September 9th, 2021 @ 1:22 am
i just updated one of my wordpress installs to the latest version (5.8.1) and when it was done, the latest update headline read “the next stop on the road to full site editing”.
as a web developer, one of my web 101 rules is that clients should NEVER have full site editing privileges. especially when it comes time to colors and page structure. this is how we end up with websites that look like a piles of disorganized horseshit OR geocitiesesque looking websites.
you might think i’m being dramatic, but at my first web job, my nerd boss (le swoon) built an editor where we would add tags to specific areas, to give clients editability (headers, divs, p tags, etc.). even at the most limited areas of editability, part of our job was cleaning up client’s code because they’d hit the bold button or italics button too many times. they would assign colors the wrong way, and a p tag would have nested several colors within it at once.
FYI: in HTML/websites, the regular/majority website text content (aka the text you’re reading right now) is a “p tag”.
<p>it looks like this in the code</p>.
when we setup websites, we assign style rules to p tags via stylesheets (an external file for all of your style rules in one place). for my p tag here, i’ve assigned the font-family (verdana font), the size, the line-height, the color (black aka #000000), font weight, etc. using a stylesheet, there’s no need to keep telling the browser what it should be every time there’s a new p tag (you can assign the rules inline on each p tag using the style attribute <p style=”font-family:verdana,sans-serif;”> if you wanted to, but no one does that anymore), with a stylesheet, there is one set of rules and it’s assigned for the entire site and only called once.
for example, within the <p> tag, our clients would have like…
<p><span style=”color:#FF0000;”><span style=”color:#FFFFFF;”><span style=”color:#FFFF00;”><span style=”color:#FF0000;”><span style=”color:#000000;”>some text</span></span></span></span></p>
…etc., this p tag has span tags with a few different colors, because the clients had the ability to change colors. i’m dumbing it down, i’ve seen where there were like HUNDREDS of lines of that, it was insane sometimes. i’ll be fair and say while the editor was injecting and not deleting the span tags, the person was still sitting there clicking these things, when they should have stayed within the color palette anyway.
when you have a website, you’re supposed to have a color palette and stick to it, not have all beiges and a highlight color (say, a dark orange and black) or two then stick A BRIGHT BLUE HEADING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE. this is why we tend to avoid giving creative access to clients, but i digress…
if in case you don’t know what wordpress is, tl;dr: wordpress is a free/open source CMS (content management system). it’s been around since the early 2000s and has been pretty much the same since its inception. it used to be for bloggers, but then it evolved into this CMS beast, hosting a large amount of the internet’s websites (WordPress is used by 41.4% of the top 10 million websites as of May 2021 – Wikipedia).
in 2018, for some idiotic reason, wordpress head honchos decided they were going to switch up the default content editor. without any input from the tons of developers that brought wordpress to more of a CMS platform than a blogging platform, just *poof* the new editor was there. a lot of people were pissed… me being one of those people.
out of sheer anger from reading that stupid ass installation confirmation headline, i decided to look at both plugins pages on wordpress.org to see how many active installs there were for “classic editor” and “gutenberg” to see if my argument against this newest bullshit is still valid. i usually check in once a year, to see if i’m still not alone in this, and i never am.
i hate gutenberg, and i will die on this hill. hopefully classic editor will still be supported for the future, because if i have to turn to the dark side, i’d rather chop off a toe and eat it.
anyways, if you’re not completely turned off by my nerd rant, here’s what the stats turned out:
gutenberg: has 300,000+ active installs (since gutenberg is now the default editor in wordpress and doesn’t necessarily require the installs anymore, i’m guessing maybe that’s why the number is so low? even so, then why are they even still considered active installs?). if i’m being generous, i’ll include 1+ million active installations for this template library to go along with the editor being the default and using it.
5 star reviews: 703
1 star reviews: 2,269
classic editor: 5M+ active installs
5 star reviews: 963
1 star reviews: 14 (i just wanted to note re: bad reviews that “it’s broken”, that i’ve used every version of this plugin with all updated/recent versions of wordpress and it has NEVER EVER EVER EVER been broken. people are lyyyyyyin’ – prob gutenberg fan bois. then there was also some “i can’t control myself or my emotions” trolling [this one was my favorite, as if there are only people using bLoAtEd PaGe bUiLdErS])
the numbers don’t really add up for active installs vs. reviews by any means, but clearly the bad gutenberg reviews outweigh the classic editor bad reviews. FIVE MILLION ACTIVE INSTALLS really speaks volumes, to me. i can’t be alone in this. also: there are so many different types of clients out there in the world – a lot of boomers, they can’t just magically relearn a new website editor.
so here’s what pisses me off:
NO ONE EVEN ASKED US OUR OPINION
no one was polled on this, wordpress just decided to cave to this shit most likely because of competition (they never even had). WORDPRESS INSTALLS ARE FREE, just force this shit on the paying wordpress.com people – the people that don’t know how to code. why tf do we devs have to deal with this shit? can we get a vote? can you just leave gutenberg as a damn plugin? wtf.
ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HOW DEVS… DEV
i have been working in wordpress for almost 15 years and i have NEVERRRRR uuuuuuuuused a page builderrrrrrr. EVER.
so many shit trolls are all “gUtEnBeRg iS tHe FuTuRe AnD iS bEtTeR fOr rEpLaCiNg bLoAtEd PaGe bUiLdErS”… uh, why assume that people are using external editors? trusting clients with visual style/structure is the opposite of what we’ve been talking about for two decades. setup a good site, give them freedom/options where they need it, and update their WYSIWYG editor when needed. if you don’t know how to do that, are you even a wordpress developer?
*:: twinkles ::*
wordpress is literally written in PHP, just go build another platform, then.
you get what you give. maybe i’ll eat my words in ten years time, but i highly doubt it.
i build all of my themes and templates from scratch, and limit my clients so that they can do stuff without breaking things. if they want the option to color something, add the functinality. that’s why we have core files and plugins. again, if you can’t manipulate those, maybe don’t call yourself a wordpress developer.
if you can’t code in PHP, why are you even bothering with wordpress? instead, now we all have to deal with this gutenberg shit bc devs can’t go out of their way to code up some extra foundational shit? i’ve never manipulated any of the default wordpress themes, nor have i purchased or downloaded a commercial theme. everything i do is from scratch. if something isn’t working, i know exactly why – i don’t have to go digging mindlessly.
where’d your craft go? where did your sense of accomplishment go? didn’t you use to have fun coding? i don’t get any actual devs that buy into this shit vs. just using bare bones themes and some plugins. i’m not saying to be one of those lazy dinguses that has like 24 plugins going at once, either. figure out what you need and do some research, it’s not that difficult. i’ve used the same default like 7-10 plugins for a decade now, and 4-5 of them are LIGHT plugins (> 3 files).
instead of wasting time on relying on themes you download and manipulate, fucking code. now we’re all stuck with this new version of wordpress that isn’t going to go away.
I DON’T NEED WORDPRESS TO BE “EASY”. i like challenging myself when it comes time to wordpress conversions and builds.