Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » WP Team Violates Important Principles

  • I Prefer A Guten-Free Diet …

    FIRST, I wish I could upvote other Reviews. I would upvote a LOT of the 1-stars. They have been VERY informative and confirmed some of my less educated suspicions and experiences with the new WP editor.

    My Basic Thoughts about it all — WP Gutenberg, that is — are from the world of Internet Marketing & User Experience:

    1. One of the principles of marketing is to make a REALLY big difference, you have to be willing to say the same old thing, over and over again, what feels like FOREVER, until YOU are bored stiff with it.

    Maybe the WP Team is getting bored with the Classic WP Editor?

    Too many marketers get bored with their message JUST about the time it starts to take hold in the marketplace, in the minds of the target market. JUST when they’re about to hit critical mass (say, 25% of website creators), they say, “Let’s modernize our marketing!” “Let’s change our logo.” or “Let’s <whatever>.” … And then, they LOSE their momentum because they changed their primary message or visuals JUST when it was starting to resonate with the mass market. …

    And with ALL those FREE videos out there by independent creators showing how to set up and be running & blogging with WordPress in FIVE minutes or less! Talk about a Great Message! Self-Publish your stuff with a 5-minute setup (and a few dollars a month for hosting) and VERY easy usage!

    Yet a Pro-Guten Diet person implied the Classic WP Editor was too difficult for too many people! Really? For WHO? With ALL those people writing their VERY first blog post after only a FIVE MINUTE install process? Something not much more difficult than operating Microsoft Word? Is it really THAT big of a challenge?

    The WP Team might be doing the SAME counterproductive thing. JUST when the mass market is starting to catch on, JUST when the momentum is about to hit high gear, and JUST when all of us “lower tech” people can publish our thoughts at will with almost NO resistance, WP is now changing the game? And throwing its momentum off in a — potentially — wrong direction?

    Maybe because the WP Team has gotten too bored with their own creation? And they are projecting their boredom out onto us WP Users who just want to type our words, maybe press the Add Media button a few times, and press Publish? Oh, and maybe make Yoasts little light turn green? All with very little resistance or even effort?

    2. Another principle from marketing & user interface guidelines (and the name of a book from a few years ago) is “Don’t Make Me Think!” The idea is to make the technology as invisible as possible so the creative & innovative process is NOT interfered with any more than necessary. …

    (Like when some “Creative Genius” decided to get rid of blue-underlining for links, and now we all have to drag our cursors all over the screen to find whether anything is clickable or not. That STILL bugs me to this day. Almost as much as these “Parallax” pages bug me. Call me primitive, but to ME, they are nothing but an irritating distraction.)

    So when I went into the new WP Gutenberg system, I could NOT make it do basic things I usually do without ANY effort at all in the Classic WP Editor. (Or even in TextEdit on my Mac!) I got hung up RIGHT at the beginning of trying to write a new post. … I was staring at the screen, then clicking around, looking for ways to do stuff that took NO thinking at all to accomplish with the Classic WP Editor. And I’m no dope (I hope), and the guy many of my friends look to to help solve their problems on Macs and WordPress.

    (I think it was formatting the Title block of the page that hung me up IMMEDIATELY. I have a particular style I use in all my posts and articles, and could not for the life of me figure out how to apply ANY custom formatting, let alone my preferred style.) …

    And it looked like there was WAY too much space between everything. And it looked like I could not embed images where I wanted them, either. (Someone suggested that using the right THEME would solve the spacing issue. REALLY? I have to switch themes to change my margins and spacing?)

    SOOO … MAYBE the editing solution is deceptively simple. Or are The Pro-Guten Diet Gurus making me — inadvertently, I assume — think too hard and slowing down my creative process? But I could not find the editing I needed. Maybe I’m just too dumb? Or the editing process is too deceptive?

    Is it good for the WP Guten Team to make me feel dumb? Is it good that I have to stare at the screen and guess several times to figure out how to do that which was dead simple on the Classic WP Editor? Will feeling chronically dumb give me IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? Or wold a Guten-Free Diet help that problem?

