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Page Builders in a Gutenberg World

Gutenberg + Beaver Builder

Hey everyone! We're getting settled back in after an amazing trip to WordCamp US in Nashville. Beaver Builder is a distributed team and it's always an awesome opportunity seeing the team face-to-face.

Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, gave his annual State of the Word speech and Gutenberg, WordPress' new editor project, was the hot topic of the weekend. The #1 question that we all got over the weekend was, “what do you think about Gutenberg?” We wanted to bring that conversation here to the blog and invite you all to participate.

Matt mentioned that they're designing Gutenberg for new users. We believe there's always going to be another level of customization and features that Page Builders can provide.

The Gutenberg Demo

Gutenberg has come a long way since it was announced last year. If you're not familiar with Gutenberg yet, I'd encourage you to check out the demo portion of the SOTW. It's impressive! Matias mentions that he combined several unfinished features and, in doing so, he paints a picture of a much more finalized product than the iterations we've seen previously. There was a growing murmur of excitement in the crowd.

The Gutenberg team is investing huge amounts of bandwidth to solve problems that hit very close to home! Some of the features demoed like templates looked strikingly similar to ours. And reversely, some of the nifty Gutenberg features like theme color schemes, inline text editing, or a document browser could potentially be implemented in Beaver Builder.

While we share the concerns about motivations behind the Gutenberg push and backward compatibility, ultimately we want Gutenberg to be a success because we want WordPress to be a success. One of the reasons for Beaver Builder's and the page builder ecosystem's rapid growth these last few years is because of a genuine need that wasn't being filled on the WordPress platform. For WordPress to continue to dominate the CMS space, I think it's an important problem to solve.

The Future of the Web and WordPress

The million dollar question is whether Gutenberg puts page builders, premium themes, or WordPress design agencies out of business. But what does that look like…

Are users going to choose Gutenberg to build their own site instead of Beaver Builder? Are small businesses—who would otherwise buy a theme and hire a small agency or freelancer—have more motivation to build their own site with Gutenberg? Will web professionals choose Gutenberg as their tool of choice for building and managing multiple complex WordPress sites and applications?

Morten Rand-Hendriksen is one of the thought leaders in the discussion around Gutenberg. In his WordCamp US talk, he presents the idea that Gutenberg and this new paradigm of Blocks and Views could completely change the way we interact with information online. The concept Blocks and Views even supersedes WordPress. Several of the big players (think Facebook, Google, Etc.) are exploring similar ideas that could evolve to be the foundation for new information systems for AR/VR and all sorts of other fun, science-fiction-esque ideas.

We're excited to continue creating great user experiences and leading innovation in this space.

Ultimately, it's very a complicated question without a yes/no answer. Technologies evolve quickly. Anyone who builds on top of someone else's garden like WordPress, iOS, or Android knows that you will need to pivot and adapt to the direction of that platform. We knew this long ago and we've been adapting and tweaking Beaver Builder for every major WordPress update.

Gutenberg is the self-proclaimed editor of the future, but Matt also mentioned that they're designing Gutenberg for new users. I think there's always going to be another level of customization and features that Page Builders can provide. Hopefully, Gutenberg will successfully increase WordPress' market share. When those new users are ready to take their designs to the next level, we'll be there!

Beaver Builder & Gutenberg Compatibility

We've been keeping our finger on the pulse of Gutenberg's progress and doing our best to jump in and lend our expertise to the project when we can.

There are many different ways we can embrace and extend Gutenberg. We have the benefit of being a fast and agile team and great track record of innovating, executing, and solving difficult engineering challenges. It's still unclear exactly what the final product is going to accomplish (are we trying to be like Medium or SquareSpace), but we're ready and prepared to adapt and continue improving the core experience.

We're currently working on compatibility between Beaver Builder and Gutenberg. Our team is attempting to tease out the best user experience for switching between alternate editing modes in WordPress. And we have some really fun experimental ideas that we can't quite talk about publicly yet. Rest assured, we're all excited about the opportunity to embrace the future of WordPress and the future of the web!

When we attended our first WordCamp as a company in San Franciso 2014, people looked at us like we had two heads when we told them we were building a “page builder.” It was like a dirty word in the WordPress community. Fast forward ~3 years and “page builders” were the main topic of discussion and Beaver Builder was mentioned several times during the State of the Word! We're thrilled about that and we're excited to continue creating great user experiences and leading innovation in this space.

