Webinar Recap: Introduction to Gutenberg with Joe Casabona

I recently spoke with expert trainer Joe Casabona during Pantheon’s Introduction to Gutenberg webinar in which he gave viewers a glimpse into the new Editor experience coming to WordPress 5.0. You can view the recorded webinar here. Below is an overview of the webinar.

Introduction to Gutenberg Part 1

Webinar Notes:

Gutenberg Updates

  • A new Editor experience is coming to WordPress 5.0

  • It will allow rich content layouts thanks to the use of blocks

  • It will replace the content box that we see on the add post/page admin screens

  • It is not a page builder


  • Each paragraph is broken up into its own block.

  • Gutenberg also handles markdown really well. Markdown can be copy and pasted into the Gutenberg Editor. It gets interpreted and broken up into corresponding blocks.

  • Gutenberg has a native button block. You can change the background color and text color of buttons. Accessibility notifications are built into Gutenberg. If you choose a background color and text color that is hard to read, it will notify you.

  • Gutenberg tries to apply styles as lightly as possible. Columns use CSS Grid, but that’s it. It is up to you or your theme developer to add some basic styles to support some of the advanced blocks. Everything adopts the style of the theme, with a few built-in exceptions like when you add a drop cap and customize background colors in the editor.

  • Gutenberg adds a Table of Contents. It will make sure your page is a little more SEO and reader friendly.

  • If you disable the Gutenberg plugin, your content won’t break.

Broaching the Topic with Your Clients

What happens to my current content?

Nothing will happen to your content when you update to 5.0 or add the Gutenberg plugin. When you open a pre-existing post or page in the Gutenberg Editor, it will be converted to one big block. You’ll be given the opportunity to convert your content to blocks. This is the point when something might break.

Will [Plugin I Love] work?

Reach out to the developer of the plugin and ask what will happen when the Gutenberg Editor is released. Proactive plugin developers should already have a blog post or some type of official information regarding Gutenberg.

Will shortcodes still work in Gutenberg?

There is a shortcode block in Gutenberg. It is recommended that plugin developers convert shortcodes to blocks to make it more user-friendly. You’ll be ahead of the curve for what will be the new workflow for creating content in WordPress.

Do I have to upgrade to 5.0?

Technically, no.

What happens to my theme?

You’ll probably have to make some adjustments to your theme.

Tip: Add a full-width page template. You’ll want to take advantage of the fact that Gutenberg allows for some very cool content.

Types of Clients and Ways to Address the Changes Coming to WordPress 5.0:

New to WordPress

You should start working with Gutenberg right away for new clients. You’re starting with a blank canvas because your client isn’t aware of “the old way” of doing things.

Clients you’re currently working with (active development)

Tell your client what is happening and give them their options. Encourage upgrading to the Gutenberg Editor, fallback to Classic Editor.

Clients you’ve launched sites for / maintain sites for

Be proactive in starting a conversation with your client that changes are coming to how you edit content. Give options for an upgrade path for a smooth transition. Adding the Classic Editor plugin after you update to 5.0 will work as a temporary solution, but you’ll want to eventually move your client to Gutenberg for a better experience.

In all Cases

  • Be as clear as possible

  • Tell them the benefits vs the risks, based on stage of development

  • Offer support as best you can

  • Be clear this is extra work, but it’s important

Gutenberg thumbnail  

WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg Editor
Get ready for the biggest change to WordPress in years with a complete guide to Gutenberg from the experts at Pantheon.

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