The Paradigm of WordPress Gutenberg

The Paradigm of WordPress Gutenberg

A RealTime Paradigm

In real time another paradigm comes in the form of technology through the printing press. Named after it’s predecessor the Gutenberg Editor comes to WordPress. It means the editor will have a facelift. The icons will be the same, their functions won’t change, but they’re in a different place.

Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press which revolutionized the way people produced the printed parchments. As the blocks were laid onto the tray we now lay the blocks onto the web page.

This new system of block building, is also called the modular system. Modules are used to build the content on the page within the Divi Theme. This is one of the excellent features of the Divi Theme.

Oddly enough in the world of developers, there is a backward kind of thinking. The irony of this thinking is, it is so named “backwards compatibility.” Meaning you can roll back a version and use an outdated one instead of an updated one. Why? I would rather use the most updated version instead of an older version.

But nevertheless, you’ll find the nervous developer predicting the end of something because it means more work for them. What comes out is the truth of the matter, nothing ends.

Nothing Ends

Technology changes and improves all the time. WordPress is no exception. You may not know it but there are updates and upgrades happening all the time to the WordPress core software. The coming Gutenberg Editor will indeed make life easier for those of us who like to enter the content in the world’s most popular CMS (content management system) just like it is supposed to be entered.

The Coming Change

The WordPress editor has familiar icons which we use to place the content onto the web page. These familiar icons won’t disappear, they might be in a different place. WordPress is designing its own Page Builder. The most advanced way to build content on a web page.

Page Builders are developers who worked to solve the problem for the users of WordPress not to have to place the content into HTML brackets when writing a blog post.  Change isn’t easy for everyone. You still have developers who  “write” their blog posts in the “text” area, which by the way is the area where you can see the HTML tags. Perhaps it gives them the feeling they’re still doing the “tech” work as it used to be.

Websites are becoming more sophisticated and easier to use. The code is complex, but it runs in the background. The Page Builder lets you put the content directly into the page or blog post without having to have knowledge of HTML. This post is written using the Divi Builder built into the Divi Theme. It is a Page Builder.

The State of the Word US WordCamp 2017

Every year Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress gives an update on the progress of the world’s most used software, WordPress. The video recording shows the Gutenberg editor in action and how it changes the WordPress editor.

Developers, desingers, and users of WordPress attend the WordCamp events. At the most recent WordCamp in Nashville, the developers of the most used Page Builders came together, Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Visual Composer in an iconic picture captured by Jason Champagne of Elegant Themes. These developers are the top of their field and produce excellent Page Builders used with WordPress Themes. Now WordPress core is introducing the Gutenberg Editor. Named after the Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, the Gutenberg WordPress Editor uses building blocks, or placeholders. The area where you place and style the content.

The same concept is used in the Page Builders. You are using the module as a place holder for the content, with the ability to style the content within the module.

The Gutenberg Editor won’t end it all for everyone. WordPress is an open source software. Developers from all over the world contribute to the WordPress core. WordPress is the most used software in the world. Everyone uses it, and they’re not about to abandon it just because WordPress introduces an improvement and gives us the user the best experience.

How Will This Affect The Page Builders?

The developers working with the top Page Builders will incorporate the Gutenberg Editor into the existing Page Builder. The command icons on the toolbar won’t change. What will change are some WordPress Themes built with the current default editor, may not be able to incorporate the Gutenberg Editor.

The Page Builder feature in the Divi Theme is a plugin as are all the Page Builders used in WordPress themes. This time the WordPress core software will have a Page Builder.

As with all new software it’s only a matter of time after using it for a while, you’ll see how it operates. We’re a whole lot smarter with technology than we’ve been led to believe. Finally, we’re getting over the hurdle of not believing everything we see in print.

The paradigm of the Gutenberg editor into WordPress core is no different than what it was when the printing press was invented. People thought the end had come because books were available to be read by everyone.

The dire predictions of the end of WordPress are from those who are afraid of change. The Gutenberg Editor is a real time paradigm, it’s purpose is to elevate everyone’s ability to create content with WordPress.

