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The Gutenberg editor releases is this week. Are you ready?

WordPress Gutenberg

It looks like everyone’s favorite WordPress update, 5.0.1 which comes with the new Gutenberg editor, is launching on Thursday, December 6. It seems the decision is to coincide with WordCamp US so that contributors can be available to help with any problems.

The project has been pushed back a number of times for various reasons, but the consensus seems to be that it will go forward this time due to the timing of WordCamp US. Undoubtedly, the major players on the Gutenberg team and Automattic will be present and can monitor how updates go.

So, what does that mean for MainWP users? Glad you asked. We are going to dive in a tad to talk about this.

By now, undoubtedly, you have spent some time considering how this will affect your customers. Some of you may have tested Gutenberg and decided if you are going to use the new editor or install the Classic Editor plugin so that you don’t have any major glitches.

If you haven’t done much research, there are a plethora of resources available. I have attached a few below.

Old school typewriter
Update your classic editor

Problems with Gutenberg

I know the complaints about Gutenberg. Certainly, it has been a difficult process for developers to change course. We have adapted to the classic editor for years.

Basically, there have been three major concerns about Gutenberg. First, the concern has been breaking sites. So many existing sites are built around using the Classic Editor as a central part of the process. Along with the incompatibility with some of those sites, there is a need for Gutenberg to play nice with plugins.

The next major concern has been Accessibility issues. This came up a little over a month ago when Rian Rietveld resigned from Accessibility Team lead. She shined a light on glaring problems with Gutenberg in terms of Accessibility. Since that time, others have scrambled to make Gutenberg more accessible.

Finally, a large concern for Gutenberg is how Gutenberg has been developed, tested, and is being implemented. Read the comments in some of these articles and you will hear users talk about it being “shoved down our throats.” The feeling is that there has been little say from the community at large, one that is, at its core, an open-source community.

There are other problems with Gutenberg, to be sure, but these are three of the main problems that are routinely mentioned.

There are going to be things to work out which why the Classic Editor will be available from the first day that Gutenberg is implemented. It may be a bumpy road. That being said, there are some positives with Gutenberg.

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels
This guy isn’t developing with Gutenberg | Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Possible Positives

For some of you, there may not be positives for Gutenberg. I get it, along with the problems mentioned above, change is hard. When you consider some of the issues that have come up during this transition, you may want the team at Automattic to just do away with the project altogether.

However, once all of the issues are ironed out, I believe we will have a better content creating experience.

Recently, I chatted with a couple of developers who are pleased with the change regarding moving to Gutenberg for the WordPress editor. A better content experience is one of the reasons for their optimism.

Birgit Pauli-Haack

Pauli-Haack of the Gutenberg Times and Pauli Systems, LC told via email me in part,

Birgit Pauli-Haack
Birgit Pauli-Haack

Content Creators will embrace Gutenberg almost right out of the gate. It’s a joy to work with it. And it’s the easy to use editor many bloggers have been waiting for a long time.

The standardization of the so-called “mystery meat” of shortcodes, widgets, custom fields and custom post types is helpful for developers as well as content creators. The transition will not be entirely painless, and some configurations will need work arounds, like Classic Editor or Gutenberg Ramp plugins. There will be sites that will stay with the Classic Editor for a couple of years until the refactoring of a site’s architecture is complete.

Joe Casabona, Gutenberg Courses

Joe Casabona
Joe Casabona
Joe Casabona is the co-founder of Gutenberg Courses, a WordPress developer, and the host of How I Built It podcast.

One of the things that Joe pointed out in an interview was the need for more options in blog posts that make content creation a better experience.

. . .  So I think that Gutenberg is going to overall improve the content creation process. I mean another thing is like if you have I don’t know 10 paragraphs worth of content and then you’re like, oh well, maybe I want to move this pull quote up here.

You just drag a block so you can just drag the pull quote walk to where you want it to be now. . . . I think that creating content will be a lot better. I think it will create headaches for developers. But you know, what what evolving software . . .

Joe uses the example of how Apple Software makes changes and the developers have to adjust, but the end result is better for the users even if it takes a little pain to get to that point.

Resources for Gutenberg

The New Gutenberg Experience

Diving Into the New Gutenberg WordPress Editor (Pros and Cons)

WordPress Gutenberg Guide: How to Build Your Next Site With the Revolutionary Editor

Further, you may wonder how it affects your use of MainWP. MainWP team member Bogdan Rapaic posted an article about decisions the team took for the editor within the MainWP dashboard.

In short, they are keeping the classic editor for the MainWP dashboard.

Early in November, Sebastian Moran discussed how you can be ready for the big WordPress 5.0.1 release. It’s worth taking the time to read Moran’s thoughts on being ready for the new, major release.

Disable Gutenberg

With MainWP, there is an easy way to install the Classic Editor plugin to your child sites to be ready for the change. You don’t have to log in to multiple websites to install the Classic Editor plugin one by one.

Simply go to your plugins section in your MainWP Dashboard, search for the Classic Editor plugin, choose your sites, and install.

Install from to your MainWP Dashboard

You can also choose to use the Disable Gutenberg plugin which will allow you to use the Classic Editor when you have Gutenberg disabled. It’s a good alternative to the regular Classic Editor plugin, especially if your intention is to migrate over to Gutenberg at some point.

Wrapping it up

What do I think about Gutenberg? This was a question asked recently. I am optimistic, but I understand the difficulties the developers of plugins and themes will have moving forward. I am all for an easier experience for the end user in terms of creating blog posts.

I think the result is that content creators will create more rich and interactive content in the near future because it will be easier for them to do without calling a developer. I believe this will be helpful for keeping readers on their site, reading their content because it will be better, and eventually, it will help them increase conversions.

I am looking forward to being creative with content in the next year.

Sure, the rollout for Gutenberg should have been better executed. Maybe there could have been more effort to get feedback from the community and make sure the accessibility issues were eliminated before the release. I do know from experience, however, that if you wait until something is 100% perfect, you will never launch anything.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to log in to my MainWP Dashboard and make some adjustments.

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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