What we think of WordPress Gutenberg

Door: Thomas Mills | 12 december 2018

The new version of WordPress (5.0) is now available and introduces one of the biggest changes to the platform in recent years - Gutenberg. This new WordPress editor replaces the traditional WYSIWYG editor.

At Super Interactive we use WordPress professionally so we are always exploring and investigating how others use the platform and its continued development. With the regular WordPress release cycle it is important that we stay up-to-date to maintain our own in-house release cycle. It is also crucial to us so that we can produce modern websites that are secure, stable and efficient.

In the last few years we are implementing more and more of our WordPress sites in a similar methodology to how content is composed with Gutenberg - custom content blocks.

How?

Gutenberg introduces the concept of communicating your media through blocks to provide a custom and flexible approach to content creation. A block can be anything from a video to comparison tables to text.

Now when editing a page or post, there is much more focus on the whole page. Particularly when used full-screen - the editor is to provide the experience as if you are directly editing the template - changing text, dragging blocks to rearrange content... Here you can take it for a test-drive.

Why change?

The classic editor was focused on constructing content inspired by traditional print media. Whereas today, blog and website content has heavily evolved from this to content supported by all forms of multimedia.

Is this good or bad?

The good is that the WordPress core team recognized the benefits and of this methodology to constructing web media. That it was becoming crucial to editors and enabling such rich content and websites.

The bad (maybe) the rollout of this new version. Whilst the Gutenberg editor has been available for several months to encourage testing and adoption, we believe that things are still not stable enough. It is such a major change to the default structure and handling of WordPress that it has (unsurprisingly) broken many plugins. This wasn't totally unforseen, however, WordPress has insisted on a strict release schedule risking destabilizing websites with automatic updates enabled.

Fortunately at Super Interactive we are very selective to which plugins we use. We also ensure that they are widely used and well developed so all plugins will be updated to be compatible.

From project development issue boards, blogs, to discussion boards - there is a lot of outcry (still) that this Gutenberg release has been rushed. Our experience when there is so much uncertainty amongst a platform is to take a step back and wait to see how things develop. You do not have to update straight away, there is no security risk. Most plugin developers have been on top of things but many admit that there are so many use-cases that many bugs will still be undiscovered. Many major issues have only recently been resolved.

Therefore, we have made the decision to force the classic editor initially with WordPress 5 until Gutenberg becomes more established and stable. This will enable us to ensure a professional and stable service is delivered and maintained. Whilst also allowing us to plan the most effective format to deliver Gutenberg in.

For more information on WordPress Gutenberg and the concerns surrounding its release, see:

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