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WordPress Gutenberg Guide: What Is It & How to Use It

Gutenberg is currently the default WordPress editor. It was introduced in WordPress 5.0 and replaced the TinyMCE editor. A subsequent update upgraded Gutenberg to more than an editor into a customization tool for full site editing.

How the WordPress Gutenberg Editor works

WordPress Gutenberg uses a block-based approach to add and edit elements such as text, headings, embedded links, and lists to pages and posts.

The way the blocks work makes it possible to tweak the attributes of an individual block without affecting others. 

Unlike the classic editor which was a blank area for typing text, Gutenberg has more features and has a visual layout.

When editing a page or post, Gutenberg components can be accessed from the Block Editor. 

To add a new block:

  1. Click on the + icon from the toolbar
  2. Select a block from the options
  3. Use the block editor to add more blocks as needed

Note that pressing ‘Enter’ after any block creates a new paragraph block automatically. The more you use certain blocks they will be accessible in a frequently used panel for easier access.

Customizing Gutenberg blocks

  1. Click the + icon on to open the Block Inserter interface
  2. Choose a block
  3. Click Settings on the top-right corner
  4. Select Block to change the block settings instead of Post or Page
  5. Tweak the color, width and style as desired using the dedicated options

Disabling Gutenberg in WordPress

For some users, the huge shift from the classic text-based, HTML oriented editor to the block editor may be jarring.

If you prefer the older editor layout, thankfully there’s ways to deactivate Gutenberg. The easiest of these is to use the Classic Editor plugin.

Once activated, the WordPress Classic Editor plugin will disable Gutenberg and restore the much simpler text-based layout.

However, it’s important to note that the plugin may not disable Gutenberg throughout your website. Moreover, it’s likely that the editor is here to stay.


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