More time spent at home during the coronavirus crisis means a chance to tinker with and learn more about some WordPress components of long-standing interest, specifically:

  • Newspack. This uber-plugin and theme-with-variations is designed to incorporate other plugins and enablers that optimize WordPress for the workflow of small/medium news organizations. I downloaded and installed both plugin and theme set on this site in just a few minutes (though a low-volume personal site like this does not represent the best use case for Newspack). Configuration takes a bit longer, mostly because the Newspack plugin in turn installs and guides configuration of several other plugins and cloud services. But it’s not hard.
  • Gutenberg. I played with Gutenberg when it first emerged as the new editing/layout environment for WordPress, and I’m a fan from the outset. But people who manage content in the sites I deal with at the moment still use the Classic Editor, so I don’t have a lot of day-to-day experience. That’s changing quickly now. Though Classic Editor was a pretty good authoring tool in its time, Gutenberg beats it: clean and uncluttered while writing; powerful layout features with very good WYSIWYG representation; highly customizable on a per-post basis without having to edit theme template files.

I don’t post to jaysmall.com much anymore, obviously. That may change the more I learn and work with these tools, if nothing else to report my observations. For now, bravo to the teams that developed and continue to enhance them.