    Anyway, I guess I’ll be opting for the Classic plugin option, BUT I’ve read in some reviews THAT is really buggy too. And yes, I’ve been experimenting with SiteOrigin and Elementor, and yes, they are block based, but they are page specific and only ON when I want them on.

    So this whole Gutenous transition really bothers me. But I realize people like me have very little pull with Team WP because we are not Big Time Web Developers. I just HOPE it’s a lot more user-friendly when it comes out.

    But MAYBE you could wait till 6.0?

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Phovos


    You actually bring up a really good point – is this (relatively) sudden change going to completely screw up WordPress’s marketing, as well as the marketing and advertising and tutorials and work (and so on) of everyone who uses, develops and makes money off of WordPress?

    Moderator Marius L. J.


    Hi there, and thank you for those insights!

    I can definitely understand some of your frustrations here with using Gutenberg, especially when you are coming from the classic editor, where the entire flow is very different from what Gutenberg is laid out to be.

    Are there any approaches you think we could take to improve upon this, to make the transition easier on those that are already familiar with how things are today? If so, we would love to hear them, as this is an important part of the transition!

    As for the theme gripes you mentioned, themes that want to take advantage of the editor fully and change the styling to better represent the front-end will need to be updated, I’m afraid there’s no other way here. But I would like to point out, that the front end of your site should still be the same, the wider spacing etc in the editor is only our default styles for the back-end editor screen.

    For what it’s worth, every user has some pull, no matter what you do with WordPress. It may not always seem that way if your views go “against the norm”, but we do read every single review, and we do our best to respond to every single one as well.

    In closing, I would also like to tell you about Gutenberg Ramp, as you’d already tested the Classic Editor plugin. Ramp allows you to turn Gutenberg off/on for individual post types, (and can also be used for individual posts/pages, granted that’s a bit more complicated), giving you more control of what content starts off with Gutenberg. You also mentioned having some issues with the Classic Editor plugin, would you mind voicing those concerns over at so that they can be addressed?


    Well, I wish it wasn’t so. They DO sound sincere in their requests for input. But it seems Team WP Guten might be on the cusp of committing Professional Suicide. … Or Open-Source Suicide, anyway. … That way, they can openly share their demise mutually???

    I went to GitHub, as you mentioned. Even though I probably only qualify as an Advanced Newbie, even *I* can see a DIP (disaster in progress) coming down the pike!

    I only went through the titles of most of them, but I did read a few actual entries. This one was kind of fun:

    “For example, I try to add a featured image and it goes through the motion of updating but it never actually does.

    “To Reproduce
    [skipping a bit]
    4. WP Gutenburg says saving/updating, button does its fancy thing, and then it says done with a view post link
    5. when clicked changes are not made. …”

    I had to chuckle over “does its fancy thing” !!!

    Then I had to wonder how much time Team WP Guten is putting into making “fancy things” happen? I mean, the GitBub (sorry, *GitHub*) open entries go all the way back to FEBRUARY of 2017! And I assume most of these entries are by people who are contributing their time to “helping out,” right? How much time is this going to take?

    Although they ARE now down to 766 issues from 790!

    Now, e.g., I’ve just spent about 10 or 12 hours searching for a new Form Builder plugin after my old one (Fast, Secure Contact Form) got bought then the new developer put some malicious code in. So that plugin has been deprecated (thankfully discovered by WP plugin team) before it did any damage). And I’m not done looking yet! (I had no idea form builders were so varied in their features.) If it takes me this long JUST to find a form replacement plugin, THEN learn the ins and outs of that, HOW much time and I going to spend trying to get used to the new Guten Diet, a complete rebuild of the system?

    And how many of these many WP plugins I’ve got installed are going to have to be replaced or modified when Guten hits the bakery counter?

    Makes my stomach and brain hurt just thinking about it. I just don’t have the time to be one of the WP 5.0 Crash Test Smarties! (I did not want to be offensive, so I changed to *Smarties* from *Dummies.*)

    Anyway, Pursuit For (in)Justice, thank you for preparing me for what might be a trying time of poor digestion and injustices to all of us who just want to do our REAL work rather than be involuntary WP developers.