Control WordPress Dashboard

Control WordPress Dashboard

Congratulations you’ve arrived on the deck of your control panel. We’ll be taking off in a few minutes. Please take a seat and look around the Dashboard, these are the controls in your jurisdiction as the administrator of the site.

You will be logging into your Website dashboard frequently and you could arrive in the dashboard and see an update for WordPress is available. Always make sure you’re running the latest version of WordPress.

Now about the Theme you just bought, it should be installed and ready to go.

When you don’t know, you don’t know. Sounds obvious until you find out what the problem is. There are so many themes in the marketplace it is overwhelming.

What’s the deal with Themes?

It’s a big deal today. There are now so many Themes you have no idea which one is a good Theme. You’re looking at the finished product. The issue isn’t the Theme, but can you operate it.

A theme is a customized modification of WordPress core software. It has a specific design and layout for a particular type of business. The theme is readymade. If you like the design you purchase the Theme. The theme comes with a one year license. At the end of the year you must renew the license, or buy another theme. Another way of doing this is to find a reputable theme company that provides updates to your Theme without you having to change themes every year.

Your relationship with the company that built your theme should include communication, documentation, and technical support at no extra cost. All these decisions should be made before you start working in your website. It’s too late when you need to update WordPress and your Theme breaks.

Switching Themes

Switching Themes is a bad practice. I’ll say it loud and clear.

It’s true you don’t lose the existing content in the site. The problem happens in the back end. A theme has custom code, so if you switch themes, the custom code of the theme you switched to isn’t the same as the one you were using.

The customized code was done by two different people. the result is incompatible code and endless problems and it get’s expensive. Now that we’ve solved the theme issue, and you’re not in the position of needing another theme… if you are read this article on how I solved my website dilemma.

The Modules in the Dashboard

WordPress is well thought out and built for the user. The first module tells you how many posts, pages, comments, and which version of WordPress is currently installed and the name of your Theme.

WordPress News

You will receive updates and news about WordPress. Every WordPress website is linked to the WordPress core software. If there is a serious problem with WordPress you’ll get a notice, keep this module in the dashboard.

There are settings that need to be in place not obvious from the main Dashboard. The first place to go is the Settings tab. When you hover over the Settings command you’ll see the menu of the different settings. There are two lots of settings you need to set. So let’s get settled on what we have to set.


General, writing, reading, discussion, media permalinks.

These are WordPress settings and are different from your Theme Settings. I know, it’s strange at first, but there’s good news; the WordPress settings once they are in place don’t have to be changed unless you want to modify a setting such as close the blog comments.

You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the different areas within your site. The WordPress settings are different from the Theme Options area. WordPress is the software that drives the site. The Theme is the decorative overlay that enhances the content in the site. In the Divi Theme you have built in options to change the settings and display the content professionally, and add a subtle artistic flair.

Theme Settings

Your WordPress Theme may have the settings in place and you don’t have to do anything. If you bought the Theme from a reputable Theme company the accompanying documentation will explain what settings to implement before using the Theme.  I call this good web housekeeping. When all the settings of your Theme and WordPress is setup properly, then you can get to working on putting the content into the site.

If you don’t know how something works “mouse around,” just click on icons and see what they do. There’s very little damage you can do because the code works in the background while you figure out what something does.

This is the DIvi Theme Options area. You have to go through all these settings to make sure they are enabled. There are no shortcuts with a website. The setting is either enabled or disabled. For example, if you didn’t enable the Divi Gallery in the Theme Options section you cannot select which items you want for the picture gallery display.

I have used the Divi Theme since it came out in 2013. It is such a versatile theme, I have no need for another Theme. The Divi Theme is built by Elegant Themes. I’m a front end user and know very little code. I’m also the kind of person that will read the help menu and watch video documentation until I get an answer to my question. If I can’t solve the problem, I’ll open a support ticket and get help from Elegant Themes technical support.

Here’s the thing with technology, things go wrong, and it isn’t because you don’t know. Software malfunctions and can have errors. Nothing is perfect in the world of technology and websites. It’s just the way it is.

