With it’s latest update to WordPress 5, WordPress has introduced a new text editor that looks quite different from what we’ve been using before. We’ve tested it and found it very pleasant to work with. It’s calmer and we think it works very intuitively.
In this post we give you a quick impression.
Please don’t worry, if you’re not quite ready for it to change your way of working, you can continue to use the classic editor well into the foreseeable future.
Let’s explore what’s new : )
We’ll start with a quick video impression, followed by our impressions.
The New WordPress 5 Block Editor – A quick Impression
First impressions: a calmer editor interface with more space
In WordPress’ classic editor interface, you had pretty much all options visible in your screen. On the one hand this was very convenient, but on the other hand also relatively cluttered. In the new WordPress editor, everything has a cleaner feel with there’s a lot more whitespace. All the options are still there, but they only become visible when you hover over something or click on an element.
The old editor:
The new WordPress 5 Block Editor – known as Gutenberg:
A smooth and intuitive workflow
Building a post or page in the new block editor is a very smooth and intuitive experience. I’ve been working with the classic wordpress editor for many years, so I anticipated I had to rewire my brain a bit. But in fact I found switching to the new block editor much easier than I expected. In the new block editor, when I’m writing text or placing an image, it’s much easier to focus on only that now. But when I want to do something more with that piece of content, like center it or give it some styling, everything I need is right where I expect it and just a click away. To me it very much feels like I have everything at my fingertips.
So for example, while working on a paragraph of text I can first just write the words, without any distractions. And then when I want to change the look of the text, all I have to do is select it and immediately a menu comes up, right where I’m working, with the most common editing options. And if I need something more, it’s in the sidebar on the right.
In these days of touch screens most of us are used to tapping somewhere and have more options appear. And that’s exactly what’s happening here: the right tools at the right time. I think I’ll become a fan pretty quickly.
Less visual clutter, but more creative possibilities
At first glance, the new block editor almost looks very basic. But you can actually do more with it than you could with the classic editor. Each element you put on the page (a piece of text, an image, a quote, a video, etc.) becomes a block that you can pick up, drag to a different section of your post, and drop in place there.
This drag-and-drop behaviour makes it very easy to quickly move something around and see if that makes it sit better on the page.
Something else that wasn’t possible at all in the classic editor is more advanced layouts with columns.
With the new block editor you can now split parts of your content in up to 6 columns. So you can easily make a row of images or several blocks of text next to each other.
The block editor as a simple page builder
You can use the new block editor as a simple page builder and create more elaborate layouts than you could with the classic editor. In this area it’s not as intuitive and advanced as a dedicated page builder such as Divi, but it’s still a big improvement from before.
Even though you get kind of an idea of how your page is going to look at the frontend of your site, when you actually go to see it, it’s going to look a little different from what you see in the backend. For example fonts and colours may be different, and also spacing may be quite different because the WordPress editor shows a standard font in standard size, and in the front-end it will show your font with your font-size settings, and these could be very different and result in differing lengths of sentences, paragraphs and headings. So if you truly want to build in the front-end of your website and see exactly how your edits are going to look on your site, you’ll still need a front-end page builder like Divi.
For Divi users…
For those of you who have already been building your blog posts with the Divi builder, you’ll probably want to continue to do so, but if you were writing your posts with the WordPress editor before, the new possibilities with the new WordPress editor will give you more options for interesting layouts, while keeping things relatively simple and straightforward, which to our opinion is just the golden middle we need for creating regular but straightforward content like blog posts. The option to insert beautiful galleries and buttons for calls to action is wonderful news!
We feel the new WordPress block editor works very well and gives you more creative possibilities in a cleaner interface. We believe that anyone working with it for a short period of time will quickly get used to it and appreciate the simplicity and extras. For more advanced layouts you’ll still need a dedicated page builder such as Divi, but you can certainly already create much more interesting and varied content with just the WordPress block editor.
Further guidance on working with the new WordPress Editor
For further guidance on using the new editor, we recommend looking at WP Beginner’s post on How to use the New WordPress Block Editor.
Are you not ready to change over yet?
It’s possible to work with the classic editor you’re used to until you are ready to switch over
For anyone who isn’t quite ready yet to make the switch there’s also good news, because WordPress made a plugin that lets you continue to use the classic editor well into the foreseeable future. Find out all about it in our post about continuing to use the classic editor with a plugin.