Hi, friends. Happy New Year! 🙂 Speaking of things that are new…
A new editor has come to WordPress, and while using it isn’t mandatory for now, we’ll all (presumably) be forced to switch at some point. [It’s actually a few months old but new to me.]
Anticipating that, I have been using the new editor for a couple weeks. At first, I hated it, because who likes change? Now that I’m used to it, I like it more than the old one (mostly).
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
The Foundational Difference Between the Old & New Editor
The old editor works like the average text document, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. A blog post is essentially one text document filled with various components. All the options for formatting are arranged across the top. If you want to write a list, insert a blockquote, make a hyperlink, add an image, etc., you find the option in that menu at the top.
The new editor divides a post in blocks. Each paragraph of text, lists, section headings, blockquotes, images, videos, etc.–every different piece of a post is its own block. Rather than the post being one text document filled with various components, the post is a combination of blocks with each block being one of those components.
With the new editor, a whole post is like a finished puzzle, and each part of the post is a piece of it.
Why Move to a Block Format?
Once you get used to it, adding components to the post is actually faster and easier with the block format. The real reason for this change, though, is search engine optimization. As we all hopefully know, search engines are bots, not sentient beings. When a post is organized into separate pieces, algorithms can more easily decipher all the different parts of a post, thus making it easier for bots to assess our posts when matching up searches with relevant articles.
What Are the Basic Differences When Creating a Post?
With the old editor, every option for adding or changing things appeared in the top menu. (Screenshot #1)
With the new editor, the old menu at the top is gone. Every time you hit “Enter” when creating a post, a plus sign pops up on the left side. If you are simply typing sentences, just type as if you’re using the old editor–every block is set to normal text by default. If you want a section heading, a list, an image, or anything besides normal text, you click the plus sign and pick whichever option you want. (Screenshots #2 & #3)
When you want to highlight, italicize, underline, etc. in a block of text, click the mouse somewhere in the text and a menu appears. (Screenshot #4)
The menu on the right side now has two tabs. If you click “Document,” you see a menu that’s extremely similar to the old one (scheduling, categories, tags, etc.). The tab “Block” applies to whatever block the mouse is clicked in. (Screenshots #5 & #6)
There is a small menu at the top that includes a plus sign icon, undo, re-do, a “Content Structure” icon with word count and other info, and a “Block Navigation” icon with a list of the different kinds of blocks in the post. (Screenshot #7)
I have more to say, but I’ll get around to it; these are just some tips to help you transition. Though switching is not mandatory yet, I recommend that everyone try to get ahead of the curve. Also, don’t we all want more search engine hits?
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments below.