As most of you are aware, the WordPress platform for design and publishing is now powering around 31% of the world’s websites. Having said that, there has never really much change in the backend design and editing until now. The revolutionary change to WordPress will be soon released for you and your website designer or developer this coming fall.

So why does it matter to you?

If you are creating your own website, there will be a new design and editing that uses a blocking drag and drop block system rather than a page that edits like a Word processing document. If you hire out your website development and design, then you should be aware the new upgrade could affect the look and function of your website as plugins and themes catch up with the change. Having said that, most mainstream themes and plugins should have a compatible version by the launch date.

What is Gutenberg? (or should I say who is Gutenberg)

Johann GutenbergThe new WordPress platform is appropriately named after Johannes Gutenberg, who invented a printing press with movable type more than 500 years ago. It was the very technology that allowed mass production of the printed Bible.

The current WordPress visual editor used over the last 20 years is much like a Word document editor that converts the text and photos in the page into a format your web browser can interpret and viewers can see with the naked eye. The new Gutenberg editor uses a blocking system that allows simpler, faster website design process and provides a simple way to create a better mobile viewing experience.

While it’s still in the beta and testing phase which can be tested on your website now, it’s not ready to run on production sites yet. It appears that before this will be officially launched, Matt Mullenweg, the founder, is getting 100,000 active installs during this pilot stage to work out any bugs, issues and allow them to acquire some new ideas and requests.

What are the improvements of Gutenberg

From what we can see and have tested so far, these are the top seven biggest improvements:

  1. newer drag and drop design
  2. less distracting with more screen space.
  3. blocks easy to design and edit quickly
  4. full-width template and mobile responsive
  5. edits well on mobile devices
  6. ability for developers to create their own custom blocks
  7. allows better converting of Word and Google Docs

Most of the website designers in the know, and current DIYer’s are looking forward and welcome these changes. However, those not keeping up with their updates and upgrades, it could be a lot of extra work to stay current. So stay in the know and download the new, appropriately named Gutenberg WordPress plugin and test drive it for yourself.