To leave with a few questions:

Are you worried about Gutenberg impacting your business?

As a Page Builder user, what do you think of the Gutenberg experience? (On that note, we encourage you to join the conversations and help shape Gutenberg.)

Robby McCullough's Bio

44 Comments

  1. Hugues on December 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks Robby, interesting post and nice to hear you articulate the B.B. view on this.

    Like most people the uncertainty around how Gutenberg will impact our businesses does create some concerns but I honestly couldn’t think of a better team of people than the Beaver Builder team to help us navigate though this for the best possible outcome.

    I’m not all that concern with my role as a freelance “integrator” being threatened as building a sound online presence is about so much more than having easy to use tools to build pages… You can give people hammers but they can’t always built houses, at least not houses anyone would want to live in… 😉

    I’m actually more concerned about having to rebuild sites without getting paid for it because Gutenberg breaks sites customers paid good money for only a few months ago – I’m talking sites I may have built before starting to use B.B. for all my site builds (think themeforest themes here).

    I can’t imagine clients being very happy if their web designer goes to them to say. Mmmhhh you know that site you paid me $$$ to build last year? Well WordPress has changed and now we need to rebuild it…

    When it comes to BB I’m actually not worried at all. Yes it may take a bit of work from us all but I, like many people in our beavering little community, know that you guys have our back and will come up with ways to help smooth the transition.

    My sincere hope is that you are able to continue thriving as a business in the post Gutenberg era and are around for many years to come. You have had such a massive positive impact on the businesses and livelihood of so many of us freelancers I have nothing but the deepest respect for you guys.

    Hell, if you can invent Beaver Themer then surely you can invent GutenBeaverBergBuilder or something 😉

    Cheers
    Hugues

    • David on December 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      There is a Classic Editor to help maintain backward compatibility, so I don’t think anything will break horribly. After the dust has settled the site can be rebuilt with Gutenberg and BB 3.0 🙂

    • Doug Belchamber on December 12, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      Hey Hugues

      I stumbled across this yesterday – worth a read and echoes some of your points:

      https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/3926

      Looking forward to a lunch (liquid or otherwise) next year! (WC London booked)

      Doug

    • Robby McCullough on December 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Hey Hugues,

      Thanks so much for the kind words. We’re hopeful that the transition doesn’t cause a lot of heartache for folks managing existing sites. If nothing else, it will be an interesting few months here figuring out what the reality there looks like.

  2. Hashim Warren on December 12, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Remember when Automattic became obsessed with chasing Tumblr?

    So they made “Post Formats”.

    Because new users! Because standardization for theme devs! (Because our VC investors!)

    And what happened? Nobody used Post Formats. And Tumblr faded and sold itself to Yahoo.

    Now we’re chasing Squarespace and Medium.

    So they’re making Gutenberg.

    Because new users! Because standardization for theme devs! (Because our VC investors!)

    But this time they’re breaking backwards compatibility on the way there.

    And weirdly they’re even willing to break the database driven paradigm that makes WordPress so attractive to sites that are larger than a few dozen pages.

    So yes, I’m scared to death. I just watched a Gutenberg demo that made a rigid, ugly site, and the presenter kept mentioning VR over and over again.

    They’re harming wp companies we love to build features we already have.

    #ForkWordpress

    • Robby McCullough on December 13, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      The motivations are curious. I wish there was a bit more transparency from the top in regards to the overall strategy…

    • John on December 15, 2017 at 5:56 am

      Same feelings here and I’m surprised many people found this presentation “really greaaaat”. I found it totally irrelevant, out of context and just missing the point. The VR part was really the best lol…

      Yes, please fork WP and leave us alone.

      They try to tell us there is a competition issue but there isn’t.
      This competition they are talking about is clearly for wp.com + Jetpack.

      #MakeGutenbergAJetpackModule

  3. Chris Howard on December 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    First of, there is always space for the advanced tools.

    I fear that Gutenberg will cut deeply into BB’s DIYers market, but the developer/designer market should remain strong because BB will always do more than Gutenberg.

    I do think one of the obvious way to maintain some of that DIY market is making BB modules compatible, and thus usable as Gutenberg blocks. Which I have no doubt you are well on top of.

