Issue #221

Sent to members on November 20, 2018

Ready for Gutenberg?

You may have been hearing about the new editor for Wordpress coming down the pike: Gutenberg.

I’ll be honest with ya… I haven’t tried Gutenberg yet on my own site. It’s on my todo list. But, I do keep my ear to the ground and, so far, it sounds as if the Wordpress community is rather averse to Gutenberg.

Judging from the low ratings on the Gutenberg plug-in, there’s still work to be done to make this something that people want. That said, I know there’s always that inertia and that fear of change that comes up and sometimes product creators have to make the executive decision. It sounds as if that’s what the Wordpress team is doing.

Like it or not, Gutenberg is coming.

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Now, if you are a light user of Wordpress or just use it for personal blogging, you’re probably going to adjust quite easily. But, if you have quite a bit built on top of Wordpress (as I do), then something as drastic as an editor change can be a pretty big deal. There are, indeed, numerous reports of things breaking or not being compatible with Gutenberg.

You can test out a demo of Gutenberg editor right here. As you can see, instead of just typing the text of a post, Gutenberg uses a “block” design. If you want to insert certain elements into your page, you insert a block. No more nasty shortcodes and all that.

If you wanna get a head start and try Gutenberg on your own site, you can install the Gutenberg plug-in and give it a try.

Or, if you wanna play it safe and keep Wordpress the way it is, install the Disable Gutenberg plug-in. If you don’t want to have to install another plug-in for it, then you can add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

add_filter('use_block_editor_for_post', '__return_false');

Either way, this will turn off Gutenberg so that, when you are upgraded to the new 5.0 version of Wordpress, you won’t have to confront Gutenberg. You control the timeline, not them.

For now, this is what I have done. I disabled it so that when I’m upgraded, my editor won’t change.

One final note…

You may wonder if Gutenberg is going to make landing page generators like Thrive Architect obsolete. The answer is a clear NO. And here’s why…

Once you begin to use Gutenberg, you’ll see that while it gets closer to a true visual editor, it is not truly a visual editor. The page is not going to look exactly the same in your editor as it will on your live site. Gutenberg actually reminds me more of a stripped down version of an old version of OptimizePress.

Now, over time, I imagine you’ll see more third party plug-ins for Gutenberg which will give it more elements specific to landing pages and marketers. But, for now, it’s a long way from that. And, just the fundamental way that Gutenberg is designed makes me think it will never truly rival something like Thrive Architect.

But, check it out. Look into it. And, if you want, proactively disable it.

But, don’t get caught with your pants down on it. Especially if you have your site set to auto-upgrade (as is the case with a lot of Wordpress hosting).

– David

Tech Talk

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