Have you tried it yet? There are some advantages to the new approach, but it is a bit of a shock! Adding text is easy, you can just type but adding photographs especially galleries is a bit of a challenge. I know there are lots of great guides out there such as How to Use the New WordPress Block Editor by WPBeginner and WordPress’s Working with Blocks, however I thought I would share a couple of things I have learnt this week.

By the way this post was going to be a Six Word Saturday but that proved impossible, still there are six tips and my title is six!

  1. It may seem obvious but took me a while to realise that every time you hit return a little + appears. The + is a quick way to add a different block whether that’s an image, an image with text beside or something else! You can also find + in the top left hand corner.
  2. If you are running a challenge or taking part in one, then check out reusable blocks. It is a brilliant new addition for inserting same text or images in future posts. You can make something reusable after you have created it by clicking on the 3 dots at the top of the lock – they appear when you move the mouse over the block.
  3. However not so brilliant is adding multiple photographs. This is going to take some getting used to. I recommend staying away from gallery which comes up first, and instead scroll down until you get to Layout Elements,here you will find blocks called collage (4 pics), masonry (lots in a wall effect), slideshow or tiled gallery (as pictured below). These are much better options and once you have used them once you will find they appear at the top of your blocks menu under most used.
  1. The cog at top right are post settings. Rather confusingly when you click on this the words ‘Post’ and ‘Block’ appear. See picture above.
    1. Post relates to the many tasks we all do just before publishing such as scheduling time of publication, setting categories, tags and selecting featured images. If you are looking for how you adjust the text which appears on twitter when you post, that is now under JetPacks (green icon) and in the pre-publish check.
    2. Block are the extra settings for the particular block you are working in.
  2. More positive is what I found at the top of the screen to the right of bold, italic and links you will see a pull down menu option. Take a look! It has lots of really useful text options.
  3. And my final tip I cannot highlight enough! It’s essential to use ‘preview’ [top right] before publishing. Otherwise you, like me, might be shocked by how it looks on a mobile and tablet compared to a desktop. I spent another half hour after preview changing things!

I am learning something new every time I log in and play around with the new tools. So more tips may follow in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile I hope these few pointers prove useful, and if you have found any discoveries do share them in comments below. I think quite a few of us are going to need all the help we can get as we get to grips with the new block editor after Monday!

June UPDATE as part of the July Squares challenge I will be sharing more tips on the extras that come with block editor in the meantime if you are looking for printable guides with step by step advice, check out Weekly Prompts developed by GC and SueW. Brian signposted me to these;

Another great place for advice and tips is Hugh’s How To page. He’s been sharing thoughts on Block Editor since March last year, and consequently is a great source of information. He has covered everything from slideshows and pingbacks to photo captions and working through the frustrations of Gutenberg. He’s also very kindly offered some tips such as creating a test post to test out the blocks on days when you have time to play. Check out the comments below for more wise words and great links from Hugh. In essence though he says;

My message is that it’s not hard to use. Just different. However, the benefits of using it far outweigh the negatives of using it.

Hugh W Roberts, june 2020

October update – They’ve been playing around with Block Editor over the summer and quite a few of the options I had got my head around have changed again. I wish they would stop tweaking it, anyhow here are some added thoughts which may be helpful. First though two photos so you know what I am about to refer to.

  • There are two control panels for every type of block. The main one is on the right hand side of your screen. When you are working in a ‘block’ you will see a list of options on the right, or you can click on the block to bring up the options. However that is not the only control panel. If you hover the mouse over your block, a second control panel appears at the top of the block. Here the bold and italic for text now appear, it is how you can enter ‘pingbacks’ and it is also where you centre photographs.
  • You may also notice when you hover over a block or click on it, two arrows in the first column in the box of symbols at the top. If you click on these you can move your block up and down the page. The first symbol tells you what type of block it is, and the six dots seem to keep that box of symbols there.
  • To move photographs in a gallery you can click on the arrows which appear on each one.
  • And finally if you just have a single image and then text underneath you may find that you need to add a spacer in between. Spacers are a block in their own right. The one they put in is enormous. You can make it smaller by moving the lines together, and once you have done that I recommend saving it as a reusable block. That way you can can have your own perfect spacer every time you need it.

176 thoughts

  1. When I opened up Mrs, Shecky it automatically put me on Block editor so I have been on it for a bit, however, there is a tick… somewhere, that drove me crazy looking for because it made me check what I wanted to show on the block dashboard. I could not post for the life of me until that was ticked. I hope that has changed because I am afraid to look for it and check now. I do use the gallery though and it is easy but sizing the photos will make it look better if they are all the same. Squares will be easy… I hope. Looking forward to hopefully getting a full month in on that too 🙂 I did check that we can still get the classic editor as a plug in and am wondering if that will still be true in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am hoping Squares will encourage others to try block editor!

      Apparently Classic will stay around for at least this year, but who knows with WordPress as they can’t resist making changes

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We started using block editor on our literary website flashesofbrilliance.org and it was such a nightmare we quickly reverted to classic … no doubt in time we will all be forced to use block editor … for the more technically challenged I wish they would give us a choice.

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    1. It is a nightmare when you first start, but after a few posts promise you it does get easier, and the additional features are worth it.

