need to postpone or completely forgo a WordPress 5.0 upgrade.
Some projects don’t have the budget nor the resources to keep up with the technology.
Some are working in very large organizations that have a multi-year technology plans.
Some are find Gutenberg is detrimental to their text-heavy content production and will never want to use it.
Some sites have too much custom-built components, that would need refactoring, which might be cost prohibitive.
WordPress Sans Gutenberg: ClassicPress
ClassisPress starts out as a ‘protest movement’ with a petition and all and the promise contributors will keep their fork in sync with WordPress, yet without Gutenberg, and add features.
ClassicPress will announce the final launch date on October 31, 2018
WordPress LTS – A promise
Morten Rand-Hendrickson, WordPress trainer at LinkedIn Learning, and project lead for WPRig, published a post to advocate for WordPress 4.9.8 to be renamed as LTS (Long-Term Support) version. It would be a public commitment by the WordPress Core Contributors to support previous versions of WordPress. Morten reasons that no-one knows that, in fact, earlier versions of WordPress are maintained and receive security updates back to 3.7. WordPress LTS would give site and network owners time and ‘peace of mind’ to make the upgrade at their own time and alleviate the fear to soon run on obsolete WordPress. It might also raise expectations that WordPress LTS is updated with bug fixes and non-Gutenberg feature enhancements, and practically increase considerably the workload for the Core Team.
At the moment, there’s no intention to make WordPress 4.9 an “LTS” branch. The Classic Editor plugin is the way for folks to continue using the classic editor after upgrading to WordPress 5.0.
The WordPress 4.9 branch will continue to receive security updates as long as we’re able, historically we’ve been able to backport security updates back to 3.7. The official policy is unchanged, however: security updates are only guaranteed on the latest major release.
Gary Pendergast, Shepherd of the Merge and commit manager for WordPress 5.0,
What followed Morten’s tweet was an interesting conversation that brought a few more perspectives together, that go unnoticed in the noise around Gutenberg. Read the full thread here. Once we catch-up on all the other interesting Gutenberg updates (3.7 just came out). We’ll create a better readable version of the thread.
Not so fast – Use CalmPress
End of September, Mark Kaplun announce a new WordPress fork called CalmPress, a safe heaven for site owners and developers who got scared by the ambitious schedule for WordPress 5.0 release.
Take a look at the listed Gutenberg Layouts and Blocks and combine them with new Gutenberg-ready Themes. The Gutenberg 4.0 version has about 140 line items in the change log, some a major bug fixes, some are quirks finally fixed and some are changes necessary for the integration into WordPress core. We now have a Patreon page where you can become a patron of Gutenberg Times and support the work of your curator, Birgit Pauli-Haack. Josh Pollock, Raquel M Smith in conversations on YouTube, insights for food bloggers, attorneys, developers and site owners and many more voices from the WordPress community around the new editor – Your Update #89.
After six month start-up partnership with Pantheon, we are now looking for new corporate sponsors. We are very grateful to Pantheon for helping us during the start up phase and get some traction in the community. Beyond the generous financial support, the people at Pantheon have be incredibly supporting and encouraging: Big “Thank you” to Drew Gorton, Atoosa Hashemi, David Needham, Andrew Tayler, Dwayne McDaniel, Tessa Kreisel, and Steve Perch.
Gutenberg has now a “Media + Text” block. We use it to announce today’s episode on YouTube. We saved it as a reuseable block so I can add it quickly to other popular posts on our site. It’s very easy to use and has quite a few settings for you to modify the look & feel to it.
WordPress content creators have been waiting for it since Gutenberg was announced: nested blocks. You can now create multi-column layouts and include pictures and add other blocks into those columns. On February 6th, Andrew Duthie’s Pull Request (PR) was merged to the master branch of Gutenberg. The new version Gutenberg 2.2 was released today. Matias Ventura in his announcement for the new release, labeled this particular features as “experimental” It would still need further work and has some browser hiccups. Keep this in mind when you start working with it
From the PR comments we learned: [Now there is] a new Columns block which behaves similarly to the Text Columns block, except that it allows insertion of blocks within the rendered columns.