    Thank You for the Invitation to contribute, Marius! But I have to say, I don’t know how much I can contribute. I’m just not that tech-savvy on the backend stuff. You asked:

    “Are there any approaches you think we could take to improve upon this, to make the transition easier on those that are already familiar with how things are today? If so, we would love to hear them, as this is an important part of the transition!”

    I’ll get to that below, but FYI …

    The theme I’ve been using for a few years, Weaver Extreme, has already fully embraced Gutenberg for those who want to use it. They claim to have more fully integrated Gutenberg into the Weaver Extreme Theme than just about any other theme developer has. Yet even so, I cannot do ANYTHING except type words in the editing blocks. But I can find NO text editing tools AT ALL.

    Weaver Extreme has a number of sample pages demoing Guten on their website:

    Yet I am getting VERY upset. I don’t know how representative their demo pages are, but they are ALL these pages with “full width,” HUGE image, Parallax monstrosities I find almost intolerable to look at. Now maybe I’m overreacting and will NOT have to do so, but the idea of even MAYBE having to PRODUCE a website looking like that, with those kinds of full width, etc., elements, makes my stomach turn.

    I do NOT go to websites to sit in a mini-movie theatre and be “wowed” by huge images that are 90%+ WASTES of precious space and time. I go to get Information & Insight. Yet now-a-days, so often, I have to scroll down the page JUST to find out if there is any text on the page! So much for “don’t make me think” and “don’t make me scroll.” … It’s a Space / Time DISS-Continuum!

    I’m getting VERY concerned I’ll have very little control over such things.

    And THERE is another lesson from the marketing world. Some of THE most successful marketers ON EARTH use NO images at all, and just medium size headlines and subheadings, going right into long-form copy, using LOTS of text. They only use images when they are directly relevant to the message they’re writing about.

    I think the whole web thing got taken over by a bunch of Wanna-Be Photographers and Bells & Whistle Web Designers who are forcing their personal love of Big (often barely relevant) Images and these weird & distracting “Parallax” scrolling actions and whatever onto us who want to consume, or deliver, INFORMATION … NOT Pretty Pictures!

    As the great marketers tell us, a picture says a thousand words. They ALSO say, WHICH thousand words? You have to tell people which thousand by WRITING them. Sometimes, the pictures don’t tell you much. I find that to have become VERY true in recent years on the web.

    It’s probably the same people who got rid of blue, underlined links for “aesthetic” purposes. I’ll refrain from getting more specific on how I really think about those who imposed THAT “innovation” on the web industry.

    Now, maybe I can still — somehow — create the page-layout style I want with Gutenberg. But so far, I am NOT optimistic, and I have NO reason to believe it so. And after ANOTHER 30 minutes of mousing around on a New Page with Gutenberg turned on, I cannot find a way to edit the heading (title) of the page.

    I clicked on EVERYTHING, including into dead white space thinking MAYBE there’s a hidden link somewhere. (I read in one issue on GitHub that sometimes the colors of elements were too close to the background colors, rendering them nearly invisible.) But I found NO way to change the color, size, style, or anything. I tried to split the Heading on to two lines with Shift-Return (which I do easily in Classic WP Editor), but it just removes the space between the two words and jumps down, creating a new block of text. (I tried that half a dozen times.)

    ALL I can think of is WHY am I being required to waste precious time trying to reinvent web page editing? WHY am I going to have to be one of the guinea pigs?

    I’ve got several books & video courses on HTML and CSS I bought not too long ago “just in case” I ran into something I could not fix. And my very first websites were HTML coded by myself. But maybe I should go back to building a site in HTML and not have to subject myself to this “innovation” stuff except when I actually NEED it?

    It’s like when Apple killed the USB and Firewire ports on the MacBook Pro. *I* am still using a 2012 machine so I can still use my peripherals. (Works pretty well, so far.)

    Now, Team WP keeps saying we can use a plugin to bring the old classic editor back. Yet several dev people on this forum who are a LOT more tech-savvy than I are saying that does not, so far, work all that well. They say it’s “buggy.” I didn’t even try it. I mean, right now, all I have to do is deactivate Gutenberg, why spend time trying something that would probably be a false environment anyway, given that, most likely, it will behave VERY differently once Gutenberg is core? So my experimenting would probably be a further waste of my time.

