Should You Use the Gutenberg Editor on Your WordPress Website?

Switching to the Gutenberg Editor was probably the most controversial change in WordPress's history. I'll help you decide whether you should start using Gutenberg for your podcast's WordPress website.

What is the Gutenberg Editor?

If you’ve been working with WordPress for a while—before version 5.0—then you know the WordPress editor for creating pages and posts is similar to nearly any software where you compose a document to be sent, viewed or printed. You can write paragraphs or headings, you can adjust the text to be bold or in italics, and other common formats. It’s very basic; it’s very linear; and it’s also very limited.

The Gutenberg editor changes all that by building an all-new editor around the ideas and needs that we have in the media space today.

Now, when we’re creating content on WordPress websites, it’s not so linear. Sometimes, we’re telling stories, we’re inserting images and videos and multimedia into posts. We’re embedding lots of information with tables, charts, buttons, multimedia, opt-ins, and much more. We couldn't do this stuff very easily before with the classic editor; we needed extra plugins or else knowledge of web technologies like HTML and CSS or perhaps even some PHP and Javascript. Gutenberg simplifies all this by building new functionality into the new editor, and it’s all centered on the idea of blocks.

Every bit of content inside Gutenberg is a block. Headers, images, paragraphs, lists, embed, and more are all blocks. You can even have blocks inside of blocks (like a text block inside a column or grid block). All of this makes Gutenberg much like a page-builder, which I talked in episode 337.

You can drag and drop these blocks to reorder them, style them, and do some basic things with them. You don't have the full control you would with a dedicated a page-builder such as Elementor Pro, Beaver Builder, or Divi Builder. But you can do many of the same things in more simplified ways. So maybe you don’t need all of the features of a page-builder.

The Gutenberg and WordPress developers say Gutenberg is the future of WordPress. That sounds lofty but it’s also true. The plan for Gutenberg is to not only let you edit your content better but to help you edit your whole site better. The Gutenberg editor will someday help you build your header, sidebar, and footer. When you get comfortable using Gutenberg, you’ll be ready to edit the rest of your site in the future.

If you’d like try Gutenberg, then click here to learn more and try live without even having to have your own website. You don’t have to create an account or sign up in any way.

Gutenberg's benefits

Interested? I think these are the biggest reasons you should use Gutenberg.

1. Make repeatable content and templates with reusable blocks

This benefit is huge! This one alone may be enough to convince you to use Gutenberg. This can save you time, it can save you frustration, it can make the process of writing your show notes so much easier. And also make it so you don’t need to use several other plugins as it’s built into Gutenberg.

I’ve previously talked about how to write show notes faster (episode 244) by making repeatable content with custom shortcodes and content templates. Shortcodes will be a short word or phrase wrapped in square brackets, like [this], that you see in the post editor but when you preview or publish, the shortcode is replaced with something else. Shortcodes can display players, multimedia, buttons, text, and more.

I previously recommended using shortcodes to display text that you always repeat at the end of every episode such as:

  • How to subscribe
  • Links to your social accounts
  • Special promotions
  • Affiliate disclosure

Instead of wasting time copying and pasting text, you could use one or multiple shortcodes to make it easier to update across all of your site when you edit the original content and then clear your website cache to make the changes propagate across your website.

Custom shortcodes are not easy to make. In the least, you’ll need to know a little code to get them to work. To date I haven’t found a good shortcode plugin.

I’ve also previously talked about using Simple Content Templates for creating starting templates in WordPress. This would let you create the basic structure of your show notes you could use as a starting canvas for each new post.

These sound great, right? With the Gutenberg editor, you can do these same things with “reusable blocks”!

A reusable block can be one or multiple blocks grouped together as a single block you can place in multiple pages and posts. So instead of needing some code to make a custom shortcode, you can simply make your content with blocks in a page or post, select them, and save them as a reusable block.

You can even have reusable blocks inside reusable blocks! For example, your affiliate disclosure inside your show-notes closing block.

To make a whole content template, make all your placeholder blocks, select them, and turn them into a reusable block. When you place that template block into a new post, click on the More Options button, then convert to regular blocks and it will break it apart again so you can fill in your content.

I made a video tutorial that teaches how to do this, exclusive to members of Podcasters' Society.

2. Unlock more content-formatting options

The classic editor works fine for basic writing, but it falls far short for more advanced formatting and content.

Sure, you could always dive deep and edit the CSS or HTML to get your content just the way you’d like, but Gutenberg makes this much easier!

Here are some of the many things Gutenberg can help you insert and manage better.

  • Images: more layout and alignment options (support added by your theme), faster caption-editing, and easy sizing.
  • Buttons: change the colors and style without needing an extra plugin or CSS.
  • Tables: add rows and columns easily for displaying tabular data.
  • Multimedia: embed with ease, and have more control over your embedded multimedia.
  • Widgets: you can finally put a WordPress sidebar widget in your content!

