Like it or loath it, WordPress’s Gutenberg is nearly here and in this First Impressions video, you can see exactly what I think of it while experiencing it for the first time! No cuts, outtakes or edits; this is my honest first impression of the new page editor in action!

Initial Thoughts of Gutenberg

Some things certainly have become apparent with the forthcoming release of WordPress 5.0 and the included Gutenberg visual blocks editor; primarily how many other areas of WordPress really should have been the developers focus.

Yes, you could say that they are trying to keep up with the likes of Wix by providing a more visual method of content creation. However, with an already bustline ecosystem of visual page builders like Elementor, Visual Composer and Divi to name but a few, the playing field is already pretty well catered for.

So, what other areas of WordPress need some TLC?

How about the Media Library? Surely that deserves some love and attention! It’s been pretty much the same badly designed layout for years. If you run a small website or blog, it is perfectly serviceable, but when you run a more graphic intense website, you quickly find that it is painfully slow, difficult to find what you want and lacks any real organisational tools.

Yes, you can install free plugins or purchase more advanced premium add-ons, but surely it would be more useful to have this type of functionality built into the core of WP.

The WordPress Dashboard

How about the Dashboard itself? I know it’s perfectly functional, but it isn’t exactly state of the art now is it? It’s considerably better looking than version 3, but as far as UI / UX goes, it really isn’t setting the world alight.

There are some great themes for the Dashboard out there that make it a much more user-friendly experience, not to mention more intuitive. Take a look at something as simple as Slate, a free theme for your Dashboard and you’ll see there are some tastefully implemented design and UI tweaks that provide a more intuitive interface.

If you want something a little more radical, how about Legacy, a premium Dashboard theme available from Themeforest. A little bit more ‘full-on’, but certainly fresher than what we’ve been using for years.

Do I Hate Gutenberg?

Hate is a strong word, and as you’ll see from the video above, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the ways it is being implemented into the core of WP, but from a personal and business standpoint, I don’t feel there is a real need to go quite as far as they have.

Yes, the old editor is a little long in the tooth and certainly needed a refresh, but with all the great quality page builders already on the market, many of which have great free versions available (Elementor & Brizy to name just 2), you already have easier and better implementations available. So, why not concentrate some of that time and effort on other aspects of WP?

If it’s to boost market share, then it would have been better to have teamed up with a company with a proven track record in the visual editor market and integrate something like that into the core software.

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