Guttenberg is Too Hard | The New WordPress Editor

WordPress is rolling out their new editor soon, and they’ve added all sorts of new features.  In just a little bit, they will be including it in their full release.  Right now, they are just testing it by allowing you to add it as a plugin and play around with it.  So, I decided to play around with it on my site and tell you about it.

This article that I’m writing is me playing around with it to see what I think about it for my clients.  My initial response is that it is “a lot harder” mainly because it has more features.  The old or “classic” editor was simple.  It had just enough features to make your page look good, but not so much that it was complicated for the basic user.  My biggest concern right now is that my clients (who are all general users) will find this very confusing…  I am hesitant to add it to their sites, but may not have a choice in the long run.

Pieces of Note:  The New BLOCKS

Here’s the first edition that is a great addition, but almost too much.  They’ve added a “+” (plus symbol) in the top left corner that has a ton of options you can now add like “blocks”.  These blocks can organized (reordered) so you don’t just have a big text box editor anymore.

Look at the image below to see some of the options.  It’s a rather long list as you go down the slidebar…

You can type normal text as a new block (called “paragraph” – why the heck didn’t they call it “text” or “text block” – duhhh…) as you used to be able to do, but now you could also do something like add a new “image” block, picture “gallery” block, bulleted “list” block, etc…  Some great features, but not as easy as clicking on an icon on the toolbar.  And, some of the options are named things that I don’t even know what they are without clicking, adding, and playing…  Can we say, “Confusing…!”

Way Too Many Options on the Taskbar

Guttenberg has also expanded the standard options on the right side of the editor too.  Unfortunately, they currently do NOT have a way for me to customize what is seen (that I can find).  It is WAY TOO MUCH for the basic user. 

In the past, there was a simple dropdown in the top right corner called “Settings” that allowed me (the web designer) to clean out the options on the editor page. I slim it down for my clients to “simplify” their experience.  Too many options scares regular people.  The options are all in there, but I take out things that would confuse them and break it down to what they will naturally use each time they come in to work on their content.  

Look at this Taskbar and tell me it isn’t too much.

So, for example, if my client doesn’t have “comments” activated on their site, I removed “discussion” because there will be no discussion.  I can’t do that anymore and so this is one more confusing item my clients are going to say, “What the heck does this do…?”

Do any of you know what “Shared Layout” or “Title Control” is…?  I do, but I don’t expect my clients to ever touch it.  So, I remove it.  I won’t be able to do that anymore now.

In Conclusion…

In conclusion…  I like the concept of what WordPress is aiming for with Guttenberg.  They want their editor to be more powerful.  But, they haven’t gotten it USER FRIENDLY yet.  They don’t give me the web designer a clear way to simplify things and the options are in confusing places.  They’ve broken the wheel of simple editor and didn’t keep to their own standards.  For a web designer like myself, more options are great.  For people who simply want to post a quick article with a picture – this is WAY TOO MUCH.

If I add this, I’m in for tons and tons of Tech Support Questions.  If I don’t, then the software is falling behind…  WordPress is going too far.  They are violating my “Techno Babble” rules that make things too hard for a normal person to use.  Sigh…  I’m not sure how to handle this yet, but I’m not happy about the new additions.

Simple really is better sometimes!

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