What is Gutenberg WordPress Editor and Should You Use it?

Gutenberg WordPress Editor

If you are a part of the WordPress building community, you would have to be living under a rock not to have heard of Gutenberg WordPress editor by now. Yet, when WordPress 4.9.8 came out those that updated their site that might be keeping up more with their business, than the happening of the WordPress community, noticed a section in their dashboard that stated “Test the new editor today. You can take Gutenberg for a spin (and share your feedback, if you’d like) before we officially release it, by installing it as a plugin. You can help by testing, filing bugs, or contributing on the GitHub repository.”

So what is Gutenberg? The Gutenberg WordPress editor is a new page builder that is being designed to integrate with WordPress Core. In other words, if you are familiar with page builders such as Divi and Beaver Builder, it’s WordPress’ attempt to put something of that caliber into the core, turning the default page editor from something that looks like you’re typing in Word, to a drag and drop page builder. How does Gutenberg Work? Gutenberg employs a number of ‘blocks’ you can use to customize your content and layout in the editor.

Their goal is to have it ready and fully installed into WordPress 5.0. So the question comes down to: should you use it?

In full disclosure, I have not tried Gutenberg out yet. And I don’t think I will for some time. I have followed the history of Gutenberg which you can find here https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/handbook/reference/history/ . What I have seen so far is that Gutenberg has been a trouble to build. Not all the bugs are worked out and that is why as of the current release, it is being offered as an add-on. I have seen the release date keep being pushed back as they find new errors and fixing bugs in the system.

In saying all of this, that does not mean there isn’t hope for Gutenberg or you should never try it. It is a good thing they are working to change WordPress’ default page editor, considering it pretty much looks the same as it did when I got heavily into WordPress in 2012. That was 6 years ago!

If you’re a small business owner who has an in-house designer or tried to maintain their site and add to it on their own, my advice is this: Gutenberg has promise, but it is far from perfect and not complete. Even when released in 5.0, I suspect there still will be issues. If you are comfortable with another page builder, I would stick with that for a bit. Let Gutenberg mature a bit, when they have spotted any release issues and have fixed those issues, then try the Gutenberg WordPress editor. I have hope for it, but I would not bet my business’ website on the first major release.

Chris Hughbanks is the owner of Hughbanks Design and has been involved in WordPress since 2012.