Gutenberg at VIP

Overview #

This document is your guide to the plans, tools, and resources at VIP relating to the Gutenberg editor core project and its integration into WordPress 5.0. We will keep it updated with everything you need to prepare for a smooth transition, whether or not you plan to activate the new editor at launch in WordPress 5.0.

Latest update and tl;dr: Gutenberg and Ramp are now available on VIP Go! This document outlines how to get started, and find more context in the Lobby post.

  • Previous updates:
    • A second set of how-to videos are available on vipgutenberg.com. These address questions such as converting ACF and CMB2 to Gutenberg and how to control access to blocks.
    • As you plan your Gutenberg transition, please reach out to talk about customized support and training.
    • Testgutenberg.com, a playground to test out the latest Gutenberg releases directly on the front-end, is available now.
    • Our educational videos for users and developers on working with Gutenberg are now available. Go to vipgutenberg.com and register with your work email to access them.
    • The new editor will be opt-in for VIP’s, and will be default=off if no other action is taken.

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The Gutenberg Basics #

In 2018, WordPress will modernize, streamline, and simplify the content creation experience with Gutenberg. The project optimizes for direct manipulation of the visual presentation of the content, instead of through indirect means, like metaboxes. The first component of the Gutenberg project to launch is a new WordPress editor experience, which will debut with WordPress 5.0. The new editor offers content creators a straightforward way to find, insert, and work with elements on the page (more in our preview on VIP News.)

As exciting as it is, it also represents the biggest change to the WordPress user experience in several years. We know very well that many of you have extensive integrations with the current WordPress editor and will want a gradual transition. We are here to help you evaluate the impacts ahead of the WordPress.com 5.0 rollout, test out the new components in their current state, plan a smooth transition, and make decisions about the best way to update your roadmaps.

Note: Gutenberg is not a VIP initiative! The open-source community, led by designers and developers at our parent company Automattic, are driving this project. For a full description of Gutenberg check out the WordPress.org FAQ.

We will manage the release of WordPress 5.0 to make the process smooth and opt-in for VIP clients. However, it’s a good idea to start experimenting and creating content in Gutenberg right away.

We will be communicating Gutenberg rollout updates in this document and in the VIP Lobby as the project continues. This page will continue to be your guide to our latest documentation and news. Most importantly, as you test the plugin and begin to assess plans for the rollout, please reach out to your VIP support team. We’re here to help!

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Testing and Experimentation #

Hands-on with the Editor at TestGutenberg.com

We encourage all VIP clients across WordPress roles to get hands-on experience testing the new editor as soon as possible. You can use our new site, Testgutenberg.com, to try out and work with the latest version of Gutenberg in a safe front-end experience. There are helpful reference links in the left sidebar of that site, and a survey link to share your experiences with the team.

Load Gutenberg Selectively on Go

On your VIP Go sites, you can now load Gutenberg everywhere, or selectively by post ID (load only for specific posts) and post type (load only for specific post types). Find complete instructions in this helpful page.

We recommend that you load it up in a VIP Go development environment first. If you don’t have a development environment on which to test, now’s a great time to get one set up. Just open up a ticket with our Support team and we can get a development site set up for you. Unless otherwise requested, we’ll sync the content from your live site so you can get a true sense of how Gutenberg will work for you. If you already have a development environment and would prefer not to disturb that, we can create an additional Gutenberg testing environment instead. Not to worry, in either case content changes here will not affect the content on your live site.

Plugin Compatibility Findings

You may be able to use this Gutenberg plugin compatibility library started by Daniel Bachhuber to identify the status of community-supported plugins that you use. If in your testing you find useful information about plugin compatibility, please consider contributing it to the project.

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Gutenberg Educational Videos #

VIP has partnered with two well-known WordPress educators to bring you a series of videos on the Gutenberg project. There are separate courses for users and developers on how to work with the new editor. Two sets are available.

The first set includes introductory videos for all users, and one set specifically for developers.

The second set includes the following:

Converting Custom Content to Gutenberg

  • Shortcodes to Blocks
  • ACF Fields to Blocks
  • CMB2 to Blocks

Access Control & User Permissions

  • Controlling access to blocks
  • Controlling access to blocks based on user roles
  • Creating Block Templates
  • Applying User Roles to Block Templates

To access the videos, all you have to do is go to vipgutenberg.com and register with your work email address to receive your unique password.

