Gutenberg vs Page Builders (will they survive?)

My predictions for the future in 4 stages

In the last few years, several successful Page Builder Plugins for WordPress have appeared on the market:

Elementor, Divi Builder, Beaver Builder, Page Builder by SiteOrigin, Conductor, Themify Builder, Visual Composer and Thrive are just some of the the most popular.

Millions of websites have been built using page builders.

Many successful themes integrated with a page builder or created their own. For example Avada and its Fusion Builder.

Page builders lowered the barriers of entry to the websites development business for designers that didn’t have coding knowledge.

They also increased the number of WordPress users exponentially. Few WordPress directory themes integrated with popular page builders too.

These are all clear signs that WordPress needed its own default page builder. Especially to provide a standard for users, but also for themes and plugins developers.

I’ve read many articles and notes about how Gutenberg will affect the page builder market.

Most people agree that Page Builders will stick around for a while, after Gutenberg will be released. Because Gutenberg can’t currently compete with their features.

In my opinion they are not seeing the big picture and they are missing 4 points in particular:

  1. Gutenberg will be installed by default on millions of websites when WP 5.0 will be released.
  2. There are countless Open Source developers ready to contribute to Gutenberg success (and get their share of the pie).
  3. Plugin developers will ALL integrate their plugins with Gutenberg, while NONE really did the same for other Page Builders.
  4. Theme developers will create Gutenberg oriented themes

Smaller Page Builders will be gone very soon. The bigger players will resist longer.

If they don’t port their unique features into Gutenberg, they’ll see their number of users drastically reduced.

This will happen in 4 stages:

Stage 1 – Resistance

When Matt Mullenweg announced Gutenberg and the first BETA release, the community reacted with a lot of drama. The drama is still going on now and I personally believe resistance to change is the main reason for it.

  • Some Users don’t want to learn a new interface and new ways to do things.
  • Some developers don’t want to learn ReactJS or JavaScript in general.

Many complain about UX, but in my opinion their judgment is obfuscated by prejudice.

Gutenberg is a work in progress. It can be improved and it will be improved. Giving a 1 star review after giving it only few hours (or minutes) of testing is very shallow.

Most of the negative comments appear to be undeserved, because all of the problems that have been raised, can be fixed and most likely will be fixed.

The vast majority of users though, are quiet. Many probably don’t even know what’s going on.

Out of +8000 active installs of the Gutenberg BETA plugin, only 415 users submitted a review so far. 203 of them rating it 1 star.

A lot of WordPress businesses are working hard to be ready for the Gutenberg release. For example, we are making it possible to customize the templates of our plugin through Gutenberg.

Those who are not, will be losing the biggest opportunity to become relevant, in WordPress recent history.

We are still going through Stage 1, but we are quickly approaching Stage 2.

Stage 2 – Acceptance

Gutenberg, while still in BETA, is already growing faster in terms of features, than any commercial page builder ever did.

Every new release brings a lot of improvements. It won’t take long before it will become as good as any other page builder.

Some of the best developers of this community are working on Gutenberg.

An army of open source developers will soon start releasing their contribution to Gutenberg development too.

They will create plugins to extend it. They will develop Themes built with Gutenberg in mind and we’ll see more resources to develop custom Gutenberg blocks.

Several Gutenberg plugins have been released already and new plugins are added to the WordPress plugin repository daily.

The first boilerplate for Gutenberg blocks is Ahmad Awais’s Create Guten Block. Other tools will follow.

Stage 3 – Adoption

When Gutenberg will be finally released, it will be already almost as good as most commercial Page Builders.

Whatever will be missing, will be seen by developers as an opportunity to fill a void.

However, the biggest difference with commercial page builders will be the level of integration that major plugins will offer spontaneously with Gutenberg.

I see this as the biggest competitive edge.

For example, we never had the time nor the desire to offer some kind of integration with any Page Builders. The highest level of integration that we offer are shortcodes.

You can use them with any page builders, but you have to write the shortcodes in text blocks.

As soon as Gutenberg has been announced, we immediately started thinking on the best way to integrate GeoDirectory with Gutenberg.

Here you can see a description of what we are doing: GeoDirectory V2 Roadmap for Gutenberg integration.

We didn’t only create a custom block for every single GeoDirectory front end element. We are making it possible to design and customize the GeoDirectory templates, using Gutenberg.

I’m positive that many WordPress developers are working in the same direction.

After the release of WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg will be installed by default on millions of websites.

Most plugins developers will have created custom blocks for every bit of their plugins, making Gutenberg the most comprehensive and desirable Page Builders of all.

This will happen quite rapidly.

Stage 4 – Domination

1 year after the official release of WordPress 5.0, the authors of most minor Page Builders will have stopped developing their plugins.

Gutenberg will have hundreds if not thousands of extensions built by the myriad of developers that gravitate around WordPress.

Some will be excellent, some will be really bad. Some will be free some will be premium.

