Chris Wiegman Chris Wiegman

Gutenberg… I’m Loving It

Gutenberg… I’m Loving It

I’ve avoided Gutenberg, the new WordPress default editor, for quite some time now. I installed it once on this site last June but after a few hours and a lot of messed up HTML around the site, I had to disable it. After WordCamp US, however, I decided it was time to give it another shot and, so far, I’m loving it.

What I Love About Gutenberg

So what’s so great about Gutenberg?

First, the diversity and availability of blocks brings a whole new world to WordPress in the form of integrations with other sites, services and even different types of content.

While I haven’t had the chance to make use of everything yet I do find what I’ve used so far, lists, quotes, headings and a few others, to be incredibly intuitive and powerful. In addition, I’ve found the concept of blocks has helped me keep my posts a bit more organized as it does require a bit of thought to jump from paragraphs to other content types.

Second, and probably most important for me, I love how the editor works in full-screen mode. I finally feel like we have a real full-screen editor for WordPress where I can still handle formatting and various content without having to play with bulky editors and other issues that always made writing in the editor hard for me in the past.

Where There Is Room For Improvement

While I do love the editor for how I can write in it there are still a few things that need some work. Frankly, the whole thing could have benefited from a few more months in development but, at least for me, the issues haven’t been so bad as to have slowed me down, so far.

The biggest issue that worries me is data storage. Blocks in WordPress are stored mostly as post content making querying an individual blocks content more difficult. For the average blog I don’t think this is a big issue but I could see it becoming one very quickly for the large and complex sites I’ve worked on throughout my career.

The other issue, at least for this small laptop I’m typing on, is how some options present themselves. By default I can turn off the options sidebar but, even here in full-screen mode, I can’t find a way to turn off the panes for options such as “Layout Settings” and “Yoast SEO” which, even closed, have eaten the bottom third of my screen. While it’s a minor annoyance it is small issues like this that I find distracting even in the much-improved full-screen editor Gutenberg brings.

Overall, at least for my use case, these issues are pretty small considering how much of an improvement I find the editor to be as a whole and, like most technical challengers, there is a good change they will be fixed over time. For now, even with them, I’m loving the new editor experience and don’t see any reason to go back to the Classic Editor, at least on this site.