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The WordPress Block Editor Is a Better Way to Build Sites. Use it.

The Block Editor Is a Better Way to Build WordPress Sites. Use It.

Starting in 2018, WordPress began a transition to improved tech for theme/site design and content editing. At the code level, it’s a much better way to manage development. That translates into big improvements in the design and user levels.

In 2024, lots of theme editing can be done through the WordPress dashboard. Before 2018, theme design was done with off-site coding. Now full-site editing can be done on site.

The new editor (called Gutenberg or the block editor) also improves the user interface. Editors and writers can better see what content looks like to visitors without installing a page-builder plugin.

The Future: Block Themes

With the new Gutenberg block editor, lots of site design can be done in the WordPress editor. That makes it easier to change the entire design quickly without recreating or reformatting the content. WordPress has always had this advantage when implemented correctly.

Now it’s even easier to create and edit the design.

Gutenberg and the Create Block Theme plugin (a WordPress.org community plugin) are the future of WordPress theme editing.

The old editor, called the Classic Editor, still works and will for the foreseeable future. Sites created with the Classic Editor convert easily, though almost all require a little custom tweaking. (BTW: All Pacesetter Media sites before 2023 use the Classic Editor, and our sites convert to the block editor well.)

We recommend that sites should be updated to a block theme either page-by-page or on the next major site update.

Not Just Block Themes, We Recommend Design-Only Themes

Technically, a block theme can include a page builder, so look beyond the “block theme” label.

The theme should not change page content stored in the database. ALL content is stored in a database. Page builders add code to the content. This usually means sites are locked into the page builder in the future; they can’t be converted back easily.

To take full advantage of WordPress, use themes that change only the design and do not add code to the content in the database.

Game Changer: Block Editing (Gutenberg)

Gutenberg is a game changer… I should say site-development-and-design changer. It gives developers everything needed in the Dashboard to create a site the right way:

  • editable sites: site owners, editors and writers can add, edit, and manage content, pages, and posts
  • any design: virtually any design you can imagine
  • updatable sites: designs, themes, and functions can be updated the right way
    • An explanation of the “right” way is beyond this post. It gets technical; it’s about the code and databases.
  • best practices: fast sites that are mobile, accessible and SEO friendly
  • future ready: sites that are ready for how WordPress works now and in the future. It keeps the advantages and flexibility of an outstanding content management system, WordPress.

WordPress, Gutenberg and the Create Block Theme plugin have what’s needed for most sites. And off-site coding and plugins can add lots more customization the right way.

Lots More Info on Full-Site Editing

Carolina Nymark created a fantastic site for learning about Gutenberg, the block editor, and using the WordPress Full-Site Editor. The site has tutorials for beginners and advanced developers.

Go to FullSiteEditing.com for all the tutorials and lots of great info.

Recommendation: Convert or Rebuild with Gutenberg

Plan to convert your WordPress site to the block editor. Some sites can wait for the next major design update; these are sites that have static content that rarely changes. Other sites should be updated sooner: Shopping sites, complicated sites with premium plugins, and sites with regular new content. If you start using the block editor for new content now, you’ll have less to convert when you update the entire site.

If your site is due for an update, now is a good time. Since late 2022, full-site editing has been a usable option. It’s getting better with every update. It’s the future of WordPress.

Pacesetter Media WordPress sites have always used the native WordPress editor. They convert pretty easily.