Thoughts on the Site editor and Block Themes

As a plugin developer, I really don’t mess around with themes much. While I think I am capable of building websites from scratch, I don’t consider myself a traditional WordPress developer. I rarely do web design as I mainly work on plugins and microservices.

Nevertheless, I have been keeping an eye on where WordPress has been headed with the Gutenberg project. With full site editing, WordPress Core wants to offer a built-in solution that can compete with popular third-party page builders like Elementor, Avada, Divi, etc.

I have happily used Elementor in the past whenever I had to cook up a quick landing or registration page for a local event. I don’t see why I should custom code things if another tool can help me craft them in a fraction of the time. As long as it does the job, it is easily maintainable and does not come with any security or performance implications, I am a happy camper.

Knowing how big some of these page builder ecosystems have become, I was sceptical at first about the capabilities of the Site Editor. It did not look all that promising to me when it first released along with WordPress 5.9. I did not find the new admin navigation menu user-friendly, blocks were missing basic features and the editor just felt clunky.

A couple of WordPress releases later, after the introduction of the Twenty Twenty-four theme, I felt it was time to give the Site Editor another shot. And this time, I was pleasantly surprised.

The Site Editor feels much more intuitive and block features have been greatly expanded on. The catalog of built-in blocks is broad and isn’t really missing anything that non-premium page builders don’t offer. After careful review, I really could not find any reason not to use it. So, I decided to give this site a fresh lick of paint using the Site Editor.

It only took me about an hour to get the site styled in the way that I like with the Twenty Twenty-Four block theme as an inexperienced user. To be fair, I prefer a minimalistic design so there barely are any visual elements on this site, but the result was nevertheless impressive.

Although I was sceptic at first, I can see now that WordPress is heading in the right direction. If they keep going at it full throttle, the future of the Site Editor looks bright.

Watch out, page builder developers, a new player has entered the market!


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