Right off the bat, I like the collapsing menus in Gutenberg.
Gutenberg is a new “plugin” for WordPress that drastically rebuilds the interface for posts and pages. It’s a plugin now, but it’s more of a way for the powers that be to test the interface and see if the community is accepting. Also, to test the waters for compatibility I would guess. It’s a clever way of trying something new, that is for certain, and you have to appreciate that.
And like I said, I appreciate the collapsing post menu items. Currently, you have the option to turn off the side board items completely under menu items but if you’re like me, you turn them all on and scroll down to them. The new interface functions much like the widgets menu items, where they collapse and you can choose to have specific ones “unfolded” to see the options that come with it. Clever.
Wait! What’s this? Each paragraph automatically becomes a section you can move around without copy+paste? Ok, that’s pretty cool. Sections have their own options (basically text CSS options if a text section).
The image block pretty much gives you all the options that you’d have in the media gallery for an image. Handy, if you want to edit the alt tags, and if you don’t want to engage a popup into the media library (simply said, it’s faster).
There’s also layout blocks which allow you to set columns and more for the text layout.
Such as this handy two column block.
Visual and text editing are still there via a toggle at the top left.
Inline images. I haven’t figured out text wrapping yet.
Below is a cover image, that you have a few more CSS tricks to play with than a standard image, like fixed background positioning.
CSS Tricks Galore in Gutenberg
Manual excerpts are a great option – taking that functionality away from the SEO plugins that normally give it to you. From what I’ve read, Gutenberg is about taking some of the most commonly desired and implemented plugin functionalities found in themes and puts them into a plugin so the themes don’t have to do that anymore. Makes sense to me as it seems themes are stretching way too far into functionality for my liking.
Right now Gutenberg is a plugin which allows you to write posts to test it out. It’s very easy to see this being the standard for WordPress further down the line. This is a blogger’s update. It’s streamlined editing. BUT I could see coders screaming that there’s no need for every paragraph to be a section unto itself. And what about backwards compatibility? How about an option to use the older interface?
For myself, the old interface was easy to teach to clients who were Microsoft Word users – there were many similarities. With this one, I’ll actually have to TEACH them how to use this interface. Big deal for me.
So maybe it’s just growing pains as WordPress develops and we have to be more willing to let go of our current work habits as the web itself develops. We’ll see. Watch for this to be battled out in the comments of many sites in the months to come.