Skip to content

The new Gutenberg page editor in WordPress: everything photographers need to know

If you use WordPress, you’ve probably heard news about Gutenberg – the default new visual page builder that’s coming with WordPress version 5. It will definitely take the WordPress community by storm.

Let’s learn more about it and whether you should use it.

What is Gutenberg?

WordPress version 5 (which is set to come out sometime in 2019) will include a new page editor called Gutenberg, in honor of Johannes Gutenberg – the inventor of the movable-type printing press.

New Gutenberg page editor callout in WordPress 4.9

A beta version of Gutenberg is already available to test in current WordPress installations as a free plugin and will become the default editor in WP 5.0. The classic editor will still be available as a plugin then, for backward compatibility.

Gutenberg introduces the concept of blocks:

Blocks allow inserting various types of elements into your page (text, headings, images, videos, etc.) and then easily re-arranging and styling them as needed, without using any code.

The old WP visual editor allowed adding many of these elements but in a simplified linear fashion, and you had to rely on coding and other plugins to create more advanced layouts.

Gutenberg contains blocks for:

  • Text: Paragraph, Heading, Subheading, List, Table, Button, Text Columns
  • Media: Image, Gallery, Cover Image, Video, Audio
  • Others: Columns, Quote, File, Code, Custom HTML, Embeds, Shortcodes & More.

And since it’s open source, new blocks are constantly appearing to provide more power and flexibility:

Gutenberg block extensions


What are your alternatives and how does Gutenberg compare with them?

Most of them have tens of thousands of users with huge communities on YouTube and other sites, people who’ve gotten accustomed to their preferred page builder over time.

At the moment, Gutenberg is nowhere near as powerful as other established page builders out there:

  • no front-end visual editing option
  • smaller selection of elements/blocks
  • fewer customization options
  • fewer responsive design settings

To make users migrate to it, Gutenberg would be to really surpass other page builders in terms of functionality and ease of use, and we’re still a long way from that.

Should you use Gutenberg now?

Quick answer: no, not yet.

But eventually, probably yes.

If you just have a simple portfolio site with a straightforward blog area, then yes, you can indeed already transition to Gutenberg, or at least test it out.

But for reasons I explained above, Gutenberg is not yet powerful enough to use for a complex photography website.

Especially if you’re already using a page builder plugin, it’s best to wait until Gutenberg becomes more powerful. Almost all existing page-builders are not yet compatible with Gutenberg, because G completely takes over the page edit screen.

You can, however, click “Classic Editor” when you hover over a page under “All Pages”, which then allows using your existing page builder.

Classic Editor link in All Pages (WordPress)

Keep checking this site and my newsletter email for new on this topic. I’ll surely write about this further when things change when Gutenberg truly becomes a viable option even for complex sites.

What does the future bring?

Overall though, I’m very impressed with the work done by the WP team, and I think it will eventually become a major (positive) disruptor in the web-design industry.

Based on current news, Gutenberg is just the beginning of something big for the WordPress ecosystem, it’s just the groundwork for a bigger strategy.

After Gutenberg establishes itself as a revamped “industry standard” editor, WordPress developers will focus on providing better page templates (stage 2), and then eventually offer a powerful full site customizer (stage 3).

Gutenberg is just the first step.

Along the way, WordPress themes will be the most affected. Their biggest selling points are custom page templates, built-in page builders and various customization options, which are all meant to be baked into the WordPress core to a certain degree. Theme developers will have to adapt.

As for WP plugins of the future, they should be fine if they don’t directly interact with content that much. There will always be a need to extend WP’s functionality, regardless of how the content building process works.

Further reading


What are your thoughts on the future of content editors, and WordPress in general?


Need help managing your WordPress site?

Save time & money by protecting your website and having me do ongoing testing, maintenance, prevention & iterative improvements.

Check out my website maintenance plans & technical services for photographers:

Website care plans

Off-topic or inflammatory comments may be moderated.
Please add VALUE to the web, thanks!

Search for other articles:

Or explore these related categories:

Book a one-to-one consulting call with me:

Get more CLARITY and answers to your most pressing web-related questions.
You get actionable, specific advice, answering your questions on how to improve your photography website design & SEO, and get more results.

Learn more

Level up your photography website

Learn the exact tactics to grow your photography business and get more inquiries and sales from your website.
My BEST advice. Your inbox. Every Tuesday. Free.

No spam ever. You are free to unsubscribe at any time. 

“If you haven’t subscribed to Alex’s newsletter yet you’re a nutjob!”

“SO MUCH good stuff in there – where have you been all my life!!”

“Definitely worthwhile subscribing  – always full of great info.”

“The most useful out of everything I get via email. So thank you!”

“So much interesting content. It got my head spinning.”

“It’s so comprehensive and I love Alex’s brutal honesty”

“One of the very few emails that I allow to show up in my inbox.”

“Straightforward, to the point, no nonsense, solid information.”

“You have so much good information – it’s almost overwhelming!”

“The best information & advice on photography websites anywhere.”

🎙️ My interview on the Hair of the Dog Podcast Free SEO course for photographers Wedding photographers need to be different 🎙️ New podcast interview The market is selfish Google hates seeing repeated content! How to develop your soft skills as a photographer 7 quick principles for creating a great website 4 ways to make your photography website more trustworthy What are famous photographers doing right on their websites? Or better yet, what are they doing awfully wrong despite being successful?