You might’ve missed the news, if you didn’t pay much attention to the world of web design and online marketing over the summer, but there are some big changes coming to WordPress. Specifically, the world’s most popular content management system is getting a new publishing interface.
That means what you’ll see when you decide to post an article is going to be different than the traditional WordPress menus that have been with us for many years. We suspect this might catch a lot of business owners and marketers by surprise, so let’s take a look at a few things you’ll need to know so you can get up to speed…
Getting to Know the New WordPress Interface
Appropriately named after Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the printing press just over five centuries ago and made it easier than ever for authors to share their work with the world, the new WordPress interface is more user-friendly. It was designed to be more intuitive, relying on more visuals and push-button tools than HTML coding. That’s probably going to be a welcome change for millions of users.
In a general sense, the Gutenberg platform looks more like a modern word processing or publishing app, with text and visual tools that are easier to understand. That should significantly reduce the learning curve for new or infrequent users, while at the same time making it easier to integrate new features and functions going forward.
If you want to see Gutenberg for yourself, you can install it now. However, the current release is still in testing mode meaning you could encounter unexpected bugs or errors. The full version will be rolled out soon and is expected to be integrated into WordPress as a regular feature. So, you might want to hold off.
It’s also worth pointing out that we certainly don’t advise you to install this (these or any other) piece of software onto your WordPress website without the right guidance and backups in place. Otherwise, you could end up erasing content and losing features without warning.
With that important disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to what you really want to know: how will Gutenberg affect WordPress, your website, and your online marketing strategy?
Gutenberg Encourages Content Creation and Publishing
Because Gutenberg will make it easier to write and publish material directly into WordPress, it’s going to encourage content creators to work more (and more frequently). Not only is the interface clean and easy to use, but it has features that make it possible to eliminate distractions and even works seamlessly with mobile devices.
Those are big benefits in and of themselves, but we suspect one thing that will really appeal to marketers is the chance to spend less time formatting and preparing their work to be published on the web. For a lot of people, developing good content is one thing, but preparing it to go online is another chore that takes way too long.
It’s always nice to use a tool that is simple and intuitive, so expect some content marketers to take their cue and begin composing more articles than they did before.
You Can Produce Better Content with Gutenberg
While the key takeaway might be that Gutenberg will speed up the content creation process, it’s also worth pointing out that you can generate better articles and posts using the interface, too.
Gutenberg might not make you a better writer, but it can give you the tools you need to make your points in a more compelling, persuasive, and memorable way. For instance, by just clicking a couple of buttons you can create tables and columns directly in your posts (rather than having to generate them off-line and then upload the results). You can also drag and drop photos, create cover text, insert pull quotes, and even insert an automatic table of contents at the beginning of a long article with subsections.
These are simple tools that were missing from WordPress for a long time. You can bet they’re going to allow smart content marketers to better organize their ideas and gather more engagement for their best posts.
The Classic WordPress Editor Isn’t Going Away Soon
Although we expect the Gutenberg update is going to be a big hit with marketers, it’s a virtual certainty that some WordPress power users aren’t going to want to change. The old interface might be clunky, but it’s the one they are used to. Additionally, it’s a safe bet that there are going to be integration problems, with some older websites not being able to handle Gutenberg (more on this the moment).
For these reasons, some marketers won’t make the switch to Gutenberg right away. Developers know this and are keeping the classic WordPress editor in place for the foreseeable future. We don’t think a lot of people will keep using it, but it’s nice to know it will be there for those who want that choice.
There Are Going to Be Integration Problems
Any big software progression brings new headaches, conflicts, and even online security concerns. We shouldn’t expect a major change to WordPress to be any different.
Despite extensive testing, there are bound to be problems when hundreds of millions of websites all add Gutenberg at once. There may be plug-ins that won’t play well with the new interface, for example, and those who are using old versions of WordPress might find it isn’t compatible with certain features or pieces of code.
What can you do if you want to upgrade to Gutenberg and you don’t feel like hoping for the best while waiting for the worst?
The Time to Audit Your WordPress Website is Now
A good web design and programming team (like the one we have here at Maxburst on Long Island) can help you identify potential problems before you add Gutenberg to your WordPress website. Then, we can monitor the transition, and your content, to ensure your site is just as safe, functional, and profitable as it was before.
Now is a great time to order an audit of your WordPress website. It won’t just help you to prepare for the coming changes, but can also put you in a position to identify any other problems – or obvious marketing opportunities – that you might have overlooked in the past. Often, the things that affect your ability to attract new customers or maintain a high search engine position aren’t visible without digging deeply into your website code. That’s why a periodic review can be so beneficial.
Website audits are easy, inexpensive, and a much better option than unexpected emergency design work. If you want to be ready for the Gutenberg WordPress update, getting one might be your best first step.
Is Your WordPress Website Ready?
Is your WordPress business website ready for the Gutenberg update? Can your web presence stand up to the competition, both in your local area and on Google? Are you getting the leads and sales you should be from your online marketing campaigns?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions – or just aren’t sure – now might be a great time to start examining your options for improvement. Contact the design, programming, and marketing experts at Maxburst in New York today to learn more about the ways we can help your business grow!