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Testing WordPress Gutenberg on a high volume news site

Last Thursday I activated Gutenberg and the Classic Editor on OnwardState.com. Since Friday just over half of the 33 posts published have gone through the Gutenberg editor. In that time I have started to gather some feedback about the editorial experience. Note that I did this without any documentation of the tool, I just switched it to be the default and waited to see what happened. I have also been using on this site for a little bit longer, about a week.

Before I launched Gutenberg, there was just one issue I determined would block release for this test, #6305, which I patched with #6293. This issue will likely be fixed in a more substantial way before 5.0 merge but I found the hack got my additional metaboxes working for now.

I was worried the 100 count limit on terms would be blocking (I got an anonymous email warning me about it 🙄) but I don’t believe it has  – #6180.

Some other issues that came up in newsroom reports:

  • Featured image selection no longer shows the caption and description fields (convenient for seeing that content rather than forcing to media library). #6383
  • Users without publish capability don’t see the pending review slider. “Instead have to hit publish in the top right corner that brings up an additional button.”
  • Revisions are missing currently. #3258
  • Custom post statuses aren’t supported currently. #3144
  • Capabilities don’t match what shows in classic (e.g. tags, categories). #5879

So far these bugs have been characterized as “a few small/random things” and really I’ve got the incredibly savvy Onward State staff to thank for that. But I am very happy with the test so far and I think the usage data speaks for itself. The issues above are going to block further release although the editor is worth launching now, if only to deepen your own opinion of the product and guide future development.

One thing I’ve noticed: If you split a heading block, the second half will stay a heading but the first half will be turned into a paragraph block. I can’t decide if this is a bug.

I really like being able to paste images into a block, I guess this could be done previously but it’s super smooth now.

I will also say that one of the most time-consuming aspects of Gutenberg deployment will be adjusting your CSS to handle the new block markup. While blocks support much of the same stuff as the classic editor, the markup has been updated to be more semantic (a good thing) but this will break legacy formatting. For now you will need to support both versions of markup; in the future there may be a way to update legacy markup to the Gutenberg standard but presently the post content could conceive either spec.

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