Here is the proposed release schedule for WordPress 5.0:
- WordPress 5.0 Kickoff meeting: October 3, 2018 (Completed)
- Beta 1: October 19, 2018
- RC 1: October 30, 2018
- Release: November 19, 2018
They have acknowledged a small window (eight days) that the release can slide in, and if it goes beyond that, we’re looking at a release after the holidays:
- Secondary RC 1: January 8, 2019
- Secondary Release: January 22, 2019
Whichever way it goes, the Gutenberg block editor for WordPress is coming, and our team is ready for it.
The question is, as a designer or developer, are you?
Out of the box, Gutenberg works well with StudioPress themes. In fact, I am writing this blog post with it. While basic compatibility already exists, the extensibility of WordPress allows us to take things a bit further with themes.
A few weeks ago, we started a series on the StudioPress blog which introduces some methods of that extensibility. Here are the first two from that series:
- Add Theme Color Palette to the Gutenberg Block Editor for WordPress
- Add Block Font Sizes to the Gutenberg Block Editor for WordPress
We will continue to share these lightweight tutorials with you, and encourage you to spend some time before the release of WordPress 5.0 to get your feet wet.
To help you with this, we are actively updating the Genesis Sample theme with the code we provide, along with additional block styles. Please note we are actively adding new code/styling to this branch of the Sample theme.
In addition to the work we are doing, the greater WordPress community is also preparing for Gutenberg. Here are a list of articles written by folks we trust that will help you prepare:
- Gutenberg – Believe in the Beauty of Your Dreams — Jason Cohen
- The Ultimate Guide to Gutenberg Image Alignments in WordPress Themes — Rich Tabor
- Get Your WordPress Theme Gutenberg-ready — Ellen Bauer
- Are content blocks the future? And, what’s the benefit for SEO? — Yoast
- Getting Your Theme Ready for Gutenberg — Bill Erickson
Beyond the technical extensibility that surrounds Gutenberg, there are philosophical impacts at play, as well. According to Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, the new editor experience will benefit many: designers, developers, agencies, users, and web hosts.
Matt shares the ideology behind Gutenberg and why it was developed:
“When Johannes Gutenberg’s press came out, people mostly used it to print the same religious text monks had been copying. It wasn’t until ten or fifteen years later that people started innovating and trying their hands at new kinds of writing, and the wheels of change started to spin faster.”
He goes on to say:
“Now it’s WordPress’ turn to do the same. Gutenberg meets our challenges and opportunities head-on while simultaneously benefiting everyone who makes a living working in the WP ecosystem. It’s about a lot more than just blocks. Our Gutenberg moves every part of the WordPress ecosystem forward.”
The initial consideration with Gutenberg is around blocks, and how they can be used to enhance the process of content production—from both the backend perspective and also the way content is presented on the front end. We also know there are plans beyond that to revolutionize the way websites altogether are built.
As the inevitable inclusion of Gutenberg into WordPress Core draws near, it’s time for designers and developers to understand not only the current roadmap but also the long term one.
As I’ve said before, I see the gold in Gutenberg, and there is an opportunity to simplify content publishing by focusing on some of the easier methods of doing things rather than creating complex solutions behind the scenes.
The added functionality that Gutenberg offers will undoubtedly start to change the way themes as we know them now will look. The opportunity we have to pioneer the next season of WordPress is upon us, and we look forward to developing easy-to-use themes that provide great-looking digital experiences.