What is Gutenberg for WordPress?

Over the years, there haven’t been many changes to the look and feel of the WordPress editor. As other website platforms are beginning to make updates to their user interface, the team at WordPress has decided it is time to work on giving their platform a makeover. Their goal from day one has been to make WordPress simple and enjoyable and creating a new editor will do just that.

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is the name of the new WordPress Editor, which is named after the inventor of the printing press Johannes Gutenberg. The current version of the WordPress editor requires the use of shortcodes and HTML for advanced layout options but the new version will embrace blocks and make the platform easier, especially for new users of the platform.

How to Install Gutenberg

Gutenberg is currently still in the testing phase but it is available to use by WordPress users. In order to switch over to it, you must have WordPress version 4.8 and can install it via the Plugins dashboard.

  1. Go to Plugins > “Add New”
  2. Search for “Gutenberg” > “Install Now” > “Activate”

Explore Gutenberg

Once you’ve installed and activated Gutenberg, you will see links under your posts and pages that allow you to edit the content with the Gutenberg editor. You will still have the option to edit the content of your website regularly as well, which allows you to toggle. Once WordPress 5.0 is released, Gutenberg will be the default WordPress editor. If you run into any sort of compatibility issues, you will still be able to install the classic editor.

Distraction-Free Writing

When Gutenberg is installed on your website, it will also add a new menu option that contains a demo and the ability to create a new post. This is a great feature to get familiar with the new WordPress editor before you start utilizing it on your website. The main focus of the new editor is on “writing first” and creates a less distracting environment. If you wish to remove the right sidebar when you’re in the editor, you can go to the “Post Settings” to remove it to further remove any distractions (but less than the current distraction-free writing mode).


A few other changes are to toggle between the visual editor and text editor, there is a dropdown on the top left and you will now see HTML comments at the beginning of each block. When you highlight over the blocks on the visual editor, arrows, a trash can, and settings will appear in order to make changes to where the block is located. This is the case on the mobile version, too! Making it extremely easy to edit content on any size device.

The Toolbar

A toolbar that has always been included at the top of the content block in the WordPress editor is now replaced with a drop-down menu, which can be accessed by selecting the “+ Insert” button.

Live HTML Block

One of our favorite new features is the new live HTML block which allows you to insert your code and select “preview,” which prevents us from having to switch back and forth when making changes.

Drag & Drop Images

Once you have an image block inserted into your content, you will now be able to drag and drop images into that block. In addition, you are also able to add CSS to specific blocks.

Other features to look out for:

  • Cover text options – easily change the font size and color
  • Utilize slash autocomplete when working in the HTML block
  • Adds a table of contents to the sidebar to help you easily toggle through each section

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