Beginner's Guide for WordPress / Start your WordPress Blog in minutes

How to Use the WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg Tutorial)

Do you want to learn how to use the WordPress block editor (Gutenberg)?

When WordPress 5.0 was released in 2019, it replaced the old classic editor with a brand new block editor nicknamed “Gutenberg”. The block editor introduced a different way of creating content in WordPress.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use the WordPress block editor and master it to create visually stunning blog posts and pages.

Using the WordPress block editor

What’s The Difference Between Block Editor (Gutenberg) and Classic Editor?

Before we dive into the block editor, let’s first compare and understand the differences between Gutenberg Block Editor and the Older Classic Editor.

Here is what the classic editor in WordPress looked like:

Old WordPress editor

And this is how the modern WordPress block editor looks like:

Default WordPress block editor

As you can see, they are two completely different editors for creating content in WordPress.

The old classic editor was a text editor with formatting buttons very similar to Microsoft Word.

The new editor uses a totally different approach, called ‘Blocks’ (hence, the name Block Editor).

Blocks are content elements that you add to the edit screen to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block.

You can add blocks for each paragraph, images, videos, galleries, audio, lists, and more. There are blocks for all common content elements, and more can be added by WordPress plugins.

How is the WordPress block editor better than the classic editor?

The WordPress block editor offers a simple way to add different types of content to your posts and pages.

For example, previously if you wanted to add a table in your content, then you needed a separate table plugin.

With the block editor, you can simply add a table block, select your columns and rows, and start adding content.

Table block in WordPress editor

You can move content elements up and down, edit them as individual blocks, and easily create media-rich content.

Most importantly, the WordPress block editor is easy to use and learn.

This gives an immense advantage to all WordPress beginners who are just starting their first blog or building a DIY business website.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to use the WordPress block editor like a pro to create great content.

Here is what we will cover in this Gutenberg tutorial:

  1. Using Gutenberg – The WordPress block editor
  2. Creating a new blog post or page
  3. How to add a block in Gutenberg
  4. Working with blocks in the new editor
  5. Saving and reusing blocks in Gutenberg
  6. Publishing and post settings in Gutenberg
  7. Plugin settings in new editor
  8. Adding some common blocks in Gutenberg
  9. Exploring some new content blocks in Gutenberg
  10. Bonus tips on using Gutenberg like a pro
  11. Adding more blocks to Gutenberg Block Editor
  12. FAQs about Gutenberg

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Video Tutorial

Subscribe to WPBeginner

If you’d prefer written instructions, then just keep reading.

Using Gutenberg – The WordPress Block Editor

The block editor is designed to be intuitive and flexible. While it looks different than the old WordPress editor, it still does all the things that you were able to do in the classic editor.

Let’s start with covering the basic things that you did in the classic editor, and how they are done in the block editor.

Creating a New Blog Post or Page Using The Block Editor

You will start creating a new blog post or page like you normally would. Simply click on the Posts » Add New menu in your WordPress admin. If you are creating a page, then go to Pages » Add New menu.

Adding a new post

This will launch the block editor.

How to Add a Block in Gutenberg

The first block of every post or page is the title.

You can use the mouse to move below the title or press the tab key on your keyboard to move the cursor down and start writing.

Adding a post title in WordPress block editor

By default, the next block is a paragraph block. This allows users to start writing right away.

However, if you want to add something different, then you can click on the add new block button (+) on the top left corner of the editor, below an existing block, or on the right side of a block.

Addding a new block button in WordPress

Clicking on the button will show the add block menu with a search bar on top and commonly used blocks below.

You can click on tabs to browse block categories or type in a keyword to quickly search for a block.

Finding and adding blocks in WordPress

If you don’t want to use a mouse to click on the button, then you can use a keyboard shortcut by typing / to search and add a block.

Select and add a block while writing

Working with Blocks in The New Editor

Each block comes with its own toolbar which appears on top of the block. The buttons in the toolbar would change depending on the block you are editing.

