What is Phase 2 of Gutenberg?

With the launch of WordPress 5.0 in December, attention turned from improving the editor to be more block centric (phase 1) to phase 2 of the Gutenberg project. Matt laid out phases 2-4 in his State of the Word, but in this article we’re going to take a closer look at what exactly phase 2 looks like, and what it could be for us as users.

Let me start by saying Mel Choyce has a great write-up on what phase 2 is, with images and everything. She also gets a bit technical, if you’re into that.

Going Outside the Editor

While Phase 1 focused fully on the content editor, and how we can create rich, flexible content, Phase 2 will go outside the editor, focusing on 3 major areas:

  • Widgets
  • Menus
  • The Customizer

This is reinforcing what many thought at the start of this project: Gutenberg will eventually transform WordPress into a fully front-end edited website, like what you see on Squarespace.

I think ultimately this will be good for WordPress moving forward. However, one of WordPress’ greatest strengths is the ability for easy long form writing. Hopefully we won’t lose sight of that (though I suspect we’ll see plugins to fix anything that breaks that ability)!

Inline Editing

To that end, Phase 2 will start to see a lot more inline editing. By empowering the Customers to use blocks in widget and menu areas, we’ll start to see what it’s like to edit WordPress inline.

In a later part of Phase 2 (or possibly Phase 3 depending on progress), we’ll be able to edit content blocks inline. That will be very exciting to see!

Phase 2 has Started Converting Widgets

The first part of Phase 2 is to convert all of the widgets to blocks, and that has already begun. If you’re curious about the progress (and how future releases of WordPress will work), the best thing to do is download and active the Gutenberg plugin.

As Phase 2 moves forward, the name of the game is consistency. It will focus on editing all the major parts of a WordPress site in the same way: through blocks, in a much more visual way.

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