Why you should lose your fear of WordPress and the Gutenberg editor

WordPress is a very popular website creation system (from a simple blog to something more complex like an online store). The main reason for its success is the huge community of developers and designers, responsible for programming, for the community, both its base software and the so-called plugins (extensions that add functionality to the original core) and themes (templates). As of September 2022, it was used by 43% of all sites on the Internet and 64.2% of all sites based on content management systems (CMS).

However, on December 6, 2018 WordPress underwent a remarkable change in its software, when Gutenberg and its block model arrived, first replacing the previous default editor (TinyMC) and, evolving, until now allowing anyone and even without knowledge web development, create a complete website from scratch. Previously, so-called visual builders (Elementor, Divi, etc.) had helped to do the same work, but apart from being third-party software, they were neither free nor their software free.

Project Gutenberg consists of four phases (editing, personalization, collaboration and multilingualism). The first started with version 5.0 in December 2018 and continued with Full Site Edition (FSE) in 2021. FSE was introduced in WordPress 5.9 in early 2022 and has been a beta feature until the recent version 6.2. It is now simply called site editing and we have the ability to design the entire website.

We are finishing the customization phase with the recent WordPress 6.2. Also, there are restless people who seek a fifth phase.

Gutenberg and his WordPress block editor introduced a modular approach, both for creating content (posts and pages) and for building an entire website from scratch. If you use a supported theme, you can style your site’s headers, footers, and navigation.

The important thing is the ease of building a website, editing its blank pages or modifying the existing ones if you install any block theme. Unlike classic themes, block themes are compatible with Gutenberg (editing and customization with the content and site editor).

Gutenberg works with blocks, which are nothing more than individual, self-contained units that can be used to create various types of content, such as paragraphs, headings, images, videos, lists, and more. Blocks can be easily added, moved, and customized within the editor, allowing users to create complex layouts without knowing HTML or CSS. The evolution of WordPress has been improving, more and more, the usability and ease of configuring blocks; as well as the interface that allows applying -at the end user level- parameters and styles to the site, something that would be unthinkable before 2018. It is not necessary to have knowledge of HTML or CSS and, therefore, we could be talking about the democratization of the construction of web pages.

For that reason, if you are a website owner, you should not be afraid of the WordPress block editor. If you have a classic theme and the latest version of WordPress (6.2), you can install the plugin Classic Editor, available until at least 2024, and choose the block editor edition for new or test posts. Also, it is recommended test on a test site (in Spanish), something very simple if you install the Local application on your computer.

I have been a great supporter of Gutenberg, since the end of 2018, because it is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, freelancers, content creators and website owners. They can build, without delegating the work to third parties, the code-free development of their digital presence on the Internet. In Blogpocket there are countless tutorials, guides and information (in Spanish) on the matter. I even adapted the blogpocket method (in Spanish) construction of an optimized WordPress website, including the block editor as a fundamental part in the development of the front-end. At first, without editing the site and with the restriction of not being able to modify the header or footer, using the plugins that were emerging (such as Editor Plus, Reusable Block Extended, etc.) and, later, with the editor of the site fully.

I encourage you to at least make the jump to the block editor, at the level of your posts and pages. Then, surely you will dare to install a blocky theme (Twenty-Twenty Three is now the default theme), open the starter template and design it entirely to your liking.

Now is the time.

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