Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » Been using WP for 15 years: this is one of the worst things to happen to it.

  • I’ve been using WordPress since late 2003, when it was little more than a fork of b2. There have been plenty of bumps in the developmental road to 2018, but overwhelmingly WP has progressed into something amazing, as evidenced by its elephant-sized presence on the web. More than anything, WP’s always managed to strike a balance between “too complicated for novices” and “too clunky for experts.”

    Gutenberg is a slap in the face to skilled and expert users, as is the insulting Classic plugin many of us will soon have to install to restore basic functionality. If I’d wanted to use Microsoft FrontPage, I would have used it in 2003, thanks. If wanted to use WP.com, Medium, Wix, Weebly, or any of the other, similar “SuPeR CoOl AnD EaSy” services, I’d make an account with them. WP.org’s core package isn’t meant to be dead simple. It’s meant to be for at least moderately-skilled users. It’s meant to be different, dammit.

    Hand-holding in the support forums is one thing. And the WP plugin directory should give novice users access to plugins that provide additional WYSIWYG / drag-and-drop features. Luckily, the plugin directory has always done this. But hand-holding features with no built-in overrides should not be part of the core, at least not to the extent that Gutenberg will make them.

    When I tried Gutenberg, I wanted to throw something. It crippled my content writing and was one of the dumbest, clunkiest experiences I’d ever had in WordPress, outside of working on poorly developed sites that were bloated with idiotic plugins. Amusingly, those bloated environments often worked and looked a lot like Gutenberg. Also amusing is the fact that bloated page editors are rarely, if ever, as user-friendly as devs think they will be. Seriously, folks, learn to value the KISS principle.

    Seeing the near-endless stream of negative reviews for the Gutenberg plugin, I kept my mouth shut and thought surely the core team/devs would see this was a train wreck of an idea and keep Gutenberg optional as a plugin. But, no, this highly-unpopular effort is going full steam ahead. I mean, really, why listen to the overwhelming majority of your user base? What do they know, anyway?

    Installing the Classic editor will be one of the first things I do on every WordPress site I own. That, or I’ll make a more custom solution using ACF. Either way it’s an extra step that sucks and makes me a little suspicious of WP’s long-term future. Many a very mighty giant has fallen for failing to listen to users. Creating extra, unnecessary work for advanced users and developers is an efficient way to make people loathe you.

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Moderator Jan Dembowski

    (@jdembowski)

    Forum Moderator and Brute Squad

    @jersey-peeps The reviews here are not an advertisement for other projects on other site. I’ve archived your comment, keep it on focus.

    Hey, @jdembowski, why are Matt & Co refusing to listen to the community on this one? It’s clear users only want Gutenberg to be a plugin.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski

    (@jdembowski)

    Forum Moderator and Brute Squad

    OK, I was hoping to not but I am closing this review. The review will stand but here’s the thing about reviews.

    The reviews on this site for any theme or plugin is not a blog post. These are not discussion forums. All the reviews here are about a user’s experience with that theme or plugin.

    With the Gutenberg reviews, due to the fact that WordPress 5.0 will include this as a built in, there has been a lot of leeway. Many of the reviews that are here would not pass muster for a different theme or plugin. Many of these reviews here do add value.

    Then there are the reviews and replies that are inflammatory, not productive and sometimes a personal attack on people who either support the idea and implementation of Gutenberg or the forums.

    A user posted what can be summed up as “There is another project/fork out there” and that was archived with a reply.

    Another user felt the need to address the moderator (raises hand, that’s me) to not address this review.

    This is a good quality review. It’s 450 words of detail and feedback. Fantastic!

    The replies, including my own? Not so much. It just does not address the reviewer in any way. I would have archived my reply too but I wanted to let the person who replied know where they went off course.

    If you wish to leave your own review, please do so. You can use this link.

    https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/gutenberg/reviews/#new-post

    But if you mistake these reviews for a blog? If you just reply to bring your point or to heap negativity on a review without addressing that specific review? Please do not. This is not a blog, this is not your soapbox. It’s a feedback section for this plugin.

    I’m closing this review now. My comments and the one off point may get archived at some point too. Those comments just have nothing to do with this user’s feedback.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski

    (@jdembowski)

    Forum Moderator and Brute Squad

    CORRECTION: The reviewer replied. I need more coffee. Review re-opened and hopefully my brain is working. Now.

    iamfantastikate, this remains an amazing review and a good read. I’m going to reply to your reply as it’s your review. Note that while I did leave a 5 star review, I’m just another user like you who happens to also be a forum moderator.

