Gutenberg is Coming. Are You Ready?

Last month I attended WordCamp Miami. It was a bittersweet weekend: I was able to attend workshops, volunteer for several shifts, listen to the co-founder of WordPress talk about its future, and catch up with friends and people whose work I admire and use in my daily working life; but at the same time I (and many others) was mourning the not-too-distant and sudden passing of a very good friend. He was deeply involved with this WordCamp, and his presence was missed.

The takeaway I left Camp with was that WordPress is at the cusp of a very important crossroad. Matt Mullingweg, co-founder of WordPress, emphasized his vision to “democratize web publishing”. For designers and developers who have learned to wrangle WordPress in its current form, it’s a bit unnerving, but at the same time it’s incredibly exciting. Gutenberg is the new editing interface for WordPress, and while it still has a long way to go before being ready for primetime, it definitely has exciting potential for designers and non-designers alike to be able to build pages more comfortably and intuitively than ever.

If you’re a business owner just learning about Gutenberg, what does it mean for you? In most cases, probably not much. Many of the popular theme and plugin developers are currently examining how Gutenberg may fit with their themes, and making adjustments and updates accordingly, but since the final iteration of Gutenberg isn’t ready, it’s difficult to prepare for all instances. In some cases, themes and plugins will work seamlessly. In others, perhaps not. Here’s a great resource on plugins that have confirmed they are ready for Gutenberg!

Now is not the time to panic, but here are a few things you can do to stay ahead of the curve:

  1. Contact your current developer. Have they heard about Gutenberg? Used it? What are their thoughts about it?
  2. If you have yet to build a WordPress site (and you’re not in a rush), then you may want to wait until Gutenberg is officially released (version 5.0).
  3. If you do not want to wait on the official release, you should only use a theme or hire a theme developer who is actively working to make sure their theme does not break if/when Gutenberg is deployed on the website. This can be a little tricky since Gutenberg is not a finished product, but with some patience and due diligence, you should be able to find what you need.

If you’re ready to learn more about how LibbeyDesign can help you transition into the new world of Gutenberg, contact us today!