If you are looking to learn about Gutenberg in advance of the WordPress 5.0 release date, the best thing you can do is install the Gutenberg Ramp Plugin and give it a try for yourself. There are plenty of WordPress Gutenberg tutorials out there, but until WP 5.0 drops, we don’t really know what the effects will be. But so far, it seems to be mostly positive.
“For most casual users, it will, after some growing pains, bring a more flexible content creation experience.
Non-developers will be able to intuitively craft more complex layouts with extra elements like buttons, content embeds, and lots more. And that will, hopefully, help WordPress to continue to grow.”
Gutenberg was revealed in mid-2017 by Matt Mullenweg during an interview with Om Malik, and ever since then, there has been a lot of anticipation for this new editor. Because WordPress is open source, none of this has been secret, and friendly geeks have been investigating the ins and outs of the software as it develops. Some of the links below have detailed tutorials on how to use Gutenberg for your WordPress website, with some tutorials in text, some in video, and a few in gifs.
How do I install Gutenberg on my website?
First off, let’s determine whether or not you have WordPress 5.0 or not.
How to install Gutenberg on your WordPress 5.0 Website
Step 1: Install WordPress.
That’s it. The WordPress core will have Gutenberg standard on every WordPress installation.
How to install Gutenberg on your WordPress 4.X site
Go to Plugins → Add New
Search for “Gutenberg” (I used Gutenberg Ramp plugin, it worked fine)
Click Install Now
Wait – Install Now button will change to Activate
Installing Gutenberg early will give you the chance to see what it does with your website; if things will break, if things will go smoothly, or if it’s way above your head.
What will Gutenberg change in my WordPress site?
After WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg will change the Post Editor (and Page Editor) that you use to create new posts and pages. All the remaining WordPress functionality will be unchanged.
Can I use my page builder with Gutenberg?
Yes and no. Yes, on the website, but no, not on the page.
Yes, you can use a page builder on a WordPress 5.0 website that uses Gutenberg as the core editor. No, you cannot use the Gutenberg editor and your Page Builder editor on the same page.
This website is built in the Divi theme, and uses the Visual Builder as the page builder for many pages (and even some posts). If I compose a post in Gutenberg, and then try to transition that post to the Visual Builder, it used to remove all coding in the easiest way possible: it will delete all the content in the post.
I tried a Gutenberg-to-Visual Builder conversion, and it refused to convert, I couldn’t even access the Visual Builder. But it did preserve the Visual Builder shortcodes.
I tried a Visual Builder-to-Gutenberg conversion, and this is what the screen looks like when you try to go to the Classic Editor:
If you try to return to Default Editor, or get to Gutenberg, you’ll lose it all:
Will Gutenberg change my eCommerce Store?
Since Products are a Custom Post Type, they will not (currently) be able to use Gutenberg without extra enhancement.
However, since I use WooCommerce on as the shopping cart on this website, I did see a neat little notice on here after I installed Gutenberg:
I did this to get one of my basic page-builder functions in Gutenberg, and it is something I can already do with WooCommerce shortcodes, but this is what a Product Block looks like in Gutenberg:
Can I keep the old version of WordPress instead of using Gutenberg?
I am quite sure there will be a plugin to attempt doing that, as there is always a plugin to handle any feature the user base wants; but since the old Tiny MCE editor is embedded in the core, it would take quite a hefty piece of code to transition it back.
If you really need to keep the old editor and refuse to use Gutenberg, your best bet is to stick with WordPress 4.9 and manually install any security updates, keeping your website increasingly obsolete. I’m sure this will be an appealing option for many to begin with, but I suspect that most people will upgrade in due course.
How hard is it to learn Gutenberg?
Try one of the Gutenberg tutorials linked in this post, you’ll see how easy it is. Like any learning curve, though, it depends on your aptitude and your interest.
