Tag Archives: editor disaster

Goodbye Gutenberg Editor

WordPress is a powerful Content Management System ( CMS ) which powers a majority of the blogs and web pages out there in the Interlands. The reason for its popularity is the convenience of using it, another reason is the simplicity and flexibility as well as the sheer number of available plugins.

WordPress itself is an open-source project and you can download and install it on your own servers with a few short linux commands. www.WordPress.com is the company behind wordpress which is earning money through is free-to-use blog sites on their main web page ( E.g. https://varolokan.wordpress.com/ ).

As CMS go, WordPress is leading the pack and its simplicity comes in part from the ability to add a new blog post or page to your site with a no-thrills text editor.

Enter the Gutenberg

Well, that was before the upgrade to WordPress 5.0, which happened in December 2018 . This upgrade brought the Gutenberg Editor as the default editor to WordPress. Gutenberg tries to improve the usability for editing blogs/pages by sectioning off different paragraphs, and injecting all kinds of HTML into the ensuing result.

If you want to tweak the output just a little you will want to switch the section back into HTML-Mode, and then adjust as needed. While most people may never need to get to that level of visibility, a lot of the hard-core bloggers do want to maintain full control over the look and feel of any aspect at any time in their blogs.

I have tried for the past month or so to get used to Gutenberg. I have tweaked and written, and added custom CSS. I played and wrote, and finally I caved in and ‘uninstalled’ this pile of garbage.

Yeah well the only way to uninstall Gutenberg, is to install a new plugin, of which you can choose from the officially supported Classic Editor, or the Disable Gutenberg plugins.

The official plugin by WordPress itself will be supported at least until 2022 ( and then ? ). The “Disable Gutenberg” promises to be around for longer.

What is impressive with those plugins is that they have been installed more than 1 million times for the “Classic Editor” plugin, and 70000 for the “Disable Gutenberg” plugin. These numbers should give WordPress a bit to think about, and maybe, just maybe consider to revert the order of Gutenberg vs Classic editor.

In my opinion the Gutenberg Editor should be the plugin for those few who like it and want to use it. For the vast majority it seems that the classic editor is the way to go. I am certain that over time more people will revert back to the classic editor ( which is based off TinyMCE ) and some will stay with Gutenberg not because they like it better but because they don’t know how to revert back.

This disaster comes close to the likes of the initial “Windows Vista” disaster where the might of a company is turning against their core user base with more or less dire consequences. It remains to be seen if WordPress will change course or will continue to try to push this time eating, confusing, ugly and no-good interface onto its user base.

Think about workflow

If you write a blog post or anything really you are going to write letters which build words which build sentences which eventually build paragraphs and if you write some more you likely have some chapters in your book.
In Gutenberg every chapter will be a new section, however in practice each sentence will try to become its own little section. This will force you to move your mouse and click the hell out of your text to read, edit, and format your text. If you press enter once to many times you will have to fiddle around to un-section the now two distinct sections. Don’t get me started if you want to use shortcuts, well good luck trying to not kill yourself figuring those out.

If the goal of Gutenberg has been to destroy a writers workflow, then good job guys. You have spent your time, development efforts, and money to achieve just that. If the goal was t improve the workflow and usability, then I’d like to suggest to fire the guy in charge of the design. Maybe he and his friend like using the shiny new click and drop interface however a whole bunch of existing users hate the new interface with a passion. Historically people who really like a tool like WordPress become really passionate about it and the worst enemy you can make is to have a whole bunch of obsessively passionate fans you just upset.

Ps. This blog is of course written on wordpress and is now free of Gutenberg 😉