Content Management Systems allow digital creators to build, edit, and publish their content without needing to resort to markup languages and other front-end technology, such as CSS. Now, more often than not, CMS’ are used by organizations big and small to keep the production of content separate from the design of the website.
Up until recently, the CMS space has been split into two similar yet warring factions. On the one hand there are the WordPress and Drupal’s of the world. These more traditional CMS’ focus on customizability and although they are still suitable for beginner through advanced users, there is going to be a learning curve. Beginners will need to learn about posts vs pages, taxonomies, categories, and even how to keep their site secure.
The other faction in the CMS space is the “one-stop-shop” variety of CMS. This is your Weeblys’, Wixs’, and Squarespaces’. These solutions offer content management, hosting, templated designs, and page builders. These solutions are less customizable but that is sort of the point. These solutions are great CMS options for the solopreneur, portfolio, student, resume, as well as for small businesses.
So where are CMS’s (with a focus on Gutenberg) going?
Gutenberg is the new WordPress Editor project that will be merged into WordPress Core that is going to help people create beautiful content and build websites from scratch with an intuitive “builder”. Today, you can get your hands on Gutenberg in one of the two following ways:
- Gutenberg GitHub Repo3
- Gutenberg WordPress Plugin – can be found in the WordPress plugin repo
Gutenberg is going to be merged into WordPress core in the WordPress 5.0 release which should roll out in the first half of 2018. What will happen with the current Editor experience you ask? Well, it will swap places with the current Gutenberg Plugin so you will still be able to use the current Editor by installing a plugin.
You’ll Need to Re-Learn How You Create Content
Once Gutenberg is rolled out to the general public, content creators using WordPress will gain the ability to create more imaginative content. This exciting development will bring with it a cost. Those of us who are used to building with the visual or text editors will need to learn how to create content with a new block-by-block editor.
Will Gutenberg Make Themes Superfluous?
No, Gutenberg will not make themes useless but it will create a better overall environment in which WordPress users can succeed with themes.
Themes are far too often extremely bloated and difficult to stay on top of in terms of updating. The bloat is typically caused by large builders that come included in themes. Builders such as Elementor and Visual Composer are two of the most common premium builders included with theme purchases.
With Gutenberg a WordPress theme will just be a stylesheet that will style the Gutenberg blocks. This will actually change the way we look at themes as developers. It may actually be more beneficial to use commercial themes once Gutenberg is released and theme developers have caught up. Expect the commercial theme market to be a slow burn in terms of catching up.
Key Takeaway: Gutenberg Will Have WordPress Competing More Directly with Modern CMS’
By incorporating a builder directly into WordPress core, combined with the already massive plugin and theme communities, WordPress will contain the customizability organizations crave with the ease of use that the Wixs’ and Weeblys’ already have.
We anticipate that after a few years and once commercial theme and plugin developers are completely caught up, the “all-in-one” solutions will cater further downmarket while WordPress and other cloud-hosted CMS solutions will continue to make strides in the enterprise.