Well, it’s appears to be official. WordPress 5.0, code named Gutenberg is scheduled for a November 19 release. In earlier posts, we examined this significant update, and its effects for WordPress users.
Supporters of the new Gutenberg editor like it for the following reasons: Gutenberg represents much-needed innovation to keep up with other website builders. There are a number of Page Builders like Divi, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Oxygen, Visual Composer and others that offer drag and drop page layout. Formatting of individual content Blocks can also be easily perform without shortcodes or custom code. Some like that it is made with a more modern underlying code structure. Again a much needed update.
However, there are many detractors. Their reasons include a lack in backward compatibility. There is concern that it may cause sites to break, or cause the User to have to go through additional training on how to use it. Many developer will say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The actual Gutenberg Page Builder requires several extra steps or clicks to perform simple functions. When every Heading, Paragraph, Image or other content becomes it’s own separate Block, you could have a page made up of 5-20 Blocks, each with their own formatting options. This is great for granular formatting, but most Pages and Blog Posts are still relatively simple. A Heading or 2, The Body Text, and Image or 2, maybe embedded content like a video. In some Page Builders all of this can be part of 1-3 Blocks.
For our web development projects, we have been using Beaver Builder, Divi and a few of the other Page Builders for several years now. The reason is that we can build, beautiful designs, quickly and with the ability to make on-page changes without bringing in one of our developers to write or alter the code. This significantly reduces the cost of building and maintaining a website. This means that our clients budget can now be utilized for better SEO, eMail Marketing, Mobile-First design or other important functions that can yield better results for them.
Our position on Gutenberg is that we will Deactivate it and continue with the process that has worked for us and our clients. We will continue to monitor the evolution of Gutenberg and continue to experiment with it. If and when it becomes a more viable alternative, we will discuss those options with our clients.
A Warning Regarding Gutenberg
Many of the top hosting providers will be automatically initiating the upgrade to WordPress 5.0 on November 19. As we stated some sites could break. Certainly, the back-end User experience will be different. Be aware of these potential changes.
If you are on one of our Monthly Care Plans, there is no need for concern. We have you back. Your site is backed up daily. We have multiple versions of backups. We will be disabling the Gutenberg Plug-in and well as installing and Activating the Classic Editor Plugin.
If you are not currently on a Monthly Care Plan, and are interested in re-visiting the benefits, contact us.
If you lose some functionality on your website, we will be available to assist on a first-come, first-serve basis. There may also be additional Priority Service charges.
Ultimately, the Gutenberg update puts WordPress on a better path for the future, but it has a lot of catching up to do before it can compete with some of the more advanced Page Builders.