Web Development

Gutenberg is here! Or is it?

December 4, 2018 by Ryan Dunn

The founder and CEO of Automattic (the company that created and maintains WordPress) just announced a release date for the most anticipated WordPress core updates thus far. With the launch of WordPress 5.0 comes a completely different content editing system named Gutenberg. It will dramatically change the nature of writing, editing, and styling content within the WordPress CMS.

While Gutenberg has been available for testing as a beta/plugin for quite some time, the official release announcement yesterday (Dec. 3, 2018) comes just three days before the official release itself (Dec. 6, 2018). 

Brief overview of Gutenberg

With the rise of DIY website builders like Wix or Squarespace, there is a growing demand for “visual” website editing. With Gutenberg, the primary editor breaks away from the traditional text box and introduces “blocks,” each with a unique layout or purpose. Gutenberg blocks include items such as text blocks, gallery blocks, buttons, videos embeds, and more. Gutenberg aims to bring visual page editing to WordPress — the WordPress way.

Too soon?

With over 59 percent CMS market share, WordPress is THE content management system of the web right now (source: https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management/all). As with any major updates to widely-used software, there are going to be challenges upon release. That said, Gutenberg may not be ready for the limelight. As of today, December 4, 2018, the official Gutenberg GitHub repository shows 280 open support tickets. There is also some backlash in the developer community for its lack of accessibility considerations at the time of launch. Finally, developers like those here at Duckpin who have been using the Gutenberg beta/plugin to prepare for the update have noticed regular breaking changes during the development process. 

These issues are certainly worth the concern that is surrounding the upcoming release.

This time, we won’t be early adopters

At Duckpin, we’ve elected not to be early adopters of the Gutenberg editor and rather keep a close eye on its development in the coming months. While we pride ourselves on adopting new technologies and applying them to solutions for our customers, the risks involved in adopting Gutenberg significantly outweigh the benefits of the new editor. We hope to dive deeper with Gutenberg in early 2019 as Automattic works through the challenges of this release, and look forward to bringing an improved content-editing experience to our customers, when it’s ready and reliable. 

Not sure what to do about Gutenberg?Get in touch! We can help you make the right choice.