Is Guten-Pain Good?

Gutenberg, the new WordPress post editor is coming soon and its a big change. Change makes people scared, that’s natural. Not all of that fear, in my opinion, matches up with the reality of what Gutenberg actually does and does not do. But, its a big change with some very real risks.

What WordCamp Montreal Taught Me

I attended WordCamp Montreal recently. Besides how great the vegan food was in Montreal I had two big takeaways:

First, industry veterans are excited about the possibility of Gutenberg and are also very worried about the transition. I think some of that is people still not understanding that Gutenberg WordPress 5.0 doesn’t change existing content. But also, there are some valid concerns there.

My other big set of takeaways was from a talk by Jer Clarke about Buddhism and WordPress. This was a great talk. It was not heavy on WordPress content but did make light of the how everything including WordPress changes.

It reminded me of how many times I’ve told people something like, “I used to be so stressed about technical debt and not having enough time for everything I want to build and not making enough money. Now, I’ve got technical debt, not enough time and not enough money.” Then they look at me as if I have something else to add, and I don’t. I’m just more at peace with the fact that these things are happening and less attached to worrying about them.

I still break down and cry, but way less often. I also meditate and exercise every day. I think it helps.

What About The Gutes?

Yes, Gutenberg is a big deal. My big concern, as someone whose business is based on WordPress’ huge market share, is that Gutenberg will lead to a shrinking size of the available customers for me.

It might.

Also, Squarespace. Also the rise in Laravel-backed CMS and CMS-like tools like Nova. Also, serverless static site platforms like Netlify are getting more CMS-like features.

I’m a big fan of the scenario where distributed web apps backed by an Etherum-like blockchain.

Some Disappointing Things Will Happen

I’ve been very concerned about what happens when folks, who chose WordPress based on its promise of backwards compatibility, have to chose between paying to fix problems created by Gutenberg and paying for a new site.

A lot of people own websites that they do not maintain. 

I wonder why we in the community are so attached to supporting those who do not expect to have to support their own sites. That’s their free choice, and if they leave WordPress when faced with this responsibility is that such a bad thing?

I Don’t Know Anything

Or maybe everything will go better than we fear. Maybe Gutenberg really is what WordPress needs to stay relevant.

I have no fucking clue. But I do know that, right now using WordPress, without Gutenberg, to create content is painful. Fearing what happens when you update is scary. These are all know threats to the WordPress ecosystem. They are are real and scary.

Things are changing and that’s difficult and scary.

Also, the sky is blue and no one is forcing you to update. Classic editor or staying on 4.x might be the best solution for existing sites.

I don’t know, but I so hope it goes well. I really want to keep going back to WordCamp Montreal every year, the began food is great.

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