The good, the bad, the ugly: The Gutenberg text editor for WordPress

Jan 10, 2019

Gutenberg Text EditorImproving WordPress to allow a better editing experience was the goal for the WordPress team.  They wanted editors to use a cleaner area for adding content.  This was done by de-cluttering the page by providing customizable blocks to use for content and images.   But even as the WordPress team will encourage the change, they will also continue to release security patches for older classic editor versions.  This means WordPress editors who are used to the Classic version can continue to use this version.  A programmer can also revert back to the Classic version from Gutenberg when this is needed.  This may be needed for some clients to restore the more familiar experience when editing their sites.

Staying competitive with other editors:

The goal for the new Gutenberg text editor is to stay up to date with other editing software. One such software is called “Medium.”  This software also uses a block-style editor. We like the new Gutenberg editor better.  It allows more customization as you move forward with your project such as adding a simple table.  The visual editor on Gutenberg allows me to set column widths easier than the older “classic” editor.  With Gutenberg,  I can now toggle from visual mode back to html editing for each specific section, rather than dealing with the entire article.  I no longer have to go back and forth from the visual mode.  This saves time as I develop my own custom blocks per a project request.

JavaScript EditingThe advantage of java script knowledge:

Those developers who have java script ability can add the more advanced features to WordPress sites.  If you do not have this knowledge,  we can refer a java script professional to you.  We have a list of individuals on staff who are available (per hour) for our clients.

The Gutenberg learning curve and what to expect:

As a developer with over 600 websites online which we are responsible for, you can imagine we were a bit worried about this new change to the Gutenberg text editor last month.  We were happy to know that there did exist a Classic Editor Plugin that allowed our clients to temporarily “opt-out” of the Gutenberg platform for now.  This plugin allows all non-Gutenberg updates to remain in place and will simply offer the new method for consideration.  This allows time to master the learning curve of Gutenberg. Some of our clients will no doubt find it hard to master this new text editor.  For those clients we are prepared to maintain their sites ourselves.  Some clients simply hate change and balk at anything new.

All WordPress sites should be updated to 5.0:

We do have a few clients that have never updated their sites to 5.0.  For these clients they may choose not to update since they are used to the Classic editor and don’t want to have to learn the new Gutenberg editor features.  But in time they will need to update their websites since it will become too costly to continue to update older plugins.  It is best for them to switch to 5.0 as soon as possible.

BloggingDeactivating the Gutenberg plugin:

When our clients are downloading the new Gutenberg plugin, things may go wrong.  If this does happen then they can easily deactivate the plugin, remove it and return to the Classic Editor plugin again.  Once the issue is resolved they can then add the Gutenberg plugin again.  Knowing that the Classic Editor will stay for a while, all clients can take the time needed to learn all about the new Gutenberg 5.0 text editor.  With time you can master this new experience and will be glad you took the time to change over.

How do bloggers and developers feel about Gutenberg?

From what we see by studying the Gutenberg editor there could be a rocky road ahead for bloggers using the Gutenberg 5.0 text editor.  Most of them do not create blog posts while working inside the editor.  Instead they create their article content and copy and paste it into the body of the blog post.  This poses a real problem since the new Gutenberg editor is a block-editor.  No longer can the blogger just copy and past content from another medium such as “Word” or other.  They normally do this and use the editor only to clean up the content after they paste the copy. The editor works best as a page-builder for developers.  Bloggers and writers are left out in the cold.

Using Classic EditorThe big changes (the good, the bad and the ugly):

When it comes to the advantages of the new Gutenberg text editor, the good news for developers is that it includes new bells and whistles which will make a designer’s life easier.  However, the bad news is that you’ll have to start over and discard anything you already know about the Classic WordPress editor and take the time to learn a new method.  The ugly comes when we discuss bloggers and content writers around the globe who will find the new editor not as user-friendly for them.  They will not be impressed.

The Gutenberg Text EditorGutenberg editor is JavaScript based:

Unfortunately, the Gutenberg editor is almost completely JavaScript based.  Many WordPress developers are not familiar with this software. In fact, for those developers who have little or no programming knowledge, they will run into some real challlenges when learning the new method for editing WordPress using the Gutenberg editor.
But no worries, please call us if you run into problems.  We do provide advanced WordPress services and we are familiar with JavaScript. We are available to help and look forward to answering questions received. Keep in touch with the Design Wizards at Inside Design Orlando and have a great month ahead.
Quote: We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. …Don’t let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things. … Just try new things.
Best wishes for the year ahead!
Jean Holland-Rose
Chief Creative Officer & SEO Professional


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