Writing a blog post in Gutenberg won’t be much different than writing a blog post in Medium, but it will have a lot of the core WordPress functionality and integration. Getting all of the new features to sync up will take a little study, but it’s not very difficult. I’ve found it to be very user-friendly – read the first post I wrote in Gutenberg, with glitches, here: https://caelanhuntress.com/2018/08/12/gutenberg-is-coming-to-wordpress/
How long does it take to learn Gutenberg?
It’s not long. After 3-4 posts, a novice blogger should have the hang of it; experienced bloggers will only need 1-2 blog posts to pick up all the differences.
If you like video, the Yoast team put out a great video series of Gutenberg tutorials for free on YouTube:
Will my old WordPress posts be affected by Gutenberg blocks?
Will Gutenberg affect the SEO of my WordPress website?
What’s New: Gutenberg Blocks
The Blocks are the most fundamental change to the editor. The Gutenberg tutorials linked above go into them in some detail.
Users of Medium will recognize the interface intuitively; but because it’s WordPress, you have much more flexibility and control than with a typical Medium post.
When you pop the hood and look at the the code, the Blocks code is pretty simple. It looks like this:
<!– wp:core/text –> <!– /wp:core/text –> makes a text block. Everything within those bracket pairs can be moved around, drag-and-drop, within the Gutenberg editor.
“Previously, your content lived inside one big HTML file and for every enhancement there had to be something new: shortcodes, custom post types, embeds, widgets and the like. All with their quirky interfaces and weird behavior. Now, you can build your content precisely like you make a LEGO set: all from one box, following a standardized and straightforward set of instructions.”
This sounds great, on the surface, if you’re starting from scratch. But what if you have an older website?
If you use a lot of shortcodes in your theme, this could present some problems.
“Currently, shortcodes cannot be executed in text columns or paragraph blocks. They must be placed in the shortcode block in order to work. This can cause some problems if your shortcodes produce inline content like the year or an inline call to action.”
Making links doesn’t always work. The Link editor doesn’t always take my text, and I often can’t add a link easily.
Sometimes when I mean to backspace a word, it deletes the entire text block.
There is no undo when this happens; the text block I am working on is just gone.
The Fixed Background option to make images parallax often masks the image entirely in the editor
Sometimes deleting blocks is problematic, and I have to convert to HTML and manually kill it in the code
The images don’t display in the Editor the way they do in preview
An easy caveat: I created this post using the Gutenberg Ramp plugin, on a WordPress core that is still made to support previous versions of WordPress. This is also the early stages of rollout, and I made this post without reading any Gutenberg tutorials, so I am quite sure these glitches will improve over time.
Others have noticed some glitches and hazards too:
“Doesn’t support responsive columns yet. We really hope this is coming. A lot of times this is a reason people install visual builder plugins or shortcode plugins, is to get the column feature alone. It is definitely time for columns to be in core!”
“Since announcing the database on March 1st, 70 people have been granted testing status. However, of 5000 total plugins, we’re still at 4139 untested plugins. No companies have stepped up to contribute a significant amount of person-hours.”
Of the 861 tested plugins that Daniel tested in April of 2018:
219 (25.44%) are compatible.
518 (60.16%) are likely compatible.
25 (2.9%) are likely not compatible.
39 (4.53%) are not compatible.
60 (6.97%) are in “testing”, which means someone started test and abandoned the process.
That’s a decent spread, and the numbers may have improved. But as Igor notes below, this could cause big difficulties for Custom Post Types:
“If your plugin has a custom post type, then you may want to disable Gutenberg for that particular post type. To disable Gutenberg for your custom post type, you can just change your post type configuration.”
When will Gutenberg be a part of my WordPress website?
The answer to that question is very personal.
When WordPress 5.0 is released, every WordPress website that upgrades is going to have Gutenberg installed as its core editor by default. If you want it earlier, you can install a plugin, as described above. If you don’t want to upgrade to 5.0, you can probably coast on WordPress 4.9 for a number of months without facing any serious issues.
So, you will have Gutenberg on your WordPress website when you want it. Get ready, because it’s coming. Read some Gutenberg tutorials, or better yet, give it a spin.