    The world of software development is dog-eat-dog.

    No one imagined that the Genesis/Headway/Thesis models of WP web design would pass, but then came page builders which turned WP web design on its head.

    And now page builders space is being usurped by WP itself.

    From my limited experience struggling to sell my own content layout plugin, (which ironically could blossom under Gutenberg) to users who don’t think they need it, it’s the new ones that are hard to find. Many of the users I already had before page builders, swear by by my plugin still.

    I’m already seeing loyal BB users making somewhat subjective comments about Gutenberg that are not entirely fully informed. Preaching to the converted is easy!

    But potential new users will say “Why do I need BB? Gutenberg does *everything* I need.”

    Problem there is folks either learn to work around problems or don’t even realise they have a problem.

    As Steve Jobs said, “We don’t do user polling because users don’t know what they need until you show them.”

    Showing users they have a need for BB in a post-Gutenberg world will be a challenge.

    However, with your massive established user base, and importantly subscription licensing, I think you will be able to ride out the storm while you reset your course.

    • Robby McCullough on December 13, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Well put. We wouldn’t expect folks to choose Beaver Builder if we’re not providing value above and beyond the native experience. In that sense, I think Gutenberg is still a long ways off, but I do agree!

    • Robby McCullough on December 13, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      I fear that Gutenberg will cut deeply into BB’s DIYers market, but the developer/designer market should remain strong because BB will always do more than Gutenberg.

      Tony from Sucuri wrote some really interesting thoughts on this:
      https://perezbox.com/2017/12/gutenberg-impacts-itll-wordpress-business-ecosystem/

      The DIYer market that we serve (that could potentially get dimished by G) is the same market that the folks upstream are serving. I.e., the developer/designer market should still flourish assuming G doesn’t put them out too.

  4. Doug Belchamber on December 13, 2017 at 12:45 am

    Hi Robby

    Thanks for being so transparent on the ‘elephant in the room’ topic.

    I’m sure everyone has their own opinion on the commercial intentions of Gutenberg. And while it infuriates me how ‘they’ have gone about it*, as a Matt-driven product it’s going to be imposed on the community, one way or another.

    My biggest concern (as a big BB user/fan) is that suddenly Beaver Builder (in it’s current state) moves from being the “better way”, to becoming the “non-WordPress way”.

    This could manifest itself initially as abrasive Stack Overflow comments (I jest…), but could trickle down to what clients expect.

    I, for one, have postponed a Beaver Builder for Developers course that I had started until there’s more certainty (though I still contribute to the community in other ways).

    My secondary concern is that folks like you at Beaver Builder will be placing a LOT of effort in sparring with Gutenberg up to the point of it’s maturity. Things are changing at a blistering pace.

    Not only do you have to place effort with monitoring/testing/contributing to a moving target, but you also have to maintain and improve your existing products.

    Such is the life of software development, of course.

    Efforts like these not only place weight on your own team, but might be consumed by the Gutenberg project – particularly if they’re innovative enough to get an edge in the arms race with Squarespace et al.

    As you allude to in your post, Gutenberg might indeed be primarily for new users. But unlike Squarespace, Automattic (yes, Automattic) have a huge community behind them – accelerating development for free.

    Page builders were a huge ‘no no’ in the developer community a year ago (despite my best efforts :-). Perhaps they’re a _medium_ ‘no no’ now. But with Gutenberg there are floods of top developers on board with this page builder ‘thing’, which will accelerate development.

    It’s only once Gutenberg reaches commercial-levels of maturity, and the dust has settled, that I feel it would be safe to start slotting in around it.

    But in the case of an open-source project backed by a huge community, innovation will continue to run wild and free, and gaps (such as providing features to those needing more control) could be filled. Of course for the overall WP community (and Automattic, of course), it’s a great thing, but for page builders, it could a be tough 18 months or so.

    With all the above said, I’m your #1 fan and have total confidence in you as a team. Do keep us posted on the journey!

    * Case in point: https://tomjn.com/2017/08/31/where-gutenberg-leads-us/ << an Automattic employee causing uncertainty for page builders ("Page Builders are on borrowed time") back in August before anyone knew what the intentions for Gutenberg were. This attitude could affect people's businesses – such as Beaver Builder/Fastline – the same people who've made a significant, positive impact on the WordPress community (and product) by filling gaps that needed to be filled.

