Are You Ready For Gutenberg?

WordPress is getting ready to release a major update which will completely change the way you edit content and design site pages. If you haven’t prepared for Gutenberg yet, don’t let it catch you by surprise when it launches. Get yourself ready by understanding how it works, where to test it out, and how to deal with potential issues when upgrading.

What Is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is the new content editor that will be introduced in WordPress 5.0 later this year, and will ultimately replace the “Classic” Tiny MCE Post content editor. The improved editor aims to make the content publishing process more visual and simple. In addition, Gutenberg comes equipped with a slew of new features that are designed to give users more control.

The first thing users will likely notice about Gutenberg is the updated interface, which utilizes a simplified block-based system to create layouts for posts and pages. Essentially, you will have the ability to create and freely arrange content within site layouts using simple blocks of content, images, shortcodes, widgets, etc.

Each of these blocks is easily identifiable and can be dragged and dropped into different areas of the page as desired. There are also new alignment options, which are a progressive step for larger resolution screens and full-width template and responsive sites. These new features will help make building and customizing site pages much easier for people who are not well versed in HTML or shortcodes.

Here is a glimpse of the general interface and what the content blocks look like in Gutenberg. As you can see, the simplified layout provides a less distracting experience with more screen space for the user.

Get Familiar With It

Since Gutenberg is such a big departure from the Classic Editor, it’s important to be prepared and to know the alternatives if you aren’t ready to make the switch just yet.

Although Gutenberg is currently still in the testing stage, you can out the demo version. You can also download the official plugin. The team behind Gutenberg encourages everyone to play with it and leave comments/report any issues in the WordPress support forum to help with improvements.

Compatibility Concerns

As we get closer to the imminent launch of WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg, it’s important to be aware of any potential problems and how to help prevent them.

After visiting the Support Forum for Gutenberg, it’s clear there are still some wrinkles to iron out.  A common concern is how the change will affect existing sites currently using the Classic Editor. Will there be compatibility issues? Will the update break page layouts or worse, the actual site? Can users roll back to the Classic Editor? Based on the initial feedback from users, not everyone is ready for the change and there is still work to be done before Gutenberg is released.

Although WordPress is working hard to ensure a smooth transition and is actively addressing issues reported on the Support Forum, unfortunately there aren’t any guarantees that sites won’t experience any adverse issues after upgrading.

Be Prepared to Revert

If you’re feeling unsure about Gutenberg, the good news is that the Classic Editor is now available as a plugin. Get it here. The Classic Editor plugin will provide you with the option to revert your installation back to the Classic post editing experience, which will remove any unwanted changes Gutenberg makes.

To help prevent issues before upgrading to WP 5.0 for your existing WordPress site, it’s recommended to install and enable the Classic Editor plugin now, and configure it to automatically default to the Classic Editor. This way, when you upgrade to WP 5.0, your site will continue to work as-is until you are ready (or not) to use Gutenberg.

Although we’re not entirely sure what to expect with Gutenberg, 515 Media is staying on top of any new developments to make sure our sites will seamlessly adapt to the new editor and continue to run optimally.

In the meantime, take some time to get to know and understand Gutenberg, so you are ready when it launches.

5 Reasons Testimonials are Essential for Your Business

Word of mouth is an invaluable resource when it comes to promoting your business and gaining new customers. If someone has something good to say about your company, an honest and relatable testimonial can wield a lot of persuasive power when it comes to a customer choosing your products or services over a competitor’s.

The success of any business relies on a good reputation and relationship with their customers. If people have great things to say about your business, why not share their feedback? The power of a good testimonial should not be underestimated.

If you have a site for your business and don’t have an area that features testimonials, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to influence customers and increase sales.

Here are 5 reasons why testimonials are essential for your business:

1. Establishes Credibility

Featuring positive testimonials on your site helps build trust and lends credibility, which is especially important for new businesses. This is great way to show potential customers that you have a valuable service that people want and care enough to comment on. For example, think about the psychology of choosing a restaurant to eat at. People are more likely to walk into a restaurant full of people, rather than one that is completely empty.

2. Provides Social Proof

People tend to trust peers more than companies. When customers see reviews or feedback from people they can relate to, they are more likely to feel comfortable and confident with choosing their products or services. In addition, sharing your customer’s experiences gives you the opportunity to show that you genuinely care about your customers and appreciate their feedback.

3. Shows Off your Full Range of Services

A potential client might not immediately realize the full scope of services offered by your company as they browse your site pages. Testimonials offer another perspective by showing how the customer uses your product and/or benefits from using your services.

4. Beefs Up Content

We all know Google favors sites that are rich in content. So, having testimonials that increase your page/word count, not only help your overall credibility, but also can your site’s SEO rankings on search engines.

5. Separates your Business from the Competition

In this day and age, competition can be fierce, which means you are likely not alone out there. There can be a number of businesses that offer similar products or services that your company offers at a similar cost. However, many businesses do not feature customer testimonials on their sites. If you can help influence a customer’s decision to choose your business over the competition, then why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to set yourself apart from the pack? If someone has something good to say about your company, don’t miss the opportunity to share it with the world.

Just remember, the more credibility and visibility your business has, the stronger it will be. All of the points listed above make it a no-brainer to proudly feature testimonials on your site.