The new Gutenberg 7.1 update is packed with improvements, while experts warn that you may experience a slightly slower user experience but it is worth it, so there is no need to be concerned.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Welcome UI changes
The new welcome user interface is aimed at new users with a goal to help them get introduced with Gutenberg’s block-editing way of adding and editing content.
With this new release of Gutenberg, WordPress users get Table Captions. This feature allows users to add captions to the bottom of tables, and there is a new UI toggle for selecting between editing and selection modes.
Table Captions significantly improve table functionality and save WordPress users from having to download a plugin for the same purpose, albeit a premium plugin.
WordPress Mobile Editing enhancements
Personally, I know several WordPress website owners that use their mobile devices to add and edit their website content.
For all of them, now there is a fixed-mobile toolbar for selecting editing elements like paragraphs, links and so on.
The next improvement is the ability to select multiple blocks while editing on mobile.
Be aware that WordPress trimmed PHP 5.2 compatibility code from the RSS block which makes it more important for WordPress users to make sure they are using the most up to date version of PHP, which is currently in the 7.x version.
Other changes include about two dozen bug fixes, among which was fixing the CSS styles of the ColorPicker component.
WordPress performance with updated Gutenberg
Some users will take of interest with the performance benchmarks that seem to indicate using the Gutenberg interface is becoming slower:
Loading time in seconds
- Gutenberg 7.1.0: 7.45s
- Gutenberg 7.0.0: 6.84s
- WordPress 5.3: 6.33s
The difference between version 7.0 and 7.1 is well under one second, but it’s not an unreasonable expectation that performance would at least stay static if not come enhanced.
Overall we are pleased with new features and the performance impact is not that dramatic though users with limited server power and large websites may report different experiences.
Mobile editing improvements are indeed a sign of things to come, as flagship mobile devices can rival ultra-low-power laptops and older desktop computers both in performance and usability.
I hope you have a great block-editing experience with updated WordPress!