It’s been a while since WordPress released the block editor, aka Gutenberg editor. Since its inception, a lot of WordPress users were skeptical about the editor.
But eventually, more and more people are adopting the block editor. Like everything, it’s not perfect. It has pros and cons.
We have invited 21 WordPress experts to share their thoughts on the block editor. They have shared what they liked and didn’t like about the editor.
- Adam Connell (Founder of BloggingWizard)
- Alex Panagis (Founder of ScaleMath)
- Andy Feliciotti (Co-founder of SmartWP)
- Ben (Founder of LayerWP)
- Ben Pines (CMO at Elementor)
- Ben Sibley (Founder of CompeteThemes)
- Brian Jackson (Co-founder at forgemedia)
- Charlie Livingston (Founder of aThemes)
- Dhiraj Das (Founder of BeginDot)
- Harsh Agrawal (Founder of ShoutMeLoud)
- Ivica Delic (Co-Founder of Freelancers Tools)
- Jerry Low (Founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed)
- John Whitford (Founder of Income Mesh)
- Lars Lofgren (CEO at QuickSprout)
- M Asif Rahman (Founder of WPDeveloper)
- M. Munir Kamal (Founder of GutenbergHub)
- MaAnna (Founder of BlogAid)
- Muhammed Moeez (Founder of WPBlog)
- Mustaasam Saleem Ansari (Community Manager at Cloudways)
- Nick Adams (COO at WP Buffs)
- Ryan Robinson (Founder of Ryrob)
Let’s see the experts’ opinions.
Adam Connell (Founder of BloggingWizard)
Let me start off by saying that the Gutenberg editor is far from perfect and I completely understand why some people have reservations.
But what I love is that it’s the part of a grand transformational vision of what WordPress can become – a full website builder.
Sure, it has a long way to go but it’s well on its way. My team and I have found it to be far easier to use than the classic editor and it has saved us time in the long run.
For example, reusable blocks make it easy to add elements and update a single element across an entire site. More complex design elements are easier to add and change without relying too much on shortcodes.
And Gutenberg usually cleans up the messy span tags when copying our content over from Google Docs.
That said, there are definitely still issues. Simple content is sometimes more time consuming to add and it’s a new system to learn.
Performance for longer posts can still be an issue. For example, we recently published a list of 100+ blogging statistics and while editing we did notice the editor start to slow down a bit. But it did have 420+ blocks, 7200+ words, and many images.
Clearly, there is a way to go for Gutenberg yet but overall – the positives far outweigh the negatives (at least for us). And, I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the ecosystem around Gutenberg continues to progress.
Alex Panagis (Founder of ScaleMath)
Personally, I am a huge fan of the new Gutenberg block editor and all of the opportunities that it has brought to WordPress. I understand that it has made some aspects of developing and extending WordPress more complicated than it used to be, but overall I would argue it was still a positive change.
The introduction of the block editor made WordPress far easier to use. There were a number of people I helped get sites up and running in the past that emailed me when it was officially rolled out saying that they find it way easier to create content now than they used to.
And this is what really matters because for us makers this is what’s going to keep WordPress on its current growth trajectory and continue gaining more and more of the CMS market share.
Andy Feliciotti (Co-founder of SmartWP)
I think the massive benefit Gutenberg offers to the WordPress community is its expandability and flexibility all while being included by default in WordPress.
This means Gutenberg will have a growing user base all while becoming the best page builder for all users.
On the other hand, I do think Gutenberg currently struggles with ease of use. For average users I find the editor to be confusing compared to the other page building options available.
Ben (Founder of LayerWP)
I’ll be honest; I wasn’t too keen on Gutenberg when it first emerged. Having used the classic editor for several years, it felt alien to me. As an experiment, I decided only to use the block editor on my blog LayerWP.com.
It’s shocking how quickly you can get used to something. I’ve written articles for other blogs, and when I see they use the classic editor, my heart sinks a little.
As a writer, using the block editor makes things easier, allows you to spot mistakes in articles before publishing, and speeds up the process as a whole. With the emergence of plugins for Gutenberg, offering layouts, effects, and more, it’s becoming more of a rounded tool.
