Gutenberg Gets A Bad Rep – Here’s Why It Doesn’t Deserve It.

This is coming from a user not a developer for the record. Or implementer if you want to put a label on it.

It Doesn’t Deserve It.

It’s not the elephant in the room; the Gutenberg editor gets a majorly lousy rap. Hand on heart? I didn’t like it either.

Who in the brightest of blue f*cks thought it was a good idea? Especially with page builders appearing left right and center. All were addressing a need from a content creation POV.

You’ve got Elementor, Beaver Builder and many more. Why bother building something new for users?

Me just now.

Everyone is used to the TinyMCE editor, hell it’s part and parcel of WordPress. Log in, start writing, click an icon make it bold insert an image (or use keyboard shortcuts for the fancy types) and you’re good to go.

I’m a user. And I don’t mean drug user for the record. I’ve been using WP for ages now, I love it, it’s easy to use, and there are always plugins to add that additional functionality you need. Themes to make it look sexy and whatnot.

Don’t Mess With The Editor.

I liked the old post editor, and I got used to it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was functional. I just got used to it, half of the CMS / eCommerce systems floating around used it, in one form or the other. So you just kind of got used to it.

Was it perfect? No.

Adding images and aligning them could be a pain. From a user perspective, it just hurt sometimes, especially if you had a long-form post, packed with content and images.

The screen would be all over the shop, continually hitting the preview button after saving the post, just because you might have inadvertently added space or something.

I adapted.

I adapted. So Can You.

If you’re happy using page builders and it’s easy for you. More power to you. I’ve used them, and each one has a learning curve.

The Classic Editor WordPress
The Classic Editor we all know and love for WordPress

Gutenberg does as well. It’s not perfect, shit, man, what is? It can be clunky and has its quirks but then what doesn’t? I used to install the classic editor ditching Gutenberg altogether.

Such was my disdain for it.

Guess What?

I played with it. Learned its charms, what works what doesn’t, can I do this, can I do that.

Once you get used to it, it’s SOOOOOOO much more accessible than using the old editor.

Its built for writers, made for those who love the written word. Intersperse it with images, preview it, add some different layouts, content boxes, etc.

You’re good to go.

Using Gutenberg, it made me think more about the flow of post. The layout of the content, what comes where, should I put this here? There?

I use it all the time now, I recently switched to the Classic Editor for a giggle, I couldn’t get on with it.

The Gutenberg Landscape Is Changing

There are a lot of decent plugins for Gutenberg blocks now, Yoast has some for FAQ schema and how-to’s, pricing tables by other developers, page templates, there is so much more you can do with Gutenberg now.

Below are just some of the blocks I’ve used with Gutenberg. All offer different layouts, adding icons, some add animation to your content and much more besides. There’s a load of them on WordPress.org, some fair better than others.

Give it a go

I’d urge you to try it out. Sure it has a learning curve, what doesn’t? Just don’t be blinkered in your opinion of it.

Give it a go, test, and guess what? If it’s not for you, disable it and keep doing what you do.

I guess all I’m saying is don’t be scared to give it a go. Remember you used to use the TinyMCE editor, you got used to that, so why not Gutenberg?

Try it. You might like it. As my dad always used to say about Brussel Sprouts.

My Dad.

I still hate them to this very day, carving out roast potatoes and creating a makeshift hidden cavity to scoop them in. I did try them, though.

P.s this post was made with Gutenberg.


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4 thoughts on “Gutenberg Gets A Bad Rep – Here’s Why It Doesn’t Deserve It.”

  1. Hey man. Just found this blog via Reddit. Interesting content. But I disagree with this post. I have been using WordPress forever as well. But even my technically informed ass finds Guttenberg as a complicated pile of unnecessary crap. In all my times, I NEVER had issues with alignments. It’s centre, left, or right. If I wanted more, I’d rather have a plugin installed.

    I respect the idea of Gutenberg. Totally. But the idea of having it as a default editor for everyone is plain arrogance from the core team. What were they thinking? My kid uses WordPress for her hobby site and she cringed the first time she got the update.

    It should be a plugin and not the default editor. There are people beyond the nerd/hipster circle who use WordPress.

    Reply
  2. Hey thanks for leaving a comment!

    It would be a boring world if we all agreed on things and I appreciate your view.

    I tend to agree with you, didn’t like the way it was forced upon users, over time I’ve grown quite fond of it.

    Have you tried the GenerateBlocks plugin?

    Started using it a few weeks ago I think it’s on the WordPress repo, it should help with alignment issues and such.

    Another decent plugin for the block editor is EditorsKit, copying and pasting blocks is super easy thanks to this.

    Gutenberg is here to stay and I get what you are saying about it should have been a plugin and not the default, it was handled badly. Very badly.

    It’s here. It’s here to stay, I must admit, I had my hand behind my back when I started using it, didn’t like it at all. Once I grew accustomed to it, I kind of went along.

    Happy to say I like it, however, I can see how others don’t, it’s horses for courses.

    Reply
  3. I loved gutenberg when i first installed the beta, i built a few custom blocks for it (a nightmare learning curve, but i did it) and loved it so i used it for about 30 websites.

    Fast forward one year, and so much has changed that all my websites have 80% broken blocks, and the custom blocks I made are all messed up too. Everyone on my team is constantly confused as to why things keep changing, and i find myself spending half my time fixing new problems that show up

    and that doesn’t even account for the bugs in gutenberg itself. i cant count how many ive seen in the last 6 months. ive never filed as many bug reports with any software in my life as i have with gutenberg

    you might say “oh just dont use the beta, stick to the official releases” except that they included the latest state of gutenberg in the last wordpress update, so even the official releases are forcing updates on us

    this is the most horrific example of what i call update culture. release software in alpha so you can start profitting, knowing youll just push updates later to fix problems. also feature culture, where you pack your software with 1000’s of features so you can catch as wide an audience as possible. you know what they say, jack of all trades, master of none

    i had to heavily modify gutenberg to be what i want to to be, and i will give it one HUGE compliment. i was able to modify it to make my websites load in less than a second. they are incredibly fast and my SEO benefits greatly. no other visual builder that i know of can accomplish this, and why that is is a complete mystery to me. of course, why gutenberg (or wordpress for that matter) doesnt create super fast websites out of the box is craziness, and im a 20 year experienced proffessional software engineer so i doubt most people will be able to modify it as i did, so, i still think gutenberg is garbage.

    but, to gutenbergs credit, elementor, fusion, squarespace, etc etc… they are all garbage for one reason or another.

    i miss dreamweaver

    Reply
  4. While I can see the new editor being useful for creating pages with better layouts, it should be optional. Maybe a “layout” post-type would have been the better solution (like: let me create a fancy landing page, but don’t mess with my content archive).

    Strictly separating content and design is the main reason for using a CMS like WordPress. Being able to manage and archiving your content for decades to come and modernize your frontend by slapping on a new theme is the reason WordPress took over the world.

    Keeping content and design separate is the core principal for any CMS … (well … not anymore, at least in the WP world).

    Where we take it from here is up to us.

    Reply

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