As WordPress prepares to officially roll out the new Gutenberg editing platform with WordPress 5.0, it’s generating excitement for some users, and perhaps a bit of apprehension among others. It can be intimidating to adapt to an entirely new way of creating blogs and pages when you’ve grown accustomed to a certain platform over the years. This is why the developers plan for the future of Gutenberg to be a gradual progression, rather than a complete inundation, to keep the learning curve accessible even for novice users.
According to the Gutenberg Handbook FAQ, developers cite an upcoming bevy of new features “too many to list.” However, upcoming release stages can be broken down loosely into three phases: Initial release of the post and page editor, a page template editor, and a site builder.
Phase 1: Post/Page Editor
The initial rollout of Gutenberg will be “limited” to a new post and page editor that replaces the current text window with a block-based editing system. We put “limited” in quotes because this new interface will itself be loaded with new features that users will want to take some time to explore. Since most WordPress users are primarily focused on using the platform to publish content rather than development features, the first rollout will give these users time to get acquainted with the new platform.
Phase 2: Template Editor
At some time in the not-too-distant future, we can expect updates to Gutenberg that expand its functionality for creating page templates. These features should appeal to more adventurous users who want the ability to build more customization into their sites, as well as developers who wish to create new Gutenberg-based page templates.
Phase 3: Site Builder Functionality
Gutenberg developers anticipate the third phase of the new platform to include advanced features that allow users broad creative liberties in building their websites from scratch. Many end users will probably have no need to scratch the surface of these features (just as one does not have to be fluent in CSS coding to work with WordPress currently). However, for those who want to take a deeper dive, whether for themselves or for their clients, those features will at some point be available.
This rough plan of release is a strong indicator that the arrival of Gutenberg will be more than just a fluke or experiment — it represents a foundational change in the way users create content with WordPress. While the learning curve may be a bit intimidating for some at first, it shouldn’t be long before users recognize the value of the new platform and what they’ll be able to accomplish with it.