Take GenerateBlocks; for example, this plugin allows you to create some pretty cool layouts, with different columns, resize them for mobile devices, stack them, and more. Gutenberg has come a long way, and for me, it’s all I’ll be using moving forwards.
Ben Pines (CMO at Elementor)
Gutenberg was built to serve WordPress vision which is to democratize content and commerce and offer basic capabilities for beginners.
Elementor, on the other hand, is a web building platform for professionals.
What’s beautiful about the WordPress ecosystem is how well different solutions can work together, and this can be seen here as well. Gutenberg can be used in Elementor and the other way around.
- Hard to design and each design style.
- Sometimes it’s harder to manipulate text, because of the automatic blocks.
- Design inconsistency.
- No advanced capabilities like popups, animations.
Ben Sibley (Founder of CompeteThemes)
Writing for the web has always been different than writing for other platforms. The back button is always present and web users have grown increasingly impatient and inattentive over the last two decades. Given the challenge of capturing and holding attention on the web, the way you design your content is just as important as the content itself.
The biggest “pro” of the Gutenberg editor is that you can effectively design your content
The biggest “pro” of the Gutenberg editor is that you can effectively design your content. Rather than publishing simple text posts with images here and there, you can create multi-column layouts with text call-outs, drop-caps, full-width images, and more. These creative elements allow you to create content that is more dynamic and interesting; the kind of content that keeps people on the internet reading.
The biggest “con” of the Gutenberg editor is that not everyone likes to create content in this way. Many bloggers still want to write simple text posts and the presence of blocks is an unnecessary and aggravating hurdle in their eyes.
Brian Jackson (Co-founder at forgemedia)
I’ll be completely honest, I’ve been falling in love with the new WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg) lately. The more I use blocks the more I see just how much I can do with them. In my personal opinion, blocks are the future of WordPress.
However, the new editor isn’t perfect. Here are a few of my pros and cons:
- Markdown support is a lot better than it used to be. You can more easily copy things between other markdown editors, and it will work right out of the box. Another bonus is that copy/pasting from Google Docs no longer results in a bunch of messy code.
- I love no longer having any page reloads when saving a draft or updating a post. It’s a lot less disruptive than it used to be.
- Image captions are so easy now. You no longer have to click anything, just stay inline in the editor and type them out.
- More views! Yay, as someone who spends a lot of time writing, it’s nice to have more views so there are fewer distractions. This includes hiding the top toolbar, fullscreen mode, etc.
- You can do all sorts of things with blocks now. I redesigned all of my WordPress sites from the ground up using completely blocks. They make my life easier and are still lightweight and fast in terms of performance.
- The document outline is improved and actually quite useful when it comes to long-form content. Jump instantly to that H3 header you need to update in the middle of your giant post.
- Highlighting is better. For example, if you click anywhere in a section of bold text, it grabs all of it. This allows you to easily unbold things in one fell swoop rather than having to carefully highlight all of the bolded words and then unbold them.
- Adding IDs for anchors is now really easy and no longer requires you having to jump between text and visual views like you used to.
- The editor is still buggy in terms of how it behaves all the time with your mouse cursor. There are certain actions that will cause it to jump back up to the top of the document. A few things I think still need to be ironed out here.
- Sometimes the editor will look horrible as your WordPress theme will override the default styles. A fix for this for right now is to add a snippet/filter to default back to the default editor styles.
- Grammarly doesn’t work properly with the editor and this is a huge one for me. I’m a heavy Grammarly user and not having all of its functions really is a disappointment. Only red corrections work, and not all of the time. Features like clarify, engagement, and delivery don’t work at all. I’ve brought this up with the Grammarly team multiple times but they don’t seem to care. (See here)
- On some of my sites, I get a lot of comments and an annoying thing with the editor is they no longer let you see comments at the bottom of a post. To view pending comments you have to go over to the Posts view and click into them from there.
I think the WordPress Editor is headed in the right direction and excited to see the progress and changes over the next couple of years.
