WordCamp US was once again held in Nashville in 2018. Just a day before WordCamp, WordPress 5.0 was released. I did not attend WordCamp US in person this year but I did watch the online stream and kept up with things on twitter.
There was some amazing talks this year. One thing that came through though even watching online and some of the twitter posts was there did seem to be a dark cloud hovering due to Gutenberg. Many talks were around Gutenberg and blocks. Many tweets were on Gutenberg wasn’t needed and that the release timing was off. Others were more optimistic looking forward to the future capabilities and options that Gutenberg is sure to provide. Others were more neutral with a let’s wait and see mentality. I tend to fall somewhere between optimism and wait and see.
State of the Word
As always one of the if not the biggest moment of WordCamp US is the annual State of the Word given by Matt Mullenweg. Here are some quick recap notes and take aways.
The Editor Needed an Uprade
User testing using the classic TinyMCE editor was shown, and as expected it was bad. The user said it was like editing a blog from 2005. Now this news is not new, it’s why page builder plugins have gotten so popular in recent years.
After showing several users tests where people were struggling to use the classic editor, a video was shown on how easy doing some of the same things that the users were struggling with could be in Gutenberg. My only issue with the video was it was painfully obvious it wasn’t your everyday user. I think had they taken a video of that, the usability presentation would have been much more impactful.
Twenty Nineteen Theme
Early on there were talks that there would not be a yearly theme released so focus could be put on building Gutenberg. With the release of 5.0 however a fully Gutenberg supported Twenty Nineteen theme was released. I’ve played around with this theme and can say I enjoy using it. I believe that it will become a very useful tool in referencing for how to set up a Gutenberg supported theme.
Learn Blocks Deeply
Looking Forward at Gutenberg
Gutenberg (beta) will be coming to the mobile WordPress apps in February 2019.
Replacing the editor was phase 1 of Gutenberg, phase 2 will be looking at updating areas outside of the editor. Phase 2 will be looking at possibly updating the widgets editing screen, the customizer, and the menu editor.
Phase 3 (potentially 2020) will potentially look at multi-user editing and collaboration. Phase 4 (2020+) will be looking at potentially having an official way of having multilingual sites.
PHP and 5.0
Because of Gutenberg the main focus within WordPress hasn’t been about it’s core language of PHP but JS instead. By December 2019 WordPress will be making the minimum version of PHP used with the software PHP 7.
Here is the State of the Word talk, go check it out.