WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor – will page builders be dead in the future?

Webdesigners have been working with WordPress as the preferred CMS around the world for many years. Many have heard about the WordPress Block Editor „Gutenberg“ which is around for almost 3 years now. Since then, a great deal of discussion is seen about the future of Gutenberg and the everyday page builder tools, many webdesigners use on a daily basis.

The Gutenberg Block Editor

The block editor was integrated into WordPress by default in Dec. 2018. This block editor is based on Johannes Gutenberg, who invented modern letterpress printing. The Gutenberg editor is a new way to create content on WordPress websites, since it replaces the classic WYSIWYG editor. It provides content creators with an intuitive visual tool for creating posts and pages.

The new editor organizes content creation into manageable “blocks” of text such as paragraphs, headings, code, and block quotes, or multimedia such as images, video embeds, audio files. With additional blocks, users can create advanced layouts with columns, full-width cover images, or embedded widgets. WordPress introduced Gutenberg due to higher expectations for managing and layouting multimedia content.

Current Page Builders as externally developed plugins

With WordPress being the most important CMS in the world, powering more than 30% of all webseites, comes with huge opportunities for third party plugins such as external page builders. Meanwhile page builders such as Elementor, Visual Composter, Beaver Page Buider or page builder themes such as Divi, Enfold or Avada dominate the market for visual web development and make it easy to achieve whatever design is desired.

However, with the speedy current development of the native Gutenberg Page Builder, one can only guess what will happen in the future, but a least the challenges for all current page builders will continue to grow:

  • Native integration in WordPress: Gutenberg is a fundamental part of the WordPress core, giving the webdesigner and website owner already many design options „out of the box“ without the need to install external page builders, so that there will be more and more people that do not feel the need to have more design options
  • Third party developments for Gutenberg: why should third parties in the future still develop plugins or themes for other third parties, if they can develop directly for Gutenberg, hence WordPress itself?
  • Leaving page builders is difficult: I order to operate correctly, external page builders leave massive amounts of page-builder-specific code in the database. If you want to change your theme or export your data to another theme, code must be adapted and corrected. However, the block editor will (eventually) be compatible with any WordPress theme, so you can change themes without any trouble
  • Subscription investments: the majority of page builders come with a monthly price tag, which designers as well as website owners would be happy to get rid of. Gutenberg and many plugins, enhancing the Gutenberg Editor, are for free.
  • Meanwhile highly comfortable block editing: Through the quick developments of Gutenberg enhancing plugins, the „block“ editing has become really comfortable. Even custom blocks can be created on your own, if functionality is still missing
  • Speedy development of Gutenberg: WordPress confirms the overall plan of Gutenberg is full-site editing with the concept of blocks.

So what is the best option for page builder users?

Page builders have still a huge foothold in the market but the market of software development in general and WordPress in particular, move fast. But we must agree, it will still take a bit of time until the Gutenberg Editor will be able to replace the current page builders. However, keeping in mind the many advantages, Gutenberg already offers to using the costy page builder tools, we would recommend, only building new sites with Gutenberg. This will insure that the website will be future save for huge updates of the Gutenberg Editor, variable cost and loading times will be minimized and there is no huge investment in the future for transfering all content page by page, once Gutenberg is so full of functions and design options, that there is no need any more for external page builder tools. The questions is not, if this will happen, the question is when.

Specialized webdesign services

Currently we see still many web companies, especially media agencys develop websites with the major page builders. Sure, design options are limitless, designer options can be carried out from medium-trained staff and websites, developed with page builders, usually look very attractive. However, considering these developments, webdesign agencies should already consider that Gutenberg will be the dominant page builder of the future and save their clients a lot of time and investment when developing sites on Gutenberg only. Yes, attractive design might be a bit more difficult, but clients will value fast loading times, future-save updates and no need for a big investment in the future, when a switch to Gutenberg is not only reasonable but mandatory.

The webdesign and SEO agency Robin GmbH in Wiesbaden Germany, for example, offers webdesign based on Gutenberg and fast themes only for both domestic and international clients.

To wp-deals customers, Robin offers 10% discount on any service they list on their website for wp-deals clients. Just mention wp-deals on your order and receive a discount immediately.

But of course, there are other services as well such as builder2gutenberg.com or others that already help with the transformation of your current site using page builders of any kind.

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