A new economy will grow around Gutenberg. It will revitalize the WordPress economy, opening new opportunities for those who are smart enough to seize them.

In a couple of years, only hard-core fans of commercial page builders will still be using them, while the vast majority of the community will have switched to Gutenberg.

Because it will offer a lot more and commercial builders won’t be able to keep up.

The fall in revenues will force their owners to slow down their development and support until they will eventually lose all their market shares and disappear.

The only way I see them surviving is if they use their experience to build whatever users might want to see in terms of Gutenberg premium features.

I’m sorry if this is not what you want to read, especially if you have stakes in a successful Page Builder, but this is what I predict, based on my personal observations.

Of course I could be totally wrong 🙂

What do you think will happen? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments down below!

Published by Paolo

Paolo Tajani is the co-founder and growth hacker of AyeCode LTD. With his business partner Stiofan, they are the makers of the GeoDirectory, UsersWP and Invoicing plugins for WordPress. Paolo developed his first WordPress website in 2008. In 2011 he met Stiofan O'Connor and together they started building and marketing successful themes and plugins for WordPress. Today their products are used by +100.000 active websites.

58 thoughts on “Gutenberg vs Page Builders (will they survive?)

  1. Even if design options may not be perfect with Gutenberg yet, the problem of updates and the loss of speed is not worth using a different page builder. In connection with lightweight themes such as Astra, the Gutenberg Editor already offers everything you need for beautiful, fast designs.

    1. I agree, however, I prefer Kadence and their Kadence Blocks plugin over Astra.
      Nice service you have there…

  2. Thank You for this, it has helped me make a decision. In addition the improvement in woocommerce 3.9
    (The All Products Block for the Block Editor displays your store’s products in a grid, complete with sorting and pagination. There’s also an updated UI allowing you to add, remove, or move blocks within another using Inner Blocks.

    We’ve introduced several filtering blocks to work alongside the All Products Block and help customers find products easier – Filter by Price, Filter by Attribute, and the ability to view Active Filters.)
    shows that you are right and wordpress will become an almost stand alone development tool, making everything simpler for the novice to develop their site. So that is what I intend to do – wish me luck!

    1. Hi and thanks for your comment. It is taking a bit longer than I anticipated, but that was probably to be expected.

  3. Great article Paolo! You succinctly described this next evolution of WordPress. As much as all of us fall in to comfort zones and resist change, it is important to keep one constant in mind….”The only thing that will not change is the fact that everything will continue to change and evolve.”

  4. Great discussion! As a casual WP user I find the Gutenberg drama very reminiscent of some past “upgrades” to development environments that have had unintended consequences. I have been in the business of software creation since the 80s and one such example was the story of Progress Software out of Bedford, MA. Once a leader in Relational Database Management and development fell down into obscurity over their version 7 release which introduced a “native” GUI/Object styled development environment. Progress was once one of the number one embedded database for application development. The radically different UI and development environment pushed many key developers and software authors to seek other platforms. Progress was unable to make up for the loss of users and developers with new prospects and they faded into obscurity. While WP has some significant differences I cannot help but “feel” somewhat similar about what is now happening to WP. I hope I am wrong but I am not as optimistic about the “dynamics” that this change is injecting into the community. The Gutenberg changes seem to be clearly aimed at solving the do-it-yourself market defection that has steadily favored Squarespace like competitors. If you look at how much Automatic has at stake in all of this, the direction taken in Gutenberg becomes much clearer. I truly hope that the community continues to grow but if the tool moves more towards an end-user platform the opportunities to individually prosper in development will become less and those opportunities will move up the chain to back-end development versus site creation. But I guess that is what software is really all about – driving efficiencies.

    1. Thanks for your comment Mark. Considering that page builders like Divi, Beaver Builder, Elementor, WPBakery Page Builder and all the others greatly contributed to WordPress growth in the last few years, I don’t think Gutenberg will do the opposite. What I hope is that Gutenberg brings a standard and builders leaving horrible markup in your content area after uninstalling them, will disappear. Most of the drama is from people that don’t want to learn a new interface after learning the UI of one of the above mentioned builders. Also from developers who don’t want to learn JavaScript and React deeply and others simply resisting to change. But make no mistakes, they are all but the majority. They are just extremely vocal. WordPress 5 was downloaded tens of millions of time since release and the classic editor plugin is installed in only 2 millions websites. A lot of those websites didn’t install the classic editor because they hate Gutenberg, but because their theme is not ready for Gutenberg yet. Another reason that makes me believe that WordPress won’t follow the steps of the software you mentioned is because there is no real alternative and I don’t see one coming fast enough. Gutenberg will be perfected and the amount of new user will surpass those who went back to Joomla or Drupal. That’s what I believe it’ll happen.