    Hey, @jdembowski, why are Matt & Co refusing to listen to the community on this one?

    That’s just not the case. Gutenberg as an editor is not a last minute thing, this has been in development with users for over a year. I’ll try to locate the timeline later after the coffee sets in.

    The point of the new editor, with feedback from the user base, is to move the ball forward. You’ve been using WordPress for a long time. The editor from version 1.5.1 (when I started with it) has had some improvements but essential was the same editor for a dozen years.

    That’s stagnation. The new editor is an attempt to answer the question “What can we do to improve the whole editing experience?” Is it perfect? Few things made by anyone is. But it is an attempt by people who are listening and who are taking in that feedback. Good feedback is important.

    It’s clear users only want Gutenberg to be a plugin.

    A plugin will never be a permanent and lasting change to WordPress. The point of a plugin is to let users try it before it becomes baked into WordPress. It was never going to remain a plugin because it is, by design, meant to replace the TinyMCE editor.

    The classic editor plugin is an intentional response to users who do not wish to switch at this time. It will be supported for at least 2 years. I suspect even longer and that too is by design.

    It’s a migration tool only, the real target for users is the new editor.

    Gutenberg as an editor is not a last minute thing, this has been in development with users for over a year.

    Gutenberg isn’t a last-minute thing. That doesn’t mean it’s a good thing that should be included in the core. If Gutenberg were in development for five more years, I still wouldn’t think it was appropriate for the core because I’ll never be convinced a page builder is appropriate for all, or even most, users.

    Or good for writing flow. Many long-form article writers first write in text editors (true, distraction-free writing, hah). Many of us also write fluidly with basic or even advanced HTML included. Whether we paste our finished work into the classic editor or Gutenberg matters little—unless Gutenberg breaks what we paste into it. Which was my fun little experience. I wasn’t surprised a page builder broke something.

    (In an effort to be fair, I just installed the most recent version of Gutenberg on a site, pasted a 3,100-word article into it, and, yep, it still breaks my work, both in the editor and the frontend. Just fabulous.)

    The point of the new editor, with feedback from the user base, is to move the ball forward… The editor from version 1.5.1 (when I started with it) has had some improvements but essential was the same editor for a dozen years. That’s stagnation.

    The old editor isn’t perfect. It could be improved. I’d love to see improvements. A page builder isn’t an improvement, however. It’s a paradigm shift. Clearly, the core team knows this or it wouldn’t have named the project after the inventor of the freaking printing press.

    The new editor is an attempt to answer the question “What can we do to improve the whole editing experience?” Is it perfect? Few things made by anyone is. But it is an attempt by people who are listening and who are taking in that feedback. Good feedback is important.

    When I ask why Matt & Co are refusing to listen to the community, I’m referring to the feedback. The feedback, as it stands, is that Gutenberg sucks. It’s gotten a failing grade. Moreover, there’s been no significant change in feedback over time. Out of the 30 most recent reviews, Gutenberg still has a failing grade.

    This says—screams, really—that Gutenberg isn’t ready to be rolled out. I would even argue it says the paradigm shift this new editor presents fundamentally misunderstands (1) why people choose the WordPress.org package over WP.com and similar services, (2) how people use the core package, and (3) how people write long-form articles.

    I get the impression that a lot of work has been put into Gutenberg, so much so that now, when the user base hates it, it’s been hard for core developers and decision-makers to admit this was a misstep. I get it. But shoving the misstep down everyone’s throats will not make people love it. That’s like marrying someone to “fix” a broken relationship. Marriage ain’t gonna fix it.

    I really pity you mods. There are going to be major meltdowns when 5.0 rolls out, and you must know it. Ready your caffeine and ban hammer. Tons of users, who already can barely use the classic editor, will be so confused by the “complex simplicity” of Gutenberg that they’ll be crippled. There are also going to be tons of pissed-off devs.

    The core team cannot say they weren’t warned. The foreshadowing is here in big, bold, highlighted print.

    A plugin will never be a permanent and lasting change to WordPress.

    Which is why the Classic Editor plugin doesn’t address the pushback from the community, and is, instead, a slap in the face. Which is why Gutenberg, which is hugely unpopular for many good reasons, but liked and wanted by a subset of the community, is better suited as a plugin.

    [The classic editor plugin is] a migration tool only, the real target for users is the new editor.

    So, conform or die over something that isn’t vital to content management, security, or theme development? See, I can’t recall a time in WP’s development history where it worked quite like this over such a major feature change. Maybe when Happy Cog came on board and changed the admin design eons ago, but I feel that’s hardly comparable.

