As I test Gutenberg, I keep coming back to one question: is it good for blogging? The goal with Micro.blog is to make blogging easier so that more people will have their own site instead of delegating their web identity to a social network. Gutenberg is more flexible than today’s WordPress, but it’s also more complex for someone who just wants to type in a few sentences and hit publish.
The new editor is available to both WordPress.com and self-hosted sites ahead of the WordPress 5.0 release. I’ve been using it on this site for a couple weeks, and in a couple test sites so I can anticipate or troubleshoot issues that our users may encounter.
I think there’s some merit in Reece’s perception of Gutenberg. I also think I fall more into the category of bloggers who like to open a simple editor and start typing into a text box.
A lot of WordPress users don’t want this simpler experience. I come across many people who want a very visual editor where you can create pretty dynamic layouts on the fly.
The new editor may be more for those people, but it can work pretty well for someone who wants to open a blank editor window and start typing, too.
Put another way, as WordPress matures I think it moves further away from the ideal blogging interface for someone who wants to write every day. Even as we add features to Micro.blog — domain names, themes, full-length posts, photos, podcasting — the core platform will always be rooted in the simple idea of a text box and a timeline.
Granted I’m a little biased because I work for Automattic, and I believe in what we’re doing. At the same time, I was a blogger long before I joined this company, and WordPress has been synonymous with “blogging” for me for almost 14 years.
I’m still deciding whether the new WordPress Editor is going to be the default on my personal site. It’s still early days for Gutenberg, and I think it has an exciting future.
That said, I like my simpler text windows, Markdown, and monospace fonts when I write (thank goodness for MarsEdit). Not everyone does, and WordPress is still flexible enough to accommodate almost all of us.
(Now, if I could just configure this blog to play nicely with all its IndieWeb cousins again, that would be great.)