The latest update to WordPress (v4.9.8) was released today and comes with an announcement that the new Gutenberg text editor is available to be installed as an option. We are expecting that when WordPress version 5.0 comes out later this year, the Gutenberg text editor will be installed as the default.
After many months of discussions and testing the new text editor interface, jebswebs has decided that we will NOT be installing Gutenberg on any hosted WordPress sites for the foreseeable future. We have concluded that the new text editor is a significant departure from the traditional editor and has the potential to pose both usability and efficiency issues for users. While there are merits with the new editor, we feel the cons outweigh the pros at this point.
In addition to accessibility issues – there is a team of volunteer developers from the Make WordPress Accessible work group who have been attempting to fix all of these before the final release – the new interface offers users the ability to control the look and feel of content on-the-fly. While normally this might be a beneficial feature, we are concerned that it will result in some changes and conflicts with the layout of content that was designed to work with each theme. We feel that the features offered in Gutenberg are great when a website is first being developed, but once that process is completed, there is no need for these features.
We will continue to watch as the new text editor is deployed and re-evaluate over time. If any jebswebs customer wishes to use Gutenberg, please contact us to arrange for a demonstration and training.