  5. No one is mentioning the number of WP users and designers who are going to decide to leave the platform completely. I have built hundreds of websites with WP Bakery Visual Composer, and to compare the functionality of the current Gutenberg to what I get with that builder is a joke. Once 5.0 loaded, I got an inbox full of unhappy clients who had no idea what had happened to their websites and could not edit them. I am still trying to recover. And they are questioning my guidance, wondering if something like this will happen again… and what happens when we can either no longer disable Gutenberg or the page builders are no longer supported? My clients may end up spending more in the long run with WP under this scenario than if they have me move them to Shopify or SquareSpace today. That’s the bottom line.

    1. To be honest, I don’t think there will be that many, because SquareSpace isn’t as good and flexible as WordPress and probably it will never be.
      Sites made with Visual Composer are slow and the mark up created by that plugin is horrible. WP has facilities to let you manage multiple client sites and install the classic editor on all if you wish, that could have prevented your unhappy customers.

  6. I believe Gutenberg will still had the limitation compare to those page builder out there. meanwhile, is a good time for those page builder to improve more and add on an unimaginable feature where Gutenberg will never had it.

    1. There is nothing really that can be added to page builders that can’t be added to Gutenberg too. We’ll see what will happen though. I’m still convinced that page builders are going to shrink considerably in the near future. Once Gutenberg will be merged into the customizer (phase 2), there won’t be much need for them…

  7. Massive concern #1: Destructive friction and drama self-inflicted by WordPress leadership
    Massive concern #2: Unmanageable scope of technical debt to service clients when page builders collide

    WordPress just started a slow suicide with this. This isn’t about whether or not Gutenberg will retard adoption of Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Divi. This is about Gutenberg retarding the adoption of WORDPRESS itself.

    While I’ve been having fun in the corporate world for the past several years, I decided that maybe it’s about time to give another shot at launching a web design and services agency on the side. Typical startup vision. See how it all goes. I used WordPress plenty prior to this but stopped about a year back. So as I fired up my WPEngine hosted site my first question was what the heck was this editor?!

    Basic things were moved, missing and obscured. The logical interface was completely jumbled in the name of a “visual” designer called Gutenberg. Nothing made sense to the point where I was scratching my head at how and where to install basic media elements.

    Again, ok, I’m just a guy trying to get a 1-man web shop off the ground. However I’m a reasonably smart guy wondering what in the heck happened to a platform that I absolutely loved after being away for only a year? For a moment I thought that I perhaps missed something until I read the reviews. Well congratulations WordPress! You not only aggravated your dedicated core of users but also insulted their intelligence for not wanting this forced (yes-forced) change. Reminds me of the Microsoft Office ads with the dinosaurs. To the author, your own tone does the same. I guess we didn’t “get” the Chevy Volt either.

    Fine, well it’s still WordPress (I guess) so I’ll install the Gutenberg-bypassing plugin Classic Editor that – wait for it … – comes with a self destruct switch in just a few years. Cool! I can’t wait to see how well that plugin gets supported as time goes on. But I kinda digress, time to get back to it.

    So I returned to Elegant Themes to re-purchase Divi. Absolutely loved it before. Sure Developers may scoff at that, but I’m not a Developer. I want to be able to sit with a small business client and fix stuff with them right there. Also, Elegant Themes had every single content plugin I might have wanted. Accordions, tabs, blurbs, all of them. No hunting for a risky mismatch of WP plugins. It was all in one spot and managed by one strong team. Divi was a great page builder. So I went to their site; the materials looked the same; the overview materials looked exactly the same. Wait for it….. I purchased and downloaded the latest version and installed it. Guess what, their very intuitive Divi page builder that integrated perfectly with the previous WordPress editor now became a completely new “Visual” interface that looks like it was designed for a 30″ tall x 4″ wide smartphone screen. What the heck?! It kind of worked the same but nothing was the same. Some elements seemed the same but they didn’t function the same. Everything was ridiculously slow. Why? Of course! They adapted for Gutenberg.

    Blog after blog, including this one, details angst and friction over this collision with Gutenberg and the dominant page builders. Divi, Beaver Builder, Elementor each aimed to quiet their large stakeholder environment of customers who were wondering if their platform would survive.

    I will note that I am both a planner and a doer. Before I launch a business that could wind up earning perhaps a dozen or so clients in a first year I do have to wonder what I would be headed into with this platform! Will standard editor based themes soon no longer work? Will page builders no longer work? Will WordPress Gutenberg x.0 break both? WordPress’s expressed contempt towards those who disagree unfortunately feeds this doubt. Would they be willing to break what millions are using? Sadly, I don’t know.

    I’m actually thinking it would make more sense to consult clients into Squarespace. Yes, seriously. Business is about efficiency. Worrying about WordPress’s true intentions is counterproductive to that aim.

    1. As I replied to other people that shared your concerns, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

      I still don’t think that 1258 unhappy people (those who left a very bad review so far) are representative of the WordPress community as a whole.

      There are way more plugins and themes developers out there and the vast majority welcomes Gutenberg as a positive change.

