Updated: May 17, 2023 By: Dessign Team

Gutenberg WordPress review

Everyone loved the old editor for its simplicity. But this simplicity also had a downside. Without editing the HTML code, it was impossible to make pages with a custom layout. Yes, and the work with HTML itself required more time and more in-depth knowledge of HTML.

Because of all this, over time, developers thought about fundamentally new block editors. One solution along with Elementor and WPBakery page builder was the Gutenberg block editor.  

Since WordPress 5.0 and the following builds, the standard page editor has changed. Gutenberg's page editor is now installed by default.

So that everyone can decide whether to use Gutenberg or return to Classic Editor in their work in WordPress, we will talk about the pros and cons of each editor.

Table of content

  • Why did WordPress present the Gutenberg editor?
  • What is The Classic Editor?
  • Pros and Cons of the Classic Editor:
  • What is this new block editor (Gutenberg)?
  • Advantages of Gutenberg editor
    • Blocks in Gutenberg
    • TinyMCE Editor
    • All blocks can be adjusted and moved
    • Complete statistics on created posts
  • Disadvantages of Gutenberg Editor
  • Which One to Choose?
  • Is Your Choice the Gutenberg Editor?
  • How can you deactivate Gutenberg Editor or use it in parallel to Classic Editor?
  • Comparison table
  • Conclusions

Why did WordPress present the Gutenberg editor?

For a long time, WordPress used the TinyMCE editor to create posts and pages. The Classic WP editor was a simple text box with a panel for basic formatting capabilities.

Although the editor worked well, users had to learn different approaches to adding images, creating galleries, embedding videos, adding tables, and other content elements. This learning curve, combined with modern web standards, makes WordPress more challenging to use compared to other website builders. If you want to learn how to make a WordPress website we have a step by step tutorial!

The new block editor WordPress offers a modern, optimized writing process when each content element is enclosed in a block. You can move these blocks around the editor, change their settings, create attractive layouts without writing code.

Of course, Gutenberg still scares and confuses many users. Everything is not so scary. I have prepared an overview of two of them. So, you can see their pros and cons and decide for yourself which one is better Gutenberg of the Classic Editor.  Let's start with the old one.

What is The Classic Editor?

WordPress classic editor

The Classic editor was the default WordPress editor until Gutenberg.

This editor is a straightforward textual content editor like Microsoft Word or any other word processing software. The Classic Editor is a light-weight content material editor that lets in simple formatting. Although it is essential, it does make you include various HTML tags, which are necessary for search engine optimization purposes.

This editor might appear limited, but it's miles designed to be an easy way to format original text, making it perfect for users who no longer want complicated designs and formatting. If the purpose is to have a quick and easy manner to layout multimedia content material, the Classic editor does a superb job.

This editor has been popular in WordPress for many years. But since Gutenberg became the default editor, you need to use the Classic Editor plugin to use again.

This plugin is easy to use and fully restores the classic editor in WordPress. But there is one but. WordPress will support it only until 31 December 2021. Well, we still have a lot of time. Let’s look at its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and Cons of the Classic Editor:

  • Simple to add content and to format it;
  • Reminds simple text editor;
  • Let you include various HTML tags;
  • Everyone has just gotten used to it.

The Classic editor cons:

  • The Classic editor is no longer designed for complex page layout.
  • To edit requires HTML skills.
  • Needs a lot of plugins for extra features.

What is this new block editor (Gutenberg)?

WordPress Gutenberg page builder

This editor was released in December 2018. It is called block editor, thanks to its functionality. You just add blocks to create your content per drag and drop. So, it makes this editor user-friendly and straightforward.

With Gutenberg, it is interesting to write and edit posts. The main focus of the project is on media content.

Gutenberg has various reviews so far and has received a modest 2/5 star on WordPress.org. At the time of writing, there were over 3000 reviews with two asterisks, and many of them express the same problems. The main problem is not that not everyone needs blocks. The current WordPress editor is extremely flexible and allows you to create sites of various styles that perfectly match the idea of WordPress.

