Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.
A recent thread on Reddit.com/r/WordPress sparked some good conversation about how website developers should handle the upcoming Gutenberg editor changes coming to WordPress. Many developers were concerned about needing to fix clients sites pro bono if the client clicked the Try Gutenberg button.
In this week’s News Drop, we cover how to talk to your clients about using the new Gutenberg editor and what tools you may use if you do choose to block Gutenberg temporarily.
“Love WordPress news but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.
Should WordPress developers turn off the new Gutenberg features on their client’s websites?
That’s the question I asked after reading a recent post on Reddit.com/r/WordPress. The user u/tobsn_me posted a single line of code to completely hide the new “Try Gutenberg” prompts from appearing on his client’s sites.
remove_action( 'try_gutenberg_panel', 'wp_try_gutenberg_panel' );
That post started a ton of conversation about whether or not you should obscure Gutenberg from clients and how best to do it if you decide to.
Gutenberg is the new block based post editor coming to WordPress 5.0 sometime in the future. It’s a major change to how the current WYSIWYG based editor and is likely to cause some issues for some sites once it is officially rolled out into WordPress core as the new default editor.
The old editor is still in place for now, but WordPress 4.9.8 includes some big prompts encouraging users to try Gutenberg as a beta-testing plugin. We covered that plugin in last week’s News Drop.
It’s not surprising that many old school WordPressers may be anxious about the new editor, but it’s likely that many site owners might love it. The concern is whether or not these site owners might break their site by clicking the Try Gutenberg button or that the sites might be borked when WP 5.0 comes out. Many of these developers were paid a one time fee for building the site and it’s custom features, so they feel that being proactive about blocking Gutenberg might be best for their clients and won’t leave the developers with a bunch of new custom work pro bono.
If a developer feels this way, there are several easy options for blocking Gutenberg. The easiest of which would be to install and activate the Classic Editor Addon. This free plugin changes the default behaviour of the post editor to the classic WYSIWYG editor, even when Gutenberg official roles out in WordPress 5.0 and even hides the “Try Gutenberg” nag from the user’s dashboard.
Just a note, this add on is different than the official “classic editor” plugin released by WordPress in that the Classic Editor Addon does all of these by default, where the official plugin still asks users to opt out of these features for some strange reason.
So far, over 100,000 users a running one of these Gutenberg blockers on their website, so should you.
Honestly, I think the new editor is pretty rad and the more people that try it and report bugs, the better it’s going to be when it roles out. If you are a developer that’s worried about an older site you built for a client, I recommend sending one simple email to your client informing them about the benefits of the new editor and about it’s risks to their site when it roles out. This is a great way to educate the client and let them know that you’d be willing to do a site audit for an additional fee, otherwise it’s their responsibility if anything goes wrong.
In the long term, Gutenberg is coming no matter what. So it’s best to address these issues early on and reach out to your client to let them know the risks.
Have you built sites for a client that you are hesitant about updating to Gutenberg? How are you choosing to handle the new changes? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week!”