Gutenberg 13.0 Introduces WordPress 6.0 Improvements

WordPress has released Gutenberg version 13.0, which includes many improvements that bring it closer to several important milestones in becoming the easy-to-use website builder it was meant to be.

This Gutenberg update is a big milestone as this plugin’s functionality will be included in the core of WordPress 6.0, which is currently scheduled for release on May 24, 2022 and it’s a very big deal in the world of editing.

WordPress Gutenberg Editor

Gutenberg is a visually styled website builder designed to make building websites easier for publishers.

It’s called visual to describe the process of building a site using a drag-and-drop or point-and-click interface on a virtual canvas that can be viewed as it will appear as you go. as you design it.

Instead of manipulating code, with this style of website building, the editor manipulates webpage elements such as the header or footer. These web page elements are called blocks.

It’s a way of building websites that has been around in different guises for a long time, since at least the late 1990s with the introduction of Macromedia (now Adobe) Dreamweaver website building software.

At the time, this style of building web pages was commonly referred to as the WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) interface.

WordPress plugins like Divi and non-WordPress SaaS website building platforms have been helping publishers build sites with a visual website building interface for years.

Gutenberg is the WordPress version of the visual website builder interface that makes building a website easy.

The advantage of Gutenberg is that it’s part of the WordPress core itself, which (in theory) helps make websites built with Gutenberg faster than using a third-party plugin.

Gutenberg 13.0 offers multiple improvements that will help WordPress 6.0 be a significant step forward for the publishing world and that’s very exciting.

Gutenberg Blocks

Gutenberg’s design interface is described using the word blocks. For design purposes, a web page is divided into sections called blocks.

The top part known as the header is a block. The navigation menu is a block. And the sides where various widgets go are also a block.

Each block can be moved and manipulated to create a web page design.

So the block at the top of the page where the featured image is located can be styled individually with point-and-click ease. Just click on the block you want to add background text or image to, then choose from a context menu to do what you want to do.

Select text in blocks

An innovative improvement introduced in Gutenberg 13.0 (and in WordPress 6.0) is the ability to select text across multiple blocks. This is important because blocks exist as a way to design how the web page looks and text is something that is dropped inside of these blocks.

This new feature gives an editor more freedom to create a web page without being constrained by (seemingly) arbitrary rules such as not being able to select text across multiple blocks.

Page-level templates

This is a breakthrough feature that takes Gutenberg a few steps closer to becoming an easy-to-use website builder.

The templates feature was introduced in 2020 in Gutenberg version 7.8 as an API that developers can use to create layout templates for sections of a page.

What the latest version of the templates feature does is enable page templates which can be selected as a starting point to create a web page layout.

So instead of building a web page from scratch, a publisher can start with a preconfigured template for an entire page and then customize the page from there.

This is a feature already common in many existing WordPress page builders as well as SaaS website builders. It is therefore a definite step forward for WordPress to finally have this functionality.

Manipulate the layout of stacks or rows

Still with the aim of making WordPress easy to design, the new version of Gutenberg allows to organize the selected blocks in the form of blocks or rows.

And from there, an editor can use the context menu to further manipulate the design.

Here is a video showing how it works:

The WordPress announcement described it:

“Blocks are now easily grouped into a stack layout or a row layout with a single click.

In Gutenberg 13.0, selecting multiple blocks at once exposes the Stack and Row variations of the Group block directly in the toolbar.

Block border control

This is a refinement of an already existing feature with a new BorderControl component.

A pop-up menu lets you control the borders around the block to change its style, color, and width.

Use featured image in cover block button

A cover block is a specialized block that can be used to create the hero image section at the top of the page. The background of the block can be a color, an image or a video.

The cover block update adds a button so it can instantly use the featured image for the web page.

It looks like a minor thing, but it’s actually an important feature.

The WordPress announcement excited:

“With the updated cover block, the post’s featured image is no longer an afterthought – it’s an integral part of the post. Just click the ‘Use Featured Image’ button, and that’s all !”

There are many other cumulative improvements in Gutenberg 13.0 that together help make this a significant WordPress block editor update that will eventually make its way to the next release of WordPress, version 6.0.


Read the official WordPress announcement

What’s new in Gutenberg 13.0?

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