Musings on media, tech, and other thoughts that cross my mind

Notes: Headless CMS, Gutenberg, and Digital Ocean

Going Headless

For the past few years, “headless” content management systems (CMS) have crossed my radar, and I think I’ve finally gotten the gist of it.

Essentially, it’s an easier way for engineers to create tailored sites, like WordPress, for content teams (folks like me). It does so by delivering that content through an API, which is easier for developers to manipulate on the front-end. It also appears to simplify the display of content across multiple platforms. 

Breaking The Blog is now hosted on a digital ocean “droplet,” which is a fun name for a virtual private server. Droplets are cheap, and everything loads so fast. 

But virtual private servers require a lot of maintenance. I didn’t think about that. Thankfully, Serverpilot exists. 

WordPress and Gutenberg 

Gutenberg is a necessary update, but it’s a painful one. I do not look forward to training new writers on it. There are also some workflow concerns I have as an editor. Here’s what I noticed near immediately:

  • Highlighting multiple paragraphs is broken due to blocks. There is no easy way to delete a paragraph and the last sentence of the paragraph preceding it. Both paragraph blocks must be deleted.
  • Creating headings is harder if you aren’t a markdown fan (and most writers aren’t). 
  • Breaking out of a bullet list into a new paragraph is much more difficult. 
  • Heading size shortcuts are broken (at least on this install).
  • Preview post feels slower and more buggy than before.

The classic editor and Gutenberg clash repeatedly. A lot of unintuitive patterns are needed to accomplish simple tasks. It’s akin to Windows 8, and that’s incredibly unfortunate.