Gutenberg: the building blocks for supremely adaptable websites.

6 Minutes

Abstract image of colourful blocks

If you know us, you know we are all about WordPress as the CMS of choice for enterprises of all sizes. Leveraging the platform’s built-in functionality and adding custom features is the perfect recipe for creating brand-forward digital experiences that are unique to each organization while being extremely easy to update (sans coding skills).

While WordPress has always been leading the way for website content creation, it was just over five years ago that the platform made a giant leap forward with their most impressive and useful feature to date: a built-in drag-and-drop block editor known as Gutenberg.

In this article we’ll look at the advantages of Gutenberg, how it compares to other block editors and explore its limitations. We’ll also get into why it makes a ton of sense for organizations who require flexibility and the ability to make timely website updates on the regular.

157,000+ posts are created with Gutenberg every day.

– Gutenstats

What’s block editing again?

Simply put, block editing organizes content on a website by breaking it into individual blocks or chunks. Each block represents a specific piece of content, such as a text and image combo, a pull quote, or embedded video. Instead of dealing with one big mess of content, block editing breaks things up into smaller, manageable pieces making it a lot less daunting to build pages and update content.

Quick Gutenberg refresher.

Not to be confused with Steve Guttenberg, who made his mark on mid-80s cinema with classics like Police Academy and Short Circuit, WordPress’ Gutenberg first came onto the scene back in 2018. Loaded with hype as the replacement for their default classic editor, Gutenberg was touted as a game changer. It was the much needed solution to make the content creation process more intuitive and flexible, giving users the ability to create more visually interesting and appealing layouts.

Since its launch over 5 years ago, Gutenberg’s user experience has continuously evolved and improved. If you’re interested in trying out Gutenberg first-hand to see just how straightforward block-editing can be, you check out The site acts as a live demo allowing you to play around with adding and updating content blocks in real time.

A mockup of a screen on the gutenberg editor, text reads "Gutenberg blocks make it easy to create beautiful pages with zero coding skills."

Gutenberg’s undeniable block editing benefits.

Gutenberg is a modular approach to content creation where users can easily add various types of content. You can also move blocks around and edit them making it simple to structure content and visualize how it will appear on the website. This description may conjure up visions of drag-and-drop site builders like Squarespace and Wix. And while there are some similarities in principle, WordPress’ Gutenberg is the right option for enterprises looking to grow. Here’s why:

1. Super intuitive

No tech expertise needed. Gutenberg is fully accessible to users with varying technical skills and knowledge. 

2. Embed all day!

Seamlessly embed different media including videos and social – all without adding extra plugins.

3. What you see is what you get

With better parity between the front-end and back-end content, Gutenberg ensures a seamless editing experience that closely mirrors the live website.

4. Save, reuse and repeat

You can easily create and reuse blocks throughout your site for ultimate efficiency and brand consistency. 

5. Who’s ready to collaborate?

With the ability to simultaneously edit different blocks, Gutenberg is awesome for teams that have multiple people managing the site’s content.

6. Made for upscaling

Gutenberg is inherently scalable thanks to its block-based approach and streamlined content creation. This is especially true for websites with robust amounts of content.

7. Extending enterprises further

Most enterprise websites have specific needs when it comes to their brand and functionality. Gutenberg’s compatibility with reliable plugins makes for tailored experiences with seamless integrations.

What are the alternatives?

There are many other WordPress page builders out there: Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi Builder just to name a few. Of course some folks prefer to go with what they know and stick with WordPress’ classic editor. Popular page builders for WordPress each have their unique features and upsides for small businesses. But they also have some pretty big drawbacks for larger organizations.   

One of the most obvious shortcomings of page builder alternatives is related to performance (or lack thereof). Page builders such as Elementor come with added complexity which negatively impacts page speed. Since Google factors performance metrics like this into their rankings, it’s definitely something to be mindful of for your SEO. 

While other page builders can provide a quick design solution, they’re not ideal for organizations with extensive brand guidelines. It can be very time consuming to try to adapt blocks to companies with brand-specific design requirements.

Finally, compatibility can often become a concern. There are often issues between the page builder plug-in and other plugins that prevent interfaces from functioning properly. What’s more, content migration is much more complex when converting from a page-builder like Divi to a standard WordPress site. Once you discover the limitations of a page-builder and decide to make a switch, it requires additional time and technical solutions to migrate the content effectively.

When it’s time to customize.

It’s important to remember that not everything on a website can be crafted easily with block editing. Some unique designs and features require custom development. That’s where having a skilled WordPress developer comes in handy. A prime example is a unique homepage design where it’s important to make a striking, brand-forward first impression and a “template-y” look just won’t suffice. 

We also create custom blocks for content that requires a unique structure or layouts, such as menus, galleries and data visualizations. Obviously when there’s complex functionality on a website, this would require customization as well. But for most “standard” content, Gutenberg does the trick.

WordPress + Gutenberg = pure gold.

At TU, we use Gutenburg exclusively on the enterprise WordPress websites we build. Once we’ve gone through the process of planning, designing and building a website, it’s time to hand over the keys. We’ve found that Gutenberg is the best way to empower our clients to take charge of their website’s content and make updates with ease.