DOTW: “Try Gutenberg”, Are You Testing, and Will it Break? (Participation = 3 Hero Points)

Last month we talked Gutenberg and many of you were *not* excited about the new post editor.

Some even said if it is integrated with core they will look for a new CMS. :grimacing:

With the release of WordPress 4.9.8 comes a callout asking users to “Try Gutenberg”.

It’s official. Gutenberg is now confirmed for delivery in version 5 of WordPress, it will be merged with core and blocks are the future of WordPress.

So, in this DOTW we follow-up:
1. Have you started testing or are you playing around with the new editor?
2. If so, did it break any styling or cause any conflicts?
3. Or, how long will you wait before making the move?
4. Bonus: If you absolutely hate Gutenberg and protest by leaving WordPress, what CMS will you choose? (Dark thought I know, you said it...not me)

Lots to chew on!

As for us, we’ll continue making the transition as seamless as possible – whether you’re an early adapter or you choose to hold out.

Want to try Gutenberg yourself before weighing in? You can sample the experience here. If you do update your site, make a backup and test before pushing to a live environment.

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-At least one comment = 3 Hero Points(must participate within 7 days of thread post date)
-DOTW = Discussion of the Week
-Last DOTW: HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WP RELATED JOB TO NON-WPERS?

  • Artemis360

    1. Have you started testing or are you playing around with the new editor?
    Currently playing around with it and testing it on a few existing articles. I'm being very cautious...

    2. If so, did it break any styling or cause any conflicts?
    Still testing. New articles are a breeze so far but testing on articles with some custom code is underway.

    3. Or, how long will you wait before making the move?
    No immediate plans yet.

    4. Bonus: If you absolutely hate Gutenberg and protest by leaving WordPress, what CMS will you choose? (Dark thought I know, you said it...not me)
    Probably will not switch over to something else. Will just have to adapt and overcome... or back to Joomla... NOT.

  • DigitalPowerups

    1. Have you started testing or are you playing around with the new editor?
    I made a couple pages. It's not that bad, nor is it something I'm super excited about. I primarily use Thrive Themes and Divi for my clients, and both don't seem to have any issues with Gutenberg.

    2. If so, did it break any styling or cause any conflicts?
    Honestly not a single problem. So far...

    3. Or, how long will you wait before making the move?
    If I have a project that comes up where I wont be using a front end editor like Divi or Thrive Themes, I'd use it. Change is a part of life people, Just do it!

    4. Bonus: If you absolutely hate Gutenberg and protest by leaving WordPress, what CMS will you choose? (Dark thought I know, you said it...not me)

    I don't believe people are actually going anywhere else. If they do they'll come back to WordPress, complain for a couple months, then it will be back to normal. Kinda like GDPR, it seemed like the world was ending for a month or two, now you don't hear anything. It's just a bunch or annoying cookie banners everywhere.

  • jetmac

    Ive been testing it and following it in Github for a while. Here are my thoughts...

    1. Have you started testing or are you playing around with the new editor?
    Yes, I have - almost since it's inception.

    2. If so, did it break any styling or cause any conflicts?
    I never had it break any styling that I could see, but I did have plenty of conflicts with plugins. Specifically, metaboxes in the back end would disappear or not function properly.

    3. Or, how long will you wait before making the move?
    I will wait as long as possible, and perhaps even never. While I really like the concept of "blocks", to the point that I feel it's likely the future of WordPress, I despise the actual writing/editing experience of Gutenberg. It is, for me at least, incredibly distracting to write in. Almost painful, in fact. The constantly changing interface, pop-ups, buttons, and the seemingly endless hunt for the correct "block" make it difficult beyond words. To try and cram such a complex editing and composition system into an interface as basic as "Medium" is simply the wrong choice. IMO, the Gutenberg interface should have been patterned after Google Docs instead of Medium.

    Also, there is the whole plugin situation. A tremendous majority of the plugins I use are not yet Gutenberg compatible, including the ones here at WPMU. Most themes aren't Gutenberg compatible, either. Switching to Gutenberg almost guarantees that a site will break in some form or fashion. That is just not a good thing.