      WP 5.0 has been downloaded over 10 million times so far and only 1 million installed the classic editor plugin. Most of which probably did it because they prefer to wait before adapting their website to the new editor.

      The fact that the classic editor is guaranteed to be supported until the end of 2022 (3 more years) should be enough to stop complaining, but some people just like to complain.

      To be 100% honest with you, I trust the WP leadership a lot more than few thousands people, most of whom never contributed ANYTHING to WordPress other than using it for free to make a living with it.

      If you are that unhappy, you should consider using ClassicPress and move on. I’m not sure why you would spend your time complaining here or anywhere else…

      Anyway, thanks for your comment.

  8. From what I have seen of Gutenberg developments this week, I think it will quickly become the superior page builder and the best CMS there is. The massive contributor’s marketplace will offer endless possibilities. The author’s predictions look spot on.

    1. Thanks for your comment, it’ll take a while but there is no doubt that Gutenberg will dominate…

  9. Gutenberg should not be mandatory. It should be an option so people can choose if they like it or not. This is the advantage of having a system that accepts third party plugins. Currently Gutenberg is behind most page builders and full of compatibility issues with options like Elementor. Users should get to chose, not have their environment dictated to them. In the end, Gutenberg should be released as an option, lets see how many people choose to use it before it’s forced on everyone. 75 million WP websites and a few people are going to dictate the decision for their users. No one perception is ever correct for everyone. I am curious why someone would attempt to force this major change on such a huge community. This should remain a choice made by the user.

    1. To be honest with you, it baffles to still read similar comments.
      How can you consider it mandatory, if there is an official plugin that disables Gutenberg in favor of the classic editor for those wanting to stick with the past.
      You do have the choice…

  10. Stage #1 Move to Wix
    Stage #2 Forget wordpress

    1. “There are plenty of successful websites made with Wix”…

      … Said no one ever 🙂

      Seriously, Wix can be good for amateurish websites only.

  11. It’s clear there are 2 camps on the issue. I suspect both Gutenberg and the leading PBs will have their own following, just as preference for WYSIWYG and plain text editors. At the moment PBs have the upper hand if only because they are front end. In addition BB, themer and PODS combination is almost invincible for site design function and fast development. Gutenberg can never compete with this and if it did it would be far too complex for the average user.

    However the point raised in this article are very valid and time will tell. One further point, if you uninstall BB and switch to something else, all the code, css and functions stay in place. That’s a killer feature that won’t go away in a hurry.

    Thanks for a lively debate here!

  12. Page builders are going to stay for a few years. But Gutenberg is the future. I’m actually looking forward to WordPress 5.0’s release already.

  13. The reason the resistance screwed up..peoples stupid are the people behind this…don’t ya think?..mmm maybe we shouldn’t do this to millions cuz they run their sites on whatever stuff they use and Gutenberg will make it stop working…and forget the %^$#ing !@#holes

    1. Considering there are already plugins to maintain the classic editor, I don’t think it is that stupid… I tend to think that it is stupid to complain just to complain…
      Thanks for you comments anyway.

    2. And there is block called classic (when you install/activate Gunetberg) all your old posts will be inside that block.

    3. There is no media button inside the classic editor block. handling media has been a challenge since I’ve been experimenting with Gutenberg. Getting images or video to consistently float within text has been a challenge. It doesn’t seem to work the same way every time.

      1. I’ve noticed that too and I heard many more complaining about that, so I hope they’ll fix it sooner or later.

  14. One of the best predictive articles out there.
    I think we are in the “Acceptance” stage. The number of Gutenberg custom blocks already is passing 100 🙂 + there is WooCommerce Gutenberg Products Block Plugin, even few premium are on its way.
    Gutenberg will take over faster than anyone was expecting.

    1. Thanks for your comment, however it looks like resistance is still strong… It may take a while longer before Gutenberg gets accepted..

  15. Aweseome post!

    I had installed Elementor and saw the little compatibility it had with WordPress as a huge risk.

    If you remove Elementor, all your post will look mangled!

    So I limited my use to one single post only. And boy, am I glad I did so now.

    People who have been using commercial Site Builder might be in for a rude awakening once they stop working (and I agree with you, they might easily stop working)

    1. Thanks for your comment Lucio, Gutenberg is still behind in terms of features, but it’ll quickly catch up.

  16. The future is now…you adapt and change as things progress…predictions may or may not come true.


    We also feel page builders are doomed. Visit the above link.

    1. Interesting article, thanks for sharing!

  18. I wonder if Google is looking at all of us laughing as they develop something completely free that will render paying for hosting pointless as well as content Management Systems like WordPress with all of its required, difficult to use and expensive add-ons that invariably become obsolete and totally dysfunctional.

    I have used flash, Dreamweaver, various content Management systems and themes and plugins and I can honestly say they all appear to be trying to do the same simple thing. That is display content easily and attractively. The more I use and try things the more I feel like they’re all trying to do the same thing. One day somebody’s going to figure this out and everyone will just do that.