The good news is someone from tech support can answer the question and the problem gets fixed. The bad news is if you have to keep paying someone to fix a problem with your Theme. A reputable theme company will be there when you need tech support and won’t charge you extra because your level of support needs an upgrade.

With your theme purchase comes a license to use the Theme for one year. Make sure you’re familiar with how your Theme is updated and how often. Some say it’s not necessary to update a theme, others say it is necessary. I say an outdated theme is a vulnerable to being hacked. Don’t leave the backdoor open, anyone can walk in.

What to look for with Plugins

The plugin is awesome. It can do these things for you, so you don’t have to do them. While this is true, you need to know about plugins even if you’re not a developer. Most of us aren’t and get caught in the crossfire of technology “experts” who will sell you the latest, greatest, new gadget for your Website.

A plugin is software added into your website.

When was the plugin published?

Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress core?

Is there tech support for the plugin?

When was the plugin last updated?

Mouse around the developer’s website. Read their About page. There are good and bad developers. You don’t need a plugin for every function. If you have too many plugins loaded into your website you will bloat the site. This causes a collision of the codes used by the developers.

A plugin developer might work with a Theme company. In this case the plugin won’t have any problems with your Theme because it is built for that Theme.

You still have to know how the plugin works and initiate the settings. In the WordPress Dashboard you go to the Plugins area and you’ll see a list of the plugins in your site.

The WordPress Plugin Repository

Go to the Plugins section inside your Website. Click on Add new.

This is where you will find the plugin directory and where you add the plugin to your site. A plugin has to be approved before it can reside in the repository and be available. The Repository has 44,000+ plugins. Choose wisely.

Your New Philosophy

Don’t rely on people to tell you things about technology that you can find out for yourself. Whenever I hear people say they don’t have time, I see a disaster waiting to happen. The time it takes to read the information about a company, a developer, and a plugin, is the pay off. It’s better to be informed than get wrong advice. Yes, there are people who don’t care if they give wrong advice, as long as you pay for the “advice.”

You always want to be in the know, and ask questions. WordPress is not easy and there is a definite learning curve with the software. Once you know where a setting is you enable or disable, turn on or off. Be patient, some of the most complex problems happen with websites because a setting wasn’t enabled.


The People Behind WordPress

The People Behind WordPress

A glimpse of the roles of the people who make up the team of the WordPress software from the user’s perspective.

WordPress is an open source software. Since it’s debut in 2003 it has gone on to be the software of choice because of its flexibility and strength at the base of the software. Approximately 60 million websites run on WordPress.

The first role we should consider is the Developer. The person who has a love affair with the code language, the hypertext markup language (HTML) used to drive the software.

The Developer

The brains behind the commands for the code. The system of code follows a definite protocol. Volunteer developers from all over the world contribute to the source code of WordPress.

A developer is a unique individual devoted to logic and challenge and knows HTML and PHP. PHP is an acronym for Hypertext Processor. This is a recurring acronym for all web pages. It is a scripting language used in all open source software.

PHP files have text, HTML (hypertext markup language), CSS (cascading style sheets) the language that describes the style of an HTML document and JavaScript the programming language invented by Brendan Eich in 1995. All these “languages” are used by the developer.

This is what code looks like.

The core WordPress developer team are what is called top tier developers. These are the top of the line and are the developers who know what they are doing. The WordPress software is a testament to their work. They bring the software to the point where the user does not have to make too many choices. The practical decisions of the workings of WordPress commands are in place, all you are doing is using the commands. This is what makes WordPress so flexible and easy to use.

Developers worldwide contribute to the WordPress core. They collaborate and work online. When you think about this accomplishment it’s remarkable. All the different personalities and nationalities uniting through a common computer language to produce the WordPress software.

The WordPress developers say “code is poetry.” It’s a good metaphor as it aptly describes the expression of being able to press words through the WordPress content management system.

The developer’s role encompasses the bloom of technology. It has burst into our lives and enjoys everyday usage by everyone. The ability to develop, design, and use software, is the collaboration of ideas and technology to produce WordPress; the user’s software for a professional website. The developer can come up with a complete solution and solve problems just with the code.

