Gutenberg. The word that struck fear in many blogger who’ve been using WordPress for years. What was the move to Guternberg going to bring? Would their blogs fall over? Which WordPress editor should they use?
When WordPress announced Gutenberg was on the way, the internet went a bit mad with everyone worried about how they would cope and whether they needed to test it.
Preparation for Gutenberg
I took the relaxed attitude. I’ve been blogging on WordPress for 7 years. Changes come and go. I hoped that I’d pick it up easily enough like I pick up most software after a bit of practice. There’s always developers and keen techies who test these changes out before they’re live and I just read a lot of what articles were out there so I was aware what was coming. I’d debated testing it, but I’m too lazy to faff around creating a test site. I downloaded classic editor plugin in case my sites went wrong after the launch of Gutenberg, so I knew I’d be fine day to day until I got used to using it.
I did check out my plugins and themes beforehand, keeping an eye on the plugin database where people were testing plugins with Gutenberg. So I knew which ones might have been an issue. I wasn’t too worried, given developers don’t want their work falling over. I knew a couple of bloggers who were also testing it and reporting back how it was going. This was helpful because it was great to ask questions and hear their experience from bloggers like me (but with a bit more technical knowledge).
A lot of people just buried their head in the sand and were determined to avoid using Gutenberg until all the glitches were sorted out. But there was a lot of beta testing and feedback from users. There were plenty of discussions around asks and issues that were being worked on ahead of it going live.
I’ve been really happy with Gutenberg so far. I started using it straight away – this avoided any plugin conflicts that might have come up as developers updated their plugins. I also deleted my classic editor plugin straight away, because I didn’t want to get mixed up. I think sometimes you just need to make the change, and this wasn’t as painful as many bloggers think it is.
Yes, it took a bit of getting used to, and something things have taken a while to find solutions, but overall it works well and I’ve found my groove in how I use it.
There are still little niggles with things that take longer now to sort out. Or I’m having to change code and it’s not as easier as it was before Gutenberg:
- The scroll is painful; there’s a lot of scrolling on different scroll bars to get to top and bottom of posts.
- The categories take a while to show
- Tags don’t stick – unless I’ve done them in the mobile app beforehand
- Picking more than 1 image at a time from media gallery – there is a way to do this, but I’ve not found it easy to work out, so I’m still just choosing individual ones.
- Having to centralise images afterwards rather than it remembering it as a default or before you add the image.
- When you add code it won’t preview in the visual editor, it stays as HTML (you can preview the whole post easily though)
- Adding links doesn’t bring up settings and it takes a while for it to bring up searched for posts in the drop down
- I used to manually add in 3 related posts with one set of code to the editor. Now that one piece of code has to be individually done in 3 columns and it’s awkward to do this, change each column to custom html and add the 3rd column. When I change old posts to blocks, these 3 related post code doesn’t work so it’s a big manual change.
- Attaching hidden images to use for pinnable images is hit and miss whether it works.
If you’ve got any get-arounds for these, do let me know.
Yes, this is a big list, but none of these aren’t manageable, and I’m sure over time, these will be ironed out.
There are benefits to Gutenberg over classic editor. I’d certainly encourage bloggers who haven’t changed over to do so.
What I love about Gutenberg
1, You’re on the latest version of WordPress. Which is much better for security.
2, It’s not a huge learning curve. It is logical and just takes a bit of time to get your head around. Like anything there’s plenty of tutorials online for queries you have.
3, It’s easy to find the type of blocks you want
4, There’s no issue with copying in from Word, notepad or emails. If there’s a paragraph the spacing just works, rather than having to manually work it out
5, It’s easy and fast to change old posts into blocks.
6, Once you’re a few days in, the time spent on posts isn’t much longer than for classic editor posts.
7, Most plugins are still fine to use. You can get rid of some just by using html editor and adding some code (e.g. for nofollow links).
8, There’s no need to worry that Classic Editor will be going in a year or so.
9, The front end isn’t any different. You won’t notice a difference between old Classic editor posts and new ones published using Gutenberg.
10, The flexibility. I’ve been changing old posts to blocks because if you want to add, remove or move sections, it’s so much easier just to hit the arrow and move them up or down into the right place. No respacing needed.
I’m not usually someone who likes change. But when it comes to Gutenberg being the new WordPress editor, I’m all for moving to it as soon as possible. If you’ve held off and aren’t sure, then give it a go. For basic editing it isn’t complicated and doesn’t get long to get your head round. Don’t forget, when you started using WordPress you probably found it a lot harder than you will moving to blocks.
Have you changed to Gutenberg? How are you finding it? Or are you ignoring it?