Blogging Insights #53 Gutenberg Tips


The Dreaded Block Editor

There has been a lot of talk about the Gutenberg or Block Editor that WordPress has adopted. Most of the bloggers I know are hobby bloggers like myself. They are not promoting themselves or trying to run a business or sell anything. We don’t really need all the features that WordPress has foisted on to us. However, today Dr Tanya of Salted Caramel has asked us to share tips on how to manage the block editor. Most of the comments I have read suggest avoiding it completely if possible. There are still a couple of workarounds available and there is a “classic block”. I decided to take a different route and started to use the block editor some months ago. I didn’t start it when it was brand new but a little later when there were still fewer blocks to contend with so it was not as difficult. I won’t say that I haven’t had problems. I have from time to time, especially with the gallery function but this post is about things that have worked for me.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Copy and Paste

My first tip, and others have also suggested this, is that if you don’t want to mess with a lot of formatting write out your post in Word or your preferred program and copy paste it into your open post. It will automatically format the paragraphs. All you have to do then is add pictures. I don’t mess with fonts or colours that much so that does for me. There is a custom button next to the font size drop down so you can for example select “normal” and use the custom drop down to increase the font size the same way you would a text document.

Press Enter

If you do write straight into WordPress you will find that you don’t really need to select a new paragraph. You can just press Enter (or the Mac equivalent) to start a new one automatically.

Use the arrows

I find the little arrows on the block toolbar very useful for moving blocks around, especially when I am adding pictures. I tend to put my pictures in after I’ve written my text. I can do this either by using the + sign to create a new block for an image or gallery between text blocks or I can add them at the end and manipulate them to where I want them to go. Yes, it does take a bit longer but you get faster with practice. I also use the block toolbar to change the type of block say from paragraph to list or image to gallery.

Don’t use the quick draft option

I prefer to go to WP Admin to create my posts and have always done this. The home page does offer a quick link to write a post but if you are like me and sometimes like to come back to a post to rewrite it or add pictures this link doesn’t seem to offer that option. It assumes that you will write and publish all in one hit. I’ve found that when I have used this option I have invariably had to close the draft and go into WP Admin to open it again for the corrections I want to make.

Formatting

I tend to format headings and paragraphs as I go but I’ve been experimenting with writing the whole post in paragraph form and then going back and changing the appropriate blocks to headings, quotes or lists. This would work well for the copy/ paste option. It doesn’t make a huge difference in time perhaps but it might make you more consistent in using the same style headings for example.

Conclusion

I do my blogging either on my desktop or laptop so these tips may not be very helpful if you blog on a tablet or phone. I hope that my experiences might be helpful to some of you.

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. My current housemates are Cindy, my 14-year-old Staffy-Lab X dog and Polly the world's most unsociable cat who is seven.

5 comments

  1. i like your write up. I switched awhile back too. It’s a little clumsy, but I’m getting used to it. I am on a Mac Notebook. I really don’t know anything about tablets or phones either.

    Liked by 1 person

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