One of the biggest changes that took place in the WordPress ecosystem in recent times is the installation of Gutenberg as the default editing tool. This move was a formal confirmation that the world’s most popular CMS has fully adopted block-based editing. It is expected that the next level of the new editor will be released sometime later this year. The changes that it will bring are exciting but are causing concerns in some quarters. In this post, we will discuss the impact of Gutenberg Phase 2 on WordPress themes. The immense popularity of the CMS has made it an attractive career option for coders. They can work as web developers or as specialist WordPress theme and plugin developers. In fact, a lot of individuals, as well as companies, have earned good revenue by creating and selling plugins and themes. It is this class of WordPress users that are fearing that the way in which the new editor is evolving may make pre-built templates redundant. Let’s take a detailed look at the subject.
In Phase 1, the main objective was to let people get used to the new block editor. Seasoned users were apprehensive of the shift and initially, there was a lot of discontentment as people had to switch to a completely different approach. However, things have settled down since then and now a large number of people are using Gutenberg’s amazing features easily.
Gutenberg Phase 2 will try to take things to the next level. The blocks will now be added to the in-built Customizer tool. This will give you more control over editing a theme. Any widget that was not included in the post content had to be accessed separately in the dashboard. People who migrated from PSD to WordPress theme or moved from other formats find this confusing. This will soon be a thing of the past and blocks will be integrated into the widgets section. This is the first step towards the evolution of Gutenberg into a full-fledged site-editing tool from being only a post/ page editor.
The second phase of the default editing tool will have a great effect on how users have been modifying their templates until now. Let’s explore this topic now.
1. Full Control Over Theme Modification
A significant impact of Gutenberg Phase 2 on WordPress users will be that they will now enjoy total control over their templates. As the editor expands its domain beyond posts and pages, people will now be able to apply custom modifications to more locations of their interface. This will help users in aligning a layout completely in accordance with their requirements. They also get the chance to work in a more streamlined manner as blocks pervade all aspects of template modification.
Run a search about Gutenberg plugins and you will come across numerous tools built specifically for the editing tool. Most of these plugins provide different kinds of additional blocks. You want to add beautiful fonts or styling options, you can easily search for a Gutenberg-specific plugin. As Phase 2 rolls out, more such solutions will be fashioned for the editor. These plugins will further enhance the capabilities of the editing solution. Users will get to enjoy even more choices and flexibility than before, which will help in improving their productivity.
This is one of the biggest expected effects of Phase 2 that is worrying professional WordPress theme developers. With Gutenberg on the path to becoming a site-editor, developers feel that templates will now only provide a basic structure. People will now use the editing tool to enhance a layout with their preferred blocks. This means that no one will want to choose industry-specific themes with particular features. Everyone will install a basic template and then add relevant blocks to create the layout. Any extra features can be easily added through plugins.
The fear that themes may become redundant may not be for real. In fact, greater control will foster more creativity. The entire universe of WordPress is built upon the theory of open access. Creative users will harness the new features to fashion attractive and innovative layouts that will find many takers. It will, therefore, be incorrect to say that themes will cease to exist. The WordPress ecosystem will always have users who are not technically proficient. They will always need readymade products for fulfilling their requirements. It may well happen that there will be simple layouts that will be preferred by technical users who will modify them completely with the editor. At the same time, there will be templates similar to the ones we see now for users with limited technical knowledge.
Themes are and will remain an integral part of WordPress. Even when Phase 2 of Gutenberg becomes a reality, there will always be space for readymade templates. People who need help in modifying a template or building a custom theme can contact HireWPGeeks through phone, e-mail or website, to hire a WordPress developer for the purpose.