Technology moves fast and the developer moves with it.

The Designer

The new media requires graphics and interactivity. The online experience is not the same as reading a magazine. Originally the magazine editors were called on to transfer what was in print onto the web. This didn’t quite work. The web is not the same as a magazine. The connecting system of active hyperlinks offers more than a single page. Everything is linked within a site and connected from the Homepage to the About page to the Blog page. The user travels with one click and is in control of how they interact with the information.

The designer plans the form and the workings of something before it’s made or built. In the case of the WordPress designer they are working with an already built product. The language of computer software design takes its style form with HTML and CSS, using the code to produce aesthetic effects. The designer brings out a style that overlays the WordPress core software.

The designer is more than a visual artist. They have the challenge to present the visual structure of the framework of the website. Their vision has to reach into the architect of the layout of the website as well as into the user’s perspective.  A word here about designers and developers. If they never talk to each other then they are polarized by their ego. When there is a good design team, they have developers and designers working together.

The designer knows code and works with CSS, cascading style sheets. The CSS code when placed into the Theme will create a specific effect or style that was not there before. That sounds obvious, but it’s worth repeating it to understand how it works. The website for the user is built by a team of designers and developers. When the Theme is well built it’s usually the result of a dedicated team.

Less Is More

The challenge of design is the production of aesthetic elements to bring out the idea of the purpose of the website. Designers create and style Themes. For a designer the challenge is to achieve a refined, less is more appeal, to showcase the content within the site. The designer achieves the balance between the aesthetics and the content so as not to overpower the content within the site.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There is temptation to put more information on a page thinking it’s convenient for the visitor. The web page becomes cluttered and the user is distracted with too many options.

The User

This is the all important person who uses the combination of the work of the developer and the designer. Which is the best Theme? There isn’t one. It’s what appeals to you when you look at the Theme. You’re the judge and the jury on this one. If you want an opinion, you’re going to get a biased opinion from the person who created the Theme or from someone who uses the Theme.

At some point you are going to use the site and operate it. This is practical experience and doesn’t cost you anything except time. If someone does it for you; you don’t learn the basics and you’ll always be at the mercy of the designer or developer.

The results of using WordPress:

  • You’ll be a unique individual who will know how WordPress works
  • Capable of using your website to your advantage
  • Operate the site and add to it as you go along

User Beware

Here comes the fun part. Tread carefully. There are many people who are going to try to take advantage of you at this stage. Yes, it’s true. This is human nature. What you have to look for is clarity, a reputable company, or individual, with a team of developers and designers who produce a quality product that has you in mind, not them.

Let me use myself as an example. I am not a developer, or a designer, I am a user. I know about using WordPress Themes because I’ve used WordPress since 2006 and have used several Themes. I use a ready made theme from a reputable theme company that offers me tech support if I need it. I don’t re-do the Theme or change anything. The most I would do is copy and paste some CSS code into a module to create a specific effect, because I learned how to do it through watching a video from the technical support video library.

A developer can design a whole website. They structure the entire site in their own way. They might use the WordPress core software or not. If you want an entirely customized theme you could ask a developer to make you one. This depends on what your website is for. Everyone’s need is different.

Before you decide to go with a particular designer or developer, ask as many questions as you like and make sure you’ve seen their work. There has to be a visible skill level that satisfies you.

A designer or developer that doesn’t like questions from the client, is wasting your time. If you’re intimidated by a developer or a designer because you’re an unfortunate client and don’t know anything, walk away from that kind of person.

Be wary of the easy to use and setup in three minutes. I can tell you from experience it did not take me three minutes to set up my website. Nothing does. That is just to make you feel like there isn’t any work you have to do so you’ll fall for the easy to do.

When you go looking for a theme make sure the company is a reputable one.

Look for these things:

How regularly are their themes updated?

Do you have to pay to upgrade the theme?

Is the theme compatible with WordPress core updates?

If you run into problems is there sufficient tech support available to you?

Is there enough documentation about how to operate the theme?