    Doug

    • Robby McCullough on December 13, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Hey Doug! Thanks so much for the thoughtful and well-written comment.

      We didn’t mean for this to be an “elephant in the room” topic, it’s just been really difficult to form an opinion and make an “official” statement about it with the pace of the project and how much it’s been changing.

      The conversation around this post has been great. Thanks again for jumping in!

  5. Todd on December 13, 2017 at 7:11 am

    2018 is going to be about getting Gutenberg ready. Kudos to BB for working on this ahead of time. We’ll see how it all shakes out

    • Brian on December 13, 2017 at 11:30 am

      I have to echo Todd’s word Kudos also for being present and active in the community. Will be awesome to see how BB integrates 🙂

    • Robby McCullough on December 13, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      The end goal is still creating great products and experiences. We have lots of other things in the works, but Gutenberg ready is an important one.

  6. Nikola Nikolov on December 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I’m personally super excited to start writing Gutenberg blocks. I am still waiting though until the APIs become more stable as we get closer to the official release.

    Beaver Builder has been the one and only page builder plugin that I’ve enjoyed working with – in part because of the relative ease of writing custom modules, in part because it doesn’t death-grip your content. I am curious to see whether Gutenberg blocks will turn out to be easier to write than BB modules. This will probably play a deciding factor on whether we’ll keep on using BB, or switch completely to Gutenberg(note – we don’t use third-party modules for BB, so we don’t have a dependency there). It’s definitely great to hear that you guys are planning on keeping up with WordPress and making things work smoothly(I hope 😛 ) with Gutenberg. You already have the underlying infrastructure around custom modules(as long as built-in fields are used of course), so I can see how you might be able to automatically create Gutenberg blocks out of custom modules.

    Right now we’re about to start another project, and we’ll still use Beaver Builder with any custom modules we might need. I’m not worried about the 5.0 update, as I’ve already tested Gutenberg + BB and it was mostly fine. Plus, we’can just setup the classic editor plugin and be good.

    Now on whether you guys will stay in the game after Gutenberg comes around – I think so. You might take a hit, but you can still provide value through Beaver Builder.

    Good luck with your plans on integrating with Gutenberg – I’ll definitely keep an eye out to see what you’ve cooked up!

    • Robby McCullough on December 13, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      “I am curious to see whether Gutenberg blocks will turn out to be easier to write than BB modules.”

      Only on the fact that Gblocks require command of several new technologies and frameworks, I don’t think they will be. Although, it’s likely a lot of that tech infrastructure could be abstracted if Blocks become the norm.

      • Nikola Nikolov on January 10, 2018 at 5:46 am

        Good point on the requirement for multiple technologies/frameworks that were until now not really a part of the “standard” WordPress developer’s toolbelt(by “standard”, I mean the basic PHP, CSS and JS/jQuery).

        However, after diving into Gutenberg development for a bit now, for me personally it’s really not that much more effort. I do have experience with React, JSX, ES6, etc. so that definitely helped. In the last live stream I did on the topic(Tour de Core – Gutenberg on YouTube), I even converted a Beaver Builder module to a dynamic Gutenberg block. I was able to copy all of the code from the module’s frontend.php, change out $settings(object) for $attributes(associative array) and use that to render my block on the frontend. And it just worked. Obviously the back-end UI was a bit more work to get going, but it was mostly just the time it took to learn how to use each UI component.

        So yeah – anyone with the necessary experience shouldn’t have too much of a difficult time to start developing for Gutenberg. And eventually as the documentation gets better, I can only imagine that the barrier for entry will go down.

  7. Chris Howard on December 13, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    The next WordPress gold rush will be writing Gutenberg blocks.

    • Robby McCullough on December 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

      It’s fun to think about! I always love the thought that, during the California gold rush, the guys who made fortunes were the ones selling the shovels. Food for thought… 🙂

  8. Morten Rand-Hendriksen on December 13, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    I for one am both curious and excited to see what new innovative approaches tools like BeaverBuilder come up with to help enhance the WordPress experience in the new Gutenberg reality.

    • Robby McCullough on December 19, 2017 at 8:47 am

      You’ve done a lot to shift the POV from anxiety/anger to curiosity/excitement. It’s going to be an interesting year!

