When the announcement of Gutenberg came out months ago in the development community, I met with some of the people I worked with and said it was something we needed to start looking at and planning for. In those discussions the question did come up what if Gutenberg fails? What if it completely breaks the WordPress experience? Would we move to something else, and what would that be?
WordPress is an open source project, meaning you are free to take it, build on top of it, and use it almost however you would like. You just can’t sale it. There is new a new open source project in the wild that is now a complete fork of WordPress called ClassicPress.
The purpose behind ClassicPress at this point isn’t to innovate new features with WordPress as a starting point, but instead it’s main goal is to avoid Gutenberg all together and raise awareness of it’s shortcomings. I’ve been writing a few posts on Gutenberg and its drama, and how to prepare for it. This new fork adds to the growing drama and concerns that many have over Gutenberg.
While feelings on this fork are very mixed, so are the reviews on Gutenberg. At the time of this writing the plugin had 262 5 star ratings and 615 1 star ratings. Regardless of your thoughts on Gutenberg the data shows that the masses aren’t thrilled with it just yet. There have been plugins released that will allow developers to disable Gutenberg across all of their site, or just portions. With ClassicPress none of those are needed.
Looking at the ClassicPress site the author states this:
“Gutenberg is a great idea in principle but the execution is terrible. After my feedback on Gutenberg fell on deaf ears I decided it was time to move to a fork. A quick search revealed nobody had taken the initiative so I decided to stop complaining and take action. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but there’s only one way to find out!”Scott Bowler
It seems that Scott shares the views of many, the idea of Gutenberg is great but the entire project doesn’t seem extremely well thought out.
I have to say I love the idea of Gutenberg, I love how WordPress is trying to come up with a standardized solutions to all the many different pages builders. Some builders are good, some not so good and the difference in experience in these have left a bad taste in the mouths of many casual users. Something has to be done to keep WordPress relevant and according to Mullenweg that something is Gutenberg. Gutenberg isn’t officially a page builder according to the the developers but that is the void its trying to feel.
Ultimately I enjoy Gutenberg and have noticed huge improvements in it since it was first announced. It will only continue to get better. Do I think a switch to something like ClassicPress is warranted? Not by a long shot, but for the right situation it could be an option to consider.
Whether you think Gutenberg is good or bad the folks developing it wont know unless you tell them. So go to GitHub, go to the Plugin Repo and tell them. If you like Gutenberg help develop it, if you don’t like Gutenberg help develop it. Do whatever is needed to make the Gutenberg project and WordPress succeed so people don’t have to question is it time to leave WordPress?