The WordPress block editor: Why you should be using it

At Yoast, we truly believe you should be using the block editor (formerly known as Gutenberg) in WordPress, simply because it’s a much better experience than the ‘classic editor’. Unfortunately, when we look at our statistics, we see that a large segment of our users still uses the classic editor. Which is why we’d like to explain why you really should start switching over.

Do you want to learn how to use the blocks in the block editor to their fullest potential? Look no further and check out our free WordPress block editor training! It’ll teach you how to create a well-designed blog post with the block editor. Let’s create some amazing content!

Why you should switch to the block editor

The Gutenberg project and with it, the block editor is literally where all the innovation in the WordPress space is happening. Think of it this way: the only car race you’re going to win by using old technology, is a classic car race. If you want to win in SEO in the next few years, I guarantee you’ll need to be on the block editor. If you’re not, and if some of your competitors are, they’re going to beat you.

While the block editor may be very good, you may think: why would I switch? If the classic editor is working for me, so why bother? Well: the block editor is only the first step in a longer process. More and more parts of the WordPress admin will start using blocks. Because of that, getting familiar with the block editor is essential.

The future of the block editor

Future versions will iterate on what the block editor already does, moving to site-wide editing, instead of just the content area. The first required step for that is defining content edit areas, something Matias discussed in this post on Make Core, one of the blogs of the core WordPress development team. That post by Matias prompted this post by Justin Tadlock on how the Gutenberg project is shaping the future of WordPress themes. This is getting me, and our entire team at Yoast, very excited.

The Gutenberg project aims at making WordPress easier to use. That’s a long term goal, but it’s already doing that now too. When we have site-wide editing, we won’t need to teach people how to use widgets anymore: they’ll be the same as the blocks they see in the editor. In fact, the entire distinction will be gone.

Reasons to use the block editor now

Besides all of these great developments, you really should use the block editor now and stop using the classic editor. Let me give you an overview of simple and clear reasons. With the block editor:

  • You will be able to build layouts that you can’t make in TinyMCE. Most of the stuff we did for our recent digital story required no coding. Plugins like Grids make it even easier to make very smooth designs.
  • You can make FAQs and HowTo’s that’ll look awesome in search results. Our Yoast SEO Schema blocks are already providing an SEO advantage that is unmatched. For instance, check out our free FAQ and How-to blocks.
  • Simple things like images next to paragraphs and other things that could be painful in TinyMCE have become so much better in Gutenberg. Want multiple columns? You can have them, like that, without extra coding.
  • Speaking of things you couldn’t do without plugins before: you can now embed tables in your content, just by adding a table block. No plugins required.
  • Creating custom blocks is relatively simple, and allows people to do 90% of the custom things they would do with plugins in the past, but easier. It becomes even easier when you use a plugin like ACF Pro or Block Lab to build those custom blocks.
  • Custom blocks, or blocks you’ve added with plugins, can be easily found by users just by clicking the + sign in the editor. Shortcodes, in the classic editor, didn’t have such a discovery method.
  • Re-usable blocks allow you to easily create content you can re-use across posts or pages, see this nice tutorial on WP Beginner.

There are many more nice features; please share yours in the comments!

If you haven’t used the Block Editor recently: go, try it! I’m sure you’ll be happy with it.

Read more: Pressing questions about Gutenberg: the new editor in WordPress 5.0 »

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19 Responses to The WordPress block editor: Why you should be using it

  1. John
    John  • 3 months ago

    Will Yoast SEO show up at the bottom of the page on the block editor like it does with the classic editor?

    • Hanneke Beers
      Hanneke Beers  • 3 months ago

      Hi John, yes it will!

  2. DCW Digital
    DCW Digital  • 4 months ago

    We initially hated the new blocks function here but quickly got to love it and we’ve already had success getting FAQs indexed prominently in the organic search too.

    • Hanneke Beers
      Hanneke Beers  • 4 months ago

      Great to hear that you grew to love it!

  3. Anthony
    Anthony  • 4 months ago

    Hi, what’s your opinion on using Elementor instead of the block editor for creating content? Currently I am using Elementor and I was wondering if this affects my SEO in any way.

  4. harishnemade08
    harishnemade08  • 4 months ago

    Do you mean Block Editor as Normal blocks which we see on the LHS as ‘+’ for adding new Blocks?
    OR this article includes any other format of block editor?

    • Edwin Toonen
      Edwin Toonen  • 4 months ago

      Hi! No, we mean the regular WordPress block editor, formerly known as Gutenberg :)

  5. Ayaan
    Ayaan  • 4 months ago

    I am using block editor from the beginning and I also think it’s better than classic editor.

    • Jack
      Jack  • 4 months ago

      Yeah! it’s way better than classic

      • Edwin Toonen
        Edwin Toonen  • 4 months ago

        We agree!

  6. Coaching Filter
    Coaching Filter  • 4 months ago

    Hello, I have been using block editor on my website. It is a listing website. In last few days, I am facing an issue. Block editor is available when I add a new listing. However; after few hours, I don’t see block editor, only classic editor is available. Due to this reason, I can not edit old listings in block editor. I prefer block editor over classic editor. Could you please help me out to resolve the issue?

  7. Timothy Kendrick
    Timothy Kendrick  • 4 months ago

    Loved the lesson on reusable blocks. A nifty, easy block I will be using from here on out.

    • Hanneke Beers
      Hanneke Beers  • 4 months ago

      That’s great to hear, Timothy!

  8. Charlotte
    Charlotte  • 4 months ago

    My content is published bi-langual (using polylang plugin). However, block editor really makes it difficult to translate the articles. Furthermore, there are some real issues with block editor for instance the re-use of blocks doesn’t work as you would think and when you made multiple re-usable blocks, you cannot delete them anymore and it’s very very hard to find them back.

    Do you really believe that block editor will become the future? And do you think it will get the necessary improvements?

    • Edwin Toonen
      Edwin Toonen  • 4 months ago

      Hi Charlotte. I’m not too familiar with Polylang, but I know they support the block editor. If you have suggestions to improve Polylang I’m sure the developers of that plugin would love to hear from you.

      The reusable blocks are great and I always found them pretty intuitive to work with. I understand your struggle finding them back, as I did have trouble as well. To be sure, you can find all your reusable blocks by hitting the + icon, scrolling down to Reusable Blocks and again scrolling down to Manage your reusable blocks.

      Yes, we do think the block editor is the future. It is the catalyst for many awesome developments making for a very exciting time to be a developer and user in the WordPress space. Of course, there are still things that need fixing, but, in general, the editor is improving in leaps and bounds.

  9. Ahmer
    Ahmer  • 4 months ago

    Hi,
    I’m using a page builder instead of block editor. Is it ok?

    Ahmer

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 months ago

      If that works for you that’s fine! We’re just really enthusiastic about the block editor so we’d like to help people to make the switch.

  10. Mike
    Mike  • 4 months ago

    This post was published 5 months ago. Is it best practice to re-publish it with the date of today? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t intend to criticize. I’m just curious.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 months ago

      Hi Mike! Sometimes, when relevant, we decide to update and repost a blog post on our site. Since we’re launching a free block editor training today (!) we felt this was a nice post to draw some attention to again. Hope this answers your question :-)