Apologies to the non-bloggers that read my blog and have absolutely no interest in this. However, my post on self-hosting went down pretty well, so I figured I’d follow suit and let you know what I think of Gutenberg. Who knows, maybe you’re intrigued with the behind-the-scenes anyway. You’re about to get a whole lot of insight…
What is Gutenberg? A tale.
Once upon a time in the little land of WordPress, many bloggers frolicked around, preparing posts. The software was clear and easy, acting similarly to a word processor. No one had to do anything fancy, no one had to overthink. Everybody was calm, serene and at ease… Except for the developers of WordPress…
“They’re having fun with the processor?” They chuckled from their evil labroratory, “Well, they’re in for a big surprise! Introducing our latest creation… Gutenberg.”
With a click of their fingers, panic rippled through the blogging world. A new editor? Blocks instead of simply typing? What does this MEAN? The Twittersphere was abuzz with confusion and turmoil. The simple word-processor-like ability to publish blog posts was replaced with Gutenberg: a system using different blocks per paragraph, heading and picture. Everything involved more fiddling, and no one knew where to start.
Now, after a month or so of using it, a valiant knight (me) emerges from the crowd to alert others of their progress…
As the story above so hyperbolically states, I was not exactly looking forward to switching to Gutenberg. I like change, but this change seemed unwarranted and complicated. Also, in all honesty, making blog content is time consuming enough for me as it is, I didn’t have time to learn a new, more complex system. However, like most things in life, it isn’t actually that bad…
The block thing is kind of annoying, and it takes a little time to get used to. However, it’s just like typing into a word processor (Like before), the only difference is that everytime you press enter, you’re suddenly typing in a new block. A part of me quite likes it. It seems a lot more organised: you look at your content in chunks and think about it more.
Gutenberg, like a lot of new software is still quite glitchy. Sometimes, you press enter to start a new block and it makes the block and then you start typing and then it types in the old block instead of the new block, even though you specifically tried to type in the new block and I’m totally not annoyed about it, not annoyed at all, can you tell? Furthermore, the disclaimer space in my formatter (That I use at the bottom of posts that are sponsored or gifted) decides it just doesn’t want to show up sometimes… I will write it, save it, and then when I preview/publish the post, it’s just not there… This was never a problem with the old editor.
Sometimes the links don’t work. I will try and insert a link over some text and the little link inserter disappears the moment I click enter. I’ll be able to do it eventually once I’ve typed a little more and then come back to it. But it should work the first time. And a lot of the time it doesn’t.
Finally, the glitch that annoys me the most is the disappearing text – again, to do with links. Sometimes, I’ll write a long sentence, highlight a word in the middle to insert a link after, and then it will create the link… and delete the rest of the sentence that followed… It doesn’t happen everytime, but it’s happened quite a few times and it’s very aggravating.
The missing features
It’s no longer as easy to edit my URL’s. (When I write a blog post, the URL immediately becomes ‘thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk/titleofthepost’, and sometimes the title is long/not super descriptive, so I often change them to make more sense and improve my SEO… all boring stuff) I don’t know whether it’s there and I just haven’t found it, but it was super visible on the old editor. So, it’s a bit annoying not being able to with ease on the new one.
Also, I can no longer easily customise what I share to Facebook and Twitter. When a post goes live on my blog, I have it set up to automatically share to my Twitter and Facebook page and, in the old editor, you could customise the little message that you shared the post with. WHERE has this gone?! It’s just disappeared?! I don’t understand?! I miss it so much. Please bring it back, Gutenberg. I’m asking nicely.
The cool things…
Though it can be incredibly frustrated for all the reasons stated above, I must admit, it definitely has it’s advantages.
To start with, the block system makes it way easier to insert pictures. You can easily shape them around the text, and rearrange them by just moving the blocks up and down… It’s so much easiet than it was before and I am very grateful for that.
Also, you can now embed loads of cool things in blocks, and it’s making me think way more about customisation and levelling up my blog posts. For example, now when I shamelessly plug my new radio show, meaning that you can listen to the show without even having to leave my blog post… Hint hint…
The same can be done for Spotify:
Or anything else that my heart desires… The world is my oyster and I intend to get a lot more creative with what I include in my blog posts. Especially with Blogmas coming up…
So, final verdict?
It has it’s problems, there’s no denying that. However, if they fixed up a few things, I could definitely see myself getting used to Gutenberg. It’s not as bad as the description made it seem like it was going to be, and it’s certainly not as complicated. I feel like it definitely pushes for more creativity,
Are you a WordPress user? Have you tried Gutenberg? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,