    4. Bonus: If you absolutely hate Gutenberg and protest by leaving WordPress, what CMS will you choose? (Dark thought I know, you said it...not me)
    I doubt I will leave WordPress over this, but, in the nature of honesty, I don't see any reason to recommend WordPress over competitors. Even less so with Gutenberg. Why build out a website with WP and WooCommerce when you can do it in Shopify in a quarter of the time? Why build a blog with WP when you can have a better writing experience in SquareSpace, with less hassle setting up and getting started (though, truthfully, slightly more expense)?

    In going to Gutenberg - as it is now - I feel like WordPress is actually reducing it's appeal. It used to be very easy to create pages and posts with WP. I could tell clients "if you can write in Gmail, you can create a page or post in WP." What am I supposed to tell them now? "Look for the '+' button and go for it?"

    I like the "block" concept of pushing plugins/shortcodes/etc into more flexible and insertable packets, but Gutenberg's interface is not the way to implement it. I'll be installing the Classic Editor plugin on all client sites. I'll keep a testing site open for Gutenberg, but I honestly can't see any of my clients wanting this. There is a reason MS Office/Google Docs is not block based.

  • Jaxom

    I said in the last article that I was about to build a site for a new client and would be using the Gutenberg Plugin.
    The site was an 18 page basic site with a booking system for a Sports Training company.
    I had all the images and text ready and the layout sketched out to show how the client wanted it to look.
    This is a normal size project and something that should take a day to layout and complete and a half a day to tweak.
    I went into this with my fingers crossed and a hopeful attitude that using Gutenberg on a clean new build would allay my fears over what I have personally seen happen to existing sites with Gutenberg turned on.

    So after wasting 6 hours playing with blocks that: Vanish in front of you, suddenly change back to html because I had the audacity to insert a link, image blocks moving of there own accord, my really nice thought out page text being copied in and then randomly creating blocks to split up my nice text (that was the way I wanted it, if I wanted it split up I would have done it that way) it is about as intuitive to writing as a chisel and stone.

    I gave up at this point as It had taken 6 hours to build 3 pages!

    Revert to favourite page builder, 3 hours later site finished and ready to tweak tomorrow.

    Still not fit for purpose, regretfully, I was really hoping this time they had listened to feed back and improved the vanishing blocks and the ridiculous click plus to find anything but, no, it hasn't changed at all.

    Worse is the now almost 500 x 1 star reviews out of 850-ish and the attitude of the GB team hasn't improved either
    One admin commented on a 1 star review about not liking the default spacing with the blocks by answering, "Well, I Like it." Also reviews are being deleted by admins who don't like the bad review.
    I have commented on this attitude in the past on the GB Issue, it's a, "This Is Going to Happen Regardless of the Communities Feelings on it So Like It Or Lump It" this is not the right attitude to have in an open source project and if you want the communities input then listen to them and if you don't want our input then don't ask us to review it.

    No I won't be leaving WordPress for another CMS I will just install the new OVERRIDE GUTENBERG Plugin on all our sites and continue as before while wondering why Automatic put us through two years of crap for what is probably the biggest backward step in WordPress History.

    Jaxom

  • mpress

    1. Have you started testing or are you playing around with the new editor?
    I have tried it. Not enough to give deep feedback though.

    2. If so, did it break any styling or cause any conflicts?
    Not that I am aware of. It has worked the way it should.

    3. Or, how long will you wait before making the move?
    I do not want to make the move, but if this would be the only option I will need to :slight_smile:
    Point for me is that I have some really basic users, the way it works now to insert/change a post/page works good. But if you give them more options it will not make it easier...

    4. Bonus: If you absolutely hate Gutenberg and protest by leaving WordPress, what CMS will you choose? (Dark thought I know, you said it...not me)
    I have already changed to wordpress (from Joomla) cause this is/was more accessible to "normal" people... So if I need to move, I donot know where should I go...

    Cheers

  • kalico

    Definitely got educated by reading the last DOTW about Gutenberg. Yikes.

    I run a wp site for a small, but multi-national, non-profit organization. I built that site with my bare hands, and I am responsible for making sure it is stable and usable by our thousands of members. It is a BUSINESS website, not a toy. And I don't appreciate WP core devs treating it like one.

