A few months ago, WordPress moderators were still replying to even the most yelly one-star Gutenberg reviews with their chipper tone that sometimes bordered on patronizing or pedantic.
I’m not saying I could do it better. I probably wouldn’t have replied to anything from the start, so horrified by the pitchfork reaction to my creation, and it seems now WordPress moderators have all but conceded defeat. The outpouring of negative feedback continues to flood the reviews section, but replies to recent posts are curiously in scant supply.
Here’s one of my favorite lines:
“This plugin is fucking awesome!”
Wait, sorry that is a review from the Disable Gutenberg plugin. A plugin that disables functionality of WordPress core has inverted ratings from the functionality itself. Amazing! You can see it for yourself by comparing the two screenshots.
Here are the Gutenberg reviews
“Dear lord, how I hate this thing”
Altered syntax to get the point across always makes me chuckle.
“I am also becoming worried that plugins like WooCommerce is starting to ask for side plugins to talk to Gutenberg in websites that don’t need this resource. Thus, inefficient.”
Connector plugins to help other plugins talk to a plugin turned core functionality. Clear as mud.
“If I could give it zero stars, I would.”
This comment pervades everywhere. I’m tempted to create a new reviewing system that allows for zero stars.
“This garbage is make unusable my whole site!”
Words like garbage and trash frequent the reviews threads.
“If i downgrade the whole site to an earlyer version, all the other plugins is broken becouse this plugin is edited somehow any plugins….now i and my cliens cannot see a normal website, just a garbage. Just full of garabage.”
I’m imagining this person, so angry, he’s choosing write in English, furiously tapping away at his phone’s screen before hitting the gym and letting out all his/her leftover rage on the spinner.
“My life, since 5 launched, is a stream of clients begging me to get rid of ‘the awful new thing you cannot call an editor because it is unusable.’ Is this the release people will write about in 5 years in ‘Remember WordPress?’ articles?”
Tech moves fast, but 5 years is a little soon to be asking, “Memba’ WordPress?” when the application currently has 51% marketshare among content management systems, which translates to 27 million active websites. But if it happens, I will definitely pen such a post from my…Bitrix?…blog site. I don’t even know of a serious alternative. We have to remember that many CMS apps can match WordPress in code step for step (I actually prefer Drupal), but none have the massive community behind it.
“’Block builder’? The heck is even that? Whole thing is half-baked, unusable, borderline insulting for anyone dabbling with even part-time web developing.”
“Too much effort to adapt to users who do not know anything.”
It’s abundantly clear to the developer community that WordPress has targeted power users from Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, and other drag and drop type applications. Will this play out in the
“It’s as if the people in charge of creating it never actually used WordPress.”
A damning critique worse that throwing around four-letter words is to accuse the maintainers of the code are not themselves passionate end-users of the product.
“This is obviously the ‘New Coke’ of WordPress and could be an equally disastrous failure.
Full disclosure, I like what eventually became Vanilla Coke. But I would get sick of it all the time. That’s why the option to go back to ‘Classic’ is so important.”
This metaphor holds up better than most. I love my Vanilla Coke, but it’s not taste neutral. It’s there for when your taste buds want a little something extra.
And Now, for the More Practical Critiques of Gutenberg
“Nothing is intuitive. Even after you get past the learning curve, doing the simplest tasks are impossible. Want to add an image? You have to get your cursor just perfect now instead of the old way of just loading to the media gallery. Want to cut and paste text? Screws up formatting. Want to cut text from WP and paste externally, pastes a tone of garbage commenting/classes.”
Taking the learning curve out of the equation, Gutenberg’s UI really does seem more tedious than it’s worth to write simple blog posts.
“What really killed it for me was that even after learning my way around Gutenberg like a pro, it was still much slower to write a post than using the Classic Editor…doing a preview on a post in Gutenberg takes at least twice as long to process as with the Classic Editor.”
Time is money. We don’t have the time to disparagingly watch the spinner as the page struggles to load after saving a draft.
If you’re a blogger, there’s no way to develop an efficient writing flow with Gutenberg. And if you’re like me where you have non-technical clients writing their own content, you can forget anything but the Classic Editor for them. My selling point with WordPress to my non-technical clients was always, ‘If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress’.”
Though it does not have all the bells and whistles, a clear consensus has formed from the reviewers that the classic editor is free of distraction and obfuscation. Many users compare the classic editor to Word. It’s relatively painless to produce content in Word and copy it into the copy editor.
Another reviewer compared Gutenberg to Publisher. Gutenberg is great for certain activities, but forces authors to write in small, confusing bites. Two different tools for two very different applications.
“I might still use Gutenberg for static pages because it does have quite a few options that might be worth the headache – but only on pages that I don’t have to change very often.”
This is the best use case for most visual/block builders. Rarely do I have a blog post built using the Divi builder or a page built using the Classic Editor.
“When i edit any post, page or anything in my site, when i begin the save process, this app make double anything..double rows, double chars…”
Not terribly efficient frontend interface or backend. What’s the highlight again?
“…Someone will either fork WordPress and return it to the way it needs to be, or people will leave WP in droves for something more intuitive with less clutter and distraction.”
There’s already a fork of WordPress without Gutenberg. Whether or not it picks up steam remains to be seen. But that’s always a possibility when you have open source code.
“TL;DR? We tried it, we disliked it. It’s a complete and dismal failure.”