Charlie Livingston (Founder of aThemes)
As a long-time Classic Editor user, I’ve just started a new site that uses the new Block Editor. While I like the more modern interface, I don’t feel it is quite as intuitive as the Classic Editor. With the Block Editor, you have to click around and experiment a lot to see how things work. And there is more Googling involved. It isn’t obvious how things work like it is with the Classic Editor.
On the other hand, the Block Editor does feel slicker, and combined with the more modern interface I wouldn’t go back to the Classic Editor now, which is something.
Compared to the leading page builders, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and so on, the Block Editor has some way yet to go, both in terms of features and ease of use. With all the development hours being sunk into it the Block Editor might get there someday. Or maybe not. Either way, The Block Editor is unquestionably the future and I only expect it to grow and improve over time.
The Block Editor is unquestionably the future and I only expect it to grow and improve over time.
Dhiraj Das (Founder of BeginDot)
I’m a big fan of the Gutenberg editor, I think it is the best thing that has happened to WordPress in the recent past. I have been using it since it was on beta.
Though the classic editor was good for creating content quickly, it was very limited in terms of post design possibilities. The Gutenberg editor takes care of all the limitations in the classic editor perfectly.
Here are my Pros and Cons of Gutenberg editor.
- Unlimited design possibilities for the posts with the help of native and other addon block plugins like Ultimate Addons.
- With the Gutenberg editor, we can create custom designs for each of the posts, create perfectly optimized landing pages with call to action without any coding.
- Most of the regular requirements are taken care of by the default options such as buttons, table, shortcodes, layouts, etc.
- I like the flexible layout options for the images (wide width, full width) it makes the blog posts more engaging.
- The newbie WordPress users might not find Gutenberg as easy as the classic editor, as there is a small learning curve for Gutenberg.
Harsh Agrawal (Founder of ShoutMeLoud)
Gutenberg is a much-needed upgrade that WordPress needed to stay relevant in today’s time, and it has open endless possibilities for the future. As the world has gone to more visual, Gutenberg utilizes the power of blocks to give your creative genes a reality.
Even though a lot of existing users are finding it challenging to move from the classic editor, it would be just a matter of time, when everyone would be using Gutenberg. Thanks to a plethora of blocks related plugins (like Ultimate Blocks and others), now users can redefine how they present their content.
One of the underutilized aspects of Gutenberg is using this as a page builder. It is not as simple as what other plugins like Elementor offer, but you can get around with custom coding. I recently redesigned my personal website (Harsh.in) using Gutenberg as a page builder, and it is pretty nifty to use.
The only thing that I miss about the Classic editor was the joy of writing and simplicity.
I hope in the time to come, we will see a similar simplicity like the old editor. None the less, it is a good time to learn all WordPress editor shortcuts to make your experience worthwhile.
Ivica Delic (Co-Founder of Freelancers Tools)
- It seems that majority of new WordPress users/beginners like using blocks more than the Classic Editor (e.g. they learn how to use it rather fast).
- Stop relying on the third party editor plugins/fewer plugins (e.g. TinyMCE) and old posts are automatically converted to Gutenberg.
- Clean style editing experience with fewer distractions.
- Looks very good on the smartphone devices “out of the box”.
- Themes/plugins developers can create their own custom blocks/ reusable block templates.
- Not very user-friendly and harder to use for the experienced WordPress users, with a big learning curve.
- Problems with themes/plugins backwards compatibility.
- Still not a replacement for the page builders.
- Spacing issue as part of 1 paragraph can have only 1 style.
- Image resizing could be a problem for new users without much knowledge of WordPress.
Jerry Low (Founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed)
The Gutenberg block editor has on the surface somewhat complicated use of WordPress further. However, as with all significant changes to any UI/UX this is likely just a temporary acclimatization issue.
More strategically, what we’re seeing is WordPress moving more and more towards the website builder space. This is significant since it not only makes the feature more widely available but brings with it the community support that WordPress is famed for.
Biggest Pro: Easy page designs with blocks.
Biggest Con: Buggy editor, inconsistent mouse cursor behaviour.
John Whitford (Founder of Income Mesh)
The Gutenberg Editor has been out in the wild for almost two years now, and with it has come to a mixture of emotions and feedback.
