So, how are we feeling about Gutenberg, the new WordPress editing system they’ve thrust upon us?
WordPress usually gets it right, and makes it easy to keep up with their quick, light, and frequent updates. As such, I didn’t stress when 5.0 came along and Gutenberg became a thing. I rolled with it, as I always do, but they might have over-stepped this time.
Now, I know myself, and I know that change is not high on the list of things that I like to see. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a stick-in-the-mud. I’m always open to progress, novelty. I’ve even been known to engage in some leftover adolescent boundary pushing. Variety is the spice of life; a rolling stone gathers no moss, etc.
But when it comes to the computer-land side of my work life, I’m usually one to leave well-enough alone. The devil you know, as they say. It’s only a matter of upgrades before that once-loved machine looses its sheen. Just ask Apple. They had a good decade run where nobody could say anything bad about them. Now? Sure, it’s slicker gear than what Dell dishes out, but I haven’t seen a new car with an Apple sticker in the window in years. The fanboys have moved on to something else. Maybe gaming? Craft brewing?
As a CMS – a Content Management System – Gutenberg seems like a sensible way to go, and a smart attempt to keep up with the competition: the Squarespaces and Wix(e)s of the world. The “blocks” are a little more drag-and-droppy, a little more flexible. But WordPress has never been a WYSIWYG-type platform, and Gutenberg still isn’t either.
My fear is that they’re giving up on some of their oldest, most faithful users: the writers, bloggers, and part-time pundits who fueled the initial ascent of WordPress over Blogspot and Blogger and TypePad and whatever else used to be a thing.
Banging out paragraphs on this isn’t as easy as it used to be. My jumbled thoughts are now broken into more jumbled pieces. And if I want to take a stroll through the code to do a little tweaking, I end up having to sort through and juggle more WordPress-specific layout tags. This is not a big deal with my personal blog posts, I can manage. But I can foresee mighty struggles when clients are looking for pixel-perfect layouts on their new pages.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at. What are your thoughts? WordPress is (and will continue to be) my go-to web building platform, as it is for many of you. Gutenberg is still something of a work-in-progress, and I’m sure they’ll do some course-correcting and everything will be fine. In the meantime, drop me a line if you’d like to discuss, or need a hand tweaking out your new tools.