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How to Update Old Posts in the Gutenberg Editor

Written by Angela Tempest

January 9, 2019

Gutenberg is the new block based editor for WordPress – you might have heard a little about it?  Truthfully, I tried using it and really liked it until it caused weird problems with the editor on my sites with the blocks for things like Yoast stuck immobile in the middle of a post (although the actual published article looked fine).  The Gutenberg editor is here to stay though so what about if you want to make the switch then update old posts in the Classic Editor?

What’s Gutenberg again?

As a Divi user, the idea of Gutenberg wasn’t an alien one.  Rather than having a single Word document like screen to add your blog post, you have blocks.  You can still copy and paste your content into the editor and it will automatically assign the right kind of block to it (or most of the time).  Some of the types of blocks include:

  • Text (paragraph)
  • Image
  • Button
  • List
  • Table
  • Gallery

There are also specialist blocks.  For example, I use WP Recipe Maker on my food blog and there’s a block just for that, so the recipe process works just the same.  Other plugins are also creating their own blocks to offer the full functionality.

Updating old posts to the Gutenberg editor

One of the first things I wondered about when I tried it was how to update old posts to the Gutenberg editor.  What’s the point of having blocks if you can’t use them?  And the process is relatively simple.

For starters, when you first open an old post with Gutenberg, the whole thing is in one big block.  Just click the three dots at the top of the editor and you can convert this to blocks – in other words, WordPress will change the content into a series of blocks such as paragraphs or lists based on its content.  Once it is changed into blocks, you can then move them around, edit them individually or make changes to the internal layout of each block.

Each block also has its own settings which you can change such as the size of an image, the link to another page, the ALT text and more.  Then once you are finished editing, simply update the post and it will now be in Gutenberg – unless you switch it off and go back to the Classic Editor in which case it will revert to the old way.

Pin for later!

Rather than having a single Word document like screen to add your blog post, you have blocks.

Make the change?

I initially did like the Gutenberg Editor until the problems came along.  But there’s plenty of time to get used to it and for the kinks to be worked out – it isn’t due to completely replace the Classic Editor until 2022.  Plus it has spurred me into trying to make posts in Divi (just like this one) because I have the facility, so why not use it?

Have you tried Gutenberg yet?  How did you find it?

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