We're deep into this Gutenberg phase of WordPress. It's hard to believe it's been three years since its introduction. It's come a long way and I know – I've been using Gutenberg daily on this blog.
Here are the five observations I have about Gutenberg after 349 daily blog posts.
1. Core Blocks Can Do A Lot
There are a ton of core blocks that you can use to author and design posts and pages pretty easily. I know there are tons of libraries out there. In the early part of this year I tried several of the packages out there. But the more I embraced Gutenberg, the more I discovered most of what I needed was available in the core blocks.
The benefit of using the core blocks is that I don't have a ton of fear that they're going away. And I know they'll get better over time. So I push myself to use them every time I can.
With that said…
2. GenerateBlocks are Powerful
One of the only libraries I use on this site is a small one – GenerateBlocks. They have four blocks – Heading, Container, Grid and Button. While the Column block in core is good, I like the Grid block from GenerateBlocks better. I think it deals with gaps and spacing better than the columns block.
I don't use the Button block much. But I do use the Container and the Grid when I'm doing page layouts. It's not a full page builder, but it doesn't need to be. These two blocks give me enough to feel find about what I'm putting on a page.
3. Gutenberg Isn't a Page Builder
I know everyone feared that it would kill page builders. But it isn't exactly the same thing. Designers start with a design and then use tools to make that design come alive. I'm not a designer. So I don't have a design. Instead, I just want things to look pretty good. And a great and lightweight theme, along with Gutenberg, gets me what I need for this site.
I have several pages on the site that aren't blog posts. And they all look fine. And none of them required a page builder. And to me, that's what matters most. I was able to rebuild the site without a page builder and still enjoy it's overall look and feel.
4. Gutenberg Makes My Site Better
I think the best thing about Gutenberg is that once I removed any page builder from my site, it shrunk the DOM size and made my pages much smaller. As a consequence, it made my site much faster. And that's a huge benefit to me.
It's also helpful that I can edit any post or page using Gutenberg on my phone. That's not something I could have done in the past when it was designed with a page builder. At least not with the WordPress mobile app.
5. Dynamic Content is My Favorite Thing About Gutenberg
I have written several posts in the last year about Gutenberg.
- How I use Gutenberg with dynamic blocks
- Content visibility with Gutenberg
- Reusable content blocks with Gutenberg
All three of these posts are highlighting the benefit of embracing Gutenberg. I've been using Gutenberg daily and without question, this is my favorite feature.
If you visit any post on this blog about memberships, you'll see that in-content, dynamically-placed block before the third heading that asks if you need help choosing the right membership plugin.
I created that “ad” once and configured the rules for its display. Then I was done and it goes in automatically.
I've created blocks for other things, like event registration, and have it disappear once the registration window closes.
The ability to create a block of content and dynamically place it anywhere, for any amount of time, to be seen by whoever I want, is what makes me the biggest Gutenberg fan. Because I can do all of that without coding.
The State of the Word
Yesterday Matt Mullenweg delivered his yearly take on how things are going with WordPress. If you missed it, WP Tavern covered it well.
To summarize things, he said, “more Gutenberg.” And he's right. We're at the beginning of this whole phase of embracing blocks, dynamic content, and more. I can't wait to see what another year of Gutenberg brings us.
I hope you're on the ride with me….
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