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How to Use the Block Editor in WordPress

Interested in the audio or video version of this post? Check it out below:

The Block Editor, in WordPress, is also known as the Gutenberg Editor. It is also a plugin! And since WordPress version 5.0 the Block Editor has been the default editor.

Much to everyone’s dismay. Almost everyone.

Since WordPress 5.0, if you wish to stay with the Classic Editor, you need to install the Classic Editor plugin. Turn it on, and you’re good to completely ignore that the Block Editor ever existed.

But should you? I know you want to – but hear me out. I think I have good news for you.

August 2021 Block Editor for WordPress

At least we’re calling it the Block Editor now – instead of Gutenberg. Who is Gutenberg? Well you can look him up if you wish, but for now, Block Editor seems more straight forward.

The block editor has scared many a person who is comfortable with the Classic Editor. And here’s why.

Open up the editor. (Turn off the Classic Plugin first.) Then open the Block Editor by simply going to the Post Tab >> Add New.

Block Editor — Edit Post Screen

And that’s what you have. Compared to the old editor:

Classic Editor – Edit Post Screen

If you’re like me, the initial reaction to that giant white screen, the Block Editor, is to recoil in fear.

What are you supposed to do?

If you hit the wrong button, will it publish?

Where is your cursor? Where do you type?

Where on earth are the buttons? How do you add a picture?

Breathe with me, friends! We’re going to walk through a few steps to help calm the fears. And I have a big announcement at the end – stay for that!

You skipped ahead didn’t you? 🙂

To prepare for the Block Editor, and to be ready to take the Block Editor for Beginners Class, you’ll need to:

  1. upgrade to WordPress 5.8 (the most recent version)
  2. deactivate the Classic Editor Plugin

Note: after you’ve completed these steps, the classic editor will not be available to you any longer.

I recommend taking these steps just before you’re ready to take the class. Then you can easily go back to the Classic Editor after class.

Frequently Asked Questions about Switching to the Block Editor

Will switching to the Block Editor, ruin my already-published pages and posts?

No. If all you do is deactivate the Classic Editor, nothing else will change. The posts and pages will stay there.

You may not be able to edit those posts though. That depends on your other plugins, themes, and if you’re using a page builder(eww!).

Is it permanent? Can I switch back to the Classic Editor?

Nope. Not permanent. Yep. You can switch back at any time.

What if I have questions? Will you help me?

I’m so glad I asked! Yes – we are offering a series of 6 classes for the Block Editor. See the big announcement below!

How to Switch Between The Editors in WordPress

Introducing: Block Editor Classes

Beginning on September 15th, we will be releasing 6 classes for our tech-averse friends on the Block Editor. And the last 3 are great for advanced users too. We will cover everything you need to know – from the very first time you open the editor.

Check each class for the description – to know if that is a good fit, what you will learn and when it will be released.

Block Editor Class Descriptions

Block Editor for Absolute Beginners: this class is designed for the blogger who is afraid to open the new editor. We will walk through it together. And you’ll end up with your first practice post in the block editor. We will only use the blocks that come built into WP. And we will cover how to switch back and forth so you can continue to use the Classic Editor until you feel comfortable to remove it.

Who’s it for? Anyone!

Basic Blocks for Beginners: this class will start where Absolute Beginners left off. We will continue to go through all the basic blocks in this class: headings, lists, quotes, pull quote, table, verse and embeds. We will start to go into using Reusable Blocks and Plugins to find and use more blocks.

Who’s it for? This is a good introduction to Advanced Blocks class. Before joining this class, you should be comfortable using paragraph and image blocks.

Advanced Blocks: In this class, we will go through more advanced blocks from the Kadence Block plugin (free version) and Yoast’s SEO plugin (free version). You will learn how to format pages correctly, with the least amount of work while keeping within your brand. You will learn what schema is, and how to use schema blocks (How To and FAQ blocks) correctly.

Who’s it for? I recommend this class for intermediate block editor users. If you’re comfortable using and navigating among the blocks in the Block Editor, you’ll enjoy this class.

Blog Layout for SEO: Blogs have a wide array of SEO guidelines. We will go through the most common ones, covering headers, breadcrumbs, author blocks, meta and info tags, galleries, recipes and video embeds. We will touch briefly on readability, accessibility and speed. We will use the Recipe block from WP Recipe Maker (free version), Yoast’s SEO for WP plugin (free version) and Kadence Blocks (free version).

Who’s it for? You will need an intermediate understanding of the block editor for this class. Join Absolute Beginners, Basic Blocks & Advanced Blocks for a great introduction!

Landing Pages & Call to Actions: We will begin to dive into the use of forms and landing pages in this class. We will cover MailerLite, MailChimp and ConvertKit plugins and forms. Most of your other email marketing companies will have similar instructions. We will touch on best practices for an email sign-up landing page; and cover funnel basics. We will use Kadence Blocks plugin (free version) and you will need an email marketing company, free or paid account.

Who’s it for? You will need to have covered the content in Blog Layout for SEO to not fall behind in this class. We go beyond the actual adding/editing of blocks and into theory and layouts in this class.

Cornerstone Page for SEO: This is an exciting and cutting edge class! We will cover theory and practice in this class for content cornerstone pages. We will get into post grids, layouts, call to actions, and SEO. You will end the class with one of the most important pages on your site. We will use Kadence Blocks (free version), SEO by Yoast (free version), and your email marketing company forms.

Who’s it for? This class is best preceded by Landing Pages & Call to Actions. Each class builds on the previous, introducing new theory and blocks.

See you on September 15!

Leave your name and email if you’d like to be notified when the classes open for registration on September 15.

NEW: Register today! Class 1: Block Editor for Absolute Beginners – Register here.

The first class is a 30 minute video of me walking you through each step. You will pause the video and work with me, each step of the way. You will need 30 – 45 minutes to complete the class.

Price: free (for a limited time)

Format: Recorded Video, Transcript, Worksheet, Notes

Time: Start and stop whenever you wish. The classes are yours to keep.

Leave your name & email to get notified when they’re available.

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