Of course, there are also positive comments, such as:

At first, I thought this would be a useless change to the editor. But now the more I use this, the more I like it.” twopoints (@twopoints)

I’m extremely impressed by what the Gutenberg team has accomplished.” Yash Patel (@wpyash27)

I know this is still being heavily developed and adjusted but as a theme developer I’m loving it.” FriendlyWP (@mmcginnis) 

Advantages of Gutenberg editor

If you look at the new page editor more calmly and objectively, you will find many convenient functions and solutions. 

Here are the main advantages:

  • Simplification of the writing process;
  • Helps present content as blocks;
  • It allows you to create complex layouts without experience and HTML knowledge;
  • Displays current tools you can use;
  • Allows fast embedding of content from different resources;
  • Easy to create an individual layout for a blog article or a subpage;
  • The blocks concept also allows non-developers to create complex layouts. This makes work much easier, especially for WordPress beginners.
  • Blocks can be reused;
  • Widgets can now be easily inserted into posts and pages without additional plugins.

Blocks in Gutenberg

Each block is a separate type of content or page elements. Among the blocks that are in Gutenberg:

  • headers
  • paragraphs
  • buttons
  • galleries
  • individual images

All blocks have several settings and their advantages. For example, if you want to create a button on a page, you can change its size, label, shape, location, and other parameters.

You will also have access to blocks that contain content from third-party developers as:

  • Reddit
  • TED
  • SoundCloud
  • YouTube, and many others.

TinyMCE Editor

The TinyMCE editor is still available. For him, his block called “Classic” is reserved. Just click on the cross in the menu, open the list of blocks, and select the Classic option in it.

This is a good option for those who are switching to using Gutenberg gradually.

By the way, finding the right blocks is very simple. There is a built-in search box for this. Just enter the name of the block you need in the line, and the designer will show you the element you need.

If you used shortcodes in some entries, they would still work with the new editor. You can easily find free block plugins that work well with Gutenberg. Among them are Yoast, Jetpack, and others.

All blocks can be adjusted and moved

Gutenberg adjustable blocks

Blocks can be moved up, down and to the side, customizable. This can be done by simple drag and drop or using the arrows.

In the right-side panel, you can customize the entire document and individual blocks. For example, in the paragraph block settings, you can change the font size, style, and other characteristics of the text.

Complete statistics on created posts

With one click of the mouse, you can get comprehensive statistics on the created material: the number of words, images, the total amount of text, and other information will be available.

Disadvantages of Gutenberg Editor

Here are some main cons:

  • There are still incompatibilities with some themes and plugins
  • Unusual interface
  • Bad reviews
  • Persistent errors
  • There is no longer any support for meta boxes
  • Some shortcodes no longer work
  • Columns are not yet responsive and still quite cumbersome to set up
  • The preview of changes does not work properly until you save
  • Creating links doesn't always work 100%
  • Gutenberg copies many of the functions of visual designers

The most popular problems are interface and conflicts with themes and old plugins. This problem is paid less attention, although it is much more serious. Gutenberg developers made every effort to make it as compatible as possible. But unpleasant surprises are also possible. So, if you use the Gutenberg editor, it is better to use the Gutenberg-ready theme too.

Which One to Choose?

Gutenberg editor is for the people who need to offer their website a whole new look. It offers enormous possibilities to edit their website by developing a dynamic layout. It enables you also to make your site more optimized and light.

Gutenberg editor came with more functions, and now his value grows. For the users who require the truthful editing of photographs and text, Gutenberg is a must-have. 

If you want to recognize which editor to use, then the simple answer could be that it relies upon your needs. For example, in case you're a creative blogger, who adds a lot of illustration and media files, then Gutenberg is the proper choice for you.

If you are a casual blogger and don’t need to create many beautiful posts each day, then the Classic editor is good enough for you. It doesn’t mean that you should not use the Gutenberg editor to write easy posts. But, in case you don’t require the one’s additional functions, then why waste time getting to know it?