When you are going to use the software you want to be sure you’re in charge of what you are going to use. At first it might seem intimidating because you’re bound to meetup with someone who says they can take care of all your website needs. If you go through the steps to find out, you’ll make the right decisions the first time and not have the “migration headache.”

The “migration headache” starts when you want to use another theme and the existing theme conflicts with the new theme overlay. Switching themes is never a good idea.

Themes are alterations or extensions and they use code to create particular effects. One effect might not be in use in another Theme. There’s no good switching mechanism not even a plugin. The plugin will have competing code.

Another “migration headache,” moving from one hosting server to another. Not all hosts have the same configurations in their back panels. Code is proprietary to one platform and isn’t compatible with another platform. That’s the way technology works.

There are people behind everything we do. Now that you have met the people behind WordPress, including the user, you have the knowledge you need to make the right choices for your website.

If you’re still not sure what to do and want to talk to a WordPress user, contact me.

New To WordPress

New To WordPress

Everyone starts out not knowing how something works. First of all there is no such thing as a quick set up when you start using the web. No matter how many promises of it’s easy in a few minutes everything is ready and you’re “good to go.”

The five elements selected in this post are based on my personal experience from having gone through them.

All the software we use on the Web is sophisticated even if it looks easy. When you are new to WordPress the idea of the FREE blog with a free Theme sounds attractive.

Free means upgrade and comes with limited use. Free is designed to get you used to using something, and when you want to go further you are not inclined to want to start over and you upgrade for a fee.

This is fine if you are willing to try out something to see if you want to continue using it and then pay for the upgrade.

I started using WordPress in 2006. From my perspective, it’s the software made for the user. The work has already been done for you by the core developers.

As I connect online and offline, I meet people who started a free WordPress website and want an upgrade. Or they’re using a WordPress Theme the Theme isn’t quite working and an update costs more money or another Theme. You can switch platforms, but unless you’re used to migrating websites you’ll run into problems. The software isn’t compatible even though it is WordPress. When you move from one host to another there are proprietary code issues.

Who knew… now you do.

If you had the right information to begin with, you could make better choices for your website.

Step 1 Having the Right Information

The web, websites, blogs, and everything that goes with it has a learning curve. No one is completely clueless. We use the web everyday. Having a website or a blog is not a bad idea, it’s a monumental one. Yes, it takes work, but it is a labor of love, and passion led us here.

Information is out there on the Web. It depends who you talk to and what they are wanting you to buy. With WordPress for a website the only thing you would be buying is the Theme.

Where are you on your journey with your website?

  • Are you completely new to WordPress?
  • Are you somewhat familiar with WordPress and have a blog on and want to migrate it to another Theme?
  • Are you looking for an upgrade on an existing WordPress website?
  • Do you have a website dilemma?

The comparison of one type of software versus another comes down to personal preference and not the software. Every person approaches something in their unique way. No one can say there is only one perfect Website software to use.

WordPress is my personal preference. My journey started because I wanted to learn how to use a website but I didn’t know how to code. WordPress lets you operate the software, use a Theme, and without knowing code you can have a great looking website.

Step 2 About the Beginnings of WordPress

WordPress was first created as a blogging software. The project was a “fork” (a developer term, used to describe a new avenue to contribute to an existing project) that needed fixing. The software needing fixing was b2 Cafelog. Matt Mullenweg, a smart computer programmer participated in an online forum and asked if anyone was interested in assisting him to improve the software. This resulted in the teamwork of Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, together they solved the blogging software dilemma. The result, the creation of the blogging software, WordPress.

WordPress has developed beyond a blogging software. Over 60 million people now use WordPress for their website.

If you’re using it for the first time, it is sort of scary to use, because you aren’t quite sure of what something does. All you have to do is test it out, and if you do something wrong you can always undo the action and start over. The core software doesn’t break down because what you did doesn’t quite work.

It’s amazing when you think about it. All the code works in the background and you’re using a Word Processor just like we use in a Word document, in Microsoft, or Google Docs, or any other word processing software.

You will read a lot of negative criticism about WordPress. I call this brand bashing. In the cutthroat world of business, the guy at the top is always the target of those who are annoyed at someone else’s hard work that put them into the top position.

