Why revisit the block editor
I need to revisit the block editor at least once a month to really get comfortable with it. It keeps changing and evolving. WordPress has not been static in their development of this editor.
Since the last time I posted, WordPress 5.7 was released with enhancements to the block editor
They’re adding new features, making it easier for people to use. Quite frankly, I’m starting to see people considering moving from using page builders in favor of the block editor.
Was it expected? Yes, it was. Was I really expecting it to occur so quickly? No.
The block editor has tremendous promise, but I’m still not at a point where I’m willing to abandon my page builders (yes, that is plural) in favor of fully using the block editor.
Why not move?
There are a number of reasons why I won’t, but as I type this it’s probably appropriate for me to list both the pros and cons while I revisit it.
To be fair, I only open the block editor for extensive writing/editing about once a month. That does not mean I don’t use it throughout the month for minor tasks.
Things like adding short blocks of content on my clients sites, but nothing involving adding a lot of content. Thus my reason to revisit using it.
You really can’t learn a product until you spend some time with it, using it and it’s features.
I do spend time reviewing the features of the editor, just not using it extensively.
- The block editor now has drag and drop capability. This means I don’t have to make sure my cursor is positioned correctly before I click on the “+” to drop in my block.
All I have to do is find the block I want and drag it to the position on the page.
- There are a lot more blocks available for use, including blocks from my favorite widget editor.
- More people are accepting and using the block editor
- Page speed. The block editor does not have a lot of the overhead of a page build with a page builder
- Despite the changes, navigation in the block editor is still cumbersome. There are just too many places in the editor that need to be accessed to format a block.
– Select a block from the left
– Go to the right and select the block and find how to format, change font size, and color
- Robust page formatting is not possible
- CSS still is a requirement for more intense formatting
- Handling graphics and page layout is just as intuitive or easy
A good example of the type of formatting that is annoying is the use of the list block. When I use it, it aligns to the left and there is no way to align it to the paragraph above. The result is a list that extends beyond the left margin of the paragraphs.
See my prior post Styling Content in the Block Editor for more about my attempts to format my content.
How I fix it is to use a section container (a page builder technique) to force the block margins. I should not have to do that.
I’ve got to admit, I can see why people would use the block editor if you’re working on a blog. There is just no need for a lot of the functionality of a page builder, but using the block editor for complexity page layout would drive me crazy.
I know I will need to revisit the block editor more often. As I write more and more content with the editor I’m starting to get a little more comfortable, but I’m nowhere near the comfort level I had with the classic editor or any of the page builders I use.
Accessing blocks is still painful as is formatting the content I create. It still does not feel natural. The controls are all over the place and hard to access. I’d also expect more control over my content without having to resort to CSS.
Those are features I’d expect and was used to in the classic editor.
For me, the block editor is just not there yet. I’ll need to play around with it a lot more.