I’ve been using WordPress since 2008, and I’ve followed the evolution of its in-house editor for a long time. The latest Gutenberg editor has changed the way I write and compose posts from within WordPress, and the Automattic team deserves kudos for that. However, I still use MS Word to compose a lot of my content. Not always, but sometimes. There are specific scenarios in which using Word is a better option compared to WordPress.
Pros of Using MS Word
Here are the pros and cons of using Word for composing posts in WordPress.
1. Speed Difference is Noticeable for Touch Typists
If you’re a touch typist like me, then you’re looking at the screen 100% of the time while writing. And this brings to light the difference between desktop apps and web applications. While writing in the Gutenberg editor via the browser, there is a slight lag between the time you hit the key, and when the letter appears on the screen. And if you type fast, the difference can become very noticeable. On the desktop Word application, the cursor glides smoothly from side to side, keeping up with your every move.
This is due to the performance benefits of desktop apps. There’s a reason why the best games still haven’t migrated to the browser. If I’m writing long text-based posts, then the lag in WordPress drives me bonkers.
If you’re using a laptop on battery power, it can get even worse.
2. Better Spell Checking + Grammarly Integration
I like Grammarly, and use it to supplement the out-of-the-box Word spelling and grammar checks. I ignore most of the “suggestions”, but now and then it catches some mistakes. Grammarly has a native plugin for Word as you can see here:
Sure, you can always copy/paste your text into Grammarly via the website, but it’s inconvenient to find a mistake, then search the original document, and finally make the corrections. And yes, I know that Grammarly has browser extensions, but I don’t like the idea of adding stuff to my browser to slow it down – especially Grammarly, which has shown to have performance issues in the past.
Word also autocorrects some common typos which people tend to make, and which might go unnoticed in a web browser.
Pros of Using Gutenberg
As expected, Word is a better choice for pure writing. However, here are some benefits to using Gutenberg instead.
1. Gutenberg is Better for “Modular” Posts
If your post is made up of a lot of elements – images, shortcodes, review boxes, and more, then Gutenberg is the obvious choice due to its ability to craft modular posts. These days, rich web pages are the norm, and Gutenberg allows you to preview your layout perfectly on the first go. While you can insert images in Word, and then copy-paste over to Gutenberg, you’ll have to select your image twice – once in Word, and once in WordPress, which is double the work.
A post like this one, which consists of just words is an ideal candidate for Word. Others? Not so much.
2. Easy Preview for Complex Posts
WordPress also allows you to preview your post at regular intervals as you write. This won’t mean much if it’s mostly text, but otherwise, it can be a real help to see how your page looks in real-time. Whether or not a carousel fits properly with a certain theme, or checking if the font size of a certain block looks good, are things we just can’t properly do in any other application other than Gutenberg.
The distinction between the two approaches is clear. If your posts are mostly text and if you’re a fast touch typist, Word is simply the best approach. Copy pasting your work over to Gutenberg is easy. However, if your posts are complex, with a lot of images and other elements, then you should use the Gutenberg WordPress editor!
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!