New WordPress editor: call for testing and feedback

Hello everyone! With release dates fast approaching, we would like to get as much feedback and testing as possible, as soon as possible, for our work in integrating the new WordPress block editor into WordPress.com.

What is it?

The new WordPress editor makes it easy for anyone to create rich, flexible content layouts with a block-based UI. All types of page components are represented as modular blocks, which means they can be accessed from a unified block menu, dropped anywhere on a page, and directly edited to create the custom presentation the user wants.

Blocks can be rearranged and positioned just right, showcasing your content with a unique and professional-looking design.

How to test:

  1. Go to the new WordPress editor on Horizon and select a test site.
  2. For the deepest integration experience, try activating either the Photos or Radcliffe 2 theme on your test blog. But don’t worry – the new editor works with all themes.
  3. Create a new post, using whichever blocks and media you choose. For some inspiration, you can see the live demo.
  4. Publish your new post.
  5. Verify it looks as you would expect on your site.

Testing ideas:

  1. Try embedding a video from any of our supported video services.
  2. If you participate in a site with multiple types of users, try creating a post from another role such as Editor, Author, or Contributor.
  3. Type / into an empty block to search for which block you would like to add next.

Feedback we would love to hear from you:

  • Let us know about specific tasks you tried to accomplish, their steps, and what you saw as results.
  • Were there any problems that blocked you from completing your writing goals?
  • Did you notice any styling or layout issues?
  • How did you find working with media and embeds?
  • How did writing in the new editor compare to your past experience of writing on WordPress.com?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience with the new WordPress editor?

Please leave your feedback and comments below. Thanks so much for your help!

Published by

Kirk Wight

I am a Code Wrangler at Automattic, helping make WordPress.com the best it can be. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is where I call home.

31 thoughts on “New WordPress editor: call for testing and feedback”

  1. I like the new editor, just now it happened though that the editor behaves differently on “Horizon” and in the “wp-admin” interface. Right now the formatting bar (for example when selecting text) is missing all options, such as bold, italic, link etc. in Horizon. In the WP-admin interface on the other hand they show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sven! Thank you for reporting this! There was a recent regression which caused the formatting toolbar to disappear. The fix for this has now been deployed so you should be able to access it in Horizon too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Where is the documentation for step 3, “Create a new post, using whichever blocks and media you choose.” Because I’ve added a few lines of text content in a paragraph block and want to add a link in three words of one of the sentences. There’s no option I can find to add a simple text link.

    The live demo you reference displays the formatting toolbar on hover, with blockquote, align, bold, italic, and link options. But there’s no link option in the formatting toolbar I see displayed for the paragraph block on my test site.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your report Deborah! Due to a recent change the formatting toolbar disappeared from the paragraph block. We fixed this in the meantime so you should be able to add links now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve added a paragraph and an image with a caption. When I tried to add a paragraph block after the image, the text displayed in the same font and size as the caption.

    I eventually figured out where to add a paragraph block after the image, added some text, watched the “autosave” message display. Only to have my text in my new paragraph block disappear.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for jumping in to test this! However, for this call for testing we’re focused on non-VIP sites. Sorry for not making that clear up front! If you are interested in trying Gutenberg, please reach out to the VIP Support team.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Seeing this error on our VIP go sites after I tried to enter a site through horizon. I made it to my sites list for all of the WP.com sites I’m connected to but none of our production sites proceed to the post editor, they just throw this error:

