The WordPress Gutenberg Editor: Pros and Cons

The Business of making websites

WordPress evolved from a simple blogging service to the content management giant it is today. Now it is undoubtedly one of the most popular personal and commercial blog and webpage creators out there.

Version 5.0 bought with it a different style of editing to replace the much-loved TinyMCE classic editor. The Gutenberg Editor, as the latest significant addition to the WordPress platform, is currently a hot topic in the world of web development.

Here we will look at some of the main pros and cons of WordPress’s new way of building websites.

What is the Gutenberg Editor?

The Gutenberg Editor is named for Johannes Gutenberg, creator of the first movable-type printing press. In the same way that his invention brought information to the masses, the main idea behind this new style editor is to make advanced layouts more accessible to the average WordPress user.

Aside from offering a more simplified content creation process, Gutenberg was also introduced to update a perceived outdated editing process. One that hadn’t be changed in rather a long time.

The Gutenberg Editor offers a whole new way of creating content, one that was inspired by the popularity of page builders offering users drag-and-drop functionalities.

The system makes use of a series of moveable ‘blocks’ which represent different website elements. Each one comes equipped with its own set of fully customisable options. The core ones are image and text, but there are also options for creating buttons, embedding videos, and even adding tables and widgets.

Gutenberg

What advantages does the Gutenberg Editor offer?

Possibly the most significant benefits of this new system will be felt by those just starting out in website development. The new drag-and-drop system means that users won’t need to know how to use HTML coding to stylise their content.

While the previous editor worked well enough, users had to grapple with learning different approaches to adding images, creating galleries, embedding videos, adding tables, and other content elements. This all required more time and a more thorough understanding of computers than many people have.

However, the advantages of Gutenberg aren’t just limited to beginners. The new setup offers users a more writing friendly environment, one with much more writing space.

Also, the block system offers far more functionality than the previous version. In simply selecting the required element, it’s possible to cut down the number of third-party plugins otherwise required to get access to the same number of features.

Moreover, the ‘Content Structure’ option offers a clear overview of helpful website statics and enables users to quickly jump to various places on their website – useful when there is a lot of content.

Are there any disadvantages?

As with every kind of component added to an existing system, there will inevitably be some issues and mismatches.

First off, there are some issues with backward compatibility. All plugins and themes will have to be updated to ensure that they are fully compatible with the new editor, which could take some time.

Secondly, although Gutenberg has been designed with simplicity of use in mind, some new and existing users have been struggling to get to grips with it. So, there is still a learning curve here.

Finally, there are a few limitations concerning customisation. For instance, each piece of content within a single block must be styled the same.

Conclusion

While the advantages of the Gutenberg Editor demonstrate that WordPress developers have taken a step in the right direction, there are still clearly some issues to be addressed.

The fact that many users are having trouble with the new system suggests that it’s rather a half-way solution to making content development more straightforward. This editor isn’t necessarily going to let users do more advanced things with their webpages right out of the box.