Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » Like the concept, but should not replace tinyMCE

  • Hello 🙂

    So I installed this plugin on a dev site just to try out why in the name of God it had 2.5 stars. After testing it as much as I could and reading many of the angry reviews, I can say this:

    1. In general, I really like the concept. It’s one that has been in use for many years now by WordPress competitors. I also understand why you are pulling off such a solution. A market is all about competition.

    2. This functionality should definitely not replace TinyMCE or the “old” editor (or even make it to the core as it is). It just doesn’t cover many use cases on content edition scenarios that a simple TinyMCE covers really well. And the covering of those use cases are fundamental: they have made WordPress the successful platform it is. Thus, this editor should be an optional feature either in the “settings” section or as it is in its plugin state.

    3. Though the block composition is a nice metaphor and works for some cases, Gutenberg NEEDS to attend fundamental problems such as the very poor usability and not being user-friendly to ALL its users, not just wannabe millennial writers. The quote in the description from Matt is great and beautiful and inspirational, but this solution does not achieve the goal of the phrase.

    4. It needs to add support to custom fields and custom meta boxes, especially for plugins. Right now, I can’t do things like editing my SEO settings of a post using the plugin I like. Fortunately, those are design flaws that can be fixed rather easily if you invest time in them.

    As for improvements, I’ve seen this:

    1. copying and pasting content without having to create a block first is a must. Without this sorted out, this plugin is worthless
      • View in desktop needs a serious overhaul. Not everyone writes content in mobile devices (especially the most devoted, professional users WP do)
      • the content width is entirely fixed and does not help in editing.
      • The sidebar with the configuration options does not grow either and it makes it hard to edit content there, which will be a huge problem once it supports other meta boxes added by plugins, such as Yoast SEO (I double-dare you to edit the SEO settings of your post in a 279px wide sidebar).
      • it NEEDS keyboard shortcut handling. Otherwise, the number of clicks is doubled and the usability drops
      • Don’t hide the controls away. I like contextual controls but they’re distracting in a desktop. I would prefer a menu bar at the top that changes its options according to the currently selected context.
      • Many of the blocks need work in order to be usable, like unordered and ordered list. Many reviewers have already pointed out many of these problems so I won’t repeat them.
      • Blocks need a drag-and-drop functionality as well. The arrows work, but it just turns into too many clicks
      • In general, I think all text blocks should be “classic” text. It has everything I need, so why the others? Or even better: drop the “classic” text and make TinyMCE controls available to all types of text blocks.
      • Why using a carrot icon for the verse block? just curious…
      • I cannot drag-and-drop an image and insert it into the content
      • I cannot paste an “embeddable” link like in TinyMCE without creating a block. I know this one is tricky, but not impossible
      • There are no controls for font size and predefined styles, except in the classic text
      • the “insert” popover widget needs navigation helpers, like links to jump to a particular block type. In fact, I think a modal window would work much better here, like in visual composer or PageBuilder by SiteOrigin
      • the core WP widgets are not included. I think you should have started from those in the first place. I say this because I find many similarities between Gutenberg and the LayersWP theme. LayersWP leverages Widgets in a beautiful and practical way (though not very portable). With this, the cognitive blocking on building extensions to Gutenberg would be utterly removed.
      • Shortcodes are also not included. I think Gutenberg would greatly benefit from the Shortcake plugin by Fusion Engineering
      • the experimental table of contents should have links that take me right to that part of the content
      • Automatic markdown parsing into blocks would be nice for power users. You would just paste in your Markdown and everything is converted to blocks. I write a lot of content in markdown, so it’s a feature I’d like
      • As for the generated output: why using HTML comments to delimit blocks? This makes the whole thing unscalable. Though not the best solution, shortcodes are good for this (if done right, not like Visual Composer)

    What has shocked me the most is the very destructive, pointless and mean reviews I have read. If you’re not able to articulate suggestions and solutions to your many well-founded concerns, then you guys are the problem.

    I am not going to be as fatalistic to say that if this goes through, I’ll ditch WordPress (and because there’s nothing as good as WP at the moment, to be truly honest). This plugin has the strange characteristic that all revolutionary things have: it can make or break the whole platform. And as of this moment, it is not quite right in the right direction. But Geez, even Apple has been able to emerge victorious of situations like this, so you can do it too.

    Anyway, I think it’s a good plugin for its use case and has the potential to become a feature that will make WordPress even more awesome… Just don’t shove it down everyone’s throats by force (like Apple and its 4 good-for-nothing USB-C ports on a laptop targeted at professionals).

Viewing 1 replies (of 1 total)
  • Plugin Author Joen Asmussen


    Thanks so much for your thoughtful review. I’m glad you’re able to see the vision for what we’re trying to do here (see also our FAQ, and our design/vision document at and

    We’re not replacing TinyMCE, TinyMCE still powers almost every text field. You can also insert the “Classic Text” block, to get an editing experience that’s virtually the same as to the current editing field.

    On a meta note, though, we are aware of how widely used WordPress is, and how customized it is by people. We don’t want to break any of that. We want to offer a path forward to a better interface in the future. But in the mean time, there are many options we can explore for how to roll this out, including letting you opt in to Gutenberg.

    Many good ideas here, some of them tracked already, others not. Feel free to also give your input on our Github,

Viewing 1 replies (of 1 total)
  • The topic ‘Like the concept, but should not replace tinyMCE’ is closed to new replies.