    All of this speaks very poorly of future development. If this is going to be the attitude going forward, a lot of big players are going to consider, first, co-developing for a fork or another CMS and then, second, jumping ship. I sincerely hope the core team learns the lesson they’re going to be given when 5.0 rolls out.

    You can probably close the thread now, I guess. I’ve said my piece (and thanks for respecting that). I’ll go pop some popcorn now.

    Wow, I agree with @iamfantastikate 1000% & couldn’t say it better myself. I would like to know who made the decision that Gutenberg was “the best option for the editing experience”. I would love to see that data! I would pay to see that data!

    I’ve been building custom wordpress websites (100+ themes) for over 10 years now and as a custom theme dev, this is 5 steps back. Just my opinion and opinion of my 14 authors/writers!

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by  thinkDrew.
    • This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by  thinkDrew.

    Loving @iamfantastikate post & pretty much agree with everything said.

    I mean the reviews and chat about this mega WP change online are pretty damning. That said A business and software does need to evolve to stay relevant and I can understand the WordPress team looking over their shoulder at Wix etc and worrying about long-term user numbers.

    But I think they really really REALLY misjudged the core userbase of WordPress. This should for the foreseeable future be a plugin. (maybe even one that comes pre-activated by default)

    Or even better why not have two versions of WordPress, one non-dev version which has the new Visual Editor in and will serve people who just want to quickly set up a new site on the cheap (Wix userbase) & then a dev version which comes without it.

    Surely someone at WordPress needs to stop being so arrogant and stop this train wreck of a rollout and rethink their approach. Your alienating 70% of your userbase. Your literally driving your core user base to other platforms (hello Craft cms!)

    People who love Wix and such will stay on those platforms, their editors and way-way better than Gutenberg & have market dominance. All your doing now is making your current user base splinter into two camps.

    Having worked on over a 150 WordPress sites I am now shifting to Craft CMS in the new year.

    Such a shame Matt & whoever else have not looked at the history books and seen when a software or IT company do not listen to their userbase it ends badly. Look at that Snapchat update which lost them millions.

    Putting your heads in the sand and driving forward regardless is a ridiculous notion, you have an amazing an active community and your just going to ignore most of them.

    Completely agree with @iamfantastikate

    Your line “It’s gotten a failing grade. Moreover, there’s been no significant change in feedback over time.” speaks absolute volumes. The argument for such a long time now has been that thing will improve. The bugs will be worked out, usability will improve, etc. It’s clearly not the case. The 1 star reviews are pulling even further ahead of the 5 star reviews now.

    @zane99 and @iamfantastikate explained what I am thinking and many others, no need to add more.
    The only thing I would tell the WordPress Team that if Gutenberg will be continued as THE editor I will have to change to another CMS and so would the more than 100 websites with WordPress I made. My clients will demand that.
    Many will leaving WordPress and migrating to another alternative.
    Such a shame and waist of time and money.

    Last news to reconsider before leaving WordPress 5.0.
    Gutenberg not all accepted by the WordPress Team……
    https://wptavern.com/wordpress-accessibility-team-delivers-sobering-assessment-of-gutenberg-we-have-to-draw-a-line

    This is an excellent review by @iamfantastikate and I can’t find anything in either the review or her follow-up remarks that could rationally be disputed by any honest person. It’s a shame that it will be dismissed and ignored, just like all the others.

    jeremybooze

    (@jeremybooze)

    I agree with all of the above. While I don’t do code from scratch I use Thrive Themes… Probably the most advanced Drag and Drop Available.

    I don’t need a build in solution… Gutenberg should have and should be 100% optional as a plugin or (Pre-installed) not as a Core Feature. Adding this load to the core doesn’t make sense.

    It also broke my Gravity Form Generator… so now I either have to learn/hand type the shortcodes for GF or get an update from GF which is going to require me to spend another $200 plus dollars. Which I don’t have.

    I attempted to use the “Classic Editor” plugin, while it works on most of my sites one of my sites which is running quite a few plugins due to the complexity of my required functions it is now making my custom fields inoperable… so that is just great.

    What @iamfantastikate has said … I really, really, really dislike the new editor.

    Moderator Marius L. J.

    (@clorith)

    This is a 2 months old topic, and you are triggering email notifications without adding more value to the review.

    In light of this, and to avoid further email notifications, I’m closing this thread.

    The reviewer may freely update their review at any time if they so chose.

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • The topic ‘Been using WP for 15 years: this is one of the worst things to happen to it.’ is closed to new replies.