    My site is complex. It has a LOT of plugins -- far more than most would recommend. If something breaks, it's bad. Really bad. So I am uber picky about vetting potential plugins. On wordpress.org, Gutenberg has 2.4 stars. I would NEVER put a 2.4-star plugin on my site under ANY circumstances. (Nor even the 2.7 it had before the recent dashboard push.....Would anyone? )

    To answer the questions for this DOTW....
    1. Have you started testing or are you playing around with the new editor?

    No. Instead, I am contemplating the alternative plugin that disables Gutenberg and maintains the old editor. Hey at least that plugin has 5 stars! Although I fear that those 5 stars have nothing at all to do with quality or reliability (what if the plugin breaks? has a conflict? etc....) but rather with the glee people feel at having an option to avoid Gutenberg. (And seriously....we now need a plugin to undo a plugin that's being forced on us??? What kind of nonsense is this?)

    2. If so, did it break any styling or cause any conflicts?

    Only in my brain. O.o

    3. Or, how long will you wait before making the move?

    As noted above...not happening. I guess I might play with Gutenberg in a test site, just to see what it's all about. But on my production site, it'll be a cold day in....erm....California when I do that.

    4. Bonus: If you absolutely hate Gutenberg and protest by leaving WordPress, what CMS will you choose?

    Although I'm not one of those who said they would protest by leaving WP, this is such an ironic question in my case that I have to answer anyway. My company's website was being built in Drupal during my first year with the company, and I was brought in to manage it. (I had a decade of experience with WP but figured it's just PHP, right? Ha.) Since the site was brand new then, no one was even considering moving to WP, but I had hopes that one day it would happen. I managed that Drupal site for five long and torturous years. Now, we just spent the better part of the last two years rebuilding the site from scratch in order to get away from Drupal.

    I kinda wish I could make a strong statement like "I will leave WP altogether" but I can't. I love WP. I'm mad, but I'm not going anywhere. I'm also not using Gutenberg.

    • Joshua

      This is well articulated. For any complicated site (and that is for most of our members) Gutenberg is a bit more daunting. If you have a personal blog you don't really have as much to lose and the transition may only cost you a couple hours.

      Switching back to Drupal wouldn't help much either...did you see that someone built a module that ports the Gutenberg editor to Drupal!? Yes...I did just say Gutenberg on Drupal. :smiley: https://wptavern.com/first-look-at-live-demo-of-the-gutenberg-content-editor-for-drupal-8

      • kalico

        Thanks Joshua Dailey - to your point and mine about complicated sites, I just keep thinking about the professional business sites that use WP. Mine is small potatoes in comparison. Look at any list of "big companies that use WP" and you have to wonder, do they really want Gutenberg? Can any of them take a chance on Gutenberg breaking their theme? I'm sure they employ lots of developers who can work around it in ways I wouldn't even think of. But WP became a CMS instead of just a blog platform because of it's flexibility and simplicity and CHOICE, and not because of fancy features being forced on us. In fact WP has consistently held to the the opposite stance: if you want fancy features, install plugins and don't complain that WP is too "simple", it's that way for a reason. I don't understand the total shift in another direction.

        I also have to say that I know nothing about Gutenberg from any actual experience whatsoever. I'm sure it could be a great tool for new users, and they will probably love it. I mean, obviously you can't do much with the existing editor but....edit. And I'm sure that over time, folks will adapt. But I just don't appreciate it taking over and being the default. As someone else said, I promise that if I want Gutenberg, I will install it as a plugin. :slight_smile:

        Thanks for that link about Drupal/Gutenberg. It sounds like a big ol' ICEen-berg just waiting to crash the Titanic. :wink:

  • Zen

    I am an Upfront fan BIG TIME. I was shocked it had gone and I will not be a happy convert either. Thank God for Github. Personally, I thought Upfront was decent enough although I understand the need of the startup chaps who are on their way to mastery. For me though, you guys got me so talented with it and so trusting of it I am finding it very hard to work with less cognitive discipline. I love the logic, flow and feedback it gives. The options are all there too. Maybe it will come back and be supported once more. Maybe not either way - thank you so very much for such a fabulous and reliable editor.

    Z

  • Stephen

    1. Have you started testing or are you playing around with the new editor?
    I installed it on my Mom's blog and she loves it. She is a very active scrapbook blogger/teacher who started blogging in 2003. She loves it because she understands how the content blocks work intuitively.

