The future of WordPress and how it affects you
Earlier this year the core WordPress team announced that they were working on a complete overhaul of the content editing interface. The project, called Gutenberg, is set to dramatically change how WordPress works. We’ve been keeping a close eye on Gutenberg as it has developed, and wanted to share what that means for you.
Gutenberg is set to launch in early 2018 with WordPress 5.0, the next major release of the software. We anticipate this being sometime in the Spring.
The new editor is will replace the existing WYSIWYG editor with a new, full page interface. The interface will allow you to add a number of different blocks to the page and configure them however you want. This gives you a greater idea of what the final layout of the page will look like, and greater individual control of design elements.
If you’re an existing Freely Made client, your website uses a plugin called Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) to add custom content blocks to the page. At the time of writing this article, ACF does not work with Gutenberg.
The good news is that WordPress has promised a plugin that will disable Gutenberg for older websites, allowing ACF and other plugins to function as needed.
The bad news is that this plugin is not a long-term solution, and how long they maintain it remains up in the air. We recommend that once Gutenberg launches, existing websites get converted to use it within 1-2 years. We also suggest that you don’t upgrade your website to use the 5.0 software unless discussing with us first.
For new websites we are taking a cautious approach. We are accounting for Gutenberg during new website builds, and in some cases we may be using it as the primary content editor. We are also exploring alternative CMS options such as Craft for websites that we don’t think Gutenberg will work for, and are open to discussing other CMS options depending on your requirements.
We will continue to evaluate Gutenberg as development progresses, and will be happy to update you with any questions you might have. We still believe in the power of WordPress, and will embrace Gutenberg as much as possible.