‘Try Gutenberg’ Prompt Pushed Back to A Later Release

Last week, we reported that WordPress 4.9.5 would ship with a call-out prompt that asks users if they want to try the new editor experience.

Within the comments of the post, Gary Pendergast, who works for Automattic, is a WordPress core contributor, and a lead developer on the Gutenberg project, informed us that the prompt would not be in WordPress 4.9.5. Instead, it will ship in a later version once it has gone through a few more refinements.

Change of plans, this won’t be happening in the 4.9.5 release: there are still a few issues we’d like to fix up the callout happens, they won’t be done in time for the 4.9.5 release. I expect there will be a smaller 4.9.6 release that contains this callout, and any bugfixes that happen to be ready.

Gary Pendergast

Reverting the call-out has extended the conversation surrounding its implementation. Jadon N who works for InMotion hosting and is a contributor to the #hosting-community slack channel, says the hosting-community group is working on ideas to help test popular plugins for Gutenberg compatibility.

We have been working to expand our collection of data about how well plugins function with Gutenberg. To help with that effort, we would like to explore using feedback collected from WordPress users through the Try Gutenberg effort to add to the existing database on WordPress plugin compatibility if that could be worked out.

The goal of this project is to make sure everyone can use Gutenberg without having to worry about plugin incompatibilities.

Jadon N

The Gutenberg Plugin Compatibility Database project launched by Daniel Bachhuber last month attempts to determine which popular plugins are already compatible with Gutenberg by having volunteers test them in a sandboxed environment.

Out of the 4,213 plugins in the database, 84% have an unknown compatibility status. Out of 610 plugins that have been tested, 82% don't include editor functionality.

Pendergast supports the idea of hosts collecting a wide range of testing data and turning it into actionable items for the team to work on. There's also been some discussion on creating snapshots of plugin compatibility and filtering those results into Bachhuber's project.

Chris Lema, Vice President of Products at LiquidWeb, responded in the trac ticket with a suggestion that the team place as much emphasis on the Learn More and Report Issues sections as the Try Gutenberg message. He also added a prototype screenshot of what the call-out could look like.

Gutenberg Call Out Prototype by Chris Lema

"The reality is that people don't read a lot, so people may not fully grasp the 'testing' part given the proposed design," Lema said. "When there are equal weight to the design, the message also carries with it the same equality."

One of the best suggestions I've read comes from Bachhuber. He suggests displaying the prompt to a small percentage of WordPress sites to prevent thousands of users from re-reporting known issues with Gutenberg. It would also help lessen the load on the support forums.

One of my main concerns with the call-out is the lack of upfront information to the user that it is beta software and it could cause adverse affects on their site. Lema's prototype does a great job of informing the user of this possibility and a link to known issues is a great enhancement. What do you think?

13 Comments


  1. The “Dismiss Forever” button is missing.

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    1. you got that right.

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  2. The callout should appear on sites running on local servers and not on live sites. Some web designers are going to take advantage of the chaos Gutenberg will bring, as they will charge and arm and a leg just to install the Classic Editor plugin, just to bring sanity back to the site owners…

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  3. This is just yet again proof that the core team has no concept of what it takes to run an agency.

    We try to limit clients access to the admin as much as possible but this just opens it up for some client that doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing tearing a site up for no good reason. For what? So core can get feedback on a piece of garbage release that nobody wants?

    Simple solution: Stay the hell out of MY admin.

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      1. Some of our clients insist on having Admin rights. We try to fight against that but at the end of the day it’s their site to do with what they please.

        Most stay away from it though as we tell them upfront that it’s $250/hour with a 2 hour minimum to fix anything they screw up due to poking around in the admin. ;-)

        This is just an addition potential headache for no good reason. We don’t owe WP anything in terms of trying out Gutenberg. If we wanted to try it, it sure as hell wouldn’t be on a live client site.

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  4. You can limit site users to specific areas of the WordPress dashboard so I don’t see that as an issue.

    The issue for me is that a vast number of users have no idea what Gutenberg is or how it can BENEFIT the way pages are created.

    More education needs to be provided before Gutenberg is shipped as part of WordPress core.

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  5. Whew glad to hear that. Agree with above poster “Dismiss for ever button”.
    Why can Gutenberg just be a plugin for those who want to use it.
    After it rates very high for a long time with 100,000 users, then maybe think about adding to Core.
    And certainly fix all issues with plugins before even thinking about adding to Core.

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    1. Matt initially stated at WCEU next year he’d like to see at least 100l many sites running it prior to releasing it in core but I think this was just because it was in a QA answer. I totally understand things shift over time. However, at the time of this comment it looks like only 8k+ https://wordpress.org/plugins/gutenberg/

      I don’t think 100k is necessarily a number that has to be held to steadfast but at least more than 8k would be nice. :)

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      1. Can you use that number as the official total. We use Gutenberg in our production site currently, but it comes straight from GitHub. How many others are using it from there as well?

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  6. I really want to like Gutenberg. Every couple months I update the plugin and give it a try. With all the talk of prompting its installation with 4.9.5, I tried it out again over the weekend. It was a disaster with most of the pages in my dev site, so I had to deactivate it again.

    This can be a real mess when clients start turning it on and breaking things. And I really dislike how the current editor is gone. I have a number of pages that are better off without Gutenberg, and some are even best edited in text and NOT the visual editor. I think it’s really bad to force this new experiment on people. Give us the OPTION of using the Gutenberg editor alongside other editors, like how many page builder plugins do.

    Just my 2 cents.

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  7. Reading the trac discussion is rather disappointing. The team skips over concerns about pushing such beta software onto production websites or the precedent of doing so or how it’s done, while the majority of the discussion is about tweaking the words, styling, and placement, primarily to make it more effective rather than clarifying risk and removal.

    Is this WordPress or Microsoft?

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