Wordpress 5.0 & Gutenberg is here + Classic Editor Plugin already doomed...

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ACF is the only reason I made the switch to Gutenberg. As you mentioned, I tried wading through the horrendous documentation for creating custom blocks. It sucked. Then I finally learned about ACF's custom block feature (only available in beta right now IIRC) and it was a godsend.

I was already doing something similar with ACF in the past for client sites. Essentially, I had a Flexible Content field with different layouts corresponding to different design elements. The template loops through the flexible content field rows, checks the layout id, and includes the corresponding PHP file (which has all the HTML and get_sub_field() calls compartmentalized). It keeps it so the client can edit the content and move stuff around without running the risk of breaking any HTML.

Custom blocks are essentially the same thing, and they also make it easy to include simple things like a paragraph or an image in between the more complex design elements. I agree though, the Gutenberg column layouts are atrocious. As far as I'm concerned, anything that needs a column layout is going in a custom ACF block with all the bootstrap grid CSS already baked in.
 
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One thing that breaks (only if you "convert to blocks") is the custom classes on the img tag. Now it seems that they don't allow any custom class in the img tag. Any custom class is inserted in the figure class.

So if you have any custom class hardcoded in HTML in the img tag it gets deleted (they don't move it to the figure class, which would be better).
 

Ryuzaki

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@DarkRed, for sure, I came to that realization after typing the huge post above (deregistering the Block CSS). Typing that post was my way to review and rethink. I agree with you and am actually about to do that in the next hour.

I also found out how to disable blocks (or rather whitelist only ones you want including ones you make). So yeah, I feel like the real way to make Gutenberg tolerable for you and your clients / users is going to be trimming out all the nonsense. If the option to screw up isn't there, they can't screw up, and you yourself don't have to run literal searches to find the block you want. We can leave the 5 to 15 we'll actually use and get rid of the rest, plus color palettes, font size options, and anything else.

And yeah, losing custom classes on images is going to be the thing that costs me the most time. Luckily I can revisit them and make them simpler.
 
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The image thing must be a bug. I guess they will fix it later on. I won't convert any old post to blocks until that is fixed.
 

CCarter

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The thing about Wordpress, and for most "easy to use" solutions, is the owner starts controlling less and less of their experience unless they invest more and more significant time to customizing it or (fixing it), time which one cannot get back.

If I had to go in and fix or customize an update because my vendor's decisions (for their company) impacted a good portion of my business - on a constant basis, that vendor would be considered unreliable and quickly replaced at some point. Imagine having to go in and re-customize your phone settings or your computer settings every time the operating system does an update - insane.

It's why people fled Firefox long ago, those constant updates were not as smooths as Chrome's version and were intrusive. It's one thing if the re-configuration or customization happens once in a blue moon, but 3 or 4 times a year - it is now a "No Money" project that doesn't move the revenue needle an inch, but wastes time just to "keep things from breaking".

They stated they are looking to get to a Wix fully customized website level (WYSIWYG site builder experience) - and that means for people needing more advanced features, plugins, or whatever - things will continue to break towards their path to this "easy for everyone" solution.

Now it's even more terrifying to press the "Update" button on WordPress cause you don't know if you'll be up all night updating 1000s of posts cause something broke.

The solution seems obvious - if Wordpress is going down a "easy for everyone" path, but you cannot survive down that path, it's time to chart a new way forward. I can only imagine Wordpress 6.0...
 

mackem

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I feel my biggest issue with the current version is that I'm having to install more and more plugins and write more functions just to remove all the shit that's in there.
 

Calamari

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I feel my biggest issue with the current version is that I'm having to install more and more plugins and write more functions just to remove all the shit that's in there.
Honestly, that's a very serious problem to have and it's one of the biggest reasons that I moved to static site generation.
 

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I've never understood why so many people will invest days/weeks/months learning WordPress, trying to find plugins that MIGHT be close to what they want then spend the rest of the time making compromises because WordPress won't quite fit the bill. When I talk to most people that use WordPress about maybe switching to a static site generator, they either tell me they don't have the time, freak out because they can't do anything without plugins or they talk about how "old school and antiquated" static sites are. No matter how many security issues WordPress has or how many times updates break their sites, they still have a reaction analogous to Stockholm Syndrome and let themselves get screwed over and over by update after update while singing the praises of WordPress and how "easy" everything is. Easy to lose everything...

I've said this before and it bears repeating. Spend the time learning basic Web Design & Development. A little bit of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and a scripting lang such as Python/PHP/Ruby will take you infinitely farther than trying to shoehorn what is essentially a blog platform into the "42" of your business needs. Would you buy an oven with a "refrigerator plugin"? Is it really worth trading the freedom and ability to do what you dream of for a house of cards that makes life "easy" when it works but hell when it breaks? Sounds like some relationship stories I've heard.

There are tons of very nice looking static site themes out there. Once you learn how to use just one static site generator along with your HTML/CSS/JS knowledge, you can do pretty much anything you want. I've talked to a few people that have switched from WordPress to Hugo/Jekyll/Pico/etc and one thing I haven't heard yet is "I regret moving away from WordPress" or "I regret learning Web Design/Dev instead of just learning WordPress and being dependent on plugins". In contrast, I can tell you many stories of the infinite number of problems people have with just about every WordPress update, especially the major ones. As a consultant, I've had to fix more than a truckload of sites the broke because 1 or more plugins shit the bed. It will be interesting to see who's still aboard that sinking ship as future updates break their sites and businesses.
 

Cash Builder

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I started out in web development and built static sites before I even knew what Wordpress was. My first successful affiliate site was built using pure html and css with bootstrap.

