10 Comments

  1. Anh Tran

    This makes me wondering. It seems like embedding a block that is built elsewhere in Gutenberg, where it should be built. Gutenberg will shortly become a hub for elements like this. Users won’t see the benefit of the UI/UX for elements that the team is trying to provide, but more steps to complete a same thing.

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    • Álvaro Góis

      Regular users won’t know how to build a block (and never will). I’m not a fan of this solution (nor of page builders, tbh) but I understand its use.

      Gutenberg has this paradoxical thing of being developed to make life easier for regular users to customize their pages but, at the same time, it alienates a great part of WordPress users that depend on its flexibility, plasticity and easy extendibility.

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  2. Drew

    Page builder manufacturers are struggling to keep relevant in the Gutenberg era. I also don´t see any good reason why someone would use a page builder next to Gutenberg. Maybe for backwards compatibility with existing sites but in all other cases I would definately recommend not using page builders any more, but only using Gutenberg and lightweight Gutenberg extending plugins with extra blocks.
    No sense in slowing down your sites with page builder monster plugins any more … halleluya!

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    • Philby

      Well… yes, in theory.
      However, at the moment Gutenbergs Columns Block is very nearly unusable in any real-life situation, IMHO, unless you enjoy frequent mails and/or phone calls from irate and understandably frustrated clients.

      Usability for simple pagebuilding tasks is simply miles away from what any pagebuilder I’ve ever tested offers.

      As much as I dislike the unholy mess of shortcodes and metadata that these plugins use and even worse sometimes leave behind after disabling, Gutenberg is not yet able to step in, unfortunately.

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  3. Samuel

    I find this step very cumbersome and somehow superfluous. What this innovation brings could already be solved via shortcodes. Why should I install a new plugin? Superfluous!

    I think this is just an answer to the despair of the whole Page Builders. There is no clear answer to the question Gutenberg asks.

    Phase 2 and the comment of @alexislloyd are even more interesting:

    I would also suggest that we refer to these as “complex blocks” (i.e. blocks containing multiple blocks to achieve a common pattern), to distinguish them from “simple blocks” (blocks that contain only one block) and from “templates” (which apply to the entire page layout).

    The future will be interesting.

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  4. Steve Pheriche

    I now feel confident buying a pagebuilder license, using Gutenberg has actually convinced me to do so!

    I’ve never been an enthusiastic page-builder user, at the very most been forced to extend Visual Composer for client sites. I’ve made large site themes & plugins from scratch (by necessity) but certain clients are actually a good fit for pagebuilders. Some clients have fussy commisioning processes, low budgets, and a need for “rich layout editing”. So, I’ve been looking forward to Gutenberg since it was first announced as it would certainly help me sell sites (to those clients).

    The current Gutenberg implementation has made me look around at the pagebuilder landscape to evaluate the competition. I was surprised to find that one of the competitors really was sleek, fast and intuitive with a lot of tools which would help me. The UX and UI are good, it had a decent API and extendibility. Importantly my annoying clients are seduced by it, making my job easier. In comparison to that builder I find Gutenberg buggy, unlovely and unreliable. I cannot see Gutenberg replacing a pagebuilder in the next 2 years, based on the current UI, and UX.

    A single simple example of “unlovely / unreliable”: Setting the width of the WP-GB editor. Most clients want it full width because it is very narrow. There are docs for making the editor full width, and they are wrong. The issue is tracked (#9894, #10067) . Editor width setting used to work, it broke a couple of months back, the docs remain incorrect.
    A small issue, it could be dismissed as unimportant, but compare the user experience (and agency experience) versus a competitor page builder. When trying to deliver a “rich editor” solution to a fussy client these sort of issues compound to create a storm of costly dissatisfaction.

    The user experience is worlds apart.

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    • Marc

      Which makes me wonder why Automattic spent so much time and money (at the same time alienating a good part of the wp base) on GB when they could have bought one of the companies making good page builders, and adapted the code to their needs.

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  5. TIm Hibberd

    From my perspective, the difference between Gutenberg and Page Builders is architectural intent. Gutenberg is a block manager / editor model. A Page Builder is an integrated design studio.

    Differences:

    – GB is a component, Page Builders are applications
    – GB is a block manager / editor, Page Builders are integrated design studios
    – GB focus is narrow so risk to the operational WordPress server is minimised, Page Builders are complex applications that add unnecessary risk to an operational server relative to an arms-length design studio
    – GB has a reasonably bounded server footprint (RAM / Disk), Page Builders are unbounded and could grow to dwarf the size of the WordPress CMS.
    -GB is a 2-way model (well…as far as I have seen), page-builders are 1-way model. You can manually edit a GB component and save it as a new GB component. Page builders are 1-way…use their visual interface for everything because any manual adjustments are unlikely to survive more than a few page builder updates…if any.

    The WordPress landscape is littered with the corpses of WordPress design studios…arms-length (e.g. Artisteer) and integrated (e.g. Headway).

    As long as Gutenberg remains a block manager / editor…it will have my full support. Go Gutenberg :-)

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    • Herbert G. S.

      @photomatt: “Gutenberg will definitely be a whole-page builder, that’s the entire point of phase 2. All of the infrastructure is built to support that, so it will happen much faster than phase 1.”

      Note: @photomat is release lead of WordPress 5.0 and CEO of Automattic which owns wordpress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Gravatar, …

      Note: There is more, phase 3 and phase 4 of Gutenberg project are next. Nothing in WordPress will be the same…

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      • TIm Hibberd

        It all depends on your definition of a “Page Builder”.

        If Gutenberg phase two restricts itself to Header / Footer / Sidebar constructs then it remains consistent with a componentised block manager / editor architecture.

        I would agree that is the natural and historic definition of a “page builder”.

        But…

        The term Page Builder used in the industry is more representative of the term “Integrated Design Studio”. Most, if not all of today’s “Page Builders”, began as…well…page builders (much like Gutenberg of today). They have, however, grown into full blown integrated design studios or are on their way to being so.

        Perhaps in the new 5.0 world existing Page Build vendors should rebrand to being WordPress Integrated Design Studios and recognise that the term “Page Builder” is now a core feature.

        Just a thought… :-)

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