Giving up on Gutenberg once again

I tried. I really did. There are some parts about the new Gutenberg editor that I like. For example, the way the categories, tags etc. are presented when working on a blog post. I also like the jetpack tab where you can choose where to share your post, add hashtags and so on. But what I don’t like and can’t get used to, even after several blog posts, is the area where you write your blog posts. Since this is obviously the most important part, there is no way but to return to the classic editor for me.

Yes, it’s neat that you can write in blocks and rearrange them easily by clicking on an arrow on the left which moves it either one block up or down. But I can also just use ctrl+x and ctrl+p when I want to rearrange something. It annoys me that there’s always pop-up options for every singe block. It sometimes blocks the last line of text from the previous text block. And that is annoying, because even though you start a new paragraph, you may still want to see where you ended in your last paragraph. And it is especially annoying when rearranging your blocks. If I move something up, I may want to check that the wording still fits to the paragraph in front of it. Or that I’m not starting two sentences with the same word. But when the popup options block part of the previous paragraph, it makes it really hard to do just that.

The classic editor has one big space for you to type in and then two rows with icons to format your text. I don’t get why, even with the several blocks, they couldn’t just add one tab with the formatting options on top. Maybe make it move with you when you’ve got lots of text and scroll down. But keep all the cluttered stuff away from the main text area!

Some of the options with the blocks are neat. There’s reusable blocks, which I haven’t tried yet, but they store the block in your blog and you can use them in any other blog post that you want. That’s very nice for my regular columns where I post a short “this is what this column is about” every time. So, I don’t think Gutenberg is just bad. It just doesn’t seem to outweigh the negatives for me.

What I find rather annoying is how they’re handling the image galleries. I can’t even say what exactly is different, because I think I’m clicking on the same settings that I use with the classic editor. Most of my galleries are mosaic tiles. But when I tried to get a gallery to look like I want it – that is, not three small images next to each other, but one that’s a big bigger on the left, and two others stacked vertically on the right, no setting would end up looking like that. Only after switching to the classic editor could I get the gallery to look like I wanted it to.

But here is the main issue I’m having: When I have one space for all the text, I write and write and write. At the end, I edit. I look at my text, see if it’s really flowing the way I want content-wise, and rearrange sentences if I need to. Then, of course, I also try to catch any grammar and spelling mistakes. But when I work with the Gutenberg editor and the individual blocks to each paragraph, my mind gets disrupted. I feel that it takes a lot more effort to just write down what I want to write down. It’s not “one flow”, it’s a lot of broken pieces that I’m trying to glue together… if that explanation makes sense. It seems that my brain doesn’t want to work with these fractured parts, even though they are all on the same page, one after the other! I’m having the same issue with my dissertation, by the way. It’s too big, with too many citations, so I had to split the whole thing into several smaller documents for the time being. And my mind gets lost. “Does this aspect come before or after the current chapter?”, “Where am I in my thesis? What do I need to write about here?”.

So, as you probably guessed, I have now ended my experiment trying to get used to the Gutenberg editor. If I really had to, then yes, I would be able to use it. But I would probably use Notepad++ or the Windows text editor to pre-write my blog posts before posting them into the individual text blocks, and then I’d try to get the images into their own blocks in between in a way that I like.


  1. Honestly, I don’t really see what the classic-editor has that Gutenberg doesn’t as you can actually use the classic editor in Gutenberg as well, but then again I started out with Blogspot and ended up getting really frustrated at the fact that I couldn’t move pictures into paragraphs all that easily. When I encountered Gutenberg I got really confused about the whole editor but now I’m used to it and love it.

    If you don’t like having the formatting-options on the top-side of every block, you can actually change it, so that it’s only in the top bar. To do that, you need the settings shown which is accomplished by clicking on the cog-icon. Then you click on the three dots to show “more tools and options”. There you can switch to the Classic Editor, whenever you feel like swapping between them, switch to the code editor instead of the visual editor and turn on “Top Toolbar” (<- that's what you want) or "Spotlight Mode" which highlights only one block at a time.
    Spotlight Mode may help you go through the post and edit it while the Top Toolbar is actually a preference thing. I personally like it when the toolbar is on top of the block but I can also work with it being at the top, so no problem there for me.
    Hope that this helps you.

    Dan :)

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  2. You gave it more of a try then I did. I think I tried for two posts or so and it just felt very clunky. Which is kind of a shame, conceptually, I like the idea of being able to move blocks of text and images around if I ever feel like rearranging them but in practice it just feels way easier, like you said, to do a Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V.

    It makes me wonder if they made it with mobile in mind. Being able to move blocks around would certainly make life easier on mobile. But on the other hand typing long texts on mobile can be a bit of a pain in itself. So I really don’t know who would blog on mobile. Or maybe it is just me and I am just too old and set on my ways. :p


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