We tested it earlier this week with the master dev build version on our local development environment. Here is a short view.
It still feels a little rough around the edges for different browsers or with the alignment on the front-end. Minor quirks that will be fixed in later iterations, I am sure.
Developers building custom blocks can also use nested blocks and restrict the type of blocks that can be added to their block. For instance, a team member block can only have an image, a heading and a paragraph, but the user would not be able to add an embed block or a gallery block.
Matt Mullenweg announced the leadership team responsible for the Gutenberg merge into Core and become the default editor. Gary Pendergast updated the release schedule. The team aims for Nov 19, 2018. Riad Benguella posted a technical overview for the Gutenberg integration. Gutenberg adoption has grown to over 510K active sites using it. Enhanced reusable blocks are Gutenberg 3.9 killer feature: select multiple blocks and put them into one reusable block, then export and import. And 73 more change log items. Remaining task for Gutenberg developers before heading into the Core merge proposal. An comprehensive guide as an eBook, Blocks galore and more developer tips for building blocks. It’s a big round-up again. Enjoy the week!
With weekly or bi-weekly releases, plus changing APIs, how can anyone try keeping up with Gutenberg development? To explore this issue David Needham and I hosted a live Webinar as part of Pantheon’s Gutenberg Webinar Series.
We were already in Belgrade, Serbia, for WordCamp Europe. In the webinar, we discussed how best to keep up with the Gutenberg development. We also explored a few implementation strategies for site owners and content creators. And of course we talked about Gutenberg Times and my approach to curating all information and community voices addressing the new WordPress publishing experience.
The webinar took place on June 12, 2018. Quite a few things have changed since then. I added some notes for the particular respective sections.
We started out with “Why” it is so important to keep up with Gutenberg Development:
It’s a feature that soon will be on WordPress Core.
To make sure website will work with Gutenberg it needs to be tested and to become familiar to the user.
As Developers, it’s time to prepare your plugins and themes for your users’ new publishing experience.
David warned our listeners not to try it out on a live site because it is still in beta. Instead, they should host a copy of their site on Pantheon’s service for staging. And that is free of charge! Although it sounds scary, it is actually easy to get a copy of a site up and running on Pantheon. These instructions will help you.
David asked me about two “origin stories”. First: How I got started with WordPress when looking for a new content management system to support 40 nonprofits in our community. And second: The origin story of Gutenberg Times.
Because of my experience 8 years ago seeing content creators in amazement as they embraced WordPress, I know the 2018 content creators will embrace the new publishing experience called Gutenberg.
How can you try keeping up with Gutenberg development and WordPress?
Social Listening / Feeds / Discovery
I use Brand24, one of the most powerful social listening tools available. It gives me all posts on the various social networks, and on the web and YouTube, around keyword “Gutenberg”. It finds all the blog posts of developers, bloggers and companies that don’t have a large distribution network, but whose voices are worth listening to.
Gutenberg Developers meeting on Slack
Every Wednesdays at 9 am ET ( 13:00 UTC) the developers and contributors to Gutenberg meet on Slack channel #core-editor for their team meeting. The team discusses upcoming releases, pull requests, and new issues on GitHub.
Note: A couple of months ago the team decided to move the GitHub feed into two channels #core-editor-firehose and #core-editor-commits.
Gutenberg Plugins Compatibility Project
Daniel Bachhuber developed an initiative to crowdsource testing plugins for compatibility. People could test plugins by setting up a test environment, installing Gutenberg automatically, and then testing just that one plugin. They could also install it automatically on that staging site to see if it breaks or makes the plugin. The tester then filled out a form and selected “is compatible”, “is likely compatible”, or “not compatible”.
