The future WordPress editor divides minds and calls both supporters and opponents on the scene. In this post, I'll show five reasons for Gutenberg and why I think we need the new blocks in the WordPress core.
Gutenberg's test phase extended
As announced in Gutenberg's roadmap , WordPress 4.9.8 launched a call to test the new editor in the form of a dashboard teaser.
The appeal led to the desired success. Within a few weeks, Gutenberg's active installations multiplied to over 200,000 websites. A large number of bugs were reported as Github issues and can now be processed.
Gutenberg's rejection rises
The numerous critical voices that can be found especially in the 1-star ratings of the Gutenberg plug-in have not decreased. A large part of the WordPress community is resisting the introduction of Gutenberg with WordPress 5.0 and would like to keep the classic editor. Even a first fork and a petition were created.
The Gutenberg plugin provides editing, customization, and site building features to WordPress. This beta plugin allows you to test bleeding-edge featu ...
The criticism against Gutenberg can be understood in many points. The current implementation is not (yet) mature enough and needs to be improved. I would also design some things differently and am not yet completely convinced of the usability.
Even so, I am still a supporter of Gutenberg. The new blocks are a good idea and the right step into the future of WordPress. In my opinion, there are a lot of good reasons for Gutenberg, which above all have long-term advantages.
The question is: Why do we need a new editor in WordPress at all?
Five reasons for Gutenberg
Here are my personal reasons for Gutenberg in the WordPress Core:
The biggest innovation from Gutenberg is the introduction of blocks.
But why is a block editor superior to the classic editor?
A big advantage of individual blocks for each content element are context-dependent options. Every block in Gutenberg - regardless of whether it is a paragraph, heading, quote, image or button - has its own block-specific options that are only displayed when this element is required and edited.
Gutenberg is not the first feature in WordPress that uses individual building blocks to create content. Widgets work the same way. Each widget has its own options, which can be very different. And pretty much every page builder for WordPress works with the same basic principle of modules with specific settings.
In contrast to the rigid classic editor, with Blocks many more options can be accommodated in the same interface without being overwhelming. Gutenberg is already much more flexible than the old editor and offers more configuration options for your content.
2. Modern Publishing
The web has developed rapidly since the introduction of the current editor. The classic editor consists of a large input area for the complete content and thus works similarly to a word processing program ala Google Docs, Open Office and MS Word.
Nowadays websites are more than just text and images. The WordPress editor is hopelessly out of date. Buttons, columns, forms, slideshows and other layout elements can usually only be inserted with complicated and old-fashioned shortcodes.
The demand for page builders shows that the standard editor is not sufficient for many WordPress users. That doesn't mean that the WordPress editor has to become a page builder and offer thousands of features. But it also shows that the classic editor no longer meets the requirements of modern publishing and rich post editing.
The popularity of WordPress is mainly characterized by its community and huge ecosystem. With thousands of themes, plugins and developers for the platform, there is a solution for every problem and almost every web application can be implemented.
Developers can use a number of options to customize and expand WordPress. Widgets, shortcodes, custom post types, meta fields, customizers and settings API - relevant APIs and hooks are available everywhere.
The editor, however, is difficult to expand. There are some hooks for the whole edit screen and metaboxes can be added, but the tinyMCE editor itself is relatively rigid. There is only the option of inserting shortcodes and HTML from outside.
With Gutenberg, the content area of a post can now be easily expanded. Developers can create their own blocks and we can be curious to see which innovative blocks see the light of day. This is where Gutenberg unfolds his full potential.
The lack of extensibility of the editor has led to many problems. Page builders have all developed their own user interface because their layout modules cannot be mapped in the classic editor. Most of the time they only show a button that redirects to your own interface.
The plugins have reinvented the wheel each time to do basically the same thing: insert and lay out content blocks. This means that page builders are not compatible. Switching from Divi, Beaver Builder or Elementor to another plugin is difficult; Content has to be migrated at great expense.
An important task of the WordPress core is to ensure standardization. Theme and plugin developers have often developed their own solutions for certain features, which were subsequently standardized by the core. The Customizer, Custom Post Types or Post Formats can be named here as examples.
With Gutenberg we finally get a standardization for content blocks.
The new editor is therefore not a page builder killer, but rather, through the standardization of blocks, a stable foundation on which page builders can build. At the latest in the next phases of Gutenberg , when blocks are extended to the entire website.
5. Uniform interface
Let's imagine a little scenario. A WordPress user wants to integrate a slideshow and installs a plugin for this. With the plugin, a new slideshow can be created as a custom post type and configured with metaboxes and custom fields.
Then the user switches to the editor and can insert the slideshow with a shortcode. In addition, the slider should be displayed as a widget in the footer. Oh, and with a page template of the theme, the slideshow is displayed in the header with a template function.
We see here a whole range of different concepts and interfaces for an actually simple task. For WordPress beginners, the process is unnecessarily complicated. And the plugin developer had a lot to do with CPT, metaboxes, shortcode and widget too.
Blocks are used to standardize the user experience for many features. A slideshow block is configured directly where it is displayed. The block can be inserted in the header, a sidebar or in the content. It works the same everywhere.
I am convinced that we need Gutenberg in the WordPress core. The idea is good, but at the moment there is still a lack of perfect implementation of the concept. But I hope that we will see some improvements implemented by the release of WordPress 5.0.
What do you think of the introduction of Gutenberg?