Akiko’s WordPress team are such big fans of Gutenberg, we thought we’d write an article extolling its virtues…
So what is Gutenberg?
Gutenberg is the latest WordPress editor and has been available as part of WordPress from version 5.0 onwards. It allows website developers and owners to create media rich content using ‘blocks’.
What are the latest Gutenberg features?
With each new WordPress update, new features and enhancements are added to Gutenberg to improve the editing experience. WordPress 5.7, which was released on the 9th March 2021, brought with it further improvements including:
Font-size adjustment in more places: font-size controls have now been included in the List and Code blocks so changes can be made without moving to a different screen.
Reusable blocks: several enhancements have been made to reusable blocks to make them more stable and easier to use. They now save automatically with the post when the ‘Update’ button is clicked.
Inserter drag-and-drop: it is now possible to drag blocks and block patterns from the inserter into a post.
Full-height alignment: blocks like the Cover block can now be made to fill the whole window.
Buttons block: you can choose a vertical or a horizontal layout for buttons and set the width of a button to a predefined percentage.
Social Icons block: it is now possible to change the size of the icons.
What does Akiko love about Gutenberg?
Gutenberg is super-fast and lightweight which makes it a great tool for optimising page load speed. Obviously this is vital as users don’t wait around for slow websites to load and site speed is important for SEO as it is a ranking factor on Google.
Our WordPress developers like to take the standard Gutenberg editor and build on it to turn it into a page building tool. This allows us to develop custom layouts and complex templates that can all be edited and changed by the website owner.
Since we started using Gutenberg we have been adding to our own collection of WordPress plugins and add-ons that we use in conjunction with the editor. As a result, our developers are able to create custom features such as:
Column layout blocks: These are used for creating complex layouts and are fully responsive meaning they will scale and collapse depending on the device width.
Shortcode blocks: Akiko write custom php shortcodes that enable website editors to add complex functionality to any part of a page or post via the Gutenberg editor.
Carousel blocks: These enable us to add sliding carousels to any part of a webpage by adding shortcode into a Gutenberg block, which is then dragged & dropped into position.
Bespoke Reusable Blocks: these can be used to add the same content to numerous different pages. When the content is edited in the reusable block, it is automatically updated across the site on every page the block has been added to.
What is Akiko’s favourite Gutenberg feature?
The reusable block is a favourite of our developers because it’s a big time saver and makes our clients happy!
For example, we recently built a beautiful testimonial carousel for a client that was all fully editable in WordPress. We saved this as a reusable block so it could be added to any other page or post and maintained easily. Then we also embedded the reusable block into some of the page templates, so it was one less thing to think about when creating new content – the testimonials automatically appeared in every page using that template.
Why do our clients love Gutenberg?
When we develop WordPress websites, our aim is to deliver a complete solution that allows our clients to fully manage their website content post launch. The Gutenberg editor helps us do this because it is very intuitive and gives even novice editors the tools they require to create engaging content.
Before the launch of any new WordPress site, Akiko always gives full handover training so that our clients can begin to take control and make their own edits. When we demo the Gutenberg editor, they are always amazed by how easy it is and they leave the training feeling inspired to have a go for themselves.
Once a website is launched, Akiko is always on hand to provide further training and refresher sessions if needed. Also, if a client requires a feature that doesn’t exist in Gutenberg, Akiko builds it!
So why should you choose WordPress and the Gutenberg editor?
Gutenberg is here to stay and now comes packaged with WordPress which is the chosen platform for nearly 40% of all websites on the internet.
A WordPress site using the Gutenberg editor will be lightweight, fast and feature-rich making you very popular with your users!
Even if you’re completely new to website editing, you will find it relatively easy to learn Gutenberg and take the wheel.
If you’d like to learn more about Gutenberg, and experience it for yourself, visit the WordPress website here…
If you have any further questions about Gutenberg or WordPress, speak to us today about your web project.