We deployed Gutenberg 8.3 to our verification sites when it was released last week. This includes my personal site, johncharlesfleming.com. Generally seems pretty stable, but we did find an issue with an incompatibility with Yoast that we posted about earlier this week. You can read the release announcement from the Gutenberg team by clicking on the embed below. We also recommend reading Justin Tadlock’s overview analysis on WPTavern.

Usability

The Gutenberg team simplified the block category structure. You will now see blocks grouped by text, media, design, widgets, and embeds. You will also continue to see separate sections that group blocks added by plugins like Yoast and Jetpack. While the core categories are clearer, I agree with Justin’s comment that the block inserter UI isn’t the most optimum way to work especially if you leave all blocks active. It just gets really long. The search features are really the only way to select. We have adopted a block workflow process to turn off any blocks that are not being used on a site. We will be doing a separate post on this soon.

New block editor categories

The block toolbar was also updated to add a parent selector to improve navigation in nested contexts. This becomes visible when you click on the type icon for a given block. While block selection is an area we would like to see the Gutenberg team focus on, we are holding judgement on the approach implemented until we have worked with it. It seems a little cumbersome. This is an area where the block maps of some of the commercial page builders have developed into mature, usable features. It is very easy in them to switch to select what you want when it’s not clear in the visual editors.

Design Tools

A new padding option was added to the Cover block. This has to be enabled by the theme to display. A new link color option was added to several blocks. This also has to be enabled by the theme. These mimic the capabilities that plugins like Editors Kit and Stackable have implemented to improve and extend the Block Editor. These are areas we think the Gutenberg team and the broader community have to discuss and come to agreement on so the implementations are architecturally sound, consistent, usable and broadly adopted by theme providers. It is something you should research with any theme and block-enabled plugins you use.

Experimental

The Gutenberg team continues to move forward with both Full Site Editing and the Navigation screen. You should be staying current with both of these since we expect to see them in core in some form by year end. We will be doing posts on these topics over the next few weeks. There were also updates to the Block Directory and an experimental version of rich text imaging tools was also released.

Hope you found this quick summary useful. Leave a comment if you want to share your own experiences, give feedback, or have a question.

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