    We all just want to express herself through content. In other words we want to post videos and photos and words into an organized platform that is either our own or somewhere with familiar or like-minded people. It doesn’t matter what the purposes it’s all pretty much the same whether you’re trying to sell something or just share something. At the end of the day no one really cares about anything else.

    So in the end something simple will ultimately prevail. Something that is easily responsive on any viewport. Something easy to organize and objectively intuitive. Everything seems to be going in the same direction design-wise and that’s very simple with nothing more than a frame for organizing and sharing content.

    Right now the builders like Beaver Builder and Divi have too many issues and they’re just ridiculous and on top of the WordPress framework and code redundant. I think it will be easy for WordPress to achieve their goals with Gutenberg. Unless devices drastically change in a way that forces everyone into creating new tools everything’s going to funnel into the simplicity. Technology has pretty much hit a plateau of development. Now people just want to use they’re fun fancy devices and not fiddle with quirky Builders inexpensive outdated ideas.

    I really am confused as to why the Google hasn’t exploited this and try to compete with content Management Systems in a more modernized way. I would rather not have to deal with Facebook, go daddy or Jaguar PC for hosting, WordPress or any of its Builders and plugins, and just do away with all this. But for some reason Google avoids what seems like would be an easy thing for them to dominate. Meanwhile people are wasting so much time and money and energy all trying to run in different directions. Life is too short for all this mess we just want to Express Yourself, connect and move on with life.

    In short I think WordPress can easily achieve all of this Simplicity everything is trying to achieve. Everything is trying to look the same really if you look at it. Personally I just want to create content, share it, and help others do the same. It’s been getting somewhat easier over the last 20 years to do this but is sure taking a long time for everyone to figure it out.

    1. Thanks for your comment Jeff. I think Google isn’t stepping into the content management market, because their core business is selling ads space and providing a content management system doesn’t help you sell many of those.

      They did acquire blogger many years ago and it has been a WP competitor for a while (especially for, but they never really make it evolve.

  19. Gutenberg is WordPress’s “New Coke”.

    1. I don’t think so, for 2 simple reasons.

      1) New generation of users will love it. The old editor is really something stuck in the 90s.
      2) The New Coke didn’t have a plugin that reverted the taste to the old one for hard core fans, while Gutenberg does.

      Anyway, thanks for your comment.

  20. I’m a bit confused. Gutenberg is only to be released with WP5 which seems quite a while away if you check the current status. Given that GD v2 is released in 1-2 weeks, will GB even be fully available/integrated and will there be any issues?

    1. It’ll work with or without it. If Gutenberg isn’t active, you can use shortcodes.

  21. Don’t know exactly where to start, but here goes…

    “Many complain about (Gutenberg’s) UX, but in my opinion, their judgment is obfuscated by prejudice.” I keep seeing patronizing comments like this in the Gutenberg-boosting reviews on You know what? It’s baloney of the first order. When an interface is truly intuitive to learn and use, you don’t get the kind of bashing you see in the strongly negative reactions to Gutenberg. You like Gutenberg? Good for you. But please, stop with the mildly demeaning “you-can’t see-the-big-picture-cause-you’re-so-far-down-in-the-weeds” comments about those who don’t.

    “It won’t take long before (Gutenberg) will become as good as any other page builder.” Wow, this is dreaming on a big scale. Hey, that’s fine. But the things is: the leading page builders were developed by some really smart, talented, creative people who were thinking outside the box long before Gutenberg was on the drafting boards. These guys are playing leapfrog with one another right now WRT improving their products and their capabilities while Gutenberg hasn’t even started its teething pains. These guys aren’t going to stand still while Gutenberg gets its act together. They are smart enough to figure out how to position their products to play nice with Gutenberg. And when (if) Gutenberg reaches a level of sophistication, power, and ease of use that the best page builders now offer, those same products are going to be that much further along in their development.

    But enough. We’ll see soon enough how this all falls out. But I’m putting my money on the leading page builders leveraging Gutenberg, not being overtaken by it.

    1. Everyone is entitled to have his own opinion, I just expressed mine. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  22. Was a bit hesitant at first when I heard about Gutenberg but I think its actually going in the right direction. Been using Visual Composer on most of my sites which does the job but quite looking forward to the Gutenberg update, compatibility should be a lot easier!

  23. If Gutenberg makes all these nasty page builders disappear or at least adapt to a more WordPress way of doing things is good news.

    1. Thanks for your comment Mark, I agree 100% with you… Even if it’s not going to be a perfect solution for all, personally I’m very happy that we can finally have a standard to work with.

  24. I think you are right, and I’ve been baffled at the level of denial in favour of page builders going on as if nothing much changes.

