I use WordPress as the platform for this site. My company, Outcome Labs, also uses WordPress for its site and provides WordPress services to clients. I am also working with WordPress at Mango Publishing Group where I am the Group Technology Director. WordPress is the platform for more than forty percent of Internet sites today. That growth has been driven by the extensibility of WordPress and the large development community that contributed to the platform and has developed themes and plugins to extend it.
I started working with WordPress in 2008 when I founded Outcome Labs. Over that time, the platform has dramatically advanced. WordPress was created as a blogging platform. New capabilities were added that let it be used to create “full” websites. As mentioned, the WordPress developer community has created thousands of themes and plugins to extend it. One of the key developments that advanced the platform in 2014/2015 was the introduction of “page builder” plugins that let users use graphical UIs to design and create content in WordPress.
As WordPress page builders became more popular, the WordPress core team evaluated how to include such capabilities in the core platform. A project called Gutenberg was launched to develop a visual “block editor” for the WordPress platform. This would replace the “Classic Editor” that was used to create the content on WordPress posts and pages. The vision was that the WordPress Block Editor would eventually be capable of designing all parts of a WordPress site.
The Block Editor was initially developed as a “feature” plugin Called Gutenberg. The Block Editor was integrated into the core WordPress platform in WordPress 5.0 which was released on December 6, 2018. The Gutenberg project team has continued to build out the Block Editor. A new version is released every 3-4 weeks. There have been 8 major updates to the version that is embedded in the core platform. The next major update will be included in WordPress 5.9 which will be released this December. This release will enable full site editing with the Block Editor for the first time. It is a key milestone in the evolution of the platform.
Since 2018, almost all the new sites we have developed were done with the Block Editor. The early project used the Astra theme. In 2019, we started using the Blocksy theme from Creative themes. This site was the “test” with both. We have converted a number of client sites to the Block Editor and are working with every client to plan their migration to the Block Editor. I have also talked with a lot of people about their use and/or plans for the Block Editor at the Tallahassee WordPress meetup group.
One thing I get asked for a lot is a recommendation for a good WordPress Block Editor overview. I have a set of these, but I thought I would share a great video overview of the Block Editor by Jamie Marsland of Pootlepress. Jamie has been active in the WordPress developer community for years and created some great themes and plugins. This video is part of a series he has been doing recently. It is about thirty minutes and definitely worth a watch if you want a basic introduction to how to use the WordPress Block Editor.