If you haven’t heard, the WordPress editor is undergoing a major change this year.
Why It’s Happening
The editor is getting overhauled for a number of reasons.
WordPress now competes against SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly, all of which have easy to use drag and drop editing. While WordPress’s editor is called a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), we know this is not necessarily the truth. How often have you created a post only to go look at it on the front end and realize it looks nothing like what you saw on the backend?
WordPress wants to fix this so you won’t have to worry about the look of your post and you can concentrate on your writing.
The foundation of the new editor will be built on blocks which means you will build your post or page by stacking different types of content on top of each other. There will be a button block, an image block, a shortcode block, a heading block, and many other types of blocks.
While there are still many questions regarding this change, there are a few key things to know about this transition.
Existing pages and posts will look exactly like they do today.
Your pages and posts will be placed in the classic editor content block which will show the content exactly as it does currently. The catch is, if you go to edit the content it will then be moved into the new editor which could adjust the way your content looks.
All functionality that exists in the old editor will exist in the new editor
Shortcodes will still work as they have in the past, as will much of the other functionality you are used to. You just have to find it.
If you don’t want to use the new editor there is a classic editor plugin that you can use.
It’s important to note however, that we do not know how long the classic editor will be supported. It could be 1 year, it could be 5 years. What we do know is that this is the way WordPress is headed so at some point you will probably have to make that transition. You can procrastinate if you want.
Any plugin or theme can add one line of code and disable or change the editor for your entire site.
So, if you install the new editor to test it and it doesn’t look the same as what you see in my examples it probably is something in a plugin or theme you have installed. If you really want to use the new editor you will need to figure out which plugin or theme is causing the issue and disable it.
At this point, I know you want to know when this change will happen. Unfortunately, we don’t know. We know it’s coming soon – probably before the end of 2018. If I had to guess I’d say end of summer – beginning of fall. But again, that’s just a guess.
So what can you do now?
- Make a copy of your site and test it. Move your site to a staging environment (or have your developer set it up) and test to see how compatible it is with the new editor. This is a good chance for you to start fixing anything that doesn’t translate well from one editor to the other.
- Work with your developer to fix anything that isn’t working so you will be ready when the new editor takes effect.
If you would like to see more about the new editor the video below is a presentation I gave on the new editor. I’ll walk you through the editor and you can see how it works and what features it has.