Last week, I read two articles that discussed the writing experience in WordPress. The first was published by Justin Ferriman where he describes that Gutenberg at this point is not a good solution for building pages or writing content. “What we got was something in-between a page builder and writing tool, and as of the date of this article, it’s not a class leader in either category,” He said.
Ferriman makes a few great points, such as Gutenberg being initially marketed to users and developers as a page-builder first which eventually switched to being a revolutionary way to create content. But today, the big deal is Full-site editing. For writing content, Ferriman suggests using WriteFreely instead of WordPress.
In response to Ferriman’s post, Joe Casabona agrees that WordPress is not an excellent writing tool and he makes some good points as well. In fact, Casabona believes that WordPress is never the ideal place to write. He brings up some excellent points about the benefits of writing in an application devoted to the craft. You get to create local copies of your work which acts as a backup, there are fewer distractions, you’ll have more options to organize your content, and you typically have the ability to publish to multiple locations at once.
I Want to Look Back and Say It Was Worth It
Ferriman’s and Casabona’s posts make me sad. I have written thousands of articles in the WordPress editor over the years and unfortunately, despite the effort and work that has gone into the editor thus far, it does not feel like an excellent writing tool. When crafting content in blocks works, it’s easy for me to see it as the future of writing. But when it breaks, it breaks bad and it totally ruins the fun of writing.
While a lot of focus is aimed at WordPress 5.9 and Full-site editing, I get the feeling that we’re in the middle of WordPress’ large transition. Part of this transition from A to B is going to have growing pains and I think the post editor as it stands is a byproduct of all of the work that’s going on elsewhere across WordPress. These growing pains are something users will need to deal with. By the way, this post on Twitter from Tom Nowell does a good job of highlighting the scope of the transition we’re in.
I am going to weather the storm and I’m hopeful that when the rebuilding of the ship of theseus is nearly complete, I can look back and tell Matt Mullenweg that it was worth it. The struggles, the pain of blocks, not being able to write the way I want, this, that, and the other was all worth it. The fact that writing content in WordPress is considered not one of its strong points is a travesty and I find myself not able to argue otherwise.