Have you played around with the beta Gutenberg plugin yet? If you haven’t heard of Gutenberg yet, it’s the new WordPress editor that will replace the current one. I won’t spend a ton of time describing it because there are lots of places you can find that information, like here, here, and pretty much everywhere that might be related to WordPress. But the gist of it is that WordPress is running a little scared (in my opinion) of becoming irrelevant and old-school, so maybe 6 months or so ago, Matt Mullenweg basically said to update the editor to something modern or else. Ok, he didn’t use those exact words, and I don’t remember the exact time frame, but basically, that’s pretty much what went down.
Little Blocks (Are we on the playground?)
From what I’ve seen, it looks like someone said, hey, make the WP editor work just like the Medium editor. And there are plenty of “first impression” posts that will give you a look into all the pros and cons of the new “little blocks” editor. “Little blocks”? Really? I won’t comment further on that.
Those little blocks aren’t completely horrible upon first use. They are new and shiny and fun…until they aren’t. But honestly, I’m not here to dissect all the pros and cons of Gutenberg. Here’s a nice long list of blog posts from others that will give you all those details.
- What Are Little Blocks Made Of?
- Diving Into the New Gutenberg WordPress Editor (Pros and Cons)
- WordPress’ New Gutenberg Editor Now Available as a Plugin for Testing
- Questions and Concerns From My First Impression Of The WordPress Gutenberg Editor
- Gutenberg: First Impressions
- Gutenberg And Why WordPress May Have A Marketing Problem
- Accessibility Testing WordPress Gutenberg – A First Look
- Misunderstanding The Goal Of The Gutenberg Experience
- Improving WordPress Pt 4 – Where Gutenberg Lost Me (Open Letter to Core)
- Gutenberg: The Obligatory Review
Confusion Will Rain Down Upon Users Like Bricks Falling From Above
Here’s what hit me like a ton of bricks tonight as I was messing around with Gutenberg. Right now (and this may change as the project develops), if you use Gutenberg to edit an old post (written in the current pre-Gutenberg WordPress editor), this is basically what you’ll have to work with.
Now, Gutenberg’s “little blocks” is all about having each paragraph and each type of “thing”, such as blockquotes, embed, etc., in its own little block. But understandably, when presented with having to let a user edit a post that was written in the old editor, Gutenberg just plops the whole post into one big (not “little”) text block. So, if an old post or page is 5000 words long, with 30 images, 5 blockquotes, 2 video embeds, etc., then guess what? You’re going to see all of that in one big block. Ok, no big deal right? That’s sort of what we’re working with now.
Old Way For These, New Way For Those???
But imagine a user who has to switch mindsets every time she works with old and new pages and posts. Imagine all the users who have sites with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of pages and posts; many which need updating now and then. Now imagine that user is suddenly hit with a new editor – Gutenberg – that forces her to use “little blocks” on all new posts and pages, but has to work within one “big block” for all old posts and pages.
Can you just imagine the massive confusion and frustration that will cause? Or am I just old and fussy?
Again, maybe it will all magically “just work” and it won’t break a million things when Gutenberg is released into core. But wow, do you really think that magic will happen? I don’t see it.
My prediction: Gutenberg will be a massive disaster that breaks the back of WordPress, possibly forever.Kick Gutenberg to the curb or watch WordPress implode. Click To Tweet