It has been just over a year since we last talked about the Gutenberg WordPress Editor. In that article we explain what Gutenberg is and why it matters. Has anything changed since then?
What is Gutenberg WordPress Editor?
As we explained in the original article Gutenberg is a new block based editor that comes packaged with standard WordPress. It replaced the old text based editor that had been around since the inception of WordPress itself. So what does blck based mean anyway? In the old editor everything was laid out in a text editor and required that the user have a simple understanding of HTML. Laying out a visually rich page on a website can be rather tedious with this type of editor so many thrid party companies started building block editors as plugins to the WordPress system. A popular block editor that we use is Visual Composer. This amazing plugin lets a user with a modicum of website nouse to build visually rich and compelling pages. (Spoiler alert) we still rate Visual Composer way above Gutenberg. However, Visual Composer and most other block based editor plugins have two major problems. 1) They cost money and 2) they can be very complicated to use.
So Gutenberg is Free and Easy to Use?
Yes Gutenberg is free and moderately easy to use but is it good? It has been endlessly debated since the introduction of the new editor whether it was a good replacement for the old one. Consensus tended to be that it wasn’t. I have read some recent WordPress articles extolling the virutes of Gutenberg and how it has matured since its introduction. So I went back and tried it again. I am here to tell you that it isn’t very good at all. Yes it is slightly better now than on release but the bar was set very low, so that wasn’t hard to achieve.
What I do admit though is that it does give people new to WordPress an easier path to making richer websites and pages than the old editor. Though I still maintain that even with a little bit of knowledge of HTML a user will achieve much more from the classic editor. Luckily there is a classic editor plugin available that lets you toggle between classic and Gutenberg editor. I highly recomend that this plugin be installed even if you are someone that likes the Gutenberg editor. The classic editor lets a user bash an article much quicker than Gutenberg ever could.
Final Thoughts on Gutenberg
As per last time I still feel that Gutenberg has its place and with so many new users not knowing the original editor, Gutenberg will only grow in popularity. The people behind WordPress are commited to the new editor, so it is not going away. Personally I think this is a good thing as long as Gutenberg is updated to the point where it can compete with the other block editors on the block (pun intended). If Gutenberg got to the level of complexity of say Visual Composer then we would have something to crow about.