    Right now, due to taking care of two sick, elderly parents FULL TIME, I have not worked in over a YEAR. Since my Dad passed away recently, I have a little more time now, and MUST get back to work ASAP as I ran out of money and would like to keep my hosting fees (and etc.) paid. But NOW I’m worried how much time I’m going to lose messing around with this “progress” thing Team WP has gotten so fixated on.

    E.G., I’ve been trying to find a replacement plugin for a Form creation tool because the very good one I was using got deprecated, and I’m wondering, HOW many plugins are going to have indigestion on the new Guten-Diet? HOW much time am I (and everyone else) going to spend searching for replacement parts — themes & plugins — for the sake of someone’s bad dream? … Or nightmare?

    (I still think Team WP got prematurely bored with Classic WP and got WAY ahead of themselves on this.)

    Frankly, I’m Highly Offended I even have to worry about this. Even taking the time (MANY hours so far) to read about and write a few posts on this seems REALLY not a good use of my time. Someone like me does not want to say useless or misleading stuff, but we are less educated. So we have to take a lot more time to make sure what we are writing makes sense and is based as much as possible in facts. I for one do not want to be complaining about something without being sure of my experience.

    But I have to think I’m not too far off the mark here. Especially when so many FAR more savvy people are saying Gutenberg IS a big problem, and it would be MORE than possible to have Gutenberg be the plugin and maintain the Classic Editor as Core.

    OH WAIT! It does NOT take a tech-savvy person to know that because we HAVE that! Maybe THAT is the “approach” we could take to solve this transition problem?

    We COULD just stay with what we have, and those who WANT the new system are free to switch to the Guten-Diet as a plugin and the rest of us can stay Guten-Free until we’re really convinced it’s NOT going to give us guten-induced indigestion, destroying our workflow, cash-flow or sanity-flow.

    HMMM??? … Preserving our customers’ workflow, cashflow & sanity? … GEE, why didn’t someone think of THAT?



    Hi David

    I concur with much of what you say – the current IT industry is chock-full of companies changing the way things work and creating waves of pain, confusion, and expensive re-training. The problem is always that the change doesn’t deliver any benefits – my Word documents can as easily (more easily) be written with Word 97 as Word 2016.

    The problem with far too many recent websites is that they are design-led. Designers have forgotten their audience, and are just showing how cleaver they are. They should have left that behind in art school. Most too, have no conception of typography and its part in design and getting the message across.

    I don’t do code either (30+ years in IT supporting hardware and then users, up to Director level), though our first two sites were html (with Dreamweaver). I’ve had to learn the rudiments of CSS so I can style where the theme or plugin doesn’t provide the tools. Which brings me to the underlining of links – I’ve discovered the UK’s Guardian Newspaper has this off to a tee … I’ve creatively swiped their CSS and use that on all our sites. It’s very smart, and doesn’t actually use underlining … I alter the colours a little to suit each site.

    If Guteberg is in WP5 core, all the sites I build and manage will stay with 4.9.x – I won’t use WP5 and then add to code size and slowness by using a plugin to get back to Classic.

    If it does prove to be the failure we both fear … there will probably be a fork, and WP5 could very well wilt on the vine.

    I so agree with your marketing perspective – a website is a marketing tool, not an end in itself.

    Best regards, David McCarthy

    Thank You for Your Response, @davidmcc3 !

    Glad I’m not alone on all this! I hate being a “negative person,” but this is too important to not call it like we see it!

    Best Regards to YOU, too!

    Moderator Marius L. J.


    So I had a quick read over your response (weekends are great times for catching up on topics 🙂 ).

    As for contributing without knowing how to code, that’s not a problem at all, it’s important to get different views on ideas for enhancements and flows, that helps i the decision making.

    As for your worries, most of them seemed to be about the visual styles of content. Gutenberg won’t force you to use this or that content as a must. The page you linked to is that one specific theme showing that they support various features. Many websites today need to convey things in a manner which the consumer wishes to consume, and that often does involve graphical candy spread throughout the pages. Of course this depends on what kind of content you are looking at. If you don’t wish to put in a full width cover image in your content, you can skip doing so 🙂

    I don’t think there was any other concerns I should address (If there were I do apologize for missing them), but I’ll leave with a mention of the page title editing, it’s at the top of the page, you should be seeing your existing title there.


