What If You Don’t Want to Learn the WordPress Gutenberg Editor?

With the newest version of WordPress came the new Gutenberg editor, which offer page builder-like options with many additional options to come.

Some of us have been using the new Gutenberg editor since before WordPress 5.0 became available. That’s because a separate Gutenberg plugin was made available months before the official Gutenberg rollout.

It gave many of us — myself included — the opportunity to “test drive” the new plugin and get an idea of what was to come.

Some liked it. Some didn’t.

Others felt that it has potential, even if it doesn’t seem all that necessary right that moment.

If you go to Gutenberg’s plugin page in the WordPress Plugin Repository, you’re immediately met with an ominous looking statistic: users have given the plugin 2 out of 5 stars. The majority of reviews, in fact, are 1-star reviews.

But you almost have to toss some of them right off the bat.

One of them, for example, read, “This editor is absolutely awful! Who approved this hot mess?” That’s hardly a review. It certainly provides no usable information. It seems like someone who just doesn’t like change.

The Gutenberg editor has gone through updates and bug fixes, but of course the reviews don’t take those into account. So some of the early complaints are still reflected in those 1-star reviews even if the problems mentioned have long been fixed.

Meanwhile, WordPress also offers a Classic Editor plugin that allows users who’ve upgraded to replace Gutenberg with the old editor they’re used to. (It, not surprisingly, has a 5-star review.)

How long can you use the Classic Editor?

That’s the big question, and the Gutenberg haters hope the answer is indefinitely.

It isn’t, though it’s not clear exactly how long you’ll be able to postpone the inevitable. WPTavern reported that WordPress’s Matt Mullenweg confirmed support for the Classic Editor will be available for “many years to come.” But how many is many?

Some sources say the plugin will be supported through December 31, 2021. That’d be three years.

That’s plenty of time. But if you’re going to prolong the use of the old version, I hope you’ll at least be spending a little time exploring Gutenberg.

There’ll come a time, after all, sooner than later, when the Gutenberg editor will be the only choice. And once that switchover happens, there won’t be a classic editor plugin to fall back on.

This is one of those situations where you have the option to delay adoption of the new editor. But just because you have the option doesn’t mean you should pretend the new version doesn’t exist. That’s only setting yourself up for failure in the future.

In the past, I’ve made clear my feelings about WordPress: there are numerous other platforms to choose from and some people have opted for alternate platforms they may feel are slightly more “user friendly.” But WordPress powers approximately 30% of websites.

I believe that no matter where you start your blog, WordPress should definitely be where you eventually end up. It’s the place where you’ll find the most support and the biggest community.

The new Gutenberg editor really isn’t as bad as the aforementioned negative reviews would lead you to believe. There are a few minor changes you’ll have to get used to, but that’s true of any revamping of WordPress.

The earlier you get used to the new editor, the earlier you’ll be ready for the future of WordPress. The future, we’re told, will have Gutenberg allowing you to create building blocks of entire sites, not just posts. If those predictions are correct, mastery of Gutenberg will be critical.

I’d recommend you go ahead and get used to it now. It’s where WordPress is headed, and honestly, I think the quicker you adapt, the better off you’ll be.

Have you tried the Gutenberg editor yet? What’s your biggest complaint?

1 Comment

  1. I don’t like the lack of flexibility. Gutenberg is also rejecting HTML codes to try to do something not in the Gutenberg options.

    I think WordPress would have been better off with something closer to a page builder, like Divi.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.