The five key takeaways as a theme user are:
(1) Your content should automatically migrate into the new Gutenberg editor.
(2) UComm will be provide several training sessions for theme users to become better acquainted with Gutenberg. Attending a training session will be helpful but not necessary. Documentation outlining Gutenberg-related changes will be provided to all theme users whether you attend a training session or not.
(3) Gutenberg will not affect how your website appears to users. It only affects how you build and maintain content within the back-end of your site.
(4) The University Communications “NC State” theme will support the Gutenberg rollout in two main phases, so you will likely only see changes when making posts at first. Page interface changes will be rolled out later.
(5) Go ahead and check with your site’s technical support folks to make sure that they’re planning for Gutenberg’s release.
Gutenberg will be released with the next version of WordPress (version 5.0). A specific release date for version 5.0 has not yet been announced, but it is expected sometime between April and June.
When version 5.0 is released, the Classic Editor plugin will also need to be installed and activated. This will replace the new Gutenberg editor with the current editor (which will be known as the classic editor once Gutenberg launches).
Whoever manages your WordPress updates will need to be aware of and install this plugin, otherwise you will have difficulty updating content on your site.
UComm will be taking a phased approach to leveraging Gutenberg in our theme. A theme update planned for June will enable the Gutenberg editor for news posts. A theme update in the fall will enable Gutenberg for pages. At that point, all modules (and their content) will be converted into Gutenberg blocks.
By using the Classic Editor plugin, you will not notice any changes until the theme updates listed above are applied to your site.
UComm will hold several training sessions for each Gutenberg-related theme update. The first session will provide an overview of Gutenberg and specifically how to build and maintain news/blog posts. These sessions will be in June and July.
The second set of training sessions will correspond with the second theme update in the fall semester. These sessions will discuss pages and how to begin using Gutenberg blocks in place of modules.
Multiple sessions will be held after each theme update to help with attendees’ potential scheduling conflicts.
What You Need to Do
This is a major and exciting update for WordPress, and steps are being taken to minimize its adverse impact on your daily workflow.
Although the person who is responsible for technical maintenance of your WordPress site is probably aware of Gutenberg, go ahead and check in with them. You may also want to share this email with them.
Your content should port into the Gutenberg editor without issue, so it is unlikely that you will need to manually migrate any content.
Be on the lookout for the upcoming training sessions and/or the theme’s Gutenberg documentation. That information will be provided in an email sometime in June and also in the fall.
The Gutenberg-related theme updates don’t have to be immediately installed, so work with whomever provides technical maintenance for your WordPress site to schedule the update at a time that works best for you.
For now Gutenberg is only replacing the editor within WordPress. The editor is the main text box within the back-end where you provide content for a post or page.
This editor hasn’t changed much since WordPress was created over a decade ago. While the editor works well for simple blog posts, it can be hard to build more intricate page layouts without altering how the default editor works.
Meanwhile other website building platforms such as Squarespace and Wix have created editors that make page building easier and more visual. Gutenberg aims to provide similar features within WordPress.
Although change can be hard, long-term Gutenberg will be very helpful as we continue to evolve and improve our campus’s web presence.