Here are my honest thoughts of this polarizing page builder:
- An absolute joy to create blog posts quickly by utilizing the built-in keyboard shortcuts.
- Very lightweight and high performance compared to other modern page builders.
- Tons of extensions and integrations with other WordPress based tools.
- Much more difficult to achieve a precise design. The platform is not WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get).
- The wide range of free plugins available can open up possibilities for conflicts, slowdowns, and vulnerabilities if the content creator is not careful.
- Maintaining consistent styling between Gutenberg-built content and existing content that was built in an editor like Elementor or Thrive Architect can be challenging.
Overall I think the Gutenberg editor is a blessing to WordPress, but for professional sites, I still think that page builders like Elementor or Thrive Architect will provide a better design experience.
Lars Lofgren (CEO at QuickSprout)
I consider Gutenberg a complete failure. In fact, there’s only one thing that it currently handles better than the Classic editor: copying and pasting Google Docs into WordPress cleanly. Otherwise, everything has gotten harder. Almost every single user interaction with the Gutenberg editor is inconsistent, more difficult, and more complicated than it needs to be. Everyone I know hates the new editor.
I’m not opposed to the “block” concept. It has the potential to solve many longstanding issues with the Classic editor. But the UI/UX execution is deeply flawed. Even adding a new block between two existing blocks is unnecessarily annoying and inconsistent.
But what upsets me the most is the complete lack of improvement on these UI issues since Gutenberg was released. It’s been released for years now and yet has the exact same UI problems that it had on release. If WordPress wants to stay ahead of all the website builders that are gaining ground, cleaning up the UI of Gutenberg should be their #1 priority.
At this point, I’m planning on using Classic for as long as possible.
M Asif Rahman (Founder of WPDeveloper)
- Extremely fast, compare with any other editor/builder.
- Much much capacity if you compare with Classic Editor.
- Much better writing experience than Classic Editor.
- Available by default.
- Block directory makes it easy to discover necessary tools to edit.
- Much better API for post data.
- Still, many things are buggy.
- Not good API documentation yet.
- Changes too fast for other developers to keep in sync.
- Still, many external plugins are not properly ready with new Block Editor.
- Can’t properly use as Page Builder.
- Typography control could be improved.
M. Munir Kamal (Founder of GutenbergHub)
I have been an early adapter of the Gutenberg editor. As you can see I have been blogging about it at GutenbergHub since the project started. I have also been using it on the GutenbergHub website since then. The writing experience with Gutenberg is far much improved than it was with the classic editor. It is a combination of classic editor and page builder features. You can simply use it to write your content as you similar to the classic editor and you can add blocks to create columns layout and more creative content elements similar to page builders. So this is clearly a winner for me.
And I am also excited about the upcoming features such as Full-Site editing, Global Styles, Block-Based themes. That’s gonna be game-changer features.
Here are some of the main Pros & Cons I can think of.
- Easy to use yet intuitive content editor.
- Block system that is modular and extensible by 3rd party plugins & themes.
- Clean HTML markup output as compared to page builders.
- Built-in to WordPress core, so you won’t need to install another plugin for page building features.
- Really fast to work with.
- Drag and drop content into the editor and it will auto convert it to relevant blocks, images, paragraphs, etc.
- Great Markdown support.
- Will be supported by all the plugins & themes you like and use. No other page builder would ever have this much support. For example WooCommerce, EDD, BuddyPress, etc. All those are already working to include Gutenberg blocks and support for the Gutenberg editor natively.
- Lots of tutorials, courses, and content available and keeps growing to help you use it.
- New opportunities for WordPress developers.
- Well, for me there is no big con now. The only thing I can mention here is a small learning curve that btw is applicable to any new tool you use.
MaAnna (Founder of BlogAid)
The best part of the Gutenberg editor is that it releases us from the homogenous design and layout restrictions of WordPress.
But that’s also its weakness.
While it opens up a plethora of styling and layout choices that make site content so much more visually interesting, it also opens the door to poor design practices that could hurt responsiveness, accessibility, speed, and other Google Web Vitals scores.