Also, if your WordPress site calls for a minimalist appearance able to speedy loading, the classic editor works here too. However, in case you need extra freedom to layout your page in a variety of columns and blocks, the Gutenberg editor is the higher preference.

Is Your Choice the Gutenberg Editor?

Then check first your WordPress template, is it compatible with Gutenberg? If it is not, you need to find one. Here are some quick tips for choosing Gutenberg Theme.

I would recommend the minimalistic themes because it is still in trend and user-friendly. 

By the way, my favorite minimalistic theme for blogging Gutenberry is based on Gutenberg. So, there is nothing that can go wrong.

You should also make sure all your plugins are compatible. At least, check for new updates.

You can also set up a staging environment to test your website for Gutenberg compatibility and only switch if you are sure. For example, you can use a staging environment with the Duplicator Plugin.

If you decided to stay with the Classic editor, you need to deactivate Gutenberg.

How can you deactivate Gutenberg Editor or use it in parallel to Classic Editor?

Classic Editor

Option 1: Classic Editor plugin

The first way to disable Gutenberg in WordPress is to use the official Classic Editor plugin. All you have to do is look for the name under the WordPress menu item Plugin → Install and install the plugin. As soon as you activate the extension, you deactivate the Gutenberg Editor.

The plugin is particularly suitable if, as an agency, you have customers who post content themselves and are not yet briefed for the Gutenberg Editor. The add-on prevents a user from accidentally activating Gutenberg.

The plugin is currently installed more than 5 million times, even though it is only a little over a year old.

The installation base has risen sharply in recent months. Especially when new versions of WordPress 5.x are released, which is simply because it is then immediately pointed out that the Classic Editor can be installed.

Disable Gutenberg plugin

Option 2: Disable Gutenberg plugin

Like the Gutenberg Manager, the Disable Gutenberg plugin offers the option of only switching off the new editor for special user roles or content types such as posts, pages, custom post types, etc. This is practical in that you can gradually familiarize yourself with the Gutenberg Editor. The function is also an excellent alternative to the Classic Editor add-on for customer websites if the user role and access rights (to the Gutenberg Editor) are coordinated.

Use Gutenberg & Classic Editor at the same time

Both the Disable Gutenberg plugin and the Classic Editor extension allow you to use both editors at the same time. If you have installed the Classic Editor plugins, simply navigate to Settings → Write and determine that users can change the editor.

Use Classic Editor as a block

There is another way to connect Classic and Gutenberg Editor. Even without installing the Classic Editor plugin, you can load the Classic Editor as a block in Gutenberg. Simply add a new block (click on the little plus on the left) and select the Classic Block under Formatting → Classic.

Comparison table

GutenbergClassic editor
Drag-and-drop interfaceNo
Parallax effect when scrollingNo
Download media directly to the editor(to the library automatically)Files are uploaded to the library first, then to the editor.
Easy creating complex elements with custom blocksRequires HTML knowledge
Setting items inside the editorTo edit, you need to go to the library
Superior performance (easy to add and edit image online)Might be slight freeze or lag when working on huge posts
Creating content with blocksA plain area to create content and type text
True WYSIWYGNo page preview while editing
Contact form, table, inserting videos, etcNeeds lots of plugins to add such features


I liked the old editor, and I'm used to it. But you need to keep up with the times. I understand that it is difficult to leave the comfort zone. Why change the old when everything works well already? But everything is known by comparison.

Allocate a few evenings and master the functions of the new editor Gutenberg. If you do not like it, go back to the old, but only after a detailed study.

So that the transition does not seem so painful, use the Classic block.

If you are used to using website builders, you might also like working with Gutenberg more than the default editor.

If you mainly work on a phone or tablet, I would recommend using Gutenberg or at least follow its development. The above problems should be eliminated by developers who devote a lot of time to making this project work.

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