Geeky Nerd Stuff

WordPress 5 and Gutenberg

They make it sounds astounding, a new fangled invention that will revolutionize our blogging experience, like, wow, they just re-invented the wheel and made it SQUARE!

So that now, no one can use—let alone WANTS to use—Gutenberg.

It’s chunky, clunky, clumsy and unintuitive. And after years of everyone using what is now laughingly referred to as the Classic Editor, we’re expected to switch from an editor that works perfectly, to something that leaves everyone sobbing with frustration. The only people who think Gutenberg a good idea are those venerable closeted folk at WordPress, with (apparently) nothing better to do than constantly tweak, change, and frustrate the rest of us because they can. Like the idiots who go clime Mount Everest because because it’s there.

So why am I mumbling on about WordPress and Gutenberg? Because I’ve read so many posts this December of horror stories from unprepared bloggers whose websites upgraded automatically to Gutenberg, and found themselves floundering in a vortex of doom. No one in their right mind wants to spend hours learning a new tool when the old tool worked perfectly well.

I for one, have not upgraded. I disabled the auto upgrade on all my websites in preparation when I first started reading news that WordPress was trying something new. New? New doesn’t mean better. New doesn’t mean easier or convenient.

All that said, however, I know (in part) why, I think, they’re going this direction. The cost of themes. Anyone tech savvy enough will, we are told, be able to create a website to suit their own needs and style individual posts, with distinctive layouts, using Gutenberg. And without the need to buy and use an expensive theme, which still might need tweaking. It’s all about offering that ability (supposedly) to create which is all well and good. But I don’t need a stylized post to blog about my latest book review. Do you? No!

And so, I wait. I don’t want to upgrade and regret later. I don’t want to have to download and use the Classic Editor, I have that already. And now, worry that Gutenberg is going to be forced on us with subsequent upgrades. Meaning, so many of us will be running sites using older versions for many years to come. And, in the end, is that a good thing? Will we miss out on necessary security upgrades because we’re still running a pre-WP5 version?

I guess, like many, I will just have to wait and see how this all pans out in the coming months, and hope this isn’t going to end up being one nasty debacle in 2019.

And you, dear reader, have you upgraded, and what was your experience?


  1. Is there any news when we’ll be forced to use the new editor? I have a free WordPress template and I’ve simply ignored the try the new one here button so far 🙂 I’m not the most adventurous type :-).

    • Alexandra says

      All I’ve heard is the backlash, like most, about the adoption of Gutenberg, or the lack thereof. As most bloggers seem to hate it. So maybe the WP crew will relent and allow us ordinary bloggers the permanent option ofnsticking with the Classic Editor, Inge. I hope so.

  2. I also haven’t tried the new thing. Haven’t even seen it, but based on what everyone says, i’m not even remotely curious 😀

    • Alexandra says

      Be advised, if you do upgrade WordPress to the latest version, and don’t want to have a lot of hassle, then download the Classic Editor plugin first, and activate it straight away. Then upgrade, so that nothing actually changes in your posts editor.

      • Ah, good to know. I have the “premium” version, so i can’t use plugins. I think i just need to make sure i never switch to this new thing!

        • It’s sort of okay to switch up i you install the plugin first. But I really don’t see the point. If they go all out then maybe we might not have a choice. I’ll wait and see.

  3. Well Alexandra I agree with you on them forcing this upon us. But having an IT guy as a hubs I also know that if you don’t upgrade you have security risks after some time.
    So far I don’t think that’s the case with WP5 who is more a “make up” than “fixing security issues” update.
    To avoid all disaster my hubby set up that clone site (local, on my computer) and I first downloaded the classic editor. Then looked if it had an impact. Then updated to WP 5.0.2 and also looked if it seemed to run smoothly. Nothing was changed thanks to the plugin and I made the move.
    Will I deactivate the classic editor plugin?
    Maybe not. Maybe never.
    It depends if future themes designed for Gutenberg are better than our current ones and if I am convinced it is worth it.
    In the meantime I will test new themes on my clone and see if I want to change things or not.
    My advice with WP 5 would be: look at the logs of the releases and see if it fixes security issues existing with the current version. If it is then download the Classic Editor Plugin and make the move.
    Because we shouldn’t joke with security! Now as long as it’s only cosmetic ….

    • This is what I thought, Sophie. It’s almost a necessity to *have* to upgrade for security reasons, but I’ll still wait till they’ve ironed out the kinks in Gutenberg and everyone’s problems. Especially as I see there is already updates to the upgrades.

      And yeah, if our themes work okay, then fine. But I’m sure further down the line, there will be more tweaking.

      Anyway, I did what you advised. I tested out WP5 on a clean install, locally, and tested it with my current theme (with the Classic Editor) and everything seemed fine. I know a few have had problems with setting a gallery, but that might be their themes not playing nice. As you said, Gutenberg is about the post editor, and letting people do more elaborate posts. Though I think they’ve got it wrong.

      I think people want to do that with PAGES not posts. Posts per se are generic, and only need words and images. Pages, however, thinking in terms of *true* magazine layouts, want customizable pages, not posts.

      Anyway, like you, we need to just keep an eye on what the developers are doing, and see how it will affect us later on.

  4. I’m completely oblivious to this but the hippie is me feels immediately irritated by having anything forced upon. My WordPress crashed 5x yesterday. Not sure if it’s due to the upgrade but it never did it before…

    Thanks for bringing it to me attention, I’ll dig around a bit to see if I have upgraded / what’s going on.

    • Unless you tend to follow WordPress and techy news, Vera, most people are oblivious. They didn’t really announce it to everyone. And as it’s supposed to be a new post editor, it’s really thrown the cat amongst the pigeons because it’s what we all use daily. So radical change isn’t always good, or necessarily best.

      And if your theme isn’t playing nicely with the change, that could be why it’s crashing. Try installing the Classic Editor plugin, and see if you have further problems. And if you need any help, just ask.

      • Thanks Alexandra, that all makes sense. And thanks for your help, really appreciate it! ❤️

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