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 — and work — 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.

From Blog To Site

I cleared all my cookies and website history from the browser. That meant that when I opened, I saw the page that new visitors see (and which I rarely see).

This is what I saw, and I noticed that it says:

Build your beautiful site today. Everything you need for a website that works for you.

I think that a couple of years ago it would have said Build your beautiful blog today.

It got me thinking that some people may not know precisely what the difference is between a site and a blog. Maybe there isn’t a strict demarcation between the two, or maybe there is.

Let’s have a go at clearing up the mystery 🙂

The word blog is a shortened form of weblog, which is a way of describing content set out in chunks (posts) in reverse chronological order with the newest content at the top.

A feature of WordPress built into blog posts is that they encourage engagement by allowing readers to comment on the chunks of content (the posts).

What you may not know is that the coding structure of blog posts is built into the heart of WordPress.

Blog posts are one of several kinds of ‘post type’.

Yes, blog posts are a post type, but also images are a post type; the navigation menu is a post type; pages are a post type.

Blog posts are built into the heart of WordPress.

So what is a website, as opposed to a blog?

In WordPress, there can, of course, be pages of information. And if there isn’t a running weblog as well, then it is a website, but it is not a blog.

And if there are pages and a running weblog, then it is a website with a blog built into it (like this site –

And if there are only posts and no pages, then it is a blog and only a blog.

From Blog to Site

WordPress now presents itself as a way for people to build websites:

Build your beautiful site today.

Further down the page of, it says:

Impress your visitors
Set up an elegant and unique site that will build your brand with ease. Work with thoughtfully chosen fonts, colors, and images — or add your own.

WordPress is trying to attract a different audience than previously. It is trying to get away from the idea that WordPress ‘is just a blogging platform’

And it is absolutely true that WordPress is not just a blogging platform, although blogging is built into the heart of WordPress.

With added code, WordPress can be all kinds of things – a shop, an affiliate shop, a scheduling system for professional services, a directory, a forum, a venue to fundraise, and so on.

Here’s a testimonial that’s highlighted on the WordPress page:

Refocusing our business meant an extensive rebrand and rename. made it easy to implement the changes we needed for a social media first impression.

And then the page sets out the plans – personal/premium/business – with prices. And lower down and less prominently it says:

If you just want to start creating, get started with a free site and be on your way to publishing in less than five minutes. Start with free. Includes a subdomain, community support, dozens of free themes, basic design customization, and more.

Back in the day when I started this blog, website, blog, I am pretty sure that the stress was on the idea that blogging with was free.

Here is what looked like in 2007, when I started this blog site. I put a red rectangle around the sign-up bit and you can see the word ‘free’.

WordPress in 2007

The visuals have come a long way, haven’t they!