Note 9/17: The project is now discontinued as of August 31, 2018. During this project Bachhuber learned that 5,000 plugins of the 60,000+ had more than 5,000 active installs and about 85% of those, will continue to work when Gutenberg comes out since they don’t touch the editor. Of the 5,000 plugins that were fed into the project, around 900 where tested and 86% were “compatible” or “likely to be compatibile”, with about 7 or 8 % “not compatibile”.
Known Issues with Themes and Plugins
Information about issues with Gutenberg is highly fragmented around the WordPress universe: Apart from the 800 issues (June 18, now ~1,200 Sep 18) on Gutenberg Github repository, some of the pertinent information is in the support forums on wordPress.org, and some is on various websites of premium plugin companies. For Themes there is less as most Themes will work with Gutenberg out of the box. On Gutenberg Times there is a running list of known conflicts with Gutenberg
Gutenberg Migration Guide
David directed our listeners to Daniel Bachhuber’s Gutenberg Migration Guide with a table showing the current method vs new methods to accomplish certain programming tasks.
It mainly documents things that are different, but includes a section of those for which there is no equivalent solution (yet) for the Gutenberg editor. Big plugin opportunities here!
After this detour into the weeds, David and I discussed how best to get started with Gutenberg. My tip is to spin up a staging site, install Gutenberg, try to recreate more complicated blog posts, and see how that goes. Use the Gutenberg blocks and see what works and what doesn’t work. If you have time you could create a Github issue of things that don’t work.
Gutenberg at WordCamp US 2017
David remembers that he sat in the audience of the Matt’s State of the Word at WordCamp US 2017 and saw a real life demo of Gutenberg. That’s when it became real for him. And he felt that he wasn’t the only person for whom that was true. At WordCamp US I felt that the mood was shifting for a lot of people. Some of them saw Gutenberg for the first time. Until then, they had only heard the noise in the Community. During Q & A the attendees expressed very specific concerns and also a lot of excitement.
What’s a good avenue for people to communicate feedback?
Write a blog post about your experience.
Create a GitHub issue that would be particularly helpful.
Write a support ticket or a Review on the WordPress.org plugin repository of the Gutenberg plugin.
Whatever you choose to do, keep it civil, be kind, don’t belittle, and be specific.
David & Birgit at WordCamp Europe 2018
David asked me what I expect from WordCamp Europe regarding Gutenberg, and I said I was eager to meet many developers on the Gutenberg team face-to-face and connect with them at Contributer Day – WordPress’ workday for volunteers on various teams. And of course I was curious what Matt Mullenweg had to say about the progress on Gutenberg.
David shared with me that he is a contributor on the Training team, and had started thinking about training material for Gutenberg users. He was also a speaker and introduced his audience to Drupal, the other open-source content management system. He talked about why someone would choose Drupal over WordPress for a project, how our communities are similar, and where there is a lot of crossover.
Online Courses and Resources: ReactJS and Building Gutenberg Blocks and more.
What happens with my content when I enable Gutenberg?
One of the audience questions was about existing content and what happens to it when Gutenberg is enabled. Nothing happens to existing content. Gutenberg is only the editor. It doesn’t do anything to your blog posts and pages unless you want it to.
Gutenberg will load old content into the Classic Block which looks like the TinyMCE window now.
There is also an option to convert the content to blocks. The converter does a fairly nice job, but make sure you have revisions enabled and have a backup. And remember, unless you chose to convert the content to block, Gutenberg will not touch it.
That was the end of the Webinar. David and I covered a lot of ground, and this recap is now way longer than I had hoped.
Big Thanks to Pantheon for inviting me to be part of the webinar, and thank you so much to David for being a wonderful co-host of this event.
This is a collection of WordPress.TV videos about Gutenberg. They are recordings of talks, presentations or workshops at WordCamps around the world. Here we publish those in englisch language. You’ll find similar talks in other languages to on WordPress.TV. Not every video is for all users, so we divided them up into various sections. Click on the link in the Table of Contents to reach the section more relevant to you. If you do know nothing about Gutenberg, here is a links to a demo.
Demo: What is Gutenberg? What is Gutenberg? An overview of the features and benefits of Gutenberg, the new block-based editor for WordPress 5.0.
