WordPress has created the block editor to make complicated and “fancy” blog sites possible.
Don’t know about you but when I write, blocks are extremely constraining. I want my text to be a long string of words with just returns for paragraph breaks. I then rearrange things by cut and paste. There’s a button for headings if I want them, for lists if I want one and so on. I combine paragraphs and I split into new paragraphs. I drag and drop. Along the way I’ll insert pictures and video links. The editor is very much like a word processor and that is exactly what I want.
The block editor is more of a graphic arts editor. Each block is a graphic element. Each element has a property of being a title or a heading or a video or a list or a widget or whatever. You create and adjust the blocks for the best aesthetic effect.
I watched a video explaining that the says the days of text web sites are gone and you need to change too. You need to go with graphic design and minimal text to get shared to social media. And that’s why “block” is so wonderful. 😉 It is so obvious that WP is targeting commercial sites that live and die by their first aesthetic impression and by their SEO.
That’s fine. But I am willing to bet that 90% of the blog sites on WP are amateurs who may or may not have some small monetization going on. There’s lots of text because they have a lot to say and the pictures are there to illustrate an idea and not for graphic appeal. With left, right, and center alignments and word wrap and groups of pictures and slide shows, there is plenty of variety for what they want to do. The old visual editor which functions as a word processor is perfect for them.
So why drop something so beloved by so many? It is because the love does not flow both ways. The big money is to be made off the commercial sites. And that is where WP wants to move. To compete against Wix and Squarespace and not Bloglovin. If you are not making them a healthy profit, they don’t care if you leave. As the Yeost block editor video said, WP wants to be a content manager, not a blog publisher. The block editor is just one step in the Gutenburg Project.
I suspect they also believe that the low-end bloggers will just accept it. Moving to another blog host means a change in URL and WP is not about to forward your traffic. That means contacting your followers with your new location and hoping they come over. That means migrating your site and hoping it doesn’t blow up. You’ll be an unknown on the new host, starting from scratch and whatever search engine success you had will be gone.
There is a plug-in that lets you use the “classic” editor for a while longer. And it isn’t exactly the visual editor we’ve all come to love. The UI is slightly different. Some features are better and some not so convenient but it is all there. You can find it right here:
I will probably pick up on the block editor eventually. Classic Editor will only be supported until 2022. My idea is to write everything offline in a simple editor like Wordpad or even Notepad. When I have it the way I want it I’ll cut and paste into blocks. Blocks just suck for stream of consciousness writing of mostly text and for doing revision upon revision of the same.
I did a couple of posts in the block editor. It is not so horrible once you get used to it.