This interview is the first episode of the Stellar Platforms Show! During this hour-long interview, I spoke with Sean Ogle of Location Rebel about the main tools he uses to run his membership website, the project management software he loves the most, and how he advises his members to identify their best target market.
We Talk About Location Rebel
Sean goes over the progression he’s gone through since launching Location Rebel in 2011, when it grew into a Frankenstein-like collection of tools. In 2016 he moved to an all-in-one system, the Rainmaker platform by Copyblogger – and in 2018 he moved back into WordPress, splitting off his tools into ‘best in class’ components.
We Talk About Running A Membership Website
When building a membership website, is it best to cobble all the pieces together, or do an all-in-one platform? Sean has some interesting perspectives on this idea. “It’s best to go with something that is best in class at what they do,” he reasons, because any all-in-one platform that’s trying to do 10 different things is going to do each of them 10% as well as it possibly could, and all these components could be 90% better.
Sean also advises against trying to sell too much right away in the early stages, and instead, focus on building a real connection with your audience. “If you can build up that core audience early on, and they trust you, they will buy your stuff early on when you’ve got it,” he says.
“Another benefit you get from waiting,” he continues, “is you get to know your audience better.” This can be very helpful for publish-happy content producers, the types of people who often want to start a membership site.
“Figure out the problem you’re solving, and do the bare minimum to solve that problem.” – Sean Ogle
I asked Sean about the people who join Location Rebel, if they are looking to find a way to generate income, or trying to find a way that enables them to travel more. His answer was really surprising.
We Talk About His Newest Project
Sean not only helps people improve their business, he also helps them to enjoy their hobby more. Our interview took place just as Hobby Hacking launched, a new component of the Location Rebel community.
Listen in on the biggest lessons learned from an experienced membership site owner. There were lots of questions answered in the whole 55 minute interview – watch it below.
Social media marketing can be done well, or done badly. No matter how good you’re doing, it could be really easy for you, or really hard. The easiest way to make sure your social media marketing is both easy and good is to follow the advice of people who have mastered the mediums.
6 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips
#1 – Say something valuable.
Seth Godin talks about ‘the trap of social media noise.’ Just because we can say things in so many places, to so many people, it doesn’t mean we should.
“Prune your message and your list and build a reputation that’s worth owning and an audience that cares.”
– Seth Godin
#2 – Don’t spread too thin.
Every account you set up will cost you, in time, energy, and mental overhead. Ask yourself which accounts are really necessary, and if you should skip one, then do it.
Ashley Kemper wrote a comprehensive overview at Marketing Land comparing each social media platform, with specific guidelines on when these different platforms make sense. Her recommendations are very detailed, so read her article if you have any questions about a specific platform. Her guidelines were:
Use Facebook if you want to reach a massive audience with a diverse array of content types.
Use Twitter if you have frequent updates or content with a “timeliness” factor.
Use YouTube if your business could benefit from product demos, testimonials, or putting a human face to your brand.
Use Google+ if you have a physical location and want to appear in local search results.
Use LinkedIn if you are in a B2B space, or you want to speak to a more professionally-oriented audience.
Use Pinterest if you want to target a female audience and have great visual content.
Use Instagram if you can create interesting visual content on a regular basis.
Use Foursquare if you have a brick-and-mortar location.
Read her article for more depth on each platform, if you’re not sure whether or not one of them is a good match for you.
#3 – Variety is the spice of social media.
Posting the same thing, all the time, isn’t giong to keep your audience engaged or interested. On the 8Days blog, Jimdo recommends a 70-20-10 formula.
“Don’t be overly promotional: Nobody likes someone who just talks about themselves all the time. 70% of your content should add value for your followers (such as sharing blog posts, coupons, etc.), 20% should be sharing other people’s content (posts from other businesses or highlighting customers), and only 10% should be directly promoting your business (such as “come by our store we have a new shipment of handbags!”).”
Social Media Marketing Formula:
70% adding value
20% sharing other people’s content
10% direct promotion
For every promotional tweet you write, prepare to publish 10x that much content that is for connection and relationship-building.