  9. John Russell on December 14, 2017 at 8:02 am

    I’m personally excited for Gutenberg and I think it was ultimately a necessary step for WordPress to stay competitive. When I first started using WordPress (almost 6 years ago now) I was shocked to find that all my post/page content had to live in one simple box; no columns, no rows, and very little ability to adjust layout (with stock WordPress and a basic theme). Adding those features through rudimentary layout builders (on the back end) felt incredibly clunky and using something like ACF got complicated for the average content editor to be trained on how to edit their website. Beaver Builder solved all of these problems for me, and is incredibly developer friendly.

    I am sure that over time Gutenberg will become more stable and features will be added but as of right now I hate the idea of working in Gutenberg’s interface versus Beaver Builder (which is actually on the front end, as well).

    That said, at the end of the day I will be using whatever tools are necessary to improve efficiency in building websites, maintaining websites, and are easy for editors to be trained to use. If Gutenberg ends up solving those problems that I initially had with WordPress I could see it taking the place of Beaver Builder (for my use case), but based on my testing of Gutenberg thus far that’s a long ways out (if at all) and I look forward to seeing what the BB team does with Gutenberg in the meantime.

    • Robby McCullough on December 19, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Thanks for the honest feedback. You’re right, no one needs two hammers in the same tool bag.

      • Jake Hawkes on January 2, 2018 at 8:41 am

        I have to disagree on this analogy. If BB offers ease of ‘block’ development, features to share across pages, themes, sites and WYSIWYG experience why not have a framing hammer and a finish nailer.

        • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:24 pm

          Good point! 🙂

  10. Fayaz Ahmed on December 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks Robby for the insights around the future of WordPress & Gutenberg.

    IMHO, WordPress needs to change to survive, as technology and web in general is changing. Gutenberg obviously is at the core of that change. So for the betterment of WordPress, I sure hope every success to Gutenberg.

    Having said that, despite the interesting demos in WordCamp by Morten & Matias, and the insightful talk and Q&A by Matt, it still looks to me like Gutenberg has a long way to go for widespread adoption by April 2018. The reason I say that is because, even after following the development of Gutenberg and watching all the talks and reading a lots of posts – people are not sure what Gutenberg is going to become!

    Envisioning the future and changing for the greater good works only when all the people involved can fully grasp what those changes are going to transform into eventually. For example, from the talk of Matt on SOTW, I can say that Gutenberg is not going to be a Fully Frontend WYSIWYG Editor – this in itself is a contradiction to that urgency of change, because then after all the fuss, the big question becomes “why not”?

    Also, developers (core and third party plugins & themes) cannot work in full sync without that vision clearly put forward in advance. This lack of clear guideline for what Gutenberg & WordPress itself (Backend & Frontend) is going to become, is going to stall the development (core & third party) and widespread adoption. Perhaps it can even take up to 2019 or more before 29% or more of the web adopts Gutenberg and the new changes in WordPress.

    Anyways, whatever the future is, I strongly believe we should all see it through together for the sake of WordPress. So I’m hopeful, and at the same time cautious.

    All the best to the future and thanks again for the very timely write up.

    • Robby McCullough on December 19, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Hey Fayaz! Thanks for the comment. Sorry again about the trouble with the Akismet filter! 🙂

  11. Anh Tran on December 21, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Robby,

    Thanks for a great post about page builders and Gutenberg. I agree that Gutenberg might be the solution for everyone. It actually targets to end-users with “decision not options” approach, e.g. provides them a complete solution for something basic. The other developers, agencies might need more options and that’s where page builders can help.

    Anyway, the rise of Gutenberg affects all businesses that offer page builders to the market. Gutenberg will take some market share and thus, reduce the market share of page builders. It’s kind of business problem than technical problem in the point of view of users.

    I really hope B.B. can do something cool with this change. If B.B. can be a tool that provides more options to Gutenberg blocks, or create more Gutenberg blocks, then there’s no reason to not use B.B. with Gutenberg.

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks, Anh! We hope so too 🙂

  12. Vinny on December 28, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Just hope they keep the off switch “Classic editor” until everyone figures things out 🙂
    I set up a test environment and the off switched worked therefore not to worried.

    Only thing I am worrried about is the huge project I am working on now 🙁 lots of pages and work went into this build. Would be a shame if WP breaks things with this update and have all these old sites have to rebuild!