Kevin Killingsworth – Gutenberg: What You Need To Know Gutenberg is the next editor for WordPress. Designed from the ground up for usability, it brings big wins for users of WordPress along with some great possibilities for plugin and theme developers. Simplifying shortcodes and visual editing are just the beginning! See what is possible with the Gutenberg editor today and where the future can lead! Kevin will lead you through a jaunt of how to use Gutenberg right now, and show how you can get involved today! Presentation Slides » 49:28 min
Matías Ventura: Beyond Gutenberg This talk explores the principles behind some of the original decisions behind Gutenberg. What does it mean to build around HTML and treating the user’s content as the privileged actor? How does Gutenberg work internally to power the editing experience? This talk dives on the technical side of the project and its implications for democratizing publishing. Presentation Slides 46:32 min
Tammie Lister: Anatomy of a block: Gutenberg design patterns What are the little blocks made of? In this deep dive into Gutenberg’s design patterns, we’ll start looking at existing Gutenberg blocks, taking you through the design patterns used. From there, you will learn how to harness these patterns and use them to create your own blocks. Learn how to design a block the right way, and build on the strong design foundations within Gutenberg. Presentation Slides » | 32:51 min
Andrew Roberts: The What and Why of Gutenberg Learn the history and design philosophy behind Gutenberg, the new editor in WordPress, from one of the Gutenberg team members. Find out how it relates to TinyMCE and when you can expect to see it in WordPress Core. The talk will include demo and update on the progress of Gutenberg.
Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Gutenberg and the WordPress of Tomorrow “What do I need to learn to become a WordPress developer?” This question pops up in forums, social media, and everywhere else on a daily basis. I think a better question is “How do I prepare for a future that looks nothing like the status quo?”. Tech is changing at incredible speed, and what we consider important skills today may be meaningless a year from now. This talk is a discussion of what technologies are on the horizon, how the web and the internet will change, and how we can all prepare for a future with or without WordPress
Matt Mullenweg: State of the Word 2017 The State of the Word is the annual keynote address at WordCamp US, presented by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. In this year’s address, Matt summarizes the highlights of 2017 — including the 4.8 and 4.9 releases — and previews what we can look forward to in 2018 ( spoiler: it’s Gutenberg ) Presentation Slides (Gutenberg part starts at 34:00 min )
Chris Van Patten: “Decisions, not Options” in the Age of Gutenberg Gutenberg will usher in an era of unprecedented customisation for non-technical users and editorial teams. It’s incredibly exciting… and simultaneously terrifying. In this talk, you’ll learn strategies you can employ—code snippets, training tips, and UX improvements—that you can use to ensure users have all the customisability they need, without the risks and downsides. Chris published the slides on his blog – 41:32
Denis Snell: Extending Gutenberg – We’re not in PHP anymore In this talk we’ll discuss how the Gutenberg editing model differs from the traditional WordPress flow and what implications that has on people wanting to augment and transform content. We’ll also take look at new possibilities for enhancing the editor itself with interactive controls and integrations into external services. We’ll focus on what this means to the developer writing new plugins or updating existing ones to support and enhance the editing experience, what we can now do that we previously couldn’t, and how the application design guides extensibility. 37:43
What hooks will you use?
What are the types of blocks you can build?
Where can we save our blocks data?
Eric Debelak: Creating Advanced Gutenberg Blocks Gutenberg is so new and comes with many built-in blocks, but how do you create interactive, dynamic and advanced Gutenberg blocks? We’ll cover topics like API calls to 3rd party services, server side rendering, advanced settings, using custom React components and other topics to help attendees start making advanced Gutenberg blocks. Slides & Code 54:52 min
AWP Gutenberg Interview Series with Ahmad Awais This is the first of FOUR interviews we are doing in February 2018. This series is focused on the upcoming new block-based editor coming to WordPress 5.0, named Gutenberg. In this second interview, we chat with Ahmad Awais. Ahmad has created two different tools for development with Gutenberg. A Gutenblock boilerplate, and a new Toolkit.
