Wow, this is actually my first post written with the new Gutenberg editor that recently shipped with WordPress 5.0. I have done some testing with the betas and release candidates and have often criticised the lack of opt-in for users and eventually the seemingly rushed release schedule to get it out the door before WordCamp US… That was all about the logistics though, I do like the new editor.
Now that WordPress 5.0 is released and Gutenberg is the new default editor, it’s time to embrace the new editor. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons why people shouldn’t immediately upgrade just yet. This can be either because of plugins or themes not being compatible yet, or the people working on the site aren’t ready to start using a whole new editor. That just takes time and we should give everyone time.
Developers, gather around
I am not actively maintaining any plugins that actually have been impacted by the release of WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg editor. If you are and you haven’t been testing, now is as good time as any to start doing it. Your users will start updating to WordPress 5.0 sooner or later and if they run into issues with your plugin or theme, they won’t be happy.
The introduction of Gutenberg also gives you a nice opportunity to add some new features to your otherwise fairly stale plugins. Some plugins that haven’t been updated for a while, can get some extra features built in that make it easier to work with in the new Gutenberg editor. You can add custom blocks, or even improve your interface and the way it works within the editor.
Many things, like shortcodes for example, can now be made much easier to use for your end users. Most shortcodes are just placeholders nowadays, where your plugin or theme replaces the shortcode with some content or a form or whatever your shortcode is intended to provide. Change that into a block and it will be much easier to work with.
Embrace the new Gutenberg editor
Now that the new editor is out there, there is no valid excuse not to embrace it. It will slowly become the most used editor in every WordPress website. And soon, it will be the only editor being used. The Classic Editor plugin is only a temporary solution – just to give people time to adjust. This is not something that you should rely on, even though it has a very generous support window until the end of 2021.
Gutenberg is here. It’s time to act. Let’s all embrace this new editor and start making our plugins and themes compatible. Not only is the new editor here now, it’s here to stay. It’s a modern approach to content editing and your users will love it, eventually.