As a WordPress user, you’d basically have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the imminent arrival of Gutenberg — the WordPress editing interface that will replace the current text editor with a “block” system.
This new system will turn WordPress editing on its head, and users will essentially need to re-learn how to post content on our websites and blogs.
That’s a learning curve in itself, but it doesn’t answer the nagging questions most users have: “What will Gutenberg do the content I already have posted? Will the block system change how my posts and pages look, or how I edit them?”
The short answer is that you don’t have to worry about Gutenberg “breaking” your current pages or post. Gutenberg will definitely change your back-end experience while giving you more options for controlling how the front end looks. But it’s also designed to pretty much leave your existing pages and posts alone, unless you choose to convert them and change them yourself.
Here’s what will happen to current Pages & Posts
Theoretically, all existing content on your site should look exactly the same after Gutenberg is installed. The most significant change you can expect to see is in the back end when you go to edit one of these pages or posts for the first time. Within the new editor, you’ll see that all your existing content now lives in a single HTML block. If you want to edit the page, you can easily do so. However, you also have the option to click a button that says, “Convert to blocks.” Click this button, and all your existing content will be moved into individual blocks. Each paragraph of text will have its own block, as well as any photos or shortcodes, etc. Again, this conversion does nothing to the front end look of your page — it will look the same — but you’ll now have far more options to add to and customize the content within the new blocks.
By default, any new editing system is going to be a little different and maybe take some time to learn. As with any new system, there are likely to be a few bugs that future updates will address, but you can rest assured that your site will remain intact.
Not quite ready to commit to Gutenberg?
Want to ease into it? There are three things you can do to make sure you’re ready when you’re ready:
- Install the Classic Editor Plugin – You can install the Classic Editor plugin, which will disable Gutenberg throughout your website, even if you upgrade to WordPress 5.0.
- Install the Gutenberg Ramp Plugin – This handy little plugin lets you ease into using Gutenberg by allowing you to selectively choose the content types where you want to use Gutenberg.
- Grab one of our WP Site Care plans. This is a shameless plug, but for real — we’ll manage the entire upgrade process for you.
Have more questions about what to expect with the release of Gutenberg? Don’t hesitate to reach out.