The latest big innovation to come to WordPress, Gutenberg, appears to be failing hard, at least judging by user reception and reviews on the plugin’s profile on WordPress.org. The Gutenberg project has been heavily criticised ever since it was announced by Matt Mullenweg a few years back. The biggest concerns have been about the way that feedback from developers and users was handled (mostly apparently ignored), whether this should have been the focus of the core development team versus other features, and how it will affect themes and existing websites.
As Gutenberg is being pushed to websites things are breaking as it is still not a fully completed tool, coupled by the fact that the majority of themes are not yet Gutenberg-compatible, leading to many WordPress users throwing up their arms in rage and indignation.
On the plugin’s page on WordPress.org, the vast majority of reviews are 1-star reviews. Out of the last ten reviews I checked, all of them were 1-star, except one which rated the plugin 2 stars out of 5. Clearly something is very wrong.
There was even talk by Morten Rand-Hendriksen of a possible fork of WordPress, so that people who preferred the old editor could let their websites run on that version of WordPress, while a new and fresher take on the CMS platform with Gutenberg on board would be given free reign to develop without being shackled by backward compatibility concerns. Scott Bowler went ahead and created ClassicPress.
WordPress educator Bob Dunn has gathered feedback on Gutenberg from various prominent members of the WordPress community.
Eric Karkovak wrote about the pros and cons of redesigning a brochure-style site using Gutenberg, concluding that Gutenberg “not there yet” but has lots of potential.
As WordPress users and stakeholders in this niche, should we be worried that Gutenberg will disillusion many users and cause a sharp decline in the web’s trust of WordPress as a software and as a community? Will that eventually lead to a decline in WordPress usage dealing a hard blow to all the businesses that have developed around WordPress in the past fifteen years or so?
What’s your take?