WordPress blasted onto the scene in 2003 as the result of a combined effort from Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. WordPress continuously rose in popularity until year over year. In October of 2009 is became the world’s most popular CMS. As of February of 2017, WordPress is used on 27.5% of the top 10 million websites.
With incremental updates every few months, WordPress has always made sure to stay relevant. The larger updates which substantially change things are released every few years. Version 1.0 was released on January 3rd, 2004 and nearly 2 years later, on December 31st, 2005, WordPress released 2.0. This update saw a massive overhaul to the back end, as well as many other features. Version 3.0 was launched on June 17th, 2010. The last major release was Version 4.0, which released on September 4, 2014.
Blocks aim to streamline the development of WordPress sites. In place of actual coding, blocks allow you to create pages visually. A simple yet elegant interface lets you select where you would like to place the block. You can select what type of content will be in the block. Some of the options for content include; Paragraphs, lists, quotes, headings, code, and many more. The idea is to significantly lower the barrier of entry for designing a WordPress site. Blocks are still incredibly versatile and powerful, but they take zero coding knowledge to get started with. You can move things around on the fly and get a sense of how the page looks. Shortcode and custom CSS are still possible to use inside of blocks for people who have more experience. Gutenberg also supports the saving of blocks. By saving blocks, you can easily place elements you used previously wherever you please. These are called reusable blocks and are another way Gutenberg aims to streamline development.
There’s always a chance that updating breaks something in your site. So, you might ask yourself why should I update to version 5? The Gutenberg editor is the main draw. For the time being, Gutenberg is the extent of the update. More features will continue to be added throughout the life of version 5. If you are already proficient with WordPress, this new editor might seem like an unnecessary addition. The features included with Gutenberg are worth the time investment to learn it. As you become more comfortable with it, you can really begin to do some cool things. The ability to reuse blocks as well as see your changes to a page in real time can save you so much time in the long run. Gutenberg is also still in its infancy. As time continues to pass, Gutenberg will continue to grow. New features will be steadily rolled out to maximize the effectiveness of this editor.