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WordPress announced the release of the newest version of Gutenberg which is now at 11.2. This is an incremental update in that it’s not a major upgrade. Nevertheless it does contain a slight performance improvement to the editor as well as numerous bug fixes and feature additions that makes version 11.2 a notable upgrade.

Gutenberg WordPress Editor

Gutenberg is an official WordPress editing experience. It’s an updated way to create websites using a visual drag and drop editing interface.

The goal for Gutenberg is to make creating websites easier for all publishers.

The advantage of using Gutenberg instead of a third party website building plugin is that the code is embedded directly into the WordPress core. Many publishers have reported that this can result in a faster website.

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Gutenberg uses a design paradigm of a “block,” like building blocks.

There are blocks for paragraphs, headings, columns, quotes and so on. Each of the blocks can be customized to the publisher’s needs in an easy interface that makes customizing the look of a website within reach of a non-coding publisher.

WordPress describes the purpose of Gutenberg like this:

“With blocks, you can insert, rearrange, and style multimedia content with very little technical knowledge. Instead of using custom code, you can add a block and focus on your content.

Without being an expert developer, you can build your own custom posts and pages.”

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To make it easy, each section of a site, from the search box to the widget area, is created with blocks, building blocks.

All of the blocks that can be used to build a web page are contained in a Block Library.

Changes to Gutenberg 11.2

One of the changes is an update to the search block.

The search block contains the search box that allows site visitors to search a website.

WordPress updated the Gutenberg search block so that it now offers more design customization options.

Specifically, the search button now has more color options for the search button and for the search box border.

These are important improvements that are more than incremental.

Screenshot of Search Block Design Examples

Examples of Gutenberg Search Block

More Pullquote Design Options

Similar to the search box update Gutenberg 11.2 adds more color and border options to the pullquote box.

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A pullquote is a design feature that consists of a quote, sometimes in larger font, designed to give prominence to important text.

This is a design feature carried over from print media.

According to WordPress:

“The pullquote block’s color options have also expanded. There are now more distinct options for setting background, text and link colors. Border support has been expanded to allow selection of a border style, color and width.”

Updated Gutenberg Pullquote User Interface (UI)

WordPress Gutenberg Pullquote UI

Additional Improvements

Gutenberg 11.2 ships with numerous bug fixes. Just a few examples of the bug fixes are:

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  • Allowing authors to select images that were uploaded by other authors
  • Fixing the code to prevent layout shift
  • Fixed theme and plugin incompatibility bugs in the Widget Editor
  • Removed an outdated reference to Instagram from an embed bloc
  • Improved the code quality

Performance Improvement

As mentioned earlier, this update is an incremental improvement and the performance improvement for site visitors is also modest.

Gutenberg 11.1 loading time is 8.54 seconds versus Gutenberg 11.2 which is 8.48 seconds.

The keypress event metric, how long before a keypress registers, also improved.

Gutenberg 11.1 had a score of 38.17ms versus the improved score of Gutenberg 11.2 of 37.89ms.

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Those are modest gains but they are gains nonetheless.

Should You Update to Gutenberg 11.2?

Publishers already using the Gutenberg editor may want to back up their website first before updating to the newest version.

Although the chances of an incompatibility issue happening from upgrading is remove, it’s always prudent to back up a website before making a change in case that some of the changes are not compatible with installed themes and plugins.

Publishers who do not currently use Gutenberg may wish to export a version of the site to a desktop or online staging area in order to familiarize themselves with the Gutenberg editing experience.

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Citations

Official WordPress Gutenberg 11.2 Announcement
What’s new in Gutenberg 11.2.0?

Search Block: Add color support to search button

Search Block: Add border color support

Editor Performance: Drag and Drop
Set passive listener option for use popover scroll to avoid affecting scrolling performance

Drag items via transform property to avoid layout and re-paint

Pullquote: add block support

Widgets Editor: Fix plugin/theme incompatibility, call onChangeSectionExpanded conditionally

I18n: Fix broken loop in WP_Theme_JSON_Resolver



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