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Tammy Lee
Tammy Lee

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Learning Gutenberg

WordPress dominates the CMS landscape. When WordPress introduces a big change it makes a splash. For a lot of small shop developers and freelancers, the introduction of the new Gutenberg editor was an intimidating tsunami!

If you haven't made the switch to Gutenberg you have until December 31, 2021 to do so; at that time the Classic Editor plugin, which serves the old editing experience, will stop being supported.

Thousands of small businesses and freelancers depend on WordPress and it can be hard as a solo developer to learn a completely new skillset. To help, I have some resources than can teach you how to create Gutenberg blocks!


You will absolutely need to learn JavaScript. You have until the end of 2021 so we might as well do this right and start with the basics.

If you're good at learning on your own, there are a lot of resources you can use to learn!

Graphic says learn JS in three hours. No ads.

Free Code Camp - The Best JavaScript Tutorials

Free JavaScript course

If you get it RIGHT NOW Zac is offering his JavaScript Basics course for FREE!

Graphic says, ES6 for Everyone

Wes Bos' ES6 for Everyone is a great starting point!

If you aren't so great learning on your own, or it's been a long time since you had learning worked into your schedule, you might want to sign up for an online bootcamp!

Graphic says, JS bootcamp 6 weeks

JavaScript Boot Camp

It's intense because it is a boot camp, but you will walk away with a very good foundation in modern JavaScript. The thing I like about Zac's bootcamps are:

  • Slack support/class camaraderie
  • Live lectures via Zoom
  • Assignments and tests

I have a hard time learning on my own; scratch that. I have a hard time motivating myself to learn on my own. Zac gets it. Having set times for lectures and deadlines really helped me get through my first boot camp!


Did reading the word 'React' make you flop sweat? I'm not going to lie to you, it's a paradigm shift if you've never used a JavaScript framework before. There is a reason why I suggest you take a foundational JavaScript course or two before you tackle React.

"Grosssss! WHY do I have to learn React if I'm working in WordPress?"

Because Gutenberg blocks are built with React. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

There's no use fighting it, if you want to do cool things with WordPress in a Gutenberg world you'll have to learn React.

And hey, if you're a freelancer who knows React you can probably drum up a lot of work converting pre-Gutenberg plugins to Gutenberg! I've considered it myself, but I work for a busy startup now and I just don't have time for a side gig.

So where do you start? I swear I'm not getting a kickback for recommending these guys but Zach Gordon and Wes Bos to the rescue, again!

Graphic says, React Bootcamp 6 weeks online

Another boot camp! Seriously, I loved my boot camp experience! And if you take Zac's January JS boot camp the React boot camp starts March 23, 2020! I'm telling you, by the end of 2020 you're going to be in good shape!

Graphic says, React for Beginners

Wes says you can learn React in a couple of afternoons! If you are already familiar with ES6 JS then sure, you can probably learn React in a couple of afternoons! But if you don't know JS yet… you should probably start there.

And if you're a bit strapped for cash or you're very comfortable piecing things together from blog posts/articles then Free Code Camp has almost 500 posts about React!

And if you're going to learn React you might as well do this free course on Redux, which is used by Gutenberg. You likely won't have much to do much with it, but it's good to understand Redux to get a full understanding of how Gutenberg works!

Gutenberg Blocks

Graphic says, JavaScript and WordPress 6 week online bootcamp

If you don't have time to learn JavaScript then React THEN how it works with WordPress I suggest this boot camp! This is the boot camp I took in January 2019.

Zac also offers courses, instead of boot camps, so if you really want to target Gutenberg learnings these might be the courses for you!

Gutenberg Theme Development

Gutenberg Block Development

Advanced Gutenberg Development

As for myself, I sort of waded right into developing Gutenberg Blocks with just a JS bootcamp under my belt! It was enough for me to pick up on how things were happening, I could reverse-engineer a few blocks, and I spent many hours pouring over the Gutenberg repo trying to figure out how things are pieced together.

Now that things have calmed down a bit in my life, I'm backfilling knowledge by going on my own journey of Gutenberg learning and I'm absolutely using some of the links above!

Good luck, noble WordPress Warriors! You got this!

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