#4 – Show Them The Wizard Behind the Curtain
Social media marketing is your opportunity to be seen by your audience, really seen. They don’t want to see your products; they want to see you, working at your craft. Share the stories of what it’s like to do what you do.
“Social media is a fantastic way to break down the barriers of facelessness. By showing your potential customers the people behind the business you are giving yourself a chance to be different from all the other competition. They will become loyal to you.”
#5 – Get Popular To Get Seen
Popularity snowballs. The more that people like you, the more they like you, and it’s not just momentum; it’s math.
On the Buffer blog, Alfred Lua gives 10 social media tips, and describes the importance of popularity:
“Social media platform algorithms, such as those on Facebook and Instagram, are prioritizing posts with higher engagement on their feeds due to the belief that users will be more interested in seeing highly engaging content.”
– Alfred Lua
Collect likes, retweets, and shares, and you will rank higher ion the algorithm of social media platforms, and get seen more often.
#6 – Stay Authentic
Most people can sniff a sell-out, and it stinks. A genuine, long-term relationship can be completely derailed by staying in sales mode all the time.
Everybody needs to sell. It is, most often, why we get on a soapbox in the first place. But the only way to keep authenticity is by staying authentic, regularly.
“You need to find that balance between popularity and business. You need to have a little bit of both and mix the more fun side that wants popularity with the serious and informative side that boosts the reputation of your business.”
– Timothy Sykes
Social Media Setup – Done For You, or DIY
If you need to get your new brand up and running on social media, you can hire Stellar Platforms to do it for you, or you can buy our DIY kit for a tenth of the price, and do it yourself.
There are so many social media platforms out there, it can be a challenge to launch your brand-new-brand everywhere across the internet at once. Social Media Setup can be difficult without an easy map. What’s the difference between all these social media platforms? Mark Chandler was good enough to describe the difference – using donuts.
Getting a donut onto all of these platforms can seem like a real chore. But don’t worry – you can set up social media accounts for your business in an afternoon, if you have a good social media checklist, your logo files, a pre-written bio, and a good tutorial.
How To Set Up Social Media Accounts for a Business
Social Media Setup Tip 1:
Use the same login credentials for all of your social media accounts.
Using the same email address and password for all of your new accounts will make it easy to set up (and manage) your social media accounts.
If you create a new email address just for this purpose, like firstname.lastname@example.org, then you can even hand off logins for these accounts to someone else securely in the future.
Social Media Setup Tip 2:
Set up all social media accounts in one sitting.
Set aside an hour or two with this tutorial, and give yourself the time and space to do it right, and do it once.
Having multiple browser tabs will make this easy. To use multiple tabs, Ctrl + Click on a link and it will open in a new tab. If you press Cmd + T on a Mac, or Ctrl + T on a PC, you will open a new tab where you can manually type your URL.
Social Media Setup Tip 3:
Use an Incognito browser for setting up your business social media accounts.
If you already have other social media accounts, or a gmail address, then do yourself a favor and use an incognito browser to start fresh. This way, you won’t accidentally login to the wrong account, and connect them in a confusing way.
Using an incognito browser doesn’t make your activity invisible, however. As Heather Parry writes, “Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ might stop Chrome itself from logging your browsing data, but it doesn’t stop your operating system, your router, or the websites themselves from logging that you’re there. When streaming content, whether you’re in ‘Incognito’ mode or not, you open yourself up to data storing, and this mode does not hide your IP address, meaning that information such as your location, your browser, your operating system and even your physical address might still be seen.”
This means that going Incognito does not completely shield your activity, but it does give you the same browsing experience as if you were signed out of all your accounts.
How To Go Into Incognito Mode In Your Browser:
Press Cmd + Shift + N on a Mac, or Ctrl + Shift + N on a PC.
Use our Social Media Checklist to set up your new social media accounts
If you’d like Stellar Platforms to set up your social media accounts for you, we can do that. If you want to do it yourself, we can give you a video tutorial and a step-by-step guide to handle it yourself in an afternoon.