1. Steve Pheriche

    I decided to try and make a layout with Gutenberg 7.3.
    I’ve used Gutenberg for simple tasks on simple sites many times. I am an experienced WP user and developer. I have used other page layout tools like Elementor, Divi, Beaver, Visual composer, etc.

    I aimed to recreate something I’d done in Elementor. Nothing too complex. A hero block with head and subhead text on one side, an image on the other. A background image for the row. A graphic overlay which partially occludes the bottom of the row contents.
    Beneath that – a banner row, then finally a row divided in 3rds holding buttons. A very typical layout. Simple. Easy?

    I’ll spare you the play by play but within 5 minutes I was unable to move the rows due to selection issues, tools were contextually baffling due to lack of clarity about what was selected, handles being off the sides of the editor. The layout was really difficult to select parent and child elements (group, row, column, image) …I never knew what was selected. It was always something I didn’t expect (selected a child rather than the parent) The select tool never stayed active so invariably a wrong move was made, tool unselected itself, I have to undo, visit the menu try again. Over and over. Never getting what I wanted.

    I tried switching to html mode to make sense of what I was editing and despite not altering anything Gutenberg told me the block was not valid , could not be rendered and I could convert it to html . No way back via undo.

    I got to this same place 3 times after starting over fresh. A difficult to use frustrating experience.
    I’ve been using WP for many many years, created themes and plugins. I know my way around.

    Gutenberg has improved but
    The Gutenberg team haven’t solved the simple problems yet. The interface is horrible for selecting and moving nested elements. The navigator for elements is not at all robust. The Gutenberg inserter /object pane is tiny and the entire experience is incredibly frustrating if doing anything beyond “insert image”.


    • Roman

      You said everything!
      When I saw Guteberg editor for first time I thought it’s the begining, it can’t be so wrong. Now I wonder how is it possible so terrible design and functionality. I tried many times after big updates, in the end I’ve hidden everything with custom css so I will never lose my time again.
      Even Microsoft gave up on internet explorer!


    • Bastian

      Agreed. I’m building a site for a client right now and this time I decided to use Gutenberg cause the project is small and not too complex. Once I started to nest blocks, the weaknesses of Gutenberg began to show their ugly head. One of its main faults is the lack of visual clues that help you differentiate where one block begins and the other ends, so the task of selecting a specific column or a block inside a container becomes a challenge. This has been brought up many times on their GitHub with no positive outcome.


    • Johannes Grießhammer

      This. Exactly this. I tried to recreate a site with a very basic layout after WordCamp Europe 2019. There was no use. I couldn’t get the styling like I wanted with the so praised ease by the WordPress team. I really welcome a change in WordPress, but Gutenberg is still not viable to me. The Gutenberg Blocks with ACF are interesting, but at the moment I still create my Themes with Tailwind.css, Timber/Twig and just hand coded stuff. Still more efficient for me, and I have all the power there.


  2. Scott

    I think Gutenberg is the Google Glasses of WordPress personally. Being on the front lines of building sites for small business, I can’t see a receptionist getting doing updates with Gutenberg even before wondering about real technical problems.


  3. Jaclyn

    I have tried incorporating Gutenberg in my custom site builds several times in the past year but I just haven’t found a way to do it successfully and reliably. If WP are focusing on block based themes now, they should just ditch the customizer entirely and focus on improving block customization (the customizer is a nice idea but it’s time to let it go- it isn’t very well implemented or useful today).

    The code and methods of Gutenberg keep changing and it’s hard to commit to using Gutenberg for a custom site when so many important things required for customization are not prioritized (such as wrapper blocks which only came out a few months ago).

    Creating a custom Gutenberg block is extremely time consuming compared to flexible content blocks using acf and the time investment isn’t worth it at the moment. Ideally, I’d love to be able to quickly wire up some custom blocks and build entire sites using these templates and I assume this is what the WP team are going for, if I had a say.

    Lastly but most importantly simply using Gutenberg is hard for both writers and developers. I don’t agree with splitting paragraphs into separate blocks and it’s cumbersome to have to hover, drag, and rearrange a page with a lot of content. Honestly the UX is unpleasant and feels unnatural- the reliance on hover states is bad and everything feels too floaty. Imo WP should take a page out of Notion’s UI because if they don’t improve GB soon I do believe Notion has the potential to take a significant chunk of WPs share if it can be successfully integrated with jamstack powered sites in the future.

    Anyway that’s my two cents, I do think GB has potential and block based themes sounds like a neat idea but rn the idea and execution needs A LOT of work.


    • Justin Tadlock

      As someone who writes almost daily in the block editor, I disagree that it is hard for writers, at least in comparison to the classic editor. I prefer plain Markdown over both, but the block editor is leaps and bounds ahead for me.

      I talk with other writers and developers all the time. You can’t really group them together and say it’s hard for all. Different people have different preferences.


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