Lauren Etheridge and Miles Elliott: The Blockenspiel: Tackling Gutenberg Development In this talk, we will cover how the central IT web team at NC State reworked development processes and tools to fit within a GutenWorld. We will discuss changing coding practices, new vocabulary, and cross-departmental collaboration all coming together in a campus-wide Blocks plugin. Attendees of this talk will come away with strategies for adapting to change and working collaboratively, as well as a framework for developing a set of blocks for your campus. | 58:03 Min
AWP Gutenberg Interview Series with Joost de Valk This is the first of FOUR interviews we are doing in February 2018. This series is focused on the upcoming new block-based editor coming to WordPress 5.0, named Gutenberg. In this first interview, we chat with Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast.com about how he and his team are preparing his pluins for Gutenberg. There is a 25 minutes interview, followed by an AMA section from our AWP members.
Kojishi Dae: Gutenberg Basics Getting started using Gutenberg for content creators and business owners. Where Gutenberg originates from, what’s it good for, how to take advantage of it and which latest features should be used at your own risk. Presentation Slides »
Monique Dubbelman: Meet Gutenberg – the new publishing experience for WordPress With the release of WordPress 5.0, users will encounter a whole new publishing experience in WordPress. The classic editor that we’ve used for the past 14 years, will be replaced by something revolutionary: meet Gutenberg! Will you see a big difference and will it affect your everyday workflows? The answer is yes! However, it is nothing to be afraid of. In this talk, you will find out what potential opportunities Gutenberg brings to WordPress in the near future. In this talk, which includes a short live demo, you will learn a brief overview of the possibilities of the new editor, what it means for your current installed theme and plugins and how you can contribute.
Find below an FAQ block, courtesy of Yoast SEO, with a highly speculative idea on when we might see a WordPress 5.0 release. Gutenberg 3.8 was released, and 3.9 RC is available for testing. The WordPress.com roll-out started. Gutenberg was not only topic at WordCamps in New York and Valencia, but also at Drupal Europe and at #ONA18 the Online News Association conference in Austin, Texas. Check out the photos from around the World. Also find more Blocks for your website and resources to develop your own blocks. Happy Monday! — Birgit 💕 PS: CU at my next “Secret Gutenberg Tips and Q & A for content creators and bloggers” show on YouTube on September 28 at 2pm
No-one knows. When Gutenberg is ready. Are some common answers. And I don’t know anything else.
The official WordPress 5.0 release page has not been updated since November 2017 and features lot of “TBD”s. We need to wait for a public discussion of the merge proposal once that’s accepted, a Kick-off Meeting will be scheduled.
I estimate that we will see a 5.0 Beta 1 version Mid November just in time for WordCamp US. Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress and CEO at Automattic, might include lessons from the merge proposal in his annual “State of the Word” (STOW) presentation. After that we might see a 5.0 Beta 2 Mid December just before the holidays. Everyone will be out until Mid January. We start again with Beta 3 and Beta 4 . The RC 1 might arrive at the end of February 2019 with a final release in March 2019. For our company planning we will wait with upgrades and training of content creators until 5.0.2 or 5.0.3 are out. Planning-wise that brings us to Summer 2019.
The plan is to release Gutenberg in WordPress core with the release of the Version 5.0. WordPress 5.0 is a major release and the roll-out will not happen automatically. Companies offering managed WordPress hosting will test the new release for a period of time before they upgrade clients’ sites to the version.
If you feel for any reason, that your site won’t be ready for Gutenberg yet, you can install the plugin called Classic Editor to keep the current editor running on your site.
This week, I focused on custom blocks and how to make your current theme ready for Gutenberg. We also collected a few more posts and tweets from the community about using Gutenberg. The mood shifts. 🚀And a new Gutenberg version 3.8 was released, with Full Screen mode, faster parser, improved Drag & Drop, editor styling for themes, and many, many more fixes. 🐛🇬- Share your discoveries in the comments! — Birgit