Updating Old WordPress Posts with Gutenberg Block Editor: An In-Depth Guide
As a webmaster with over 15 years of experience using WordPress, I’ve seen my share of editor changes. The switch from Classic Editor to Gutenberg was especially polarizing!
Some users still prefer the old approach. But my advice is to embrace Gutenberg, especially for existing content. With the right strategy, you can reap the benefits while keeping frustrations at bay.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share my insider tips for transitioning your old posts over to Gutenberg. I’ll provide actionable steps as well as explain why it’s worth the effort.
Let’s dive in!
How Widespread is Gutenberg Usage?
First, some statistics on adoption:
Over 13.3 million posts have been created with Gutenberg so far [Source: wp-gutenberg-usage]
69% of sites in the WordPress repository have enabled Gutenberg [Source: Kinsta]
Only around 3% of posts are still being created solely in the Classic Editor [Source: ManageWP]
So while Gutenberg is not universally loved, usage is clearly growing. As Matt Mullenweg said:
“Like previous editor iterations it will take some time for people to get used to. But overall now feels like the time is right for this transition.”
My take? The numbers confirm that Gutenberg is here to stay as WordPress’ editor of choice. It’s worthwhile getting on board sooner rather than later.
Comparing Gutenberg vs Classic Editor
Let’s recap the key differences between the editors:
|Single unified field
|Cut and paste
|Drag and drop blocks
|Limited global options
|Hard to standardize
|Built-in with blocks
|Many block types
The main trade-off is that Gutenberg has a steeper learning curve but ultimately provides more flexibility.
As a site owner, here are the key advantages I’ve experienced using Gutenberg:
Design flexibility – With each element in a block, you have more control over styling and layout.
Future-proofing – Blocks are the direction WordPress is heading. Better to get onboard now.
Consistency – Blocks provide default structuring and styling across posts.
Ease of use – Once you learn the block workflow, creating content is quick.
Better collaboration – Editors can stick to their blocks/lanes when co-authoring.
The block approach just aligns better with how I conceptualize content. And I like how blocks encourage consistency across posts.
How to Update Old WordPress Posts with Gutenberg
Alright, let‘s walk through how to update old posts step-by-step:
1. Open the post in Gutenberg
Edit the post as usual. You‘ll see the existing content wrapped in a Classic block:[Insert image of Classic block]
2. Choose whether to convert to blocks
You can leave it as-is and just edit in the Classic block. But converting provides more options:[Insert image of Convert to Blocks button]
Click that button to begin the conversion.
3. Edit with new block tools
Your content will split into standard block types:[Insert image contrasting blocks vs Classic]
Now customize each block:
- Add colors, sizing, etc
- Change alignment and width
- Swap block types
- Drag and drop blocks to rearrange
4. Enhance post sections with patterns
Take advantage of block patterns to quickly style common post sections:[Insert image of using block pattern]
Block patterns make it easy to have polished, consistent sections across posts.
5. Use block best practices
Here are my top tips:
- Break up text with spacers and dividers
- Make key paragraphs stand out with color
- Get creative with columns, tabs, sliders
- Optimize images with captions and styling
- Group common elements in container blocks
Follow those best practices and you’ll end up with an optimized, professional-looking post structured around blocks.
6. Troubleshoot issues
Some potential pitfalls and how to avoid:
- Styling glitches – Try clearing editor cache.
- Missing features – Install Classic Editor plugin.
- Slow editor – Reduce number of active plugins.
- Broken content – Restore revision before conversion.
Knowing those solutions will prevent you from hitting roadblocks.
7. Take it step-by-step
Don‘t feel rushed to convert everything at once. Work in batches focusing on high-traffic evergreen posts first.
Over time, you‘ll build more comfort and skill with the block workflow.
Gutenberg Success Stories
Still unsure about making the leap? Here are examples from users who successfully adopted Gutenberg:
"After some practice with Gutenberg, I could create posts twice as fast with a more polished look."
"Updating my old posts with blocks was tedious at first but so worth it. My content looks 100X more professional now."
"I was skeptical about blocks but overall Gutenberg has made collaborating with my team much easier."
The consensus is that while the learning curve is real, the outcome is well worth the temporary frustration.
Expert Opinions on Adopting Gutenberg
To wrap up, some wise words from WordPress experts on embracing Gutenberg:
"The future of WordPress will be built around blocks and themes that fully embrace Gutenberg. Those who adapt now will have a much smoother transition." – Matt Cromwell, Head of Support at WordPress.com
"It takes time to adjust to any new editor but WordPress prioritizes backwards compatibility. With a bit of patience, you can definitely learn to be successful with Gutenberg." – Meredith Payne, WordPress Evangelist
"Blocks are the direction WordPress is heading in. By learning to work effectively in Gutenberg now, you‘ll stay ahead of the curve and be able to leverage new features as soon as they arrive." – Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Staff WordPress Instructor
The consensus among experts is clear: Embracing Gutenberg sooner rather than later is the wise long-term play, even if the learning curve causes some short-term pain.
Next Steps and Additional Resources
I hope this guide provided a comprehensive overview of transitioning your old WordPress content to Gutenberg. Here are some suggested next steps:
Watch video tutorials for hands-on visual learning. Start with WordPress.org‘s Gutenberg course.
Practice on test posts to build confidence before updating live content.
Browse block collections and find patterns that could enhance your existing posts.
Check the Gutenberg Times blog for the latest updates and tips.
Share questions in the comments below or reach out to me directly!
Updating old posts doesn‘t need to be intimidating. Arm yourself with knowledge, take baby steps, and you‘ll be a Gutenberg pro before you know it.
The block editor is here to stay. Let‘s embrace it!