WordPress Watch:

Tips to enhance your experience with the Block Editor

Today I’d like to highlight two plugins that supercharge the new Block Editor experience. They’re very different in nature, but I find them both equally impressive. There’s some news about the upcoming WordPress 5.2 release, and there might be mention of a bonus link. Come and find out.

Gutenberg on steroids

We’re four, five months into using the new Block Editor and by now, I’m sure, you’ve started to get the hang of it. I mean, I sure have. I love how I can easily play around with rich media in new, exciting ways with just a couple of clicks.

Having said that, there are times when I wish I had a bit more control over a certain block. So, I looked around and found two wonderful plugins that enhance my Gutenberg experience.

Advanced Rich Text Tools for Gutenberg

This is the most lightweight of the two, but a sweet one at that. It only does three things at the moment, but it does them perfectly:

  • It adds code, subscript (sub), and superscript (sup) buttons to the formatting toolbar.
  • It also adds inline text and a background color panel.
  • And, it adds a “Remove formatting” button.

Like I said, only three things, but it gets a lot of joy out of these three little options. Find out more information here.

Advanced Gutenberg

The second plugin I found is a bit more complicated. It adds a plethora of options to existing Gutenberg blocks. I choose it for wanting a smarter way to display Gutenberg gallery images on one of my playground sites, a site about old German cars. Specifically, I wanted them to show in a lightbox pop-up when clicked on.

However, that’s only one small thing this plugin does. For example, it also allows you to configure:

  • Default block configuration.
  • Advanced Gutenberg icons block color.

And, you’re going to love this if options is your thing, it adds more than 20 different blocks to do all kinds of fancy things. Find out more at the WordPress.org plugin page.

WordPress 5.2, beta 3

WordPress 5.2 keeps being refined and improved. We’re currently already at beta 3. This beta release also marks the soft string freeze point of the 5.2 release schedule. If you speak additional languages besides English, now’s a great time to help to make sure WordPress 5.2 is properly translated in your language. WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need all the testers we can get. Head over if you’d like to help out.

Bonus link

If you’ve ever needed to limit access your site to visitors who are logged in or accessing the site from a set of specified IP addresses, Restricted Site Access is the plugin you’re looking for. It’s a great solution for extranets, publicly hosted intranets or heck, you can even use it for your staging sites.

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21 Responses to Tips to enhance your experience with the Block Editor

  1. John Givens
    John Givens  • 8 months ago

    I’m still completely puzzled by the question about Gutenberg:
    – why do I need to change? (From old editor, Impreza theme, and wp bakery page builder?)
    – what happens if I do not?
    – will I eventually be forced to use Gutenberg?
    – can I “trial run” Gutenberg ? And go right back if I don’t like it or it does not make things easier?

    How can I get simple and straight answers to these questions?

    • Remkus de Vries

      Let me try and give you straight and simple answers the best I can:

      – Why change? Because Gutenberg at one point will become the default editor without fallback options. You can, however, still use a page builder but it needs to work with Gutenberg. And it looks like WP Bakery does.

      – What happens if I do not or will I be forced? Well, in a few years you will have to, but see the answer above.

      – You can absolutely trial run Gutenberg, but I wouldn’t do that on your live site. Try and get a copy of your site, perhaps your hosting solutions offers a staging site (most of our WordPress Hosting partners offer this), and play around with Gutenberg on there.

  2. Gunjan (tuggu.n.mommy)
    Gunjan (tuggu.n.mommy)  • 8 months ago

    I find Gutenberg too difficult to handle. Moreover with recent Yoast 10.1.x update, my seo tab disappered and I wasnt able to optimise my post. On advice from Yoast Dev team on twitter, I tried to diasble all plugins and found that Gutenberg was the trouble maker. After disabling Gutenberg, everything seems to be fine. Just don’t have the courage to enable it again :(

    • Remkus de Vries

      What version of WordPress are you using? Because if it’s above 5.0 you actually don’t need to have the Gutenberg plugin activated.

  3. Pete Rohrig
    Pete Rohrig  • 8 months ago

    Do any of the editors have a find and replace function?

    • Remkus de Vries

      Not that I’m aware of, no.

  4. Dave
    Dave  • 8 months ago

    Hello from Canada! I am somewhat experienced with WordPress but sometimes just enough to be dangerous.

    I somehow changed my site from Gutenberg editor to Classic editor. I want to revert back to Gutenberg, but cannot do this on my own. That is even after searching for solutions online. It seems many bloggers don’t like Gutenberg, but I do.

    Any tips or advice?

    Thank you,

    Dave

    • Mathukutty P V - Simply Life Tips
      Mathukutty P V - Simply Life Tips  • 8 months ago

      Deactivate classic editor plugin. Gutenberg block editor will become active. When you edit old posts created in the classic editor, you can keep it as it is. If you want to convert it to Block editor, in the edit mode, click on three dots on the right side, convert to blocks. I have done like this.

    • Remkus de Vries

      Hi Dave,

      The only way to be seeing the classic editor is when you have a plugin that disables the Gutenberg editor. Or when you’ve manually added the filter that disables the Gutenberg editor in your functions.php file for instance. Removing any/all of those would default you back to the Gutenberg editor.

  5. Giznp
    Giznp  • 8 months ago

    I found the new Gutenberg Editor difficult to use. So, I am still staying with the classic editor. Its easy and simple.

    • Remkus de Vries

      Curious what specifically you find difficult to do with Gutenberg. Can you share a bit more?

  6. Anton Hein
    Anton Hein  • 8 months ago

    I like the Advanced Gutenberg blocks. But I have three questions:

    1) Will adding more block options slow a site down?

    2) What happens if a developer who provides a custom blocks plugin quits? Will those blocks eventually become unusable?

    3) What happens when, say, two years from now a standard or custom block is significantly changed (updated code, perhaps)? Will I have to check hundreds of older articles to see whether they still display as intended?

    • tristanhervouet
      tristanhervouet  • 8 months ago

      Hi, JoomUnited co-founder here. To complete great Remkus replies:
      2. That’s a possibility indeed but very very unlikely, it’s more than 7 years that we do extensions and have planned to do so for many years. There’s a team of 2 developer full time on the plugin and we have many stuff coming.
      3. Even if there’s many changes to Gutenberg that break a block your HTML will remain intact and still displayed as it was initially setup on frontend. You may just have to hit a “convert” button when you want to edit the block again, that’s it.

      • Remkus de Vries

        Thanks for chiming in Tristan!

    • Remkus de Vries

      Hi Anton,

      Let me try and answer your questions best I can:
      1) It will not, no.

      2) Technically that is a possibility, yes. However, not very likely to happen.

      3) You won’t have to update the older articles, no. If a block would be upgraded so radically that it becomes unusable for older articles, it’s not been done properly. Any upgrade, for it to be an upgrade, needs to take backward compatibility into account.

      • Anton Hein
        Anton Hein  • 8 months ago

        Thanks Remkus. That encourages me to start building new content in Gutenberg (and possible converting evergreen content as time allows).

  7. funflares
    funflares  • 8 months ago

    I’m having a very bad experience with the new editor

    • Remkus de Vries

      I’m sorry to hear! What kind of issues are you experiencing?

  8. Arash Ghaemi
    Arash Ghaemi  • 8 months ago

    Thanks for posting!

    I haven’t had the opportunity to work with Gutenberg as much as I’d like to.

    However, I have been spending more time with it now and this article will help guide me.

    • Remkus de Vries

      I’m glad you like it, Arash!