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Gutenberg: The Good, The Bad, and… The Ugly?

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Spring is (finally) starting to make it’s way to Vermont, and the whole Burlington Bytes crew is getting ready for warmer weather. But Spring isn’t only bringing us showers, flowers, and– let’s be honest– mud. April is turning out to be a big month in the world of development. In the next few weeks, the newest WordPress will be released, and with it will come a new plugin that could have quite an impact on how developers and “regular people” alike use WordPress. The big news has to do with a new plugin called Gutenberg, and it could change the way that we build pages in WordPress.

So what does it do?
The goal for Gutenberg is to “make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable.” It’s mostly geared towards beginners, so they can feel more empowered to create functional and visually pleasing websites. They’ll do that by breaking your content into “little blocks”, that can be easily controlled and styled individually in the new Editor. If you’ve ever written a post in Medium, you’ve already used blocks, and you may not have even noticed it.

The Good
Many feel that the Gutenberg plugin is the breath of fresh air that WordPress needs. The visual editor aspect of WordPress hasn’t seen an update in over a decade, and some say it’s about time for something new. Another positive aspect of Gutenberg is that if you enable it, decide you don’t like it and disable it, it won’t break your site. You can also reactivate it without losing previous blocks. Lastly, developers will be able to create their own blocks to use for customized content. All of this is great, but not everyone is so excited for this update…

The Not-So-Good
Everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows – some critics say that Gutenberg is good for content, but lacks in the style department. Things like background colors will be available, but the level of control that developers are used to in regard to design may not be up to par. The same could be said for the fine-tuning of spacing, columns, rows etc. Gutenberg relies on themes for many of these aspects, and some say that since new WordPress users don’t have a thorough understanding of themes, gearing Gutenberg towards beginners doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The… Ugly?
Now that you have a better idea of the pros and cons of Gutenberg, why not give it a try and decide for yourself? Frontenberg is essentially a pared-down version of Gutenberg where you can try things out and get a feel for the program. Hopefully, your tests turn out beautiful, but if they don’t, feel free to hand things over to our stellar development team. We can make a functional and gorgeous website for your business – unless ugly is what you’re going for!

Aaron Silber

Aaron Silber

Joining Bytes.co in 2015, Aaron brings over 8 years of experience working on all aspects of the web stack. He joins us after a year on the development team at Brandthropology, a marketing agency in Burlington, Vermont.

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