    “`
    TypeError: Cannot read property ‘split’ of undefined
    at Qn (https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~async-load-gutenberg-blocks~gutenberg-editor.5be1bca02042e54427f9.min.js:1:231353)
    at Xn (https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~async-load-gutenberg-blocks~gutenberg-editor.5be1bca02042e54427f9.min.js:1:231200)
    at https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~async-load-design~async-load-design-blocks~async-load-design-playground~async-load-gutenberg~81da215c.4b6dafe4ed99d2752365.min.js:1:86186
    at https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~async-load-gutenberg-blocks~gutenberg-editor.5be1bca02042e54427f9.min.js:1:417294
    at n (https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~async-load-design~async-load-design-blocks~async-load-design-playground~async-load-gutenberg~81da215c.4b6dafe4ed99d2752365.min.js:1:95131)
    at new r (https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~async-load-design~async-load-design-blocks~async-load-design-playground~async-load-gutenberg~81da215c.4b6dafe4ed99d2752365.min.js:1:95316)
    at Ep (https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~build.e7cdd8fe7c3632f0428c.min.js:79:48170)
    at zb (https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~build.e7cdd8fe7c3632f0428c.min.js:79:56968)
    at db (https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~build.e7cdd8fe7c3632f0428c.min.js:79:63787)
    at Gb (https://horizon.wordpress.com/calypso/vendors~build.e7cdd8fe7c3632f0428c.min.js:79:78711)
    “`

    Here’s a GIF of the process:
    http://recordit.co/H1K5UwdIIf

    Looking forward to this once it’s stable, but, it seems like GB is getting released before it will be. We’re going to have to have to opt out of this until it’s more stable or until we have time to refactor a lot of our code.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for jumping in to test this! However, for this call for testing we’re focused on non-VIP sites. Sorry for not making that clear up front! If you are interested in trying Gutenberg, please reach out to the VIP Support team.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there and thanks for your feedback! The white background with black text option is the default one. You can reset to it by either clicking on the “Clear” button, or deselecting the previously selected color. Alternatively, if your theme is overriding this, you can also try using the Custom color picker to set the exact color values. Let me know if that helps.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I do all my blogging on a desktop, but I try to ensure that my posts will look OK on a tablet or a phone.   The [Preview] button in Calypso gives me the very useful option of previewing for any of the 3 kinds of platform.  Currently, the [Preview] button in Gutenberg is more like the old button in Classic.  From my desktop, it appears to be desktop-only.  I hope this is just a temporary limitation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, that’s a great point! We’ll review that option and see if it would be possible to provide similar functionality with Gutenberg too.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. When I start a new post on Calypso, I begin with the HTML tab, paste in a template that supplies a few things I always want, and then paste in a preliminary draft (composed with a plain text editor) for much of the text.  I find both the Visual and HTML tabs useful as I continue editing.  I toggle between them frequently.

    I tried starting with the [HTML] button in Gutenberg and found that I was stuck with editing the resulting block as HTML.  There seems to be no way to toggle between visual and HTML editing of the same block.  For me, lack of toggling would be a deal breaker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking the time to test the new editor! You have multiple of ways of toggling between visual and HTML modes.

      You can do that individually on each block by selecting Edit as HTML/Edit visually as you can see on this video: https://cloudup.com/c1uB_3qDAm0

      You can also edit the whole post in HTML by selecting “Code Editor” on the “More” menu and then you can switch back to the visual mode by selecting “Visual Editor”: https://cloudup.com/c9uCUf-9DOU

      I hope this helps.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The videos are **way** too fast.  I finally saw what they dash thru.

        The [More] button is inconspicuous, and the drop-down it opens is so small that I would much prefer to just see the items displayed explicitly.  There is plenty of room in the ribbon as it appears on my desktop computer.  Is fitting on a phone screen the reason for shunting the Visual/Code choice to a drop-down?

        Like

        1. The reason for the code editor option being in the more menu is that the focus is more on content than code. One of the main focuses of Gutenberg is making it possible to write and edit content with very little technical knowledge. Therefore, editing code is possible but not emphasized.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Layout (in a broad sense that includes colors and fonts) sometimes matters a great deal, and people may well know what they want w/o knowing how to get it in HTML code.  (Been there; done that.)  So I really do applaud the goal of minimizing the need for tech know-how.  Whether Gutenberg is near enough to that goal is another question.

          Example 1: [Color Settings] is only available for paragraph blocks.

          Example 2: My poetry is usually laid out in a way that requires HTML code, tho it is fairly simple to describe in terms that printers have used for many decades.

          Like

    2. Could you include the template (or a variation of it) in a reply here or in something like https://pastebin.com/ so I can see what HTML you’re working with?

