The community of WordPress is throbbing with the forthcoming arrival of Gutenberg, the latest editor that is meant to overtake the current visual editor that you would be accustomed to by now, isn’t it? Since this new feature is going to become standard, WordPress isn’t leaving any stone unturned in encouraging users to use it and get a hold on it before its launch.
And, why not? The sooner it is, the better it would be as WordPress 5.0 update with Gutenberg editor is said to be rolling out either towards the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019. Once this update rolls out and your update your websites, you must keep in mind that Gutenberg is going to transform the experience of post editing, not just with appearance but functions as well.
So, whether you have started using the beta version or not, you should be familiar with this update. So, here is how you can prepare yourself for this buzzing release.
What Is Gutenberg?
Gutenberg is one such project that is engrossed into making the entire WordPress look modernized, especially the experience of editing. It isn’t another appearance refurbishment, on the other hand, it is supposed to replace the current editor, TinyMCE, which is being used to create pages and posts.
Accordingly, TinyMCE editor will be used in WordPress, however, it will be restricted to movable blocks within the new editor. It is here to provide flexibility in terms of content design. For now, Gutenberg is available in the form of a plugin to grant WordPress users the ability to customize or edit content just how Visual Composer does, but in a more simplified and intuitive way.
Primary Affected Areas:
Believe it or not, Gutenberg is one of the humongous responsibilities that is going to come your way. It will be touching several endpoints on your website. However, the following are the primary three aspects that are more likely to face issues:
Gutenberg is going to come with its own customary style for content. Thus, you would have to make sure whether or not your theme is going to be compatible with the update. Even if it is, figure out what possible changes will be made to the theme with the update.
It is quite possible for the Gutenberg update to interact with your active plugins in surprising ways. So, it’s always better to keep an eye on these issues and figure out methods to fix them.
This part is nothing but obvious. Gutenberg is going to impact the way your edit, post, or create your content. There will be a lot of changes to the appearance as well. Thus, chances of problems arising are surely high.
How to Prepare for WordPress Gutenberg Update?
Here are following steps that will help you out of this situation:
- Creating a Stage:
A stage is merely a copied version of your WordPress website where you can test and experiment with changes so as to keep your live site secured, in case something happens. Since a staging website would be an exact copy of your site’s content, settings, and server, you’d be able to check how the latest block editor works.
And, if you come across any bugs or conflicts, you’ll be able to handle them on the copied version of the site before integrating the update on your primary website.
- Auditing the Functionality of Custom Editor:
Before you install the Gutenberg plugin, it is recommended to review your website and identify elements that might have been added, removed, or altered on your WordPress editor. To do this, go to a page or post edit screen and investigate non-standard options or fields that may have been added, standard buttons or fields that may have been removed, buttons that may have appeared in WYSIWYG editor, custom editor stylesheet, and shortcodes.
- Installation of Block Editor Plugin:
Once you are ready with your stage site, then comes the time to test block editor on it. For that to happen, install and activate the latest Gutenberg plugin. The plugin just doesn’t offer replication of the block editor, but it’s the code that merges with the WordPress core and turns out to be the real block editor.
So, while testing this plugin, you will get to experience the real representation of how the Gutenberg block editor is going to behave on your website.
- Experiment Some More:
When the block editor plugin installation is completed, it’s time for you to create something marvelous. Along with creating a new post or a page, you would even be able to notice the difference between editing existing posts in the classic editor and block editor.
By default, all of your existing posts and pages are going to appear in block editor. So, before the update is available, experiment as much as you can and get a grip on this text editor.
- Testing Themes:
With this plugin active on your website, now is the time you should be testing your themes and plugins proactively. Since Gutenberg only interacts primarily with content, you would have to test a few things only.
To begin with, Gutenberg will have its own set of styles and style sheet. Hence, check the types and templates of each page of your website. See if they are just the way they used to be or if there are some changes to the appearance.
The main focus should be on such elements that are present within the primary content area of your web pages, specifically image blocks, and content. If you come across any issues, know that Gutenberg’s style is taking over the style of your website.
If this is the case, you would have to identify the source of the problem and eradicate it completely. You can even take a professional’s help if you cannot figure this out on your own.
- Check out Plugins:
After getting done with the theme, next up in the line would be your active plugins. There are certain plugins that would need your undivided attention, such as plugins that offer shortcodes to use in content, plugins that impact the content appearance, and plugins that are used to insert elements directly into pages.
For this area audit, obtain a list of shortcodes that you are using and the pages where these shortcodes exist. With this list, visit each page individually and have a look at their performance. If you come across any issues in styling, then the cause is most likely to be the Gutenberg update, and you’d have to fix this styling issue.
- The appearance of the Content:
Again, if you’re encountering content appearance issues, they might be because of Gutenberg style overriding. Therefore, discover those elements that are being impacted and correct the problem.
- Creation of Elements:
The final area to look at for expected conflicts is element creation. If you have any such plugin that inserts HTML elements into your web pages without making use of shortcodes, such plugins would be under scrutiny here.
The most common problem with element creation would be blocks getting mismatched. There are high chances of your elements getting rendered incorrectly if they were created inside an unintentional block. To fix this issue, you should ensure that your code is adding elements to correct blocks.
Are There Several Issues?
If you are running into such problems that seem to be difficult while solving, don’t fret out. All you have to do is record the error and steps that caused this error. The more information you have, the better it would be.
Once done, you can then pass on this information to the Gutenberg team. If possible, they might discover the issue and fix it in the actual release of the update.
All the Best with the Install:
Gutenberg intends to be a huge change to the environment of WordPress, one that is going to change the scenario of content for good. Before it rolls out the final version, make sure that your website is competent enough to handle and function well with these changes.
Although preparing your old website for this latest release can be a bit time to consume, however, the result will surely be fantastic. With the new editor, the capabilities of the classic one will be enhanced, and you’ll even get a lot of flexibility for future expansion.