AUD3: Guten tolerance: optimizing the new wordpress authoring experience for higher ed

Monday, October 14th, 2019

Presented by Matt Ryan 

With its 5.0 release, WordPress has a new authoring interface called Gutenberg. Some schools have embraced it, and some are holding off for as long as possible. Carleton College happens to have chosen this interesting time to adopt WordPress, and has jumped in to the Gutenberg waters with both feet. What has been fabulous? What has been painful? I’ll share our learnings, what we’ve done to enhance the experience for our 100+ content editors, and what gotchas to look out for in making the transition to Gutenberg.


  • View the study
  • Concerns
    • Accessibility
    • No path to bulk update block markup
  • Implementation:
    • Whitelist of block
    • No 3rd party blocks
    • All custom block markup generated at run time
    • Remove color pickers
  • Issues:
    • Identifying title/content on existing pages
      • Title looks like a regular heading
      • When metaboxes are on the editor, the content area does not look like an editable ares.
    • Many users had difficulty adding a block.
      • Suggested blocks were not a problem. Everything else was no easily discoverable.
    • Struggling with sidebar controls.
      • Document vs. Block tabs?
    • Gutenberg “tour” was completly ignored.
  • What can we do?
    • Hold off (stick with classic editor)
    • Require training
    • “Touch up” guetenberg (there we go…)
  • Touch up

Bonus: reusable blocks across the site

  • Under the hood, reusable blocks are avaiulable. Matt – updated the iterface to allow them to show up as a post type.

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