Test-Driving the New WordPress Editor

Karol K. / May 10, 2019

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If you go to your WordPress.com dashboard right now, you’ll notice the new WordPress Editor is available. Here’s what you should know about this latest upgrade to the editing experience in WordPress.

Where to find the new WordPress Editor

To find the new editor, go to your WordPress.com dashboard, and then proceed to create a new post like you normally would — by clicking on the Add button next to Blog Posts in the primary sidebar.

You’ll see the familiar editor screen, but there will also be a new message present, tempting you to try out the new WordPress Editor.

Invite button to try out new WordPress Editor

Clicking on that will alter the content editing panel. What seems like a cosmetic change in design is actually a considerable upgrade under the hood. What you’re looking at is the new WordPress Editor!

The new WordPress Editor

For comparison, here’s the old editor — the one you used up until this point.

The old WordPress editor

Changes since the previous editor

First off, this new content editor is block-based, rather than document-based.

What this means in plain English is that instead of working on one large empty document — the way things were before — you’ll now work with a digital canvas, which gives you much more freedom regarding what you can include in your blog post.

Whatever piece of content you add to the blog post will be converted to a block. These blocks then become independent, which means that you can move them around freely (using drag-and-drop).

This new block approach doesn’t change much in terms of your workflow when creating a new post. If you want, you can just type away and all the “block stuff” is going to happen seamlessly under the hood.

How to use the new editor

Here’s how the WordPress Editor works:

As you begin, you’re immediately invited to start writing or to choose a block to add onto the canvas.

Invitation to start writing or choose a block

Here’s how to use the WordPress Editor effectively:

  1. Adding text content is intuitive. You don’t need to do anything else other than begin typing and then press enter whenever you’re done with a line of text.
  2. Adding other types of content (like images, quotes, lists, headings, etc.) can be done by clicking on the + icon in the top left corner.

Plus-sign icon in top-left corner for adding other content

Depending on what type of content block you want to add, you’ll get additional options for customization. For example, for the image block, you can choose how you want the image aligned and, most importantly, how you want to have it uploaded to the site.

Image block for adding images

(Click any of the icons in the top bar to change the alignment.)

Why this new editor is an improvement

The new WordPress Editor — compared to the previous one — allows for much better maneuverability between the individual pieces of content, such as text paragraphs or images.

Previously, to move content around, you needed to copy and paste a lot. This made it easier to get some of that content misaligned or even lost in the process. Blocks are more maneuverable, so instead of having to use your clipboard, you can grab any block with your mouse cursor and drag-and-drop it into place.

Here are the controls for that:

Drag-and-drop controls for moving blocks

Overall, the new WordPress Editor is a complete rebuild. Its main advantage is that it makes your editing experience much more straightforward, especially if you want to add rich media to your posts.

Try it out! Go to your WordPress.com dashboard, start creating a new post, and click on that invite button:

Close-up of invite button to try out new WordPress Editor

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