3. Replace many separate plugins with Gutenberg features

Because Gutenberg brings so much built into WordPress, you may not need as many plugins for basic features, like buttons, tables, shortcodes, and such.

4. Use high-quality themes and plugins to get more Gutenberg blocks and options

SecondLine Themes, among others, provide additional tools to allow you to do even more than what might have been available with the classic editor. This can bring in colors from your them, offer more layout options to make your content look great on your site, and more.

5. Paste formatted text without so many worries

Pasting text from other places into the classic editor used to be a big problem. If you wrote your show notes using Google Docs or some other word processor, and then pasted it into WordPress, you might end up with all sorts of extra—but hidden—code making it hard to get your text to look like you want. Gutenberg is far more paste-friendly, especially with Google Docs, so you don't have to worry about extra code messing up what you’re trying to put in place.

6. Edit faster and without page-refreshes

Although WordPress has always been a somewhat fast tool, the Gutenberg editor makes writing in WordPress even faster by doing things without page loads! Save a draft, publish your post, and more without having to reload the page, thanks to the modern Javascript backend of Gutenberg.

7. Navigate your post quickly with an outline

If you write your content with a hierarchy through headings, there are two ways that you can navigate your content very quickly without having to scroll.

Block navigation will show a list of the types of blocks in the order you have them allowing you to click on the one you’d like and get to it quickly.

Content Structure shows you the hierarchy with your headings, like a table of contents. You’ll be able to see at a glance what you already have and can click directly to that section.

Plus, this structure works create to select (from the bottom) to copy a quick outline.

8. Access advanced options more easily

When you’re working in any block, you’ll see its options on the right side of the screen.

The advanced section even allows you to enter a CSS class for that block or a link anchor. Before, you would have to add this stuff by editing the HTML code, but Gutenberg makes it more accessible.

9. Edit a block in HTML for advanced needs

If you do need to edit the HTML code for your content, Gutenberg makes that easier, too.

Previously with the classic editor, you to switch the whole editor to the code or “text” view or to adjust the HTML. With the Gutenberg editor you can edit the individual block in HTML without having to change over the entire page. This allows you to keep your place and work more efficiently.

Gutenberg's disadvantages

These are some of the most common problems and oppositions I've seen for Gutenberg.

1. It's a drastic change

I think people often resist change simply because it's different. Things aren’t where you expect them to be or something doesn’t work the way you’re used to.

The Gutenberg editor arrived with a completely different interface, so I understand that it can be a bit of a shock. However, Gutenberg still works fine for simple typing and pressing Enter. Plus, if you really try to use it and all its new features, I think you'll come to like it.

2. There are still some compatibility issues with other plugins

Some plugins built functionality into the classic editor. So when you switch over to the Gutenberg editor, that functionality could b missing. Sometimes, the feature is still available, but now it's in a block.

In some cases, though, it’s more serious and a plugin you use isn’t working as it should. When that happens, it’s worth reaching out to the developer of the plugin and letting them know you’re using Gutenberg so they can go about investigating the problem.

If you have a plugin that works with only the classic editor, then use the Classic Editor plugin to switch back for that specific page or post.

3. It may slow down some editing functionality

Some users have reported that Gutenberg makes the interface run slower. The Javascript backend could introduce the possibility for more conflicts. But Gutenberg is generally faster and the report of slowness are rare.

4. Managing reusable blocks is a little weird right now

The process for managing blocks, right now, is to edit a page or post, click to add a new block, scroll down to reusable blocks, and then click a link to manage your blocks.

That's a little tedious, but you can either bookmark that resulting page, or add /wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=wp_block to the end of your domain, such as (Change wp-admin to match your URL pattern, if you have altered that default.)

5. Many features may be more simplistic than you want

Gutenberg takes a simple approach to creating different blocks. For example, you can create basic tables, but you'll need an additional plugin if you want more advance control over your tables.

In some cases, a page-builder may be the answer to your needs.

That said, if the Gutenberg provides what you need, then it can avoid extra bloat and save you time by just using what it has available.

Tips for using Gutenberg

If you're ready to use Gutenberg, here are some tips!

1. Install the plugin version if you want the latest version

Gutenberg has been included with WordPress since version 5.0. But if you want the latest version of the Gutenberg editor, for the latest fixes, features, then try the plugin.

The plugin will replace the pre-installed editor without your having to do anything further. Just keep in mind it might be so cutting edge that it could have some bugs.

2. Install the “Classic Editor” plugin

Even if you’re all in with Gutenberg, install the classic editor and have it deactivated but ready in case something breaks.

3. Don't worry about your past content

You don’t have to go back and convert your past content over to Gutenberg. All your old content will be in a single classic block and you can still edit it.

But if you'd like to replace your reliance on an old plugin, or you want to improve how your old posts look, then you might want to consider updating your older content.