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      Some of the big questions that remain unanswered are what that transition is going to look like.

  13. Scott Smith on December 28, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I’m not impressed with Gutenberg. It’s creating a lot of uncertainty and near panic in the WordPress community, and comes across as a desperate act that is too little, too late (it also helps show why page builders like Beaver Builder have quickly become hugely popular and basically required).

    But after reading this post and comments, I couldn’t help but notice how little attention there is on what’s best for WordPress’s end-users (aka, “customers”).

    Everyone seems mostly focused on how Gutenberg might change or harm their business, not what WordPress needs to do to become more user-friendly and competitive with its numerous and growing number of competitors.

    I understand that a lot of people make their living providing WordPress-related services. But people who do so should also understand that WordPress’s customers have long believed that good WordPress sites are too complicated and expensive. WordPress customers want (and deserve) much more user-friendly options. This includes not having to research, purchase, learn, and maintain, a bunch of third-party plug-ins for every website.

    Ideally, a company like FastLine Media that’s focused on being user-friendly, can figure out how to develop their own CMS (FastLineCMS?) that is more modern, nimble, and user-friendly than WordPress. It could revolutionize and dominate web design the way Facebook crushed other social networks such as MySpace, Classmates, Friendster, etc.

  14. palmstone on December 28, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I second the thoughts of some others here: I am not that worried about becoming obsolete. Since the internet began there have been technological advances: some of those have made it easier for people to build their own websites, while at the same time other changes have made it more difficult to build your own website. I foresee this dance continuing for quite some time! What gets my clients most upset is if their site becomes obsolete much more quickly than they expected. That is in fact one of the main reasons I use WP, because the platform itself is staying current with web standards. For that reason I hope BB continues to keep backward compatibility an important concern.

  15. dougcampbell66 on December 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I just joined Beaver Builder and love it. I have tried using Visual Composer and Divi previously but was not thrilled. I plan on staying with Beaver Builder for some time and just hope that changes and compatibility issues won’t break my sites.

  16. Nate Houstman on January 2, 2018 at 12:11 am

    Of the page builders I consider the “Big 3”, BB, Elementor, and Divi, I’m most confident in BB to succeed in the Gutenberg world. That’s because your team has taken the approach of optimal compatibility with outside plugin developers. I just searched the official blogs and pressers of Elementor and Elegant Themes. Elementor had maybe 2 paragraphs about their work around Gutenberg, and Elegant Themes hasn’t even mentioned it since Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word at Nashville and Matias’ demo.

    When I watched that demo, my first thought was all the blocks and modules that page builder devs can add to it. Then I thought about row separators like the Ultimate Beaver and PowerPack addons include, but weren’t in Gutenberg. I also thought about default options in BB like fonts and colors that are set in the theme customizers and can therefore be consistent throughout a site. Finally, during the Q&A, I was encouraged by Matt addressing how plugin developers will have standardization among builders going forward. Beaver Builder should have a head start because of your team’s lean programming philosophy.

    I’m planning my first WordPress tutorial for DIY’ers and business owners, but have been putting it off because I need reasons to justify BB’s $99 price and GeneratePress Premium (my favorite builder and theme combo.) I detest Wix and Squarespace because their users don’t have full ownership of sites. I feel that a premium theme and builder can give users more control over their sites’ branding, for just an annual cost and shared hosting rather than monthly subscription. The Beaver Builder team and community has addressed Gutenberg the most and given me the sense that it’s the most prepared.

    • Robby McCullough on January 2, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      I would be surprised if everyone else isn’t working on something too. I do believe that Gutenberg’s success—or more importantly a smooth transition—is important for the WordPress project as a whole. We wanted to put our thoughts out there and contribute our thoughts and opinions in an effort to help there.

  17. David Fisher on January 3, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I have a hard time wrapping my mind around Guttenberg. When I see the demos, I see things, all of them, doing what I already do in WPBB. That does not include, however, client editing when WPBB is active. I have noticed that client editing, once said, is not used much by clients anyway. Of course, there is currently no way for viewers to change the design of the page rearranging and altering design definitions at the viewer-level. But, why do that??? And to enable viewers to choose what content they want. Again, why do that???

