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What does Gutenberg bring to the world of webpage development?

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

The next big thing in webpage development is currently in test mode. Gutenberg, a project WordPress kicked off in early-2017 was made available this summer. Currently available as a beta-stage plugin, it has received plentiful reviews but the jury seems to have reached a split response.

What we do know is that WordPress has become essentially synonymous with webpage development. “Overall, the WordPress.com network welcomes more than 409 million people viewing more than 15.5 billion pages each month,” their About Us page claims. Yet, there is a mild consensus forming that an update to the platform is needed.

As creator Matt Mullenweg’s personal blog notes, WordPress is not without its challengers. Changing user demands and other webpage development software are just two of these. So, a group of developers got to work on crafting an update to remedy these challenges.

Enter Gutenberg, a visual editing tool. It was born as an answer to webpage development trends that focus on building a page through blocks. Visual editors of this nature allow users to lay out their content in stackable sections known as blocks that pertain to specific types of content.

Gutenberg’s emphasis, then, is on rich content. While text will always be a major feature of webpage development, rich content extends beyond this. It pertains to content such as videos and podcasts. It is Gutenberg’s goal to improve the ease of adding rich content to sites. According to Mullenweg, this will have widespread benefits for everyone from theme developers and agencies to users and hosts.

With all this said, Gutenberg still appears to be on the cusp of actually sinking its teeth into webpage development. It’s plugin page is home both to words of encouragement and words of loathing. With the full release not estimated to come before the dawn of 2018, WordPress still has some time. But the poor reviews of the beta version are definitely worth noting.

Gutenberg was named after Johannes Gutenberg. His invention of the printing press revolutionized international communication. We will have to wait and see if this Gutenberg will have the same impact as it’s namesake.

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