Have you heard the news? WordPress rolled out a new editor, known in development as Gutenberg, in December of last year.
The name of Gutenberg alone made my nerdy heart go pitter-patter (it was named for Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press). I also had the opportunity to see live demos of Gutenberg at WordCamp U.S. By the end of the conference, I was itching to use the editor on my own site.
The name of the editor is now simply the “WordPress block editor” or just the “WordPress editor” since it’s part of the core software. The key to getting the hang of the new editor is to understand blocks. Think of them as building blocks to help you create engaging, visually appealing content without a lot of technical know-how. If you’re like me and haven’t used HTML coding skills since the days of Myspace, blocks are awesome tools that are very easy to use. The best way to jump into using blocks is to create a blog post in WordPress. Here are the steps you need to know to get started:
Once you’ve logged into your WordPress dashboard, hover over “Posts” in the sidebar and click “Add New”.
Give your blog post a title by typing it into the top box. The post URL can be changed by clicking the “Edit” button in the permalink box or in the “Document” tab on the right side of the page. The “Document” tab allows you to add overall information about your post, such as categories, tags, and a featured image. When you toggle to the “Block” tab, you’re able edit information about a specific block you’re working on, such as adding alt-text to an image.
To add your first block, click the plus sign button in the top left corner or in the body of your blog post. Blocks can be used to create all kinds of content, including text, images, headings, lists, and more.
The “Image” block is a great option since many blogs start with an image at the top. You can upload the image you want directly into the blog post, choose one from your existing media library, or add from a URL. If you’d like your image to have text on it, you can instead choose the “Cover” block, which allows you to overlay words on your image.
When you’re satisfied with your image, you can simply begin typing your blog underneath. For formatting, you can add the “Header” block to create section headers or the “List” block to make a bulleted or numbered list. These elements break up your writing and add interest to your blog post.
Want to add an image next to your text? Try the “Media & Text” block. Once you insert this block, you can choose whether you want it aligned with the left or right side of the post. Then, pick your picture by uploading or choosing from your media library. To add text, just start typing next to the photo. The text in this block can be Small, Medium, or Large or a specific font size.
If you need to include a video in your blog post, there’s a block for that! The “Video” block allows you to upload a video or choose one from your media library. If you use hosting platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, there are blocks for those too. Simply add those specific blocks and paste in the URL of the video.
To view what your blocks will look like before publishing, choose the “Preview” button. When you’re satisfied with how your blog post looks, you can click the “Publish” button to make it go live. You can also schedule your post ahead of time.
If you use WordPress, I encourage you to experiment with the new block editor by creating a blog post. I think you’ll find it easy and intuitive to use. Want a personal walk-through of the process? I put together a step-by-step video training in our Infomedia Training Center. It’s free to watch, just like all the content in our Training Center; if you haven’t already, check it out — you’ll find tips blogging, ecommerce, website security and more. And of course, personal trainings are always free for Infomedia clients, so if you’re already a client, just email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a personal training.