In December, 2018, with the release of version 5.0, WordPress made a major change to the way you add content. It’s called the Gutenberg Editor.

Here’s more information about it.

It’s a pretty significant change. If you’re up for the learning curve, great. If you’re not so sure, maybe you have another option.

It’s called the Classic Editor, and it’s a plugin you can easily install on your site. With the WordPress Classic Editor, everything goes back to the way it was before WordPress 5.0 was released.

So who should suck it up and master Gutenberg, and who can slide by without it (for a while anyway)?

  • If you’re a blogger or freelancer, and you use mostly text and images, you can safely stick with the Classic Editor.
  • If you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, or if you use a lot of video, audio, or image galleries, you might want to use Gutenberg.
  • If you want much more control over the layout of your posts and pages than you’ve been able to get with WordPress in the past, you definitely want to use Gutenberg.

To Install the Classic Editor

Install the Classic Editor the same way you install any plugin.

  • Log into your WordPress Dashboard
  • Click on Plugins/Add New, then search for Classic Editor
  • Click Install Now
  • Click Activate

The plugin is very popular – as I write this, it’s showing over 3 million active installs! So if you’re sticking with Classic, you’re in good company.

To Use the Gutenberg Editor

You don’t need to take any special steps to use Gutenberg. It’s now part of WordPress core, so if you’ve updated to WordPress 5 (which you should have done by now!), you have it.

If you’ve been using the installed Classic Editor plugin, simply deactivate it and you’ll have Gutenberg at your fingertips.

When Your Old Posts are “Classic”

If you’ve had your site for a while and you switch from the WordPress Classic Editor to the Gutenberg Editor, you’ll notice something a little different when you pull up an older post or page in the edit window.

Older posts show up within a "classic" window when you're using the Gutenberg Editor

Notice there’s another window within the editor, with “Classic” at the top. This tells you the post was composed outside of Gutenberg. You’ll be able to edit it the same way you would have before, except that you won’t be able to add or edit images within it.

In order to make changes to any images, you’ll need to first convert it to blocks. Fortunately, that’s easy to do.

It's easy to convert a post to Gutenberg blocks when you switch from the WordPress Classic Editor.
  • Click anywhere within the Classic window to open up the menu at the top.
  • Select the three dots over on the right
  • Click Convert to Blocks

Now you’ll be able to edit any aspect of the post or page using Gutenberg.

Want More Gutenberg Tutorials?

We’ll cover Gutenberg in some depth in the upcoming Live WordPress Training Course.

Next in the Gutenberg series, How to Add a Post to Your Website Using the Gutenberg Editor.

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