It’s something many people often gloss over, but Gutenberg is not just a new editor for WordPress. It’s the start of something much bigger. Gutenberg lays the groundwork for incredibly exciting developments. Gutenberg is stage one of a three-pronged roll-out strategy. First, WordPress will get a redeveloped block editor, after that the project will focus on page templates and in the final stage WordPress will become a full site customizer. You can imagine, this gives us endless possibilities and it is a necessary step to keep WordPress the #1 CMS for years to come.
Today, we’re focusing on stage one. The new WordPress block editor landed in WordPress 5.0 arrived on December 6th, 2018.
But the hardest part about the upcoming Gutenberg transition is going to be those who are not tech or WordPress savvy trying to learn the new workflow with the new editor.
And that’s where we, as developers, are going to have to step up to help. We are the go-between for clients and their software, especially with any big changes to the software. And honestly, Gutenberg is a massive enough change that it can be argued that us helping others learn it will make or break WordPress of the future.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the new editor, but it’s enough of a change from the norm that a good deal of people will need help getting used to how things work. Otherwise, they might seek out other options.
So if you develop with WordPress, you should be helping others learn about Gutenberg, whether it’s one-on-one, creating full courses about the editor or just writing simple tutorials about it.
It helps WordPress
I contend that WordPress is only as good as the community around it. After all, it’s an open source platform that would not exist today without the community.
And as such, it’s going to take our community of developers, and even people who might not be developers but know the in’s and out’s, to help other people learn the ropes with Gutenberg. It’s going to be a challenge to work in the new editor at first, but once they get through that with help, they’ll be well on their way.
But, if people encounter friendly folks in the WordPress community who are willing to help them through this change, it speaks volumes about the software and the community. The help they receive will be invaluable to them, and more likely to keep them using WordPress through all the ups and downs because they know there’s a place to get great help.
It helps you
This seems kind of selfish, but we like to get things out of what we do. And I do believe there is a benefit to helping others transition to Gutenberg.
If you go out of your way to help people with transition, they will notice. If they’re not already your client, they very well maybe since they know they can trust you. And if they already are a client of yours, they’re more likely to recommend you to other people looking for a website.
It can be a very small thing for you, but it might be huge the person you help. And those are the best ways to gain new clients and work.
It’s the right thing to do
But really, in the end, helping your clients, and even people who aren’t your clients, learn the ropes with Gutenberg is really just the right thing to do. Sure, it can be easy to blow it off, leave others to fend for themselves and not really care about the whole thing.
But if you pride yourself in being a good developer — if you hear stories about developers running off from a client and think that you would never do such a thing — then it’s pretty much a must that you help others in this Gutenberg transition.
Remember, there was a time when you were starting web development and were at least a bit lost, and someone came along and helped you become a better developer. Where would you be without them? Now, go and be that person to someone else.
And I get it that Gutenberg isn’t the most amazing thing for some people. There are always going to be challenges with anything that evolves. Not everyone is a fan. That’s totally fine.
But if you are a developer with WordPress, if it helps your livelihood, then we, as developers, need to be ready and willing to help not-so-technical website owners go through the Gutenberg change whenever that happens.