After WCUS: WordPress & Gutenberg FAQ

I just came back from WordCamp US in Nashville, which was awesome. In this post I want to address some of the questions I’ve had a couple of times. So here we go:

What is it you don’t like about Gutenberg?

There is nothing I don’t like about Gutenberg. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but in general, I seriously love it. Gutenberg makes WordPress ready for the web of today. That’s the reason our development team spent so much time to help make Gutenberg better.

How well does Yoast SEO do with Gutenberg?

It’s fine! In fact, it’s better than ever. Gutenberg has some performance issues (in the admin) at the moment that are more obvious when you use Yoast SEO, but I expect the next few minor releases of WordPress 5.0 to fix those. If you’re suffering from them now, installing and activating the Gutenberg plugin and keeping that up to date will get you those changes earlier.

But I thought you were mad about the release?

I was annoyed with the communication failure around the release. Initially, WordPress 5.0 was slated for November. In the post outlining that, a specific choice had been made to skip December, should November not be feasible, and go to January. Then, when the November timeframe proved unfeasible, the team tracked back on that and Matt decided to release in December anyway, with 2 days notice, despite several people’s objections, including my own.

I still do not agree with the timing of the release, but it’s done now. Matt has offered his apologies for the poor communication around that and with that, we’re now looking onward. I’m looking forward to seeing how we, as a WordPress community, can improve the consistency of our communication in the future.

So should I upgrade to WordPress 5.0 now?

Our suggestion is still to wait, as I said in my post on on WordPress 5.0. Yoast SEO is awesome with Gutenberg and I can’t wait for everyone to try it, but if you’re going to try it now, you might think that it’s annoying and slow. If you use it with Gutenberg 4.7 (currently in RC phase, you can get it here), it’s already much much better. This means that if you update in January, you should certainly be OK.

Is your support team suffering under WordPress 5.0?

Honestly: no. It seems to be doing reasonably fine, with very limited support on our end. Only one plugins so far is left that is known to break Yoast SEO’s meta box: Gravity Forms’ Gutenberg Add-On (which is still in beta). I’m assuming that will get fixed.

Two plugins have already been updated:
WPML you should update to 4.1.2 or higher.
Pods has been fixed in 2.7.11, so update to that, or a newer version.

In general, many plugins will probably need to update a few more times the next few days and weeks.

Should people stick with the classic editor?

No! You’re missing out on lots and lots of cool stuff, so sticking with the classic editor should not be a long term solution. It might be fine for a few months as plugin and theme developers work out their issues with Gutenberg, but I’d suggest switching it on as soon as you can.

There are always going to be people who don’t like interface changes, and such is the case with this release too. The awesome teams in the WordPress forums are helping those people where they can and I assume a few of them will continue using the classic editor for now.

What are you looking forward to in WordPress?

In Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word he announced a longer term roadmap than we’ve had for a while, something I really like. He announced the next phase of Gutenberg, which looks promising, and 9 focus points for the next year, which all seem to be very nice projects. On top of that he announced the intent for WordPress core to support multi-lingual sites, something I’ve been asking for as a core feature for quite some time now.

Was this post just an excuse to use the Yoast SEO FAQ block?

No, not really… Well, maybe a little 😉

My experience: I had to switch to using the Gutenberg 4.7 RC as I was doing this. Otherwise it does indeed become slow when you have more than ~ 5 questions in an FAQ block. As soon I switched to the 4.7 RC though, it immediately became useful and in fact, very nice to work with.

At the same time, I’ve found some minor issues that we’re going to have to solve in our FAQ blocks, so those will get an update too.

Have more questions for me? Drop them in the comments, I’ll answer them there!

A headshot of Joost de Valk, author.

Joost de Valk

Joost is an internet entrepreneur from Wijchen, the Netherlands. He is the founder of Yoast. Joost is married to Marieke, who is also Yoast's former CEO. Marieke and Joost have 4 kids together and run Emilia Capital together, an investment firm.


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