    2. If so, did it break any styling or cause any conflicts?
    I have been fixing small bugs in their galleries and other things that pop-up but it's not that big of deal. Her site is built on an old version of Canvas by WooThemes so some visual bugs are kind of expected. I will probably redo the entire site in the future.

    3. Or, how long will you wait before making the move?
    For my personal projects? As long as possible.

    4. Bonus: If you absolutely hate Gutenberg and protest by leaving WordPress, what CMS will you choose? (Dark thought I know, you said it...not me)
    I'll just revert to building sites in notepad / table layouts / framesets. Bring back the 90's!

  • Tony G

    TL;DR : I'm waiting as long as I can, haven't checked it yet, but will in a few weeks and only as time permits (ROFL).

    My business is Research and Development ... "R&D" is in my company name. On one hand I need to research the next wave to see what I can do to monetize it. On the other hand I need to be careful about ROI and spending too much time=money on something that I can't use anytime soon. Like many others, this means I will wait for the big G (Gutenberg) to get shaken down and go through a few rounds of reviews and patches.

    I hate to say, but I took a gamble with Upfront and had the same experience that people are now having with G. I tried through a few point-releases and simply couldn't stick with it. I had to bail. I really hope G moves forward more quickly and smoothly.

    Most importantly we need to see what happens with plugins that we care about. I suspect a number of them will die in this transition. I'm reminded of the big shift from 16bit to 32bit systems, then from 32 to 64, and there was the big Y2K hullabaloo. In all of these industry-shaking transitions there has been a shake-out of software where the developer simply couldn't endure. So the software was just left to keep working until it couldn't, people moved on to current offerings, and the world kept turning. (Sure, for other developers these were non-events.)

    Unfortunately, on one side I expect that we will be at the mercy of developers who don't update their tools, while on the other side we will have the WP core insisting that our sites must use the new features. Disabling G must be an option. We can't avoid a major new release. This is where breakage will occur, and time will need to be spent finding and integrating new plugins and themes. Technically that may or may not be a challenge, but all of these sites have users who are familiar with specific functionality, and site admins will be compelled to handle that social storm of "why did you change it?" from their own user base (and management).

    Why would any of that stuff change? Why do developers need to adapt? Let's say you have a notification plugin which breaks in v5 and it might take months for the developer to fix. True, your notifications have nothing to do with this new UI mechanism, but if your UI is broke then the plugin can't be used and therefore that plugin will need to be disabled. Byebye notifications and whatever else you depend on because of this completely unrelated core change.

    We don't have much of a cushion, except for right now where v5 is still on the horizon. We need to take inventory of our software providers, find out who is working up to G and who is not, and try to find/test replacements and set end-user expectations before we are forced to respond to breakage after the fact. If these providers do become G-compliant, great, the research time will be wasted. I'd rather waste time looking for tools that I won't use than scrambling to find tools after sites have gone down. And I resent as much as anyone that this expense of time has been forced upon us, but if we get a better experience out of it on the back-end, in the long run I'm OK with it.

    If nothing else, my message here is - don't wait for things to break, be pro-active and plan for a v5 update where you may need to operate with different plugins or themes. Put up site notices to let people know that things are changing. If you have some verification that some feature is going to change, make a note of it (forums, email notifications, dashboard, anything). Provide a way for your end-users to contact you about things that might be broken (WPMU DEV Support System plugin?), and have someone ready to respond.

    Or put your heels into the ground and plan to run production on v4.9 without auto-updates until you're comfortable with your test environment.

    Or (hybrid) create an A/B site scenario where some of your users will use the latest version available, get their feedback, and only upgrade for the masses when there is more comfort than not.

  • Matthew

    Probably going to get some hate here :yum:

    1. Have you started testing or are you playing around with the new editor?
    Yes installed on one staging site first and then main site.

    2. If so, did it break any styling or cause any conflicts?
    Didn't break anything on the site for both staging (new theme update) and main site (older version of theme).

    3. Or, how long will you wait before making the move?
    I quite like the interface - however prefer WP Bakery page builder for building pages.

    4. Bonus: If you absolutely hate Gutenberg and protest by leaving WordPress, what CMS will you choose? (Dark thought I know, you said it...not me)
    N/A

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