Why Gutenberg Editor For WordPress Should Be Optional

Gutenberg is the code-name for the new editor included as part of the core in WordPress 5.x. It is a bold update that has quite frankly ticked off a lot of people. Just look at the reviews of Gutenberg. The editor is the most critical part of any CMS (Content Management System) and making drastic changes to it can have detrimental effects to the overall usage of the software if not done correctly.

We’ve updated a few sites to WordPress 5.0 then to WordPress 5.0.2 (current version as of the time of writing) with the hopes of any improvements to the editor. But the results have not been satisfactory. Here are our top views as to why the Gutenberg editor is not an improvement and forcing it upon users is a bad idea:

  1. It takes twice as long to do simple things such as adding a hyperlink in visual mode or removing bullet points.
  2. The editor breaks everything into blocks: titles, headings, paragraphs, etc. It may be good for design purposes but makes writing a document or a simple post confusing and frankly, weird.
  3. It is too drastic of a change. All the things you may be used to, such as Screen Options and sidebar options, are gone or you have to search for them. This is counter-productive and makes everything take much longer to do.
  4. The focus of the Gutenberg project is too much on the writing experience itself (which is not great) and, as such, many of the other options surrounding page or post creation suffer (i.e. are more time consuming or missing).
  5. Keyboard shortcuts appear to be gone. For example, control-b does not make the text bold.
  6. Full-screen mode is not really full-screen. If you go full-screen the writing area remains the same. WordPress calls it “Distraction-free writing mode”, so I guess we shouldn’t expect true full-screen mode.
  7. Also gone is the option to display and select tags previously used. A very useful feature if you want to link similar articles together.

Hopefully more updates soon will result in significant improvements. However, I think that most users would appreciate to have the Gutenberg editor as an option rather than turned on automatically.

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