    Even the best page builders offer poor solutions for a huge problem in WordPress. It’s really not as if they are just a convenience for “people who lack coding knowledge.” Writing out a mishmash of HTML and CSS with shortcodes mixed in — inside a single field and data structure — is no picnic, nor a very useful, future-facing way to do content. If you get into custom fields, metadata, and additional post types to do serious CMS stuff, then you’ve got yourself into a corner, and it’s just not practical for most people. It’s also a dark, bespoke art. No one’s offered even a few standard how-tos for making WordPress do CMS on par with newer and even old peers. I find every one of their UIs frustrating, and many are downright excruciating. Once you learn one, there’s a strong incentive to stick with it. It’s just a bad deal in so many ways.

    Gutenberg, ultimately as a piece of the WP core, ought to displace the page builders because it’s good enough (and better than many of them) and it’s the native, default option. I expect its success will mean it becomes less and less optional. If it’s disruptive in a way that isn’t a net positive for market share and business growth — if it puts too many people off and out — and if there are compelling alternatives (maybe something with a fantastic front-end editing experience), it could land like a Joomla 2.5/3.0 or Drupal 8 and see a loss of market share. But even in that scenario, it’s the core that endures and adapts through the disruption it causes.

    What matters most is how the community and business ecosystem responds. How Gutenberg is sold to them is key. Will most see opportunity and value, as you do, or will they feel threatened, imposed upon, or just deny the reality of the changes coming at them?

    1. Thanks for your comment! I think most will adapt, especially once all UX issues will be solved. At the moment I don’t see compelling self hosted alternatives around that could steal market shares, do you?

  25. Take a look at this Site Origin video. I think Page Builders that enhance Gutenberg will survive.

    1. Absolutely yes, adapting their plugins to enhance Gutenberg, they basically became a Gutenberg extension and they will definitely survive as such.

    2. Thank you Marcus! I was wondering when someone was going to mention SiteOrigin, which is the builder I use most often in combination with Theme Trust’s Create Theme. Imho, SiteOrigin will remain and even thrive in this new environment, BUT that is because it is not riddled with short code poison all over the place and you can easily copy content back and forth between the page builder and core editor. S.O. will never be a favorite among those that need a front-end visual editor, but front-end editors annoy me, so I will adopt Gutenberg and incorporate SiteOrigin where necessary and be fine with whatever comes my way 🙂 SiteOrign builds things right, supports things right and does an overall wonderful job. Are they perfect? Of course not, but dealing with S.O. and Theme Trust has been a joy compared to my Elegant Themes experience – but to each his or her own. Page builders that don’t CONFLICT with WP core and allow for custom HTML, CSS and well-coded plugin compatibility are a wonderful contribution to client sites, because client’s can easily learn how to add content. Page builder’s that lock you into an ecosystem and lock you out of development aren’t such a great deal in the long run, as far as I’m concerned anyway 🙂 It’s sad that all the affiliate hype poisons the WP ecosystem before new users have a thorough understanding of what is important.

  26. Gutenberg will likely improve over time, but if you think it’s going to kill the page builder market, I think you’re mistaken. For Gutenberg to compete, it has to multiply it’s current state many many many times over. It will be forced to take a “jack of all trades” route and satisfy dozens of developers. It will take YEARS to even get features that rival the more simple builders currently available. And it will also need to switch to a fully front-end experience, which isn’t even on the radar.

    To suggest that page builders like Elementor and BB will just go away is naive at best. First, they both have already announced they have plans to utilize Gutenberg WITHIN their builders. But next, they really aren’t built with the same purpose. Gutenberg is simple, and it will likely always remain simple in comparison. Third parties will definitely add to it, and then you’ll be dealing with having to rely on multiple developers to maintain a pieced together experience, instead of a builder like Elementor that offers dozens of times more, all integrated, from a reliable developer.

    I’m just getting started. The reasons are numerous why this article is missing the point. No offense, as I know it is really just opinion. But I don’t believe you fully understand the builder market and WHY people chose the current builders, and what purpose Gutenberg is designed to fill. The major players aren’t going anywhere. I’m talking about Elementor, BB, DIVI and unfortunately, WP Bakery Composer. Some smaller builders might fall away, but those actually trying to lead the industry are all so many lightyears ahead of Gutenberg is both features and user experience, that Gutenberg will likely never become worth of replacing them. And that’s fine. Gutenberg really isn’t designed to fill the same space anyways.


    1. Thanks for sharing your opinion Brent, however let me explain why I don’t agree with you.

      At the beginning of last year Beaver Builder looked invincible and it appeared to be the only one who could compete with Divi.

      Elementor was a good prospect with barely 30k installs and was way behind Beaver Builder that had 200k.

      Now Elementor has over 800k, Beaver Builder 400k.

      Today Beaver is growing at 1% weekly in negative trend, while Elementor is growing at 4% weekly with a stable trend.

      All this to say, things can change very rapidly.

      My prediction is that by the end of next year, both will be around 0% and in negative trend.

      Not everyone use all their features and the majority aren’t definitely paying for their pro versions. That’s how the freemium market works.

