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WordPress Gutenberg is a step backwards for long standing blogs

September 3rd, 2018 by Ross A Hall

Filed under : Living Life

For the past few weeks I’ve been playing with Gutenberg on a test platform I built on my Mac. I figured it would be a low risk way of trying out the latest iteration of the ever popular site management software.

To be blunt, I’m disappointed enough to start thinking about migrating away.

Much is being made of the UI’s drag and drop capabilities, but this is smoke and mirrors. Few bloggers I know write directly into the browser. They create in Word or Pages or Google Docs and only shift their content to WordPress after it’s been through ProWritingAid, or whatever their weapon of choice for editing. For those of us who like to do a little bit more, we value being able to set individual classes on images and links to style them the way we need. Or create custom fields and types to manage specific content types.

So far all of this is gone.

What’s more, the minions who are looking after Gutenberg on GitHub seem to think “hey, you missed something fundamental” are enhancements.

Added to this, the “API first” approach they’re adopting means the headers are becoming increasingly messy and overly full of Javascript files and CSS just to make bits of functionality works. All of this is slowing my test site down, which is never a good thing.

My new project requires me to build on something stable and at the moment that isn’t Gutenberg. Not by a long shot. Too many of the features I need are missing and the threat of removing some of the features I live on (such as custom post types) in favour of Javascript messy “blocks” is deeply concerning.

The next iteration of my sites will be built on WordPress, but will force the “classic” editor on the platform. Longer term it looks like the increasing demands of trying to manage a more technologically complex platform will drive me away to an alternative.

 

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Ross A Hall
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