For example, in this screenshot, we are working in a paragraph block that shows basic formatting buttons like text alignment, bold, italic, insert link, and more.

Each block comes with its own toolbar

Apart from the toolbar, each block can also have its own block settings which would appear in the right column of your edit screen.

Block settings

You can move blocks up and down by simply dragging them or by clicking the up and down buttons next to each block.

Moving a block up and down

Organizing Blocks in Groups and Columns

The block editor comes with handy tools to manage and organize your content layouts.

You can select multiple blocks by clicking on them while pressing the SHIFT key on your keyboard.

Organize blocks with groups and columns

After that, click on the block type button in the toolbar to transform the selected blocks into Groups or Columns.

Group block settings

You can then apply styles to the entire group block such as changing their alignment or spacing.

The block editor also allows you to add an empty Group or Columns block. After that, you can fill them with other blocks.

Add columns

You can then fill in each column with any type of block to create beautiful layouts.

Columns block example

Saving and Reusing Blocks in Gutenberg

One of the best things about blocks is that they can be saved and reused. This is particularly helpful for website owners and bloggers who frequently need to add specific content snippets to their articles or pages.

Simply click on the menu button located at the right corner of each block’s toolbar. From the menu, select the ‘Add to reusable blocks’ option.

Add reusable block

You’ll need to provide a name for your reusable block so that you can identify and reuse it later.

Name reusable block

The block editor will now save the block as a reusable block.

Now that you have saved a block, let’s see how to add the reusable block into other WordPress posts and pages on your site.

Simply edit the post or page where you want to add the reusable block. From the post edit screen, click on the add block button.

You will find your saved block under the ‘Reusable’ tab. You can also find it by typing its name in the search bar.

Add reusable block

You can take your mouse over it to see a quick preview of the block. Simply click on the block to insert it into your post or page.

All reusable blocks are stored in your WordPress database, and you can manage them by clicking on the ‘manage all reusable blocks’ link.

This will bring you to the block manager page. From here, you can edit or delete any of your reusable blocks. You can also export reusable blocks and use them on any other WordPress website.

Manage reusable blocks

Note: You can use entire groups and columns as reusable blocks too. This allows you to save entire sections and use them whenever needed.

Publishing and Managing Options in Gutenberg Block Editor

Each WordPress post contains a lot of metadata. This includes information like publish date, categories and tags, featured images, and more.

All these options are neatly placed in the right column on the editor screen.

Document settings in the editor

Plugin Options in Gutenberg

WordPress plugins are able to take advantage of the block editor’s API to integrate their own settings within the edit screen.

Some popular plugins come with their own blocks. For example, WPForms, the best WordPress form builder plugin allows you to add forms into your content using a block.

WPForms block in WordPress editor

Here is how All in One SEO for WordPress allows you to edit your SEO settings in the block editor:

All in One SEO settings in block editor

WooCommerce also comes with blocks that you can easily add to any of your WordPress posts and pages.

WooCommerce blocks in block editor

Adding Some Common Blocks in New Editor

Basically, the block editor can do everything the classic editor did. However, you will be doing things more quickly and elegantly than before.

1. Adding an image in the WordPress block editor

There is a ready-to-use image block in the WordPress block editor. Simply add the block and then upload an image file or select from the media library.

Adding an image block in WordPress

You can also drag and drop images from your computer, and the editor will automatically create an image block for it.

Once you have added an image, you will be able to see the block settings where you can add metadata for the image like alt text, size, and add a link to the image.

Image block settings

2. Adding a link in the block editor

The block editor comes with several blocks where you can add text. The most commonly used one is the paragraph block which comes with an insert link button in the toolbar.

All other commonly used text blocks also include a link button in the toolbar.

Adding links in the list block

You can also insert a link using the keyboard shortcut, which is Command + K for Mac and CTRL + K on Windows computers.

3. Adding an image gallery in Gutenberg

The gallery block works like the image block. You add it and then upload or select image files.