The Web lets anyone say anything about something and you have no way of knowing if the information is true or not.

You now have to look carefully behind the scenes at who says what, and who makes what claim about themselves. There are so many “experts,” “number one in the nation,” “leading edge,” “thought leader,” and on it goes.

Who is the real expert? You are when you take the time to find out the facts. When you don’t know, you are vulnerable. This is what happened in my case when I first started out with WordPress. I had no idea what I was getting into. Fortunately, the company that developed the WordPress theme provided tutorials and support if I bought their package deal.

Before I bought their package though, I found out all I could about them. They’re still in business today, and I’m still with them.

We’re not unintelligent, we’re often on the receiving end of convincing sales talk.

Step 3 What is the Free Blog is where you can set up a blog for free. The free platform has limitations and when you decide you want to turn your blog into a Website, you will need to upgrade to

Upgrading to means you need your own domain name and a Hosting Company. This is called self-hosting.

Let me clear up something here. Self-hosting implies you download WordPress to your computer and work on it and have a website. This isn’t the way it works.

We use these terms all the time but take a look at this graphic to get the practical picture.

Your computer is what you use to access the web. The Web Hosting service is on a server. You are renting the space your website takes up on a server provided to you by your Hosting Company.

The information from your computer travels back and forth in HTML packages. On the Web, we have a system of links that connect your computer to all the pages on the Web. Each person is operating from their own individual computer to the World Wide Web, through an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The WordPress core software exists on the Host Company’s server. 

You will be downloading the WordPress Theme file after you’ve purchased it from a reputable theme company. The Theme overlays the core software. A Theme is the decorative element of the Website or Blog. There is a whole lot to using a WordPress Theme and your choice of theme matters.

Step 4 What is the Web

We have to pause and reflect on how the web came into existence. It wasn’t always there. It was invented by engineers and physicists who built a system of networked computers for private communication between institutions.

Originally the public did not have access. Until the idea of an individual being able to access information from a personal computer was presented by a team of physicists at CERN Laboratories in Switzerland. Among them was Sir Tim Berners-Lee who is credited with the invention of the abstract concept of the Word Wide Web.

The simple system of hyperlinks was the connecting factor from computer to computer and Berners-Lee developed the HTML language to enable the information to travel from your computer through your browser, through the web host server onto the network, the web.

On another front was Jacques Vallee who led the team to develop the network software on ARPANET, the ancestor of the Internet. Vallee has been called one of the “fathers” of the Internet.

The history of the web is fascinating and there are more than two people involved in the evolution of the web. I mention these two men specifically because their work brought us the Internet and the Web. They wrote informative and inspiring books about their experience, The Heart of the Internet by Jacques Vallee, and Weaving the Web by Tim Berners-Lee, with Mark Fischetti  These are books in my collection, and no, I’m not an affiliate with Amazon. I believe in passing on information when I’ve read something worthwhile.

Step 5 Using WordPress

The inventor of the software, in this case WordPress, has the right to make their software available to the public under the GPL, meaning general public license. A WordPress Theme is required to be one hundred percent GPL license. The default WordPress Theme, Twenty Seventeen, is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL. When you use a Theme, you are granted a license to use the Theme for your purposes. The person who created the Theme, the Designer, may offer it free or for a price.

The developers of WordPress core feel that WordPress should work without much configuration on the user’s end. The configuration is the code, and for those who are not code savvy, this is what makes WordPress easy to use, once you start using it. All software requires some getting used to when you use it for the first time.

A common complaint of WordPress user’s after installing their WordPress theme, the admin area, the dashboard, is completely overwhelming. I agree. It was when I first started using it. But after a while, you remember the functions because you use them repeatedly.

When you are inside the admin dashboard you have to begin by using the icons. You will find an explanation with each command. We’re pretty much used to using software. You place your mouse over the icon and the tool function will tell you what the icon does.

WordPress gives you your own private printing press which turns into a publishing platform. A powerful tool to use to get your message out onto the Web. So now you’re not new to WordPress, and your passion led you here.