16 thoughts on “The End of WordPress Themes is in Sight Leave a comment

  1. Insightful article Ben! I hope you try out Elementor one day, it let’s you build your entire site not tomorrow but today. Some Web Creators even offer Template Kits that can be used by a non-coder to quickly set up an entire (even dynamic) website.

    Ps. Full disclosure, I’ve been a huge Elementor fan since the beginning so you might consider my opinion slightly more than biased πŸ™‚

    1. I love Elementor and recently have been hooked with Gutenberg as well. I think themes will need to evolve and provide more smarter objects, blocks etc.

  2. A lot of people thought this was coming for a very long time. I did, I even delayed things in the theme review team with the expectation that news would come down and we would be redundant. I spent a full year expecting that to occur but so far is has not.

    We don’t know what role themes have in the future. Surely it will change as they have done in the past. Making them only a stylesheet would require a pretty significant change to how all of WordPress output is handled. So far I do not see that work being done in core.

    So ‘maybe soon’ is when there will be news about themes being at their end but so far I have heard nothing to indicate that’s the intended direction πŸ™‚

  3. A good read! I had this situation and future of themes at the back of my mind for a year now. Still curious to see what is going to happen to the MAJOR theme shops, but mostly, what is going to happen to marketplaces like Theme Forest.

  4. Interesting post. As a WordPress enthusiast I have been using & watching closely this platform for almost a decade. My guess is when the current Gutenberg project is completed, it might look like Microsoft publisher!!! (a simplified analogy) where user can create anything they want! Of course there would be lot of templates, just like MS Publisher does! I could be wrong though, watching curiously!

  5. Hey there,

    a short notice! Robert Windisch – known as the men with the Head – has predicted this since last year also we – a german WordPress Podcast “wp-sofa” – published a extra episode to this topic. Take a look for episode 49 or search for “themes werden sterben”.

    But the thing is, we talked in “WP Sofa – WordPress News #35 – KW 38/19” about a real theme tasks in the future. There are some ideas about how themes will grow.

    At last – themes will not die – themes will do only design stuff not more!

      1. Oxygen doesn’t use a theme – if you have one activated, oxygen will disable it anyway.

  6. Hey Ben,

    Read this piece a few weeks ago, and wanted to finally make a comment now that I’ve finished up some related work.

    Our new Gutenberg-based themes are a lot like you describe. They only power universal header/footer elements and the brand style. Most of the our landing page layouts are powered with a blocks plugin that we designed and released to be used with many themes–not just our own.

    The time we took to separate some of the layout components from theme style components has really paid off for us and our clients, but I can understand the pain in starting over cause I just went through it too.

    The new editor makes it easier for us to compete with Squarespace, and our clients are extremely happy with the overall editing experience because it’s way easier to use. They take up less of our time with questions since they’re seeing what they’re editing in Gutenberg, and they use their sites more often.

    My personal experience with the editor as both a developer and content creator has given me a similar experience. I can’t imagine going back to old ACF layouts and tons of settings pages.

    In my opinion, the easier we can make WordPress to use, the more likely people are to create for/on WP as a platform. Slowly but surely, my hope is that people begin to ween off of parasitic sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for their content and community and lean more towards these small communities that pop up around sites made with tools like WordPress.

    I’m likely more optimistic than most, but I think you should be too Ben!

    All the best!

    1. Hey Tim – thanks for the feedback. I really like the block editor – not sure if that was clear from the article. My main concern is that, in the longer term, there won’t be much need (possibly no need) for theme developers.

  7. Thank you for this great piece! I think you bring up some valid points, especially thinking about considering the future. If we don’t plan the future when it comes to development and WordPress – we won’t know what chance we have of ending in any certain place. As always, the internet is a place of adaptability – and surely, things continue to change so rapidly.

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