Gettin’ with Gutenberg

Gutenberg is powerful and useful for enabling those of us who don’t feel like working too hard to create decent-looking, complex, media-rich layouts. But, most of my posts are just an image with a paragraph or three of text. I don’t need a fancy, complex, block-based editor for creating those.

So what to do? There are some great options for creating posts right on my Mac and publishing to WordPress. I’ve used MarsEdit on and off for years. It’s great at what it does. It allows me to write and publish to WordPress from a solid, well-developed macOS app.

I’ve tried publishing using other writing tools on my Mac. For example, Ulysses is a lovely app and enables posting directly to WordPress. Well, that’s not exactly true, since for many of us hosting our own WordPress installations, there are things that can prevent xmlrpc from working, rendering Ulysses incapable of properly connecting to WordPress. There are workarounds, but I don’t feel like dealing with workarounds.

I’ve even had Emacs configured to post directly to WordPress, but good lord look at that readme file. I’m not in the mood for all that these days.

None of these tools, as good as they are, address my favorite thing about managing a blog with WordPress, and that is WordPress is a Typewriter. As I wrote then, the problem is that…

…creating and editing content is too far removed from the actual rendered page.

This applies to static sites as well as local tools for publishing to WordPress. I prefer to edit in place. I want to read over a post, find something I want to change, click “Edit”, type, and click “Publish”. Using local tools like Ulysses or MarsEdit or even plain ol’ Markdown files forces me to work “over here” when I’d rather work “right there”, if you know what I mean.

So, I just ignore the things I don’t like about Gutenberg and use it anyway. There are ways around it, but not using Gutenberg feels like swimming upstream and I don’t have the energy.

I sometimes use the Iceberg plugin, which is basically a wrapper that makes Gutenberg look and feel more sane…more like just writing text in an editor. But it’s still Gutenberg, and that’s going to have to be OK.