Gutenberg was the biggest WordPress news in 2017. Matt Mullenweg announced and strongly backs the project that is looking like it could change the landscape of the CMS. Because we still don’t have an official release date, there is still a lot of speculation surrounding the project.
Could it make WordPress even more competitive than it already is?
We spoke to Adam Warner, Open Source Community Manager at Sitelock, about where he thinks Gutenberg and WordPress will be in the new year.
WordPress Will Continue to Dominate
WordPress can scale large enough to power an enterprise site and still support small business and personal blogs. So while it’s the clear choice for moving forward with a business, some people are still choosing Wix and Squarespace simply because of the page builder.
“With the rise in popularity of page builder plugins, WordPress is falling behind the times a bit,” Warner said. “Page builders are a thing that we need to be capable of.”
While it may feel like a lot of first-time web users are opting out of WordPress, many are seeing the value of not only owning their work but also using a host to take care of security and scaling concerns. This allows for a more complete and functional site.
“There is thinking that Wix and Squarespace are threatening to take market share of web building platforms,” Warner said. “However, users are becoming more aware the of potential for hosted services to deal with security concerns.”
However, while there still is an audience that is opting for Wix just for the page builder, Gutenberg could be the way to appeal that crowd.
Creating for Gutenberg
According to Warner, plugin and theme developers will begin to pivot their businesses and start developing content blocks for Gutenberg. This will open up an entirely new ecosystem and new opportunities to get involved.
“Gutenberg is pivoting in a way that’s going to create a lot more opportunities,” he said.
This is a great chance for plugin developers to get into making premium content blocks and open up an entirely new way to make money.
Theme developers can also get on board by advertising themes that work directly with Gutenberg. Warner predicts people will offer add-on templates that will allow for users to copy and past blocks for things like contact forms.
“Themes will start promoting Gutenberg editor styling as part of value-add,” Warner said.
We could start seeing Gutenberg premium products as soon as a few months after the release.
This is an incredibly exciting idea. Not only would this allow new and interesting ways for users to interact with Gutenberg, it’s an entirely new revenue stream for developers. For over 14 years, WordPress has been a way for people to follow their dreams, and if Warner’s predictions are correct, Gutenberg will continue on that tradition.
Though there were a number of people were worried when the first beta of Gutenberg came out, Matt Mullenweg’s presentation at State of the Word and the changes that have been made since then have been incredibly encouraging. Gutenberg could be the way forward for WordPress.
“Matt has seen the value and necessity to make WordPress more accessible to the nontechnical web person and make it as simple as possible,” Warner said.