Adding image gallery block

4. Adding shortcodes in WordPress posts using Gutenberg

All your shortcodes will work just like they did in the classic editor. You can simply add them to a paragraph block, or you can use the shortcode block.

Shortcode block

Exploring Some New Content Blocks in Gutenberg

The Gutenberg editor promises to solve some long-standing usability issues in WordPress by introducing some new blocks.

Following are some of the favorites that we believe users will find immensely helpful.

1. Adding an image next to some text in WordPress

Using the old editor, many of our users were unable to place an image next to the text. You can do this now with the Media & Text block.

Media and text block

This simple block comes with two blocks placed side-by-side allowing you to easily add an image with some text next to it.

2. Adding a button in WordPress posts and pages

Adding a button to your blog posts or pages was another annoyance in the old editor. You either had to use a plugin that created a shortcode for the button, or you had to switch to HTML mode and write code.

Gutenberg comes with a button block that allows you to quickly add a button to any post or page.

Adding buttons block

You can add a link for your button, change colors, and more. For details, see our article on how to easily add buttons in WordPress.

3. Adding beautiful cover images in blog posts and landing pages

Another cool feature that you may want to try is the ‘Cover’ block, which allows you to add cover images or color background cover to your posts and pages.

A cover image is a wider image often used as a cover for a new section in a page or the beginning of a story. They look beautiful and allow you to create engaging content layouts.

Simply add a cover block and then upload the image you want to use. You can choose an overlay color for the cover or make it a fixed background image to create parallax effect when users scroll down the page.

Cover block

For more details, see our article on the difference between cover images and features image in WordPress.

4. Creating tables inside articles

The classic editor didn’t have a button to add tables into your WordPress posts. You had to use a plugin or create a table writing custom CSS and HTML.

The Gutenberg editor comes with a default Table block, which makes it super easy to add tables into your posts and pages. Simply add the block and then select the number of columns and rows you want to insert.

Table block in WordPress editor

You can now go ahead and start adding data to table rows. You can always add more rows and columns if needed. There are also two basic style options available.

5. Creating multi-column content

Creating multi-column content was another issue that the classic editor didn’t handle at all. The block editor allows you to add a Columns block, which basically adds two columns of paragraph blocks.

Multi column content

This columns block is quite flexible. You can add up to 6 columns in a row and even use other blocks inside each column.

Bonus Tips to Use Gutenberg like a Pro

Looking at the block editor, you may be wondering whether you will be spending more time adding and adjusting blocks than creating actual content?

Well, the block editor is incredibly fast and even very basic usage for a few minutes will allow you to instantly add blocks without even thinking.

Pretty soon you will realize how much faster your workflow will become with this approach.

For power users, here are some bonus tips to help you work even faster with the WordPress block editor.

1. Move the block toolbar to the top.

You may have noticed in the screenshots above that there is a toolbar that appears on top of every block. You can move this toolbar to the top of the editor.

Simply click on the three-dot button at the top right corner of the screen and then select the Top Toolbar option.

top toolbar in block editor

2. Use keyboard shortcuts

Gutenberg comes with several handy shortcuts that will make your workflow even better. The first one you should start using right away is the /.

Simply enter / and then start typing, and it will show you matching blocks that you can instantly add.

For more shortcuts, click on the three-dot menu on the top-right corner of your screen and then select ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’.

Launch keyboard shortcuts menu

This will bring up a popup with the list of all the keyboard shortcuts that you can use. The list will have different shortcuts for Windows and Mac users.

3. Drag and drop media to automatically create media blocks

Gutenberg allows you to just drag and drop files anywhere on the screen and it will automatically create a block for you.

You can drop a single image or video file, and it will create the block for you. You can also drop multiple image files to create a gallery block.

Drag and drop media

4. Adding YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo, and other embeds

The block editor makes it easier to embed third-party content into your WordPress content. There are blocks for all popular third-party services.

Embed blocks
However, you can just copy and paste the embed URL at any point, and it will automatically create a block for you.

