Several months ago while creating yet another stellar blog post, full of pathos, droll wit and comic charm, I saw this in the lower corner of my editing screen:
Never one to shy away from a learning opportunity, I dived right in. For all of two minutes.
Seriously. I hated it.
Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that it was difficult or hard to understand. It was just…. well… frustrating.
You see, the old WordPress editor (now termed, “classic editor”) was basically like typing in a Word document. No biggie. But this block editor was like….
Here, I’ll let their how-to site explain its main function:
You can move content elements up and down,
edit them as individual blocks,
and easily create media-rich content.
Key words: “media-rich content.”
Meaning for those blogs not rich in media, it ain’t for us.
Look, I know the block editor can produce wordy blogs as well as “media-rich” blogs. But I have a hard time believing any writer was involved in the making of this editor.
Case in point, the damn blocks themselves:
You see that toolbar? It shows up Every Damn Time I click in the “block”, i.e. any word in the sentence I just typed.
So for instance, let’s say my mind goes blank for a word and I open up thesaursus.com in a new window (it happens).
I find the perfect word, click back and boom, the toolbar pops up again!
I don’t know how it is for you creating-wise, but for me, I need clean space. I don’t like things popping up on my screen. Even on WordPress’s classic editor, it took me a while to get used to its side bar. Yet now they expect me to accept a roving toolbar?
Because you see, the second you begin a new paragraph you get this little plus sign to the right. And should you click the plus sign, you have another pop-up…
If you ignore the plus sign, your new sentence will remain in first “block”, but if you click the plus sign, you have an option to create a new block.
To be fair, if you ignore the plus sign and the toolbar and continue typing, they both disappear.
Which is all well and good.
But if you’re anything like me, your typing comes in fits and starts and you wind up clicking on a previous sentence to correct or add something.
Or to just to sit and stare and contemplate the purpose of life or watch the pretty bird outside your window.
In which case, the damn toolbar pops up again…
I tried this editor more than once, I’ll have you know. I believe I gave it three shakes before I finally jumped ship and reverted back to the classic editor.
And then I found out come June 1 — this coming Monday — WordPress is switching everyone over to the Block Editor whether we like it or not.
Could WordPress be so heartless? Say it ain’t so!
Surely I wasn’t the only one who found the new block editor a bit…. blockish?
And then I found a discussion thread on WordPress.org support. Some blogger by the name of AME-Network wrote:
Ah. There we have it. Someone agrees with me.
Offering aid was Steve from Support:
I knew switching to the classic editor was possible now, but would it remain true?
AME-Network had similar concerns. They responded again…
Okay, the “Duh” was a little uncalled for. Also not sure if Support is the place to discuss free will?
Apparently Samuel from Support agreed. He decided to clear up any misconceptions we might have on this doctrine:
Okay, that pretty much cleared it up for me. Whatever WordPress.org does, WordPress.com soon follows. (For you non-bloggers, .org is the paid site, .com is free.)
It was time to accept my fate. I had no choice in the matter, no ability to plan my future, it was written in the stars.
Sadly, AME-Network was not as cavalier…
Oh good Lord! — “go all Gestapo” — Seriously?
Listen, I’m not thrilled about the change either but there’s no reason to get testy about it. Besides, as is the case with most updates – maybe not right away but eventually – there are advantages we’ll come to appreciate.
Maybe this “media-rich” business will turn out a blessing, even for wordy-type blogs.
Remember how in a previous post I said I had a writing project going on? Well, it’s a story about something that happened to me in high school that turned out to be a pivotal event in my life. Still not sure what the project is turning into, only that it will also be illustrated. (And God knows how that slows me down.)
Anyway, here’s one of the illustrations I uploaded with the block editor (in a new window):
First impression: it looks like I can upload images without placing them in my media library. Which as far as I know isn’t possible with the classic editor and given our space limitations, that’s pretty great.
Secondly, you see the toolbar that popped up above the image? If you click on the little mountain icon, you get this:
Which looks like a much faster way of laying out your images and allowing for the “click to enlarge” feature.
If you click on the three dots, you see this:
That first one, “Show Block Settings”, gives you the sidebar where you can either edit any selected block or the document as a whole, including publishing tools. Or you can just leave them hidden until you’re ready to view them again.
Thirdly: not sure if you’re sensing it, but it feels like you have more choices with this editor. More freedom to format the post in the way you want.
It’s odd, but working within these blocks gives you the means to work with more creativity.
You know, my initial intent as I began this post was to warn you that my next Bad Joke Monday (on June 1!) might not happen due to WordPress’s new Block Editor. Perhaps that’s not the case.
Besides, I don’t want to be all testy about it like AME-Network.
(“go all Gestapo”… sheesh!)
So it looks like Bad Joke Monday is on as planned. Remember, submit your joke by Sunday noon-ish. (Should yours be deemed worthy, I need time to do the illustration.)
And so ends my final post using the classic editor. Farewell to thee, classic editor. I shall see your blue interface, nevermore. 😔