      Gutenberg will be there by default and it will serve the needs of plenty of users that today are installing any page builder to edit their pages and posts.

      There will be several plugins adding to Gutenberg all the features that you can imagine and probably all you’ll need is to select 1 plugin to get all pro features of Elementor, so you’ll still be dealing with only 1 developer, just like with Elementor.

      Most theme and plugin developers will be building around Gutenberg extending it through their options. Avada, Divi, Elementor and Beaver Builder that are now prominent, will be looking at a lot more competition.

      An example, while Elementor is tightly integrated with basically only WooCommerce, Gutenberg will be integrated by the vast majority of plugins available on and through premium shops. All plugins with millions of users like WooCommerce, Gravity forms and Advanced Custom Fields just to name 3.

      Plugins developers will integrate with Gutenberg, not the other way around. How can Divi, Elementor or Beaver compete with that?

      The idea of using Gutenberg inside another Page Builder doesn’t make that much sense, but if that is what they think it’ll allow their business to keep growing, I think they should think twice.

      Especially if I’ll be able to do everything with Gutenberg in the 1st place.

      Even though the initial scope of Gutenberg isn’t to provide a full website building experience, it could almost be used for that already. We integrated it to allow users to design our plugin templates with it. WHich means you can use it to design any kind of template.

      To be honest with you, I can’t think of anything that you can do with Elementor or Beaver Builder that Gutenberg couldn’t be set to do with some custom code.

      With custom blocks, I could easily see it used to design the header and the footer of a theme and everything in between.

      I also believe that the discussion to add some sort of front end like editing experience will be re-opened.

      The scope of WordPress was to be a blogging tool, not a CMS and today is the most used CMS of all.

      Gutenberg could easily represent for Page Builders, what WordPress represented for Drupal and Joomla.

      # CMS Market Share
      1 WordPress 59.7%
      2 Joomla 6.7%
      3 Drupal 4.7%

      We’ll see what it’ll happen…

    2. I’ll make this point first, and also make it again at the end. But the team behind Gutenberg are NOT attempting to make a builder that replaces all other page builders. In fact, due to the nature of WordPress, it will be near impossible for that to happen even if they wanted to. But they don’t. That’s not what Gutenberg is designed to do. Period. But let’s take some of your points in line.

      Elementor taking over Beaver is different from Beaver going away. Markets do indeed fluctuate, and better products come along. But Gutenberg is not a better product. Not for what Elementor and BB were designed for. Look at how long it has taken just to get people to agree on where Gutenberg is today. And it is still a simple tool with simple powers compared to the top builders. If you think Gutenberg is overtaking them any time in the next several years, I think you’ll find yourself mistaken.

      I am fully aware how the freemium market works, but as somebody who has spent a LOT of time (more than most) researching, testing, talking with developers of these tools, and USING these tools heavily, I think you are vastly underestimating just how entrenched the market for these tools is. And you are vastly underestimating why these tools are superior.

      Gutenberg will indeed serve the needs of many users. And just as with all other parts of WordPress, it won’t serve everyone. It can’t. It NEVER will. For those who want a basic layout and don’t care for advanced features, Gutenberg will be fine. But there is no way on this planet that Gutenberg is going to offer the experience and features of Elementor (or BB, or DIVI) for a very long time. Not even with third party addons. Because Gutenberg isn’t designed for the same purposes.

      And don’t forget, that as Gutenberg slowly develops, Elementor, DIVI and others are quickly getting better and better. Gutenberg isn’t going to keep up with that. Elementor 2.0, which is in beta, already allows you to design the entire site, from header to footer to archive pages to everything else, and is already compatible with custom fields, has a VERY rapidly growing set of addons, has LOADS of support from third parties, is compatible with all WordPress widgets, shortcodes, etc., etc., etc. I sincerely believe you don’t fully see what Elementor and BB and DIVI are capable of. Your suggestion that Elementor is basically only integrated with WooCommerce proves this point, because it has far more third party support than you seem to believe. It’s far more reaching than you give it credit for. (I do keep speaking of Elementor as it is my personal favorite, but you can apply most of these points to BB and DIVI as well).

      Gutenberg is nowhere near that. And suggesting that by the end of next year, other builders will be gone and Gutenberg will take over is naive and absurd.

      Gutenberg might be “competition” to these builders, but competition doesn’t mean other options are going away. Can Gutenberg take market share from other builders? Of course it can. But that doesn’t mean the other builders won’t continue to evolve, improve, and stay light years ahead of Gutenberg.

      The FREE VERSION OF ELEMENTOR is already a free option that offers loads of things Gutenberg doesn’t currently offer. At the VERY least, for them to somehow take over the market, they would have to offer something better for free. And that is a VERY VERY long ways away, even if they were to attempt it (which they aren’t trying to do).