    How can viewers choose what content they want unless they already know what the available content choices are? I already know that viewers are inundated with INFORMATION and they have to have a mind holding available choices to decide on what ones they want. Having that already in one’s mind means that there is no reason to make the choice. Right? As in, “I know it already.”

    I still stumble over 90%+ bounce rates and under 30 seconds on-initial-page times. Offering them design and content choices is, ah, pointless???

  18. Michelle on January 6, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Zero worries on my end. There will always be clients who need help with a starting point and clients who don’t have the time/desire to maintain their own sites. Then there are those who get excited about all the features at their fingertips once you set them loose to edit/maintain their own sites. – It doesn’t take long for an eager client to make a mess of their new site. (Which means I get called back to clean up and remind them about the importance of using restraint.)

    • Robby McCullough on January 7, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! Eager clients can be both a blessing and a curse, haha. 🙂

  19. Anca on January 8, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Personally, I’m really excited about Gutenberg, and the possibilities of being able to create and use blocks to hook WordPress sites up to diverse information sources.

    It’s going to take a while to get there, and maybe it won’t look like what we’re seeing right now. By the point it all shakes out, a few years from now, all those websites made with Page Builders and custom PHP code will have to be replaced anyway.

    • Robby McCullough on January 9, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      I am with you on the excitement part! I think that it will be more than just a few years for everyone to adopt the new technologies, though. It came up in the WPWeekly podcast episode with Matt Mullenweg, the larger the site/company often means the longer it takes to migrate to new technologies. This is why we say enterprise companies using outdated versions of IE for soooo long. The more that was invested in a project initially seems to determine the willingness to migrate away.

      https://wptavern.com/wpweekly-episode-300-interview-with-matt-gutenbeard-mullenweg

  20. Alex Sirota on March 3, 2018 at 3:18 am

    Defaults matter. When Gutenberg becomes a default editor eventually the default editor will matter. People like defaults because that’s what they perceive as the norm. Anyone who thinks that customers will search out a custom page builder when an internal option is available is fooling themselves.

    Now it may take a while to get there. Probably not until v5 becomes widely deployed which may take quite a while. But over time as Gutenberg loses the Gutenberg title and just becomes another feature of WordPress page builder companies will need to look at how to leverage the default.

    The real question to me is whether Gutenberg will be “just enough” for the majority of people who want to layout their pages with some level of grid control and whether the built in blocks cover 80 percent of functionality. If that’s the case page builders will have a lot of trouble justifying their existence.

    Most modern CMS systems have some level of page builder functionality but they are never called “page builders” in those products. Customers take it for granted that you should be able to design your pages just how you want without much restriction.

  21. Mark on March 10, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    My only concern with this would be compatibility. The end of page builders as awesome as BB, fear porn! People love to scare monger. Yes, I believe the type of person who sets up a simple blog would benefit greatly from G, but lets admit, that is probably not the BB market anyway.

    BB along with theamer and also Ultimate Beaver is for those more serious about design and design is massive and I find it unlikely that Gutenburg will ever be able to compete with something like BB in terms of design!

    Lots of people use WordPress for simple blogs and they don’t want or need a page builder so again, if they can make there experience better and easier then that would benefit WordPress which my assumption would be that this would also benefit BB, and as others have mentioned, even with easy tools, 1) many people just don’t have time to mess around with building websites as they are running there company and a business owner with the mentality of saving money on building a website is a bad client to have anyway,

    and 2) will they be able to build an effective site? Sales psychology, mobile user behaviours, split testing, CRO, copywriting, on-page SEO etc etc are not things you learn over night and for me, the main point of a website for a business is Lead Generation, which has many different aspects to it that are learnt over time and no drag and drop tool can replace that.

    So, I only can hope that when Gutenburg is default that BB works with it as normal, I am not a web designer as in understanding the ins and outs of css coding etc although I am comfortable learning code I need for certain things I want that my theme doesn’t allow me to do as I have been using wordpress for quite a while now but, and then messing around in the wordpress files or htaccess file if needed but I am more SEO and Lead Gen and find BB and other page builders very useful to get sites up fast and looking great as I am good with design and can just learn what I need on the fly so really hope that I can use BB for long into the future and if there had to be a BB that was stand alone product like a wix or something like that, only much better of course I would definitely get involved.

    Interesting times ahead.

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