Getting to know the WordPress block editor

WordPress 5.0 introduced a new content editing experience. The new block editor, also known as Gutenberg, works with the concept of content blocks. Your posts and pages are now collections of blocks – paragraph and image blocks, heading blocks, video blocks and more.

Try out the new editor at wordpress.org/gutenberg/

Block Editor Basics

Click the + button to bring up the Block Inserter. Choose or search for a block. Click on the block to insert it into your content.

The Block Inserter

Press Return / Enter to add a new Paragraph block – you don’t need to stop after each paragraph to add a new block.

Click on a block to select it and manipulate its settings. More settings can be found in the Block settings panel on the right of the screen.

For best results, use a theme that is optimized for the new block editor.

Top Features of the Block Editor

Blocks!

Besides the few dozen blocks included with WordPress by default, you can add even more blocks. Blocks are added by plugins. Find more blocks by browsing the plugin repository at wordpress.org/plugins/browse/blocks/

Copy and Paste content

The new editor will accept content pasted from other sources and retain its formatting. What does this mean?

You can copy and paste your draft from Google Docs and Microsoft Word complete with images. You don’t have to fix the formatting after you paste it.

You can also paste text formatted in Markdown and the block editor will convert it accordingly.

Encourages you to create SEO-friendly and accessible content

The editor will let you know if you choose a color combination that’s too hard to read. The content structure panel will also highlight headings in the wrong order. Used correctly, headings can be helpful for SEO too.

Themes Add More Features

Themes that integrate closely with the block editor can enable more features. Some features that have to be enabled by themes include…

Text size and colors

Themes can declare ideal text size and colors to the block editor

Wide and Full-width alignments

Width and full-width blocks extend past the content column for exciting and immersive content layouts.

Wide width

Full width

Your theme may have been updated to add compatibility with the block editor—update now to check (be sure to backup your site before updating, just in case).

If you are looking for a new theme and want these new features, be sure to look out for labels declaring “Compatible with block editor”, “Gutenberg-optimized”, etc.

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