    I tried on THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS to switch on the Gutenberg plugin and type in a Title then edit the font, color, line-break, etc. COULD NOT DO ANYTHING! Maybe it is because I have WP Edit Pro activated, which I paid for, and maybe it’s overriding the Guten Editor?

    EXCEPT, there is NO SIGN of WP Edit Pro on the page. So if it is causing problems, it is doing it while hiding in the background. I want WP Edit Pro BACK on my editing screen. So of course, after half an hour of staring, messing around, clicking around, etc, I just go Deactivate the Guten plugin and HOPE this situation is going to change DRAMATICALLY before 5.0 comes out.

    Otherwise, I am, it appears, soon to be dead in the water if I stay with WP.

    Given that I’m more of an Advanced User than a Developer, I want the simple, straightforward, “‘Don’t Make Me Think’ about the technology” editing layout. I want to focus on my creative process, on words flowing onto the page with minimal resistance from my tools. If a carpenter has to THINK about his hammer when pounding nails, his speed and accuracy will drop dramatically. His hammer should be in “invisible extension” of his arm, not something he has to think about. (And yes, I’ve swung a LOT of hammers in my earlier life.)

    I do NOT want to be constantly trying to figure out where things are, how to make them “appear,” and the other added steps apparently destined to be part of the WP “Experience.” WordPress should be “invisible” to me when I am trying to write, illustrate, and otherwise produce CONTENT because THAT is the name of the game.

    And I am so SICK of seeing these websites with these big, huge blocks on the page with all these huge images adding NOTHING to the intellectual value of content on the page. YES, when it is appropriate, an illustration can be VERY valuable. Sometimes many of them. But MOST of the images I see on websites these days seem completely arbitrary and just “there” for no real reason except some graphics person told them they needed to have lots of Big Pretty Pictures on the page.

    (I’ve been speculating that this whole “WP block editing” thing was the brainchild of some WP developer who’s infatuated with these big, pretty picture distractions.)

    Yet STILL, today, some of THE most successful marketing pieces are the old-style, long-form marketing copy with FEW or NO images, just several, sometimes MANY, pages of text, with headings, sub-headings, bullet points, and some colored text here and there. Sometimes, there IS an image, or several if useful, if it CLEARLY adds to the intent of the copy, rather than be the huge distraction most of these images seem to be. (Unless, of course, you are an artist, photographer, bridal source, travel to beautiful destinations, and other such businesses or hobbies. Then the pretty picture web page makes total sense.)

    But THAT should, in MY view, be part of the THEME selection, not have WP be dominated by the Core itself operating like a wanna-be theme. If I wanted all those “blocks,” well, that’s what I have Elementor for. (I tried SiteOrigin and did NOT like it very much.)

    And Developers are always talking about how code should not be bloated and run as streamlined as possible. I cannot see, nor do I hear, that Gutenberg is streamlined as far as code goes.

    Yes, I know there is a plugin that is supposed to override Guten. But that seems TOTALLY backward, with even MORE code to get glitchy, especially when the Comments in these Reviews appear to be running about two to one AGAINST using Guten as core to WP. And some say that override plugin IS glitchy. So it is not just MY imagination or lack of skill.

    So I fear the worst, and rather than doing what I SHOULD be doing, producing more content & marketing pieces for the re-start of my business, I’m “Content Paralyzed,” wandering around the internet looking for replacements for WP JUST in case 5.0 turns out to be the disaster some VERY experienced and knowledgeable people here think it will. Because I do not want to get my business relaunch rolling then get sidetracked or delayed having to do damage control and get a whole new learning curve going to have a simple content production interface.

    As I’ve said above and elsewhere, I prefer a Guten-Free Diet. If I want to experiment with a Guten Burger later on when I have time to kill, fine. I can switch on the plugin then. But right now, it is literally a scary situation from a business and sanity point of view.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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