      You also said that you can’t think of anything Elementor or BB can do that you couldn’t do with some custom code in Gutenberg. Well………obviously. I can’t think of anything you can do in WordPress that I can’t do with a basic HTML site and some PHP/MySQL code. That’s kind of a silly point, isn’t it? Because the problem that comes is that there are HUNDREDS of things you can do with Elementor and BB that you can’t even get close to doing in Gutenberg at this point. It’s a pretty lopsided argument, really, to suggest that Gutenberg will be just as good because “you can do anything with some code”. Well, same goes for everything else in WordPress.

      Gutenberg has plenty of its own problems to work out. Saying that it is going to kill the page builder market before anyone even knows what Gutenberg will be like at release is silly. It might make for a good article, but it doesn’t make for a good argument, IMO.

      I get it, Gutenberg will be installed by default with WordPress, and that means many people will use it. But for those who want advanced layouts (Gutenberg is a disaster if you want anything fancy for your layout), more control, a true WYSIWYG experience (which Gutenberg is not), etc., there will still be a large market.

      Look, I actually don’t have a problem with Gutenberg. I didn’t like it at first, and while I still don’t like it, I “get it”. I know what they are trying to do, and I know the purpose they are trying to fulfill. I fully understand the concept and the reasons why they are doing it. It isn’t to replace the page builder market.

      They are adding Gutenberg to compete with other platforms. And they are adding Gutenberg to satisfy the basic needs of users who want to do more than the current editor can do. They looked at the popularity of the page builder market and that told them very clearly that people needed more than the basic TinyMCE editor was offering. But Gutenberg, as good as it might get some day, will always be a massive compromise. Any suggestion or idea that it is somehow going to do everything you can do with the current powerful page builders is misplaced. It will get better, but it can never be a full replacement because that would require the WordPress dev team (with devs who come and go, and all serve different markets and purposes) to agree on a workflow and implement HUNDREDS of features in a way that satisfies the overall team and doesn’t piss off users too much. It will never get to that point. Nor do they INTEND for it to get to that point. Let me repeat this. Matt and the Gutenberg team are not attempting to make a page builder that suits everyone’s needs. A dedicated and focused team of developers who are making good money on a plugin like Elementor will always create a better overall product.

      Gutenberg will share the space with other builders, but replace them? No way.

      Please understand that my post isn’t meant as personal. It is merely meant to give perspective. I’ve been around this game for a long time, and my strong words or points are meant for emphasis, and nothing is intended as a personal jab.

      Sorry for the length of this.


      1. suggesting that by the end of next year, other builders will be gone and Gutenberg will take over is naive and absurd.

        I’m sorry, but naive and absurd is commenting on a post without even reading it with attention.

        If you would have, you’d know that I predict minor page builders to disappear within one year of the Gutenberg release (some are already gone). While for the bigger players I stated that within 2 years, only hard core fans (such as yourself I suppose) will be using them. After that, the heavy reduction on revenues, will slowly force them to irrelevance.

        I know I could be wrong, but I tend to believe that will be their path in the near future. Page Builders fabulous growth isn’t going to last much longer and soon they’ll see a reduction of their market share, definitely not an increase.

        I understand that you don’t agree and I also understand why. Time will tell who was right and who wasn’t.

    3. By the way, you said the thought of Gutenberg inside another editor didn’t make sense, but let me clarify. Elementor and BB teams have said they are going to have ways where the systems have some integration, but not necessarily Gutenberg INSIDE the other builders (my choice of words was wrong).

      For instance, Elementor is going to offer the option to WRITE your post or page using Gutenberg, and then DESIGN it using Elementor, as another way of working (since Gutenberg isn’t being designed as much of a design tool anyways). In various conversations around the web, they have said this and other statements about it. They are embracing the opportunity to find new ways of working.

      I don’t think you will see the three major players integrate directly into Gutenberg though, putting their elements as blocks, or whatever. Because that would be a big step down in usability and available functionality. Gutenberg doesn’t have the flexibility at the moment to even do everything that would be needed for that from a developer perspective.


  27. Like most things WordPress I look at it from a user not a developer perspective. Will this save me time? Will this make me more productive? My business is not developing or maintaining WordPress sites. My business happens to use a WordPress powered site. If Gutenberg allows me to more easily modify and develop my site (I like to get my hands dirty and not rely completely on outside developers) then I am all for it. From what I can tell, that is exactly what it will do (eventually). Until then I will wait and see. I have done some evaluations of it and from what I can see it is pretty effective (except for adding an image for some reason). Most business owners are very conservative and tend not to be too cutting edge. I certainly won’t activate anything that has not been thoroughly tested by the community and myself. The last thing I need for my business is for my site to break.

  28. Gutenberg is a good thing for WordPress. I’m glad WP is moving forward. But the documentation for developers for Gutenberg is still very limited. For many developers’ building block will be a challenge.

    1. I’m sure documentation, tutorials and examples will start flooding the internet very soon, however we agree with you. Today they are lacking…

    2. Agreed. Without taking a course for ReactJS, setting up the environment for development is a hard task!

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