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the By the Scruff blog

Articles about what we do, where we eat and what our industry is doing.

WordPress Gutenberg

WordPress has evolved over the years, from a humble blogging platform, to a full fledged CMS. The complexity of the web sites has also grown and the content editing capabilities had to grow with it.

WordPress always has had custom fields built in for years, but the interface was so unfriendly to regular users, that using it was impossible. The process for creating a custom user interface by developers was always so time consuming and cumbersome, that few wanted to pay for the development.

Over time, editor plugins became more and more popular. Elementor, Beaver, Divi and many others all expanded the functionality of the basic WYSIWYG editor that WordPress used to ship with.

Plugins in WordPress usually provide functionality that the core CMS lacks, often, if a plugin becomes extremely popular, WordPress developers will assimilate the functionality and make the plugin redundant.

WordPress Gutenberg an excellent example of this pattern, let’s have a look at what it is and why we should care.

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg, currently, is a page builder plugin, like Elementor or Beaver with one major difference: it is open source, built and maintained by Automatic staff and a long list of contributors.

It replaces the classic “WYSIWYG” editor and tries to bring us closer to WYSIWYG actually meaning something, unlike the classic editor. Gutenberg is not perfect yet, but currently it is a stepping stone, between the classic editor and the ultimate goal of being able to assemble an entire page (starting from the header ending with the footer, if you should choose to add it).

What does Gutenberg mean for editors?

More flexibility, without the need of cumbersome and buggy third-party plugins or expensive custom development.

Columns and rows, buttons, tables and other elements, laid out in any order are now just a few simple clicks away.

What does Gutenberg mean for developers?

Less fragmentation, better APIs and better solutions we can offer our clients. Before Gutenberg, each of us had to decide, what approach we will take if we want to provide page building functionality to our clients.


Elementor may be too confusing or too powerful and unnecessary for some clients with basic websites, at ByTheScruff, we extensively use Advanced Custom Fields. This lets us quickly and easily provide a very simple, yet powerful enough interface for editing any part of the custom websites we build. Our clients don’t get overwhelmed with unnecessary controls and don’t have the ability to accidentally ruin the flow of their custom web site or make it appear off brand.

Always pick the right tool for the job

There is a huge variety of websites using WordPress out there. Not all of them need Gutenberg or any other page builder, not all of them need Advanced Custom Fields, task number one for an experienced developer is to analyse the needs of a client and figure out the optimal solution for them. We do this daily at By the Scruff, so if you’re in the market for a custom WordPress website, whether you want to use Gutenberg or not, get in touch!

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Working for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Chartered Institute of Environmental HealthWe’ve had a busy summer of new client wins and can now confirm that we are pleased to be working for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Our team will be designing and coding a new suite of bespoke HTML email templates for the CIEH marketing department. The mix of templates will be used across all marketing activity by the team at CIEH and will be integrated with their Dotmailer email account. These fully custom templates will be in line with the recently updated branding and provide a consistent look and feel that is optimised for mobile and desktop devices.

By developing the new templates we aim to improve the structure of the emails and ease of publishing the mixture of campaigns promoting events, newsletters, training and community news.

Find out more about the work that CIEH do here

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Working with the Royal Horticultural Society

RHSWe are really excited to now be working with the RHS which have appointed us to help design and build a new series of HTML email templates.

The range of emails are going to be used to promote the numerous RHS shows, news and retail offerings to their audience across the UK and Europe. Our specialist skills will help to reinvigorate the email campaigns and drive customer engagement through a redesigned set of templates that are used by the in-house marketing team. They send between 3 – 4 million emails a year and its essential the emails are optimised for the increasing number of mobile users.

This great British charity has a loyal customer base who regularly attend shows and use the RHS website for gardening news and advice and these emails need to communicate the brand values that customers love and trust.

Our design and development team is working closely with the marketing team at the RHS to deliver a great solution that helps streamline the work flow and deliver a high quality solution that can be used easily with their existing email platform Campaign Monitor.



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