Gutenberg Is Coming To

Gutenberg (the codebase, not the 15th Century printer)

Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people question what problem the designers thought they were trying to solve.

The Gutenberg editor uses blocks to create all types of content, replacing a half-dozen inconsistent ways of customizing WordPress, bringing it in line with modern coding standards, and aligning with open web initiatives. These content blocks transform how users, developers, and hosts interact with WordPress to make building rich web content easier and more intuitive, democratizing publishing β€” and work β€” for everyone, regardless of technical ability.

On self-hosted WordPress sites, Gutenberg is currently a plugin. When all the issues have been ironed out it will be merged into the core code so that everyone will be using Gutenberg.

A few days ago I listened to Matt Mullenweg talking at WordCamp Europe about merging Gutenberg into Calypso for those who can access and use the WP Admin backend on, which is what I do.

In a nutshell, WordPress is going to make a giant testbed of users – at least those who have been around longer and can access the WP Admin backend – to iron out the issues before baking it into the core code on

It makes sense because with the sites being hosted on WordPress’s own servers, the designers can see the issues as people use Gutenberg, and they make the changes and correct the problems.

I have been using the Gutenberg plugin in a self-hosted site since January. I feel there is a lot I am missing, a lot I could be doing and don’t ‘see’ it. So the chance to use it on is an extra spur to get me to use it more.

I followed up on the talk by Matt Mullenweg and asked Support how they would notify users. I found out that they will start with people using the Independent Publisher theme and then open it up to all themes from there.

I am interested to be involved in the project, not least because I don’t want a screwed-up version of Gutenberg getting merged into the core code on self-hosted sites. Not that I think it will be, but I want to keep as close to the process as I can.

Johannes Gutenberg

Here is Wikipedia on the printer, not the codebase:

Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith by profession, developed, circa 1439, a printing system by adapting existing technologies to printing purposes, as well as making inventions of his own. Printing in East Asia had been prevalent since the Tang dynasty,and in Europe, woodblock printing based on existing screw presses was common by the 14th century. Gutenberg’s most important innovation was the development of hand-molded metal printing matrices, thus producing a movable type based printing press system.


  1. Let’s hope it becomes as revolutionary as the original Gutenberg’s offering. Good on you for getting in at the beta phase… : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope. I found Gutenberg very flaky and unfriendly to use to begin with, but it is now on version 3.3.0 and has had many changes since it started.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. reb says:

    Okay, so if I switch to Independent Publisher, I’ll get it, is that it?!

    By ‘accessing wp-admin’ … do you just mean the old interface, or what?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the old interface. JenT says (I think she says) that people who joined more recently do not see the old interface and cannot access it. I am almost tempted to sign up with a different address just to test that out…
      And yes, that’s what Support said – the first people to see the Gutenberg option will be those running Independent Publisher 2 (note the ‘2’ – I don’t know whether the ‘1’ still exists)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. reb says:

        I just applied it. Now I have to see whether it was 2 — I took the first one I saw πŸ™‚

        Haven’t signed up for any new recently, so I don’t know either if they can get to the old. I just did it here and now, but this has been around for some time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You mean you were already logged in to and made a new site?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. reb says:

          No, I just applied the theme Independent Publisher … and it was 2, by the way πŸ™‚

          I’m a little curious of whether that’s true, that new users can’t get to the wp-admin …

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Me too. Let me know if you try it and I will do likewise if I try it. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

        4. reb says:

          I will have a look and see what the heck Gutenberg _is_. I never used the plugin while I had self-hosted.

          I used to like this theme, so it’s a good thing — I’d just forgotten about it.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Me too, something purposeful about Independent Publisher. If you want to keep up to date with Gutenberg, you can check Gutenberg News or Gutenberg Times or several others.

          Liked by 2 people

        6. reb says:

          But, but … how do I know whether I have it? Do I need to do something? Everything looks just as usual. I can’t go an install the plugin because then I need to have the business version and that is very costly.

          Liked by 1 person

        7. You don’t have to do anything At some point, WP will alert you that you have Gutenberg installed. You don’t need a business plan or anything – the idea is to turn us all into one giant crowd-sourced testbed. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

        8. reb says:

          Okay. I’ll just wait and see what happens. I wrote a little post, just to see whether anything was different. It wasn’t. Will try to read up on what it really _is_ πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

        9. Alex Yong says:

          Hey DB and reb, I use Independent Publisher (unsure if it’s 1 or 2) and I’ll log in later today and tell you what I see. Right now I’m just using the WordPress Android reader app. By the way, the man who created Independent Publisher is on Twitter. I’ve communicated with him before in 2015 I think. I wouldn’t say he’s super friendly but he’s not rude

          Liked by 1 person

      2. JenT says:

        A small correction: new users don’t have the direct link from Calypso to WP Admin, but WP Admin is still there. It can be accessed by adding /wp-admin to the end of the site address.

        Good for you in getting involved in the beta. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah yes, thanks for that. I remember you saying it and I had forgotten.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Do I also recall correctly that the longer-term plan is for all users to lose direct access to wp-admin from the back end?

          Liked by 1 person

        3. JenT says:

          Truthfully that point has been obscured every time it’s come up in the forums but various links in wp admin have been purposely rerouted to Calypso.

          And in case it isn’t clear, has always been the test bed for changes coming to standalone WordPress. If and how it affects sites with paid plans, I’d have to go recheck the ToS.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Thanks.
          From what I read, there are ‘Gutenberg classes’ for businesses with VIP plans.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. JenT says:

          VIP operates in a galaxy far, far away from anything running on “regular” and that includes Business. Can’t find anything specific in the ToS other than the service is offered “as is.”

          Liked by 2 people

        6. I can see that. It wouldn’t do if the New York Times fell over because of Gutenberg.

          Liked by 2 people

        7. On a self-hosted site, I am using Atomic Blocks – which are extra Gutenberg blocks. The author, Mike McAllister, has just introduced a container block. That means you can take a bunch of blocks – quotes, images, text, whatever, and wrap them all in a container and set the margins, padding, background colour, and make the whole stand out as one ‘thing’. For the first time I can see the benefit of all the effort that is being put into Gutenberg. Take a look at the video on this page

          Liked by 1 person

        8. JenT says:

          Thanks for the link-I’ll have a look tomorrow if we don’t have a brown out here due to the expected extreme temps.

          The Atomic Blocks sounds interesting, but at the same time stop and think about who that would appeal to. I don’t think it is the “average” user frankly.

          Liked by 1 person

        9. Sorry to hear about the brown outs. Is it the air con in a million apartments that is putting the load on the power?

          Atomic Blocks is for self hosted, yes, but it makes possible things that would previously have required either a theme that offered it, or a page builder, or a deep knowledge of CSS. I can see how it democratises the Web. I will start to sound like a Matt groupie, soon πŸ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

  3. reb says:

    I’m still waiting. Just looked in wp-admin … nothing about Gutenberg πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep looking, too.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Alex Yong says:

    Wow, Independent Publisher is my theme and I’m a user. Thanks for the heads up

    Liked by 1 person

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