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A New WordPress Editor – Gutenberg

Something new this way comes… A new WordPress editor tool called Gutenberg.

And if you are like most of the population, ‘new’ can feel either a bit scary or like a new challenge.

But the good news is, it isn’t scary, or particularly challenging. I have found it to be very intuitive, with a few ‘quirks’ that are easily overcome. Think about how you felt when you updated your latest software, and things weren’t where you felt them (ahem – Microsoft) and at first, you may have felt a bit bewildered, but as soon as you started using the software, and took a moment to look, you found them and were happy once again. This update is easier than that one.

The Basics

The initial look can be a bit off-putting without the ‘normal’ ribbon we are used to, but you soon realize that all of the elements are here.  The main difference is that this editor now breaks up your posts into ‘blocks’.  instead of one long post where you insert elements into one writing area, now you have the opportunity to create ‘sections’ or blocks and format them independently

To add a block, click on the + sign (or, as you will discover, just hit enter and a new paragraph block will appear).  There are several types of blocks.

gutenberg editor photos

Adding Images and Video

One of the things I am most excited about is the new media and image capabilities.  Images are So easy now.  Simply click on the image block, and drag and drop your image.  No more adding it to the library first, this drag and drop feature automatically uploads your photo.

But there is more.  Ever wanted to add more than 1 pic side by side? For many, that was a nightmare because you had to resize the images just right, and often they would also cause issues with mobile friendliness.  Now we have a new ‘gallery’ feature that allows you to add several photos side by side, or beneath each other.  Just drag them where you want them and voila!

But there is one feature I am not as excited about – and that is video.  Here’s why.

Just as you can drag and drop images into your posts – you can now drag and drop video and audio files. It sounds amazing – and easy – but please don’t do it!

You see, when you drag and drop your video and audio files, they are automatically uploaded to the library and 99% of the WordPress hosts and sites cannot support that size of file in the site. If you fill your library with video your site will slow down to a crawl. Even a 2-minute video can be  5mb or more, and you will see a huge difference in functionality and speed.

Instead, embed your videos using YouTube or Vimeo or Amazon S3 as you always have. Simply add a block and scroll down until you see the embed section and click on (who’da thunk) the icon for the thing you want to embed.

While I remain very excited about the functionality of this new editor, one large concern remains. How will this new editor work with the existing plugins on your website now?  The very backbone of WordPress is changing, and every single plugin will have to adapt. Change is good, but make sure there is some thought to it.

About Lauren Pibworth

Lauren Pibworth is an internet marketing strategist specializing in growing the business of professional speakers. Lauren and her team of graphic designers, web developers and online product and course development and launch specialists work with speakers who want to diversify their revenue streams and move 'beyond the keynote' through smarter marketing solutions, delivered with care.

Lauren (an amateur sommelier) and her husband enjoy fine Ontario wines, great food and travel to exotic, warm destinations where they spend the majority of their time underwater - scuba diving.

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