I blog in my spare time and although I’ll admit I earn a little from it (enough to cover hosting costs) it’s not my job. However, my day job is in the IT and technology sector so when it comes to the technical side of blogging I am well versed. I know never to jump in with anything new from day one, so when it came to WordPress 5 and Gutenberg I waited a while before updating.
I had heard a lot about the new Gutenberg block editor in blogging groups and forums. Most of what I heard was not complimentary toward WordPress. As someone who also runs another blog hosted at WordPress.com I simply though this new editor would be similar to the one used there. I was wrong.
When update 5.03 had been around for a while I finally decided the time had come to update. I was, in a way, excited to try the new editor and embrace it rather than fight against progress.
However, after hours of trying to write a blog post that should have taken less than one hour I had to give up.
A few small issues
It wasn’t any single big issue that pushed me to the WordPress plugin that disables Gutenberg . It was a few small ones that really irritated me:
- Previews were hit and miss
If I saved the post it would stay saying “saving” forever. Sometimes the preview worked, most of the time it didn’t. If I came out of the post, opened it again and previewed straight away it would be ok.
- Images were always thumbnails
Using the images block I would set it to large (i.e. full width) yet on previewing all my images were thumbnails. No amount of fiddling around, and Googling, would sort that.
- The list block is useless for lists like this one
With this list, I used [Shift] + [Enter] to create a line break to add sub-text to my bullet point. In the Gutenberg list block, this is not possible.
- Lack of keyboard shortcuts
In the classic editor, I use keyboard shortcuts of setting heading style and other things like that. In Gutenberg you have to insert a heading block to create a heading, for me there’s just too much mouse use involved.
In principle, I think the block editor could be great. But these 3 small issues meant I spent hours creating a post that should have taken less than an hour of my time.
I am sure WordPress will fix these issues. Maybe I should be posting in their forums and actively trying to help the development, but I simply don’t have time for that.
I shall wait for further updates and pay attention to the release notes. Clearly, Gutenberg is what WordPress is committed to, so sooner or later I shall have to convert.
Just not right now.
Thanks for reading.