Getting Started with WordPress Gutenberg Development

I’ve known about and used Gutenberg for a while now since it’s been shipped with WordPress core. Until recently, I hadn’t taken a close look at where it’s going and the overall strategy that’s being executed on.

There’s a great overview within the readme of the Gutenberg repo on Github:

“Gutenberg” is a codename for a whole new paradigm in WordPress site building and publishing, that aims to revolutionize the entire publishing experience as much as Gutenberg did the printed word. Right now, the project is in the second phase of a four-phase process that will touch every piece of WordPress – Editing, Customization (which includes Full Site Editing, Block Patterns, Block Directory and Block based themes), Collaboration, and Multilingual – and is focused on a new editing experience, the block editor.

To summarize, there are four main phases of Gutenberg project:

  1. Editing (complete, shipped with WP Core in v5.0)
  2. Customization (in-progress: full-site-editing, block-patterns, block directory, block-based themes)
  3. Collaboration
  4. Multilingual

Customization Phase

Becoming Familiar with Full-Site Editing

So we’re in the customization phase of Gutenberg, but from the above outline, there’s a lot of jargon. Where do you go to untangle all of it?

I decided to really focus in on Full-site Editing piece, but searching on Google is hard because of WordPress’ size and the number of entities jumping through the SEO hoops to rank higher than everyone else.

To get oriented quickly, the Full-Site-Editing – the Ultimate Resource List post from Birgit Pauli-Haack on Gutenberg Times seemed to have everything. The post can be informal or rough in places, but that’s more to do with the chaotic nature of open-source communication and having a lot of places where information is changing.

One good way to jump in and start using Full-site editing, is to connect with and contribute to the #fse-outreach-experiment. One interesting thing for me, was to take a look at the tt1-blocks repo to compare the differences between a block-based theme and the default TwentyTwentyOne WordPress theme.

FSE Outreach Experiment

As of June 4th, there are a couple of open experiments that are looking for testers:

While I don’t have enough time to take these for a spin right now. I think this will be the perfect thing to focus on early next week!