For example, if you added a YouTube video URL, then it will automatically create a YouTube embed block and display the video.

YouTube embed

For Facebook and Instagram embeds, the default embed option will not work, but there is a work around. See our article on how to embed Facebook and Instagram posts in WordPress.

Adding More Blocks to Gutenberg Block Editor in WordPress

The block editor in WordPress allows developers to create their own blocks. There are some awesome WordPress plugins offering block bundles for the new editor.

Here are a few of them:

1. Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg

Ultimate addons for Gutenberg

Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg is a block library that comes with many advanced blocks that help you add more design elements to your content.

Created by the folks behind the popular Astra WordPress theme, Ultimate Addons help you create beautiful designs without writing any code.

2. PublishPress Blocks

PublishPress blocks

PublishPress Blocks is another powerful block library that comes with additional blocks to extend Gutenberg block editor.

It includes beautiful layout options, sliders, buttons, icons, image galleries, maps, tabs, testimonials, accordions, and more.

3. Stackable – Gutenberg Blocks

Stackable - Gutenberg Blocks

Stackable – Gutenberg Blocks is a collection of beautifully designed Gutenberg blocks that you can use on your website. It includes blocks for the container, posts, feature grid, accordion, image box, icon list, call to action, and more.

FAQs about Gutenberg – The Block Editor in WordPress

Since Gutenberg became the default WordPress editor, we have been getting a lot of questions. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Gutenberg.

1. What happens to my older posts and pages? Can I still edit them?

Your old posts and pages are completely safe and unaffected by the block editor. You can still edit them, and the editor will automatically open them in a block containing the classic editor.

Convert to blocks

You can edit them inside the old editor, or you can convert older articles into blocks and use the block editor.

2. Can I still keep using the old editor?

Yes, you can still keep using the old editor. Simply install and activate the Classic Editor plugin.

Upon activation, it will disable the block editor, and you will be able to continue using the classic editor.

Please note that the Classic Editor will be supported until 2023. It would be better to start using the block editor so that you get familiar with it.

3. What to do if the block editor doesn’t work with a plugin or theme I am using?

Project Gutenberg was under development for a long time. This gave plugin and theme authors plenty of time to test their code for compatibility.

However, there is still a chance that some plugins and themes may not work well with the block editor. In that case, you can install the classic editor plugin, request the developer to add Gutenberg support, or simply find an alternative plugin or theme.

4. How to learn more Gutenberg tips and tricks?

WPBeginner is the best place to learn about the block editor in WordPress. We are the largest WordPress resource site on the internet.

We will be publishing new articles and updating our old resources to help you master the block editor.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, then feel free to reach out to us by leaving a comment or by using the contact form on our website.

5. Running into Gutenberg problems?

If you’re running into issues with the WordPress block editor, then we have created a quick troubleshooting guide with all the common WordPress block editor problems that users encounter and how to fix them.

We hope this Gutenberg tutorial helped you learn how to use the WordPress block editor. You may also want to see our complete WordPress performance guide for improving your website speed, or check out our comparison of the best email marketing services for small business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

217 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. actually I am using classic editor which is great for me.
    butvi found that some plugins are not working with it.
    so, I had to change to block editor which is new for me.
    I am following the video step by step which make it easy
    thank you

  3. All I want is something that’s easy to use. The Classic editor has always allowed me to do things easily, e.g. copy and paste text from Word, without needing plugins that are only available to self-hosted sites.

    • There is a learning curve when anything changes but we hope as the block editor improves you find it more useful :)

      Admin

  4. Does the Block Editor only work better than the Classic for self-hosted blogs? I can’t afford to pay for a site, and before I start using it I want to make sure it works at least as well as the Classic for people who don’t pay for their WordPress blog.

    • It would depend on if there was something that you specifically wanted from the classic editor. If you are just starting out and don’t have experience with either editor then we would recommend using the block editor.

      Admin

    • The Gutenrberg/Block editor is not currently available for your comments section.

      Admin

Leave a Reply to Franklyn Fosu Cancel reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.