What do you think of Gutenberg?

Engage your audience and grow your podcast!

Do you ever feel like your podcast is stuck? Like you're pouring your heart into your podcast but it seems like no one is listening?

Try Podgagement to help you engage your audience and grow your podcast!

Get speakable pages to simplify engaging with your audience, accept voicemail feedback (with automatic transcripts), track your ratings and reviews from nearly 200 places, and more!

Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the show notes
  • Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
  • Email (audio files welcome)

Follow The Audacity to Podcast


This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship. I may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fred Castaneda
4 years ago

Glad to see that Daniel is back. Again, his episodes are thorough with his analysis of productivity tools for podcasters. He gives you the benefits, the apprehensions and his viewpoint on recommendations. We sorely missed his contribution to the podosphere and his content. And, yes, I like the fact that he shortened his audio intro — and his video intro is right on, as we see in his PM2019 video clips. Nice going, Daniel. And, of course, his show notes are awesome and detailed enough for podcasters.
Looking forward to further episodes. Thanks for your episodes (it is obvious that you prepare for your episodes thoroughly).

Fred Castaneda
4 years ago

Finally caught up with all your episodes. I enjoyed your episode on the Gutenberg editor.
I have used the classic editor in WordPress for the longest time.
I have another podcast that I started early last year, and I used the Gutenberg editor there. I did not like it, but since I only published a few episodes on it (once every 3 months or so), it did not appear to be a problem.
However, I just launched another podcast this week, and the Gutenberg editor was there on the WordPress site. I tried using it, and it really crimped my workflow and creator style.
Then I listened once again to your episode. Yes, I do see the advantages of the editor — especially if I had advanced features. But I have a very simple workflow for now, and the editor proved to be too cumbersome for me to use at this time. So I switched back to the classic editor, and my workflow regained its rhythm (I posted over 20 episodes with it this week — many of them after I switched back to classic). I will keep in mind the advantages you stated in your episode and have them under advisement. But for now, “old faithful and trustworthy classic” is what I am using, and happy to use in my “non-advanced” state of editing.
But thank you for letting us know the differences in a very comprehensive analysis with comparison and contrast of both editors. As always, you provide a thorough review and recommendation.
Looking forward to getting together at PM2020-Evolutions, for I still want to have an interview with you about an update on Podcasters Society and review some of the changes you made to your show (for I have also shortened my intro, music and episodes — now I am publishing micro-casts more often).
As always, thank your dad for his service, and receive my best for a happy Thanksgiving, from
your buddy and podcaster, Fred Castaneda

Fred Castaneda
4 years ago

Daniel, sorry for the absence during Thanksgiving holidays and cyber Monday.
The editor’s block metaphor was too clumsy for me to work with. I prefer the free-flowing advantage of the classic editor. It allows me to go faster, and not worry about the formatting problems that the Gutenberg editor always presents. Plus, I don’t get to see everything in one spot — as I do with the classic editor.
I guess it is because I have been working with word processing editors since 1975, and the metaphor that they now have used since 1987 (with the MS Word GUI editor) is a habit with me. I can perform tasks much more quickly and I can concentrate on my episode, and not in the quirks of the G Editor. I have been able to be very productive and rapid with the classic editor.
Sorry, but I did try it — and I have it in reserve, if needed., since I had been forced to use it when I started my podcast last year ( And, yes, the mouse movements are more erratic and cumbersome with the G editor, while the classic editor allows me to flow smoothly because I am so used to it.

BTW, did I miss something? I have not seen an episode published on TAP since the Gutenberg episode. Please let me know when another episode will be coming out. Thanks, and
Have a wonderful holiday season for you and your family.
-Fred C.

Cliff Arnold
4 years ago

Perfect timing for me since I am just about to tackle my first ever website (and podcast). Based on your input and previous episodes (336&337) I purchased Both Tusant from SecondLine and Elementor. I explored a little in Tusant the first night I downloaded it, but considering I have zero experience… I made little progress. I’m really looking forward to learning though and I will now be adding Gutenberg to the toolbox.
Thank You for so very much for your content. It is encouraging and you are on my list of people to shake hands with and thank in person someday.

Carolyn Miller
4 years ago

I was in confusion whether it should be use or not. You have done a really fantastic job here. Superb thinking & solution’s. Great job buddy. Go ahead. Wish you all the best.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Enter your name and email address below to learn “7 Ways to Get More Podcast Reviews” FREE!

Almost there!


See what Apple Podcasts and other popular podcast apps search with the Podcast SEO Cheat Sheet!

This form collects information we will use to send you podcasting-related updates with tips, offers, and news. We will not share or sell your personal information. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Almost there!


Before you go! Don’t miss this FREE checklist, “20 things you should do before recording every podcast episode”!

This form collects information we will use to send you podcasting-related updates with tips, offers, and news. We will not share or sell your personal information. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Almost there!