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The WordPress block editor, known as Gutenberg, has been around since 2018. However, the classic editor plugin, which reverts WordPress to the old editor, has been installed more than 5 million times. So, many people have yet to switch to the new page editor.
Many WordPress users are reluctant to make the change, and you can understand why. When you first look at the new editor, it appears entirely different, and it will undoubtedly take you longer to create your first page than it would have done with the classic editor.
But don’t reactivate the classic editor plugin too swiftly. It doesn’t take long to familiarize yourself with the block editor, and once you have found your way around Gutenberg, you will be publishing posts and WordPress pages faster than ever before.
Moreover, the block editor has some excellent features that will make you wonder how you ever managed with the clunky classic interface. Here are ten WordPress block editor features to convince you to deactivate the classic editor plugin.
1. Ready-Made Content Blocks
When you work with Gutenberg, you will see that the content of a page is broken down into blocks. Each block is assigned a block type, for example, heading, paragraph, and image. But there are many more block types than those three basic ones, and many of these ready-made block types overcome some of the time-consuming omissions in the classic editor. For example, you can add tables, image galleries, columns, buttons, and more with Gutenberg, all without installing a single plugin.
2. Drag and Drop Images
Adding images to a post is a whole lot easier in Gutenberg. You can still download and upload pictures if you prefer. But, if you want to save time, you can also drag and drop images directly onto the page, and the editor will add the pictures to the media library. What’s more, if you drag and drop multiple images, the block editor will create an image gallery for you.
3. Reposition Blocks
Having all the content contained blocks can at first seem like a nuisance. However, when you need to use the next feature, blocks will seem like a godsend. If you decide to reorder your content, you can simply drag and drop blocks to new locations. So, no more cutting, pasting, and reformatting content when you want to restructure a page.
4. Convert to Blocks
At first sight, it might appear that you must create each block on the page one by one. However, this is not the case. You can still copy and paste an entire page of content, including images, and Gutenberg will convert the content into blocks. The block editor recognizes things like images and shortcodes. Then, all you need to do is select block types of items like headings. You can also convert existing pages created in the classic editor to blocks with one click of a button.
5. Create Columns
The ability to create vertical columns is another neat feature of Gutenberg. This feature allows you to format a page newspaper style, or arrange some blocks into columns within a page. Each column can contain any block type, so this feature can also be used to create callout boxes and calls to action.
6. Formatting Options
There are also some nice additions to the formatting options in Gutenberg. Some of these features may at first appear minor. However, they can make all the difference to the appearance of a page and save you a lot of time. For example, you can add drop capitals at the beginning of a paragraph. You can insert short or long lines as separators between sections or at the end of a page, and there are ready-made block types to cater for lists, quotes, and code.
7. Create Reusable Blocks
Reusable blocks allow you to use blocks you create on multiple pages. These elements can be used for calls to action, disclaimers, and callouts. Everything is saved in a reusable block, including the content and the formatting. This feature of Gutenberg can save an immense amount of time.
8. Insert Blocks
Have you ever completed a page and then decided an image or video would look great between two paragraphs? Well, the WordPress block editor simplifies this task, too. Gutenberg allows you to insert a new block between two existing blocks anywhere on a page. This means that editing and modifying a post or page is more straightforward than the classic editor.
9. Keyboard Shortcut
You will undoubtedly already be familiar with keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + B, Ctrl + U, and Ctrl + I for formatting text in Windows documents. Likewise, Gutenberg also has an extensive range of keyboard shortcuts to speed up posting and editing content. If you press Shift + Alt + H, you will see all the many keyboard shortcuts available in the Gutenberg editor. One of these shortcuts that you will frequently want to use is /, which display block-types when editing a page.
10. Third-Party Blocks
The Gutenberg editor simplifies the creation of WordPress pages and posts, and there are plenty of blocks in the standard block editor to meet most people’s general needs. However, many third-party blocks further extend the functionality of the editor. You can see what third-party blocks are available to install when searching block-types in the editor. And, undoubtedly, many Gutenberg plugins will be developed in due course.
If you haven’t switched to the Gutenberg editor, it is highly recommended that you overcome your reluctance to change. As you can see from the above, there are many cool features in the block editor and many time-saving shortcuts. Furthermore, future WordPress enhancements will be block focussed. So, if you don’t switch, you will be missing out on the next bunch of Gutenberg features.