The reason I switched to Wordpress was that there wasn’t really a lot of people who wanted to buy a non-Wordpress site. I eventually found a buyer, who was a developer, and he converted the site to Wordpress.

If there was more of a market for buying and selling static affiliate sites, I would definitely go back to building them. I still remember how fast that site was compared to my current sites.
 
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The three reasons anyone with any sense is still using Wordpress:
  1. They want to have a big base of buyers when they sell their own site.
  2. They're forced to use it based on the demands of clients.
  3. They rely on user generated content and the writers can use it easily.
The big boy developers I know have a functions.php file they can upload that automatically strips out all of the crap and gives them a clean experience. With Gutenberg it'll get expanded but only has to be done once and then they're right back to scaling.

Turning content into block posts is a giant waste of time though. I guess as long as they keep that "classic block" available you don't have to change old ones over, but it's still the classic editor in a block. I'm doubt they'll keep TinyMCE in there forever.
 

CCarter

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The three reasons anyone with any sense is still using Wordpress:
  1. They want to have a big base of buyers when they sell their own site.
  2. They're forced to use it based on the demands of clients.
  3. They rely on user generated content and the writers can use it easily.
I think it’s more so fear of the unknown than anything. It’s confirmation bias. “If your website is on wordpress you have more potential buys” - is that really true though? I believe most people thinking like this are looking at it from a strong “affiliate marketing” perspective.

If you look at it from a business perspective- it wouldn’t matter. If a business is for sell that’s generating $2 million a year in profits - the old owner isn’t going to waste time “converting it to wordpress”. And any potential buyer that would demand the site be converted wouldn’t be taken seriously.

That literally is a “No Money” project - it will add tremendous costs to the seller, with no real benefit cause the systems in place are going to be switched. But either way no serious business being sold is told “change this part of your profitable business - then we’ll buy it.” Do you know how difficult it is to just have a profitable business in the first place?

“Conventional Wisdom is almost always wrong.” - Dan Pena

Perhaps if you are selling low end affiliate sites potential buyers that don’t really know alot about running a website might need Wordpress. But if you are selling a business, you have infrastructure and workflow and work processes in place along with marketing campaigns that have made that business a success. The buyer is looking for profitable and unique businesses with high barrier to entry for competition - the thinking is backwards when people say “wordpress is required to sell a website”.

It’s like buying real estate - Wordpress are the McMansion houses in gated communities, yeah they are okay and huddling together might ensure longevity for the community - If you are looking for McMansions with big pools fine.

But what if you are looking for income generating real estate like an office building? Does that office building being for sell now need to convert itself into a McMansion wiith a pool to be sold? No. It’s an office building - it is a business with staff and infrastructure. What it needs is a good location for its clients, its client’s customers, a good parking garage, and other amenities that the McMansion is simply incapable of providing - and would be laughable if it did. Imagine a McMansion that’s attached to a 5 story parking garage.

I’m afraid alot of people that are trying to be in the office building business see advice like “wordpress is needed to sell the website” and start building a McMansion with a parking garage structure and other office building addons that the original McMansion structure was not designed for. Someone trying to build a Saas or services company might walk away thinking “this needs to be on Wordpress”.

If your buyers are families looking for a McMansion - affiliate marketing, then sure go ahead. But there is also segement of families that do not want to live in a gated community with pre-shaped houses, they want customized home for their own needs.

If your buyers are investors or business owners they aren’t in the McMansion target, they are in the “what is profitable in this industry I am after” target audience. You would look crazy trying to sell them the McMansion with a parking garage attached. It doesn’t address their needs.

“Wordpress is needed to sell a website” is simply confirmation bias. Simply because the buyers you deal with are in the McMansion market doesn’t mean those are literally the only type of buyers out there in the world. Some are looking for custom and unique solutions, some are looking for businesses with infrastructure to generate profits.

Another analogy cars. Millions of family cars are sold yearly - they would be the equivalent of wordpress sites. Yes millions have them, but it doesn’t mean that the car is the only solution. What if you need to transport a satellite into outspace? Car is useless, truck is useless, boat is useless, airplane is useless and a bike is useless. You need a space shuttle to get that satellite into outspace. Yet all those other transportation vehicles have real world uses. Different jobs require different platforms and all of them will have potential buyers that have different needs.

Some people are literally building ecommerce business on a blog platform cause of this wordpress thinking and think it’ll be fine in the long run. Logic tells you that, no matter how good WooCommerce is, it is still building on a blog McMansion platform instead of starting off with an ecommerce centric focused platform. You are going to have more headaches than solutions when these “wordpress updates” keep happening in the future - when you could have started off on an ecommerce platform from the beginning.

Different website or business buyers are going to have different needs, wordpress cannot solve all of those needs, and it’s a bit dangerous to start off that notion that it should be the one-size fits all solution.
 
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Does anybody know if the Classic Block is going to go away when the Classic Editor does?

The Classic Block is the classic editor in block form, and your posts are dumped into those when you first enable the Block Editor.

You can see that the temptation would be to leave all of your old posts in the Classic Block and not have to deal with converting them to blocks. But if the Classic Block stops being supported (still based on TinyMCE) then that screws old sites with thousands of posts.

Also it sucks. You can't even add images because the "Add Media" button was never even a part of TinyMCE. You have to manually add images to the media library and fetch their URL and write the HTML by hand.
 

Jared

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I'm starting to hate the layout of the editor page on WordPress 5.0. It's just way more complex and confusing than it needs to be. I thought I'd get used to it over time, but no.
 

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One thing is for sure, they're creating real jobs and a positive boost to the economy for devs and designers alike. That volatility is great job security. LOL