"Gutenberg is not usable at this time"

Torben Simon Meier Last updated 10/23/2020
4 Min.
gutenberg is not yet usable

It still has a few teething problems, but the new WordPress editor Gutenberg is already an impressive Plugin in beta. This is because the new block system impresses when tested and makes one aware of the potential of Gutenberg . Unfortunately, there is currently a big problem: It is not suitable for live operation.

100,000 active installs: That's the magic limit Matt Mullenweg has issued. Should the new Gutenberg editor reach this many active installations, the Plugin would be integrated into the WordPress core.

I'd like to give Gutenberg some extra gestation time as a plugin, ideally getting it to 100k active sites over the next month or two, before we merge.

- Matt Mullenweg, June 16 on WordPress .org

At the moment Gutenberg is at about 700 active installations and a little more than 3,300 downloads. And: In my opinion, the limit of 100,000 active users is utopian. Because the beta stage makes the editor unusable for live operation. Too great is the (perceived) danger that WordPress crashes uncontrollably or that Plugin shreds existing content. And: The share of sites with WordPress 4.8 is still too small for this.

Currently, the gutenberg editor has just 700+ active installations.
The Gutenberg editor is still a little over 99,200 active installs away from Mullenweg's goal. Questionable whether that's achievable without active advertising.

Of course, software in the beta phase still has to fight with bugs and errors. In the case of Gutenberg , for example, these are the table and button blocks. But just the beta stage and the associated warnings will inhibit the spread of Gutenberg in the first time. This is especially true for the majority of WordPress users, who tend not to have their own development environments and therefore cannot safely test Plugin . By the way, it is not yet known when the beta phase will end.. In fact, Mullenweg recently announced that WordPress 5.0 will be a Gutenberg-centric update will be.

The gutenberg plugin overview. There is still an explicit warning against the use in live operation.
The explicit warning should make many users without a development environment or the absolute will to test at least think twice.

In addition, Gutenberg is only compatible with WordPress installations from version 4.8. And that's currently just 19.7 percent of the installations covered by wordpress.org covered sites . If you combine this number with data from w3techs.comthe estimated number is 550,000. WordPress sites , with which Gutenberg is compatible. Ergo, 20 percent of these site operators would have to have Gutenberg installed on their livesite or a test environment in order to crack the targeted hurdle.

The current distribution of the WordPress versions
Under WordPress.org/about/stats, for example, the current numbers can be viewed via the version distribution.

Granted: This calculation is highly simplified and certainly there is a better approximation. But it makes clear how long and rocky the road to 100,000 active installations still is. Here it is especially important to wait for WordPress 4.9. Because if there is a version distribution like currently with WordPress 4.8 and 4.7, things will look quite different.

How realistic he thinks his own threshold is, what changes to the plan the team reserves, and whether and how Mullenweg would push for integration without reaching the 100,000 mark is unclear so far. Probably in part to preserve the necessary room to maneuver. After all, what I've heard so far about the new editor, it seems to me that Mullenweg would push for an integration of the new editor, should it be on the button.

And from what I've seen of the new editor so far, that would be a good thing! Because Gutenberg can actually become the "basis for the future of content customization in WordPress " invoked by Mullenweg.. And mostly because of its new block system.

With blocks, structuring and laying out posts has never been easier. The blocks demand the use of paragraphs and subheadings. And the creators, Joen Asmussen and Matias Venturahave already considered many practical functions for publishers: from the design of initials, lists and image galleries to video integration.

This is what the new gutenberg editor looks like in operation.
This is what the Gutenberg editor looks like: Tidy, text-centric and clear.

However, I fear that Gutenberg - as long as the Plugin remains a beta version with the obligatory warning notice - will eke out a shadowy existence in Staging environments, page clones and local test environments. So I'm really looking forward to the full version and the next big WordPress update.

Mullenweg's goal of reaching 100,000 installations in the next "one to two months" seems utopian to me. More realistic seems the to integrate Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0 seems more realistic.. Gladly also independently of the 100,000 limit.

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