Well before WordPress’ Gutenberg was released, I tried it out in its various beta forms and absolutely hated it. In fact, I’d written a post here on NameHero about why it was annoying as hell. But since this was what we had to work with, I forced myself to switch to the block editor for my posts and pages. And as time went by, there were a few things I started to like about it.
Gutenberg Still Sucks for Proper “Writing”
I think the main target audience for Gutenberg wasn’t writers. It was page builders. A writer doesn’t want to separate their work into “paragraph blocks”. They want a distraction-free environment, where less is more. No popups, and a nice full, blank screen. It’s why I currently use MS Word whenever I need to get serious writing work done from scratch.
If you’re a journalist, writing a long form article, using Gutenberg is a disaster of an experience. Gutenberg isn’t mean for authors. It’s meant for page builders.
For Website Landing Pages, Gutenberg is Better
For pages that are not articles, Gutenberg allows us to “build” them up. This is because pages – unlike articles – are built up of “components” like:
- Code snippets
- Rich content like FAQs, TOCs, Recipes
And when you want to mash all of this together into one coherent page, the old class Gutenberg editor is an inadequate choice. For example, pasting code with proper formatting into the old WordPress editor was a multistep fragile process. With Gutenberg, it’s much more robust. No more flitting back and forth between the visual and HTML editor.
So here are three ways that Gutenberg has made my life easier for “page building” rather than for writing articles.
1. Inserting Schema into Pages
A lot of my pages contain review, “How to” articles, and other content that’s ripe for schema markup. In the classic editor, we needed a way to get HTML code into the article. It wasn’t enough to switch to the “HTML” or “Text” editor, because schema markup is invisible. You don’t know if it’s still on the page or not in the GUI!
So, we had to resort to metabox solutions like with StudioPress themes:
It’s not an ideal solution because:
- Not everyone uses a theme which has these metaboxes
- If you change your theme, you lose your schema
So we started using plugins instead. Messy.
With Gutenberg, I just need to create a new “Custom HTML” block, paste in my schema code and Voila!
It won’t render in the final page (nothing to render), but it’s still visible to an editor. Perfect! And no reliance on themes or plugins.
2. Working with “Invisible” HTML like <div> Tags
For some of my content, I need to create <div> or <span> tags for special formatting or for a plugin. The old WordPress editor was pretty bad for this. I used the HTML editor, but the tags were “invisible”. Now I can use the Custom HTML block like this:
What’s more, it’s particularly useful for a Table of Contents plugin that needs to be wrapped in a certain <div> because I can use the “up” and “down” arrows to move it exactly where I like!
3. Image Insertion is Much Faster
The workflow for inserting a new image is far more streamlined in Gutenberg. Creating a new image block either by typing slash (/) , or selecting the image icon on the top right of a new block creates a placeholder image like this:
And when the time comes, you can fill it in. I like this because it allows me to get on with my writing without worrying about the exact image. No need to break the flow. And uploading an image with the right dimensions and options is easier because they’re all on the right-hand side. No need for a new window to set the alt text, and the dimensions.
These three benefits of Gutenberg have made my life a lot easier when it comes to building pages. As mentioned earlier, these features are useless for writers, but if you’re crafting a landing page, you will thank Gutenberg’s modular approach!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!