So, it’s imperative that site owners vet the extra Gutenberg styling plugins they use, as not all developers pay attention to speed and other issues, same as they don’t with regular WP plugins.
And it’s important for site owners to learn about design best practices now that so much of that type of customization is in their hands.
That’s why I’ve chosen to cover these extra topics in my course, as site functionality is just as important as pretty and easy.
Muhammed Moeez (Founder of WPBlog)
So Gutenberg is a reality whether we like it or not. There was an entire year of bad reviews when it was released as a plugin because it just didn’t seem to work out for the older WordPress users who are used to the classic editor. But regardless of that, it was made part of the WordPress core because it was the need of the hour. Why? Because technology needs to evolve if it wants to stay relevant and WordPress is no exception. Think of it as part of the evolutionary process in WordPress that will increase the longevity of the CMS that we all love.
Now, obviously there are some good things about Gutenberg and some bad things.
Pros of Gutenberg:
- Gutenberg editor provides an opportunity for more beginner users to create their website using blocks. This gives a page builder like essence to WordPress which is obviously more beginner friendly.
- WordPress can now compete with different page builders because it itself gives a page builder vibe.
- Developers now have a chance to develop their own blocks and won’t have to rely on shortcodes.
Cons of Gutenberg:
- Old WordPress users will have to go through another learning curve to get their hands around Gutenberg.
- Although it now competes with page builders, it still has a long way to go to even come near a top page builder in terms of functionality and user friendliness.
Mustaasam Saleem Ansari (Community Manager at Cloudways)
Innovation is an integral part of any technology to stay relevant. For the last couple of years, WordPress had a tough time because of its competitors offering better usability and simplicity.
The WordPress community realized this and started working on “Gutenberg” to take the editorial experience to the next level.
I would say the launch was not as successful as anticipated which ultimately impacted Gutenberg’s hype and people started switching back to the classic editor and are still reluctant to adopt the change.
As we all know, the majority of WordPress users do not belong to the tech world. In their daily routine they use Microsoft Word, Google docs, etc. and are very much familiar with TinyMCE. In my opinion, this is one of the factors that prevent people from using Gutenberg.
Personally, I like Gutenberg because of its extensive library of elements but just like everything has pros and cons, here are Gutenberg’s:
- Extensive library to avoid using multiple plugins for similar use-cases.
- Ability to structure the content.
- Drag & Drop interface.
- Re-usable blocks.
- Quick Embedding.
- Still buggy, there are a lot of tickets on WordPress repo.
- A bit learning curve for a newbie or a first-time user.
- Not fully compatible with all themes & plugins.
- Generate lengthy HTML code.
- Need improvement to make it a distraction-free experience.
Nick Adams (COO at WP Buffs)
The biggest pro of the new WordPress block editor is that it now gives content creators the ability to see what their pages will look like before they are published. Previously, the TinyMCE editor would look one way and then look very different on the front end of the website after the theme and any plugins had applied all of their styles to the content. Now, with the block editor, there aren’t those same kinds of surprises.
The biggest con of the new WordPress block editor is the limited layout options. Compared to the existing popular page builders, the block editor is quite limited. The biggest way that this becomes apparent is with columns. The two most popular page builders handle this extremely well, but the block editor is quite a ways behind the ones that already were around and doing a great job.
Ryan Robinson (Founder of Ryrob)
The Gutenberg editor has completely changed the way I build pages on my blog. I’m not a developer by trade, so up until last year, I’d have to rely on bulky page building software like Elementor or OptimizePress, in order to create beautiful looking pages across my site. While those tools are both great, there’s no avoiding the fact that they’ll make the pages of your site load slower. With that in mind, when I decided to redesign my website from the ground up earlier this year, pulling my page builder out and relying solely on Gutenberg (plus GutenBlocks and Atomic Blocks) was the first major decision I’ve made.
With how much Gutenberg is constantly improving and becoming more user-friendly to non-developers, I think the page builders of the world will soon be in trouble.
So you can see that most of the experts believed that the block editor is not perfect, but it’s heading in the right direction.
Now I’d like to hear from you.
What are your thoughts on the editor? What you like and don’t like about the editor?
Share your thoughts via a comment.