      In addition to Miguel’s notes, you might like the keyboard shortcut to toggle the code editor: `Shift+Option+Command+M`. And there’s a request to add one for the “Edit as HTML” menu item on a per-block basis.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a great relief to know that I can still toggle between Visual and Code editing, with different clicks that will soon become familiar enough to feel natural.

        Posted my overall template to PasteBin as https://pastebin.com/9Wau3gSe just in case U are still interested.  The template overrides my theme’s too-light text color and supplies a banner about the [Menu button].

        Liked by 1 person

  7. One of the glories of human language is the ability to nest wheels within wheels, as in a list with an item that includes another list.  Can Gutenberg let the user create nested constructions w/o working on HTML code directly?  There’s no way that I could see.

    Like

      1. No, I am talking about nesting. I merely used lists within lists as an example.  There are many ways that HTML lets a block of type X be inside a block of type Y (which may be inside a block of type Z, and so on).  Like most good things, nesting can be overdone.  It is still important to have it.  If Gutenberg does have some support for blocks within blocks w/o getting down in the weeds of HTML code, I will be happy to hear about it.

        The videos are too fast.  The point is to show how to do something, not how fast somebody who already knows how can work.

        Like

        1. Thanks for clarifying! So we don’t have too many nestable blocks yet, but a main one is the column block which allows folks to add blocks into columns. Other common use cases like a block that allows for an image next to text are also being worked on, likely we’ll see more and more of these as folks work on updates.

          I’ll give folks feedback that some of these videos are too quick. Thank you!

          Liked by 1 person

  8. When Gutenberg first released, I was interested to try it, but was very disappointed by the bugs in it. This remains the same today, where I can’t even upload an image without an error. I was never a fan of the Calyspo interface either, so combining Calypso with Gutenberg seemed at first to be the worst of both worlds, but I actually quite like it – especially since it isn’t really buggy.

    Gutenberg has been controversial from what I’ve seen, and I can understand why. WordPress.com has always prided itself on the simplicity of being able to create a blog and get content published within a few seconds. By concept, the addition of blocks just adds that extra complicity in writing a post, and to many including myself, the disadvantages of that don’t really weigh up to the advantages of Gutenberg. I feel like this is a combination of change after using a Classic Editor for half a decade that I might get used to, but it is a big leap, and I’m still figuring things out, so my feedback might not be the most helpful.

    This is really vague, so I’m not sure how helpful of feedback it’ll be, but the “flow” of Gutenberg just seems to be a lot more disruptive than it used to be. Part of that is just how I feel towards it, and that’s not something which can be worked on. Other parts of it can, such as the issue with keyboard shortcuts (Issue #28834 in wp-calypso on GitHub).

    Some people are just going to naturally prefer writing a blog post similar to a Word document, where you don’t even need to stop typing unless you want to add an image. For that reason, I really hope that the Classic Editor remains a permanent option, instead of an option “for some time” which seems to currently be the case.

    Some stuff is still lacking (eg. the contact form), but overall, I like it! I think it’s now just mainly a matter of personal preference of if people like the concept, rather than individual features offered. Posts look like how I would expect, although again, it does take a bit of getting used to on how long a paragraph is on the editor compared to the Preview – that’s something which I’ll get familiar with over time though.

    Overall, good work, thank you! 🙂

    Like

    1. I’m actually going to have to sadly change my mind here – one of the things which seems most promising is the flexibility of images which we never had previously. Unfortunately, it seems like the editor is different to the actual preview of the post, but even more frustratingly, it’s becoming pretty often to receive an error when uploading an image, using the normal steps to upload an image from my device into the Image Block but receiving an “i.has is not a function” error. I hope that does get improved soon!

      Like

  9. Thanks so much everyone for your feedback! We’re working on the last of some paragraph+autosave handling issues, smoothing the rough edges in some flows, and more robust nested blocks are coming. Missing blocks (such as the contact form, Simple Payments, and Maps), as well as Publicize support, are also ready and being prepped for release.

    Thanks again to everyone – we really do appreciate your time, and WordPress.com is better for it 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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