      One thing I have found is that some themes really don’t work well within block editor so worth reviewing themes.

      I just wish they’d made it more intuitive and created more videos to help with transition. Do keep trying and have a look at https://hughsviewsandnews.com/category/gutenberg-how-to/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the links to Sue’s guides. I thought they were a bit confusing to be honest. Also I don’t think people with new blogs have access to the old classic editor (rather than the classic editor block) as I do and possibly you do (the one accessed through WP-Admin. It would be nice to see posts created using the block editor with the steps carried out to create the post. I am coming across a lot of bugs whilst playing. And only just understood that to have a space under or above my image I need to add a spacer block and then adjust it to 30 pixels or whatever I want the space to be. Much easier in the classic editor when I simply edited the photo and clicked the box to add space around the image. So many of these things we use that are different in the new editor. If I wasn’t busy with my own challenge I might think about doing a post a day just highlighting one aspect of the editor each day.


    1. Definitely chat to Hugh, he’s been using it for over a year now and so may be more aufait with some of the more technical stuff.

      When it comes to spaces around the images are you taking about the ones in a gallery or a single image?

      On the latter the spacing seems fine to me as I have not been adding a space bar, and in the gallery you can change the gutter space with the block menu on right hand side.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You sound to be finding your way around the blocks really well, Becky.
    I appreciate the recommendation of our help guides.
    I’ve also begun to create audio-visual guides after my partner GC mentioned that WordPress should do podcasts for the partially sighted, it seemed to me that audio-visual would be more useful. Two are complete with a third ready to go later today. Can be accessed at Weekly Prompts via the How To page. Thank you, Becky 🙂

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    1. oh Sue that’s fantastic. I have been sharing links to your posts with blogging friends who are feeling daunted, and so will let them know about the audio visual versions too. Hopefully between you both, Hugh, me and others we will slowly encouraged those who have not yet tried to try, and support those who are struggling.

      It is just so unfortunate it is not intuitive but then guess change never is, and I am sure all of us struggled when we first started with the older versions. It will get better though I know as we practice more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I first began using blocks a few years ago when editing a website as a favour to another school. Last year I began using the Gutenberg blocks but gave up because there were too many faults that needed ironing out.
        Now it’s improved I don’t mind it, in fact I think I prefer it to the Classic. Thank you very much, Becky.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s the message I am beginning to hear from those that have been using it a while. Really helpful to hear as so many blogging friends are being put off from blogging because of it. Hopefully can convince them otherwise now!

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  5. You’re welcome, Becky. One last tip I’d add is only to test out the block editor when you have some spare time—trying it out while under any sort of pressure will only make many people resent the block editor even more. As with anything new, we have to get used to it first, and testing it out makes all the difference. I took about 30 minutes a day when I knew I would not be disturbed in testing out the blocks. As time went on, I found myself enjoying the experience so much that I increased that time. And remember, there are lots of blocks, but you don’t need to use them all. Just use the ones that best suit your block.
    Here’s a link to all the different blocks available.
    If you click on the name of each block, it’ll give more information about it and how to use it.
    Give change a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the post and guidance. I have to admit I haven’t tried the block editor. I’m stuck with the classic for the moment. I hate change. 🙂 🙂 Hope all is well.


    1. I don’t think you are alone. I plan to share a few more tips during the squares challenge if not before, so hopefully they will help if you decide to experiment


  7. I’ve been using the block editor since its early days on WordPress, Becky. It’s been improved so much since then that I’d never go back to using the classic editor, although I love the fact that it has a classic editor block (which I sometimes use for photo galleries).
    Some of the new blocks are also cool, including the ‘Blog post’ block which allows you to add previews of older blog posts onto new posts. It’s helped get some of my earlier posts new views, likes and comments.
    I’ve still got lots of blocks to try out, although I’m going to use the ones that fit my blog best of all.

    Found your post when I did a search in the WP Reader for ‘block editor.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is great to hear Hugh, thank you so much for sharing. It is beginning to grow on me as I discover some of the innovative blocks. That ‘blog post’ one sounds brilliant, might try it.

      I’m thinking next month of creating a second page on some of my daily challenge posts to highlight some of the benefits. Quite a few blogging friends are feeling really daunted by it. Wish WordPress still ran the online training / community groups. You haven’t seen anything have you?

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      1. Something that helped me get to grips with the block editor is that I created a test post in the draft folder of my blog, Becky. I use the post to test out blocks and play around with how the block editor works. Even today, I still use it. It helped me learn and practice using the blocks. My confidence using it soon grew, and now I’d never go back to the Classic editor.

        I have seen some WordPress training groups, but many of them you now have to pay to attend. However, there are some great tutorials out there produced by WordPress, which are free. I watched and read tutorials first before giving the block editor another go. I’m going to leave a couple of links for you.



        I think the majority of bloggers who say they don’t like the block editor either have not read or watched any tutorials before trying it out, or only tried using it for about 10 minutes before giving up. My message is that it’s not hard to use. Just different. However, the benefits of using it far outweigh the negatives of using it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hugh, as always, this is incredibly helpful and useful. Think I will add your comment into my main post if that is ok. I agree with you too many are giving up after only a few minutes, although i can understand why as it is a bit of shock. But like you the more I play the more I learn . .. and I love the idea of a test post

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