FSE: Another WordPress Minimum Viable Product

The Gutenberg Team has a checkered history with MVP- Minimum Viable Products. Check on the Kinsta Blog which cites effect that the MVP strategy had on the Gutenberg Editor. The Gutenberg Editor deficits incurred are well delineated in the review – Gutenberg Editor: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  So what exactly is a MVP?

Google cites MVP -Minimum Viable Product software as a development technique where you create a new product only with core features that will satisfy early adopters. The final set of features will remain in development and companies apply them to the product after receiving and considering user feedback. The advantages of MVP software are diverse:

  • Secure the first entrant advantage in a new product market;
  • Enlist community of early users to provide:
    1. feedback on the best and least used features of the product;
    2. suggestions on desirable new extensions/features;
    3. recommendations to friends & associates with possible affiliate rewards;
  • Lower time and cost of initial entry and ongoing activity in the market;
  • Identify best alternative branding, marketing and distribution plans;
  • Test various update and support strategies.

Both the early Gutenberg editor and now Gutenberg FSE-Full Site Editing have been identified as MVPs by key Gutenberg team members. As WordPress developers are discovering there are some disadvantages to using a Minimally Viable Product:

  • Minimally Viable Products may not be innovative enough -lacking features, pricing and/or support equal to  or better than other competitive products on the market;
  • Also competitive products can emulate the MVP innovations which makes a MVP product vulnerable to switches
  • Because of so many changes between versions of MVP products can create documentation and ease of use problems. This  is definitely a Gutenberg Editor problem;
  • negative feedback on an MVP can reduce a company’s overall reputation. See Gutenberg block’s 2.0/5.00 WP Plugin Rating  that has lasted for 3 years since the  Gutenberg editor’s intro;

Full Site Editing has been identified as another Gutenberg MVP project despite the checkered results of Gutenberg Editor as a Minimal Viable Product. And the reaction of the WordPress development community  has been unequivocally cool. Also see

WPCrafter’s Adam Preiser praises the very late arriving Gutenberg Editor  fixes  for the Live Viewer and  a more stable UI; but he  warns of “lots of catches and lots of gotcha yous … I am not sold on the strategy of FSE…it  massively misses the mark on usability” underlines Adams reservations about immediately updating to FSE.

But perhaps most telling has been the Kadence WP team which has delivered an excellent  Block Editor Library and Gutenberg-friendly Theme that both have filled in some glaring Gutenberg gaps. In a candid review , Kadence Brit Ritner states “Full-site editing in its current phase is a minimum viable product (MVP). I do not recommend that you switch to using it for production sites. Unless you are wanting to experiment for fun, I don’t suggest anyone with a complex site use full-site editing upon the initial WordPress 5.9 release.”

The Bottom Line here is that with  Gutenberg Editor and FSE-Full Site editing, WordPress has chosen to to release MVP products that face stiff competition from WordPress developers having very competitive and full feature products. Don’t upgrade to WordPress 5.9 as there are no required security  updates. Wait and see how quickly the Gutenberg team can move from being a Minimally Viable Product.

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