Gutenberg: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Is The Gutenberg Block Editor Really An Improvement, Or Simply Going Backwards?

First off, I don’t hate WordPress’s new Gutenberg Block Editor. In fact, there are several features I absolutely adore! The ability to easily add a background image or color to a section is awesome to name one feature I truly love!

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On the other hand, there are some things about the default WordPress editor introduced with WordPress 5.0 that I really, really do not like…

In all fairness, I have exactly the same feelings when it comes to every drag-and-drop editor I’ve ever worked with including Adobe Muse. My big complaint comes down to all the extra steps required with a block editor that transforms building a page from a simple matter of getting the content to the page to what often seems like a never ending marathon of editing to get what you are shooting for.

Case in point. You’re using a WordPress shortcode. You need the output of the shortcode centered on the page. With the old visual editor you just select the shortcode and center align the paragraph on the page. Fast and simple, no code required.

To pull off the same thing with the block editor you must wrap your shortcode inside the HTML code for a div with the text centered.

Net result: those with no knowledge of HTML are actually being “punished” by not being able to truly control how their page looks!

web-page-2152678_640Then, there is the interface…

With the “outdated” visual editor I only needed to view a preview to see how the page looked with my theme before publishing. What I saw in the editor was an almost perfect copy of what the page would look like live. With the block editor I’m forced to continually view a preview to have any real idea of rather or not the page looks as I’d intended.

Copying and pasting text into the editor is also far harder than it has to be. The majority of my content has been previously written and tweaked for maximum effect. Paste plain text headline into the old visual editor and you get plain text. Select “heading” from the block editor and paste text into the heading block and it will transform into a paragraph instead. Only if I waste the time to type the copy in manually does the block remain a heading.

The net result for me has been taking a task that used to take perhaps an hour for a long form promotional page using the original visual editor into hours or even a day or more of work with Gutenberg.

In all fairness, I’m sure that will improve as I play with the block editor. That being said, I truly feel rather than rushing to adopt the new block editor that the powers that be at WordPress.org had made it on option for which editor to use rather than forcing everyone to use Gutenberg. That’s my current setup as I continue to attempt changing over to the new default WP editor.

What do you like or dislike about Gutenberg?

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