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Deployment at VIP #

This information is subject to change as we learn more about the release for WordPress 5.0. For now, here’s what we know:

WordPress 5.0 will deploy on VIP just as all releases do, with some advanced notice and test plan recommendations you’ll find in the Lobby. We are using a custom plugin called Ramp to allow for gradual and controlled exposure of the new editor to posts and pages. All VIP-hosted sites on Go now have the Ramp plugin enabled with Gutenberg set to OFF to start. Use the instructions on this page to enable Gutenberg selectively. This will preserve the legacy editing experience and allow you to transition with a high level of control.

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Frequently Asked Questions #

What is Gutenberg?
Gutenberg is the code name for the new editing experience on WordPress. This is not a VIP initiative! The open-source community, led by designers and developers at our parent company Automattic, are driving this project. For a full description of Gutenberg check out the WordPress.org FAQ.

Why do I care?
Because this is an exciting leap forward for WordPress, and will affect every single site using the platform. It will not only change your editorial workflow, but also your use of shortcodes and embeds.

When is this happening?
Right now! As of the State of the Word in December, the rough target was to merge Gutenberg with WordPress core some time around April 2018. This will be WordPress version 5.0 and will replace the Gutenberg plugin.

Can I opt out?
No. While Gutenberg is the name of the project, the functionality that is being created will just become part of WordPress core. In the short term, you can control how the new editor appears on your sites today and as WordPress 5.0 rolls out using the Ramp plugin mentioned above.

How will the rollout work on VIP?

The Ramp plugin allows you to decide when the new editor surfaces in your workflow, selectively by post ID (load only for specified posts) and post type (load only for specified post types.) Whatever those settings are when 5.0 deploys will determine how Gutenberg surfaces.

This puts you in control of the details, and if you choose to do nothing, the new editor will stay defaulted to “off” for all content types. It will give you the runway to test all of your customizations and integrations ahead of time, and plan a thoughtful and granular transition if that’s what suits you best. If you are ready to rock with Gutenberg throughout your post types and pages right out of the gate, it will be easy to do that too.

Will my plugins work?
We’re exploring if the plugins listed on https://vip.wordpress.com/plugins/ will be compatible with Gutenberg. Some will work just fine, some will need to be updated, some may be rendered unnecessary.

As you explore plugin compatibility in your own environment, we like the idea of using this Gutenberg compatibility library to spread the word. https://github.com/danielbachhuber/gutenberg-plugin-compatibility#gutenberg-plugin-compatibility

What if VIP previously reviewed a plugin for me?
We cannot take ownership of reviewing every plugin we have reviewed in the past for Gutenberg compatibility. This is one of the reasons why testing in your own environment is so important.

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Resources #

Useful reference materials #

  • Gutenberg Handbook (#)
  • Articles from the WordPress.org Handbook (#)
  • Gutenberg News, a helpful third-party news tracker (#)
  • Gutenberg Hub, a treasure trove of blocks, resources, and tutorials (#)
  • VIP News overview (#)
  • Human Made’s white paper (#)
  • Gutenberg Times, another helpful news tracker (Twitter) (#)

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Development Write-ups #

  • One thousand and one way to extend Gutenberg today, Riad Benguella (#)
  • With Gutenberg, what happens to my custom fields?, (#, #)
  • A wp-cli command to create a static block (#)
  • Easy to understand and extensively inline documented starter WordPress plugin for Gutenberg (#)

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People worth following for Gutenberg News #

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Videos #

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Get Involved #

Rather than wait to see what happens, help shape the direction and success of Gutenberg. Our best-prepared clients won’t be the ones following the chatter, they’ll be part of that chatter. It’s worth joining the WordPress.org slack (https://make.wordpress.org/chat) and checking out the #core-editor channel. If you have questions, you can ask for help in there.

Ready to get started?

Drop us a note.

No matter where you are in the planning process, we’re happy to help, and we’re actual humans here on the other side of the form. 👋 We’re here to discuss your challenges and plans, evaluate your existing resources or a potential partner, or even make some initial recommendations. And, of course, we’re here to help any time you’re in the market for some robust WordPress awesomeness.