Gutenberg arrives. Matt Mullenweg said that the publisher of Gutenberg would definitely become the default editor of WordPress in 2018 with the release of version 5.0 in the article on the state of the word from WordCamp US . This announcement has somehow WP community in a stun – especially developers and designers who are afraid of having a page generator included in Core will have a negative impact on their business.
Fear is not unfounded. Whenever a new tool that changes the landscape of an established ecosystem like WordPress pops up, questions about job security and viability arise. Gutenberg will make WP more accessible to people who could have bypassed it instead of DIY builders like Squarespace or Wix.
So where does this place web developers and designers when customers can install WP and have immediate access to a complete set of page creation tools? Honestly, I think the introduction of Gutenberg leaves us in a very good place. And I will tell you why.
But first: a story
I started teaching English at the university when I was 25 years old. Can you imagine going into a classroom only to see an instructor who was barely (or not at all) older than you? No?
Well, many of my students could not either. And because I always looked younger than I was, even when I approached and passed the 30, there were still many things that did not take me to the serious.
So what did I do?
Well, at the beginning of each semester, I asked them a simple question: Do you trust me?
Keep in mind that it was in a classroom full of students who did not know me (especially) and who may have never been in a classroom before. class before. The answer I had was almost always a resounding no.
After, I would follow with the obvious why not? to which they usually responded to the expected I do not know you and so on.
I also took the opportunity to tell them that I did not have an attendance policy and that I did not care whether they were there or not. It was the truth. I told them that they could read all the texts themselves and study and prepare each exam and each document (all the details were in my syllabus and I gave them my PowerPoint slides). They would be fine, I say.
I told them that I was not smarter than them. That they can do everything on their own in the class, without me. I was hired, I told them, because I had a piece of paper that said that I had read and understood these texts well enough to teach them.
I said that technically they did not need me to follow my own course. And they did not do it.
But … what does this have to do with WordPress?
All, my friends. All.
Your customers do not need you, either
Just as my students did not need me to read The Epic of Gilgamesh or Hamlet, your clients do not need you to create websites for them.
CliffsNotes and Spark Notes teach literature classes to students every day. Squarespace, Wix and Divi get new DIY sites online in the same way. The tools are there and easily available. Anyone who wants to succeed can succeed.
The inclusion of Gutenberg in Core will not change that.
However, it did not take long for the students who had taken my policy on I-do-not-if-you-be-come back. Especially after the rating of their first review was not quite what they expected. They did not realize how difficult it would be.
It was at that time that they began to trust me. They knew that I was not just a teacher who followed the movements – I was sincere with them, and I built a strong relationship with most of them that went well at the same time. beyond their freshman years.
In the same vein, your DIY customers are quick to come back to you. Just because they have the tools and the ability to create their own website, they do not necessarily have the experience and the ability to do it.
So, although they do not need you, they still need you.
Your franchise is what sets you apart from other web developers and designers in a world of page and site builders.
What is your role and your value?
You see, your clients and my students are not experts. You and I are. This does not mean that we are smarter than them or better or even more talented. It simply means that you and I bring two things to the table that they can not do.
Years of specific training and professional development
And (more importantly) years of failed projects that ruin
It's a cliché, of course, but that's the reason why we each have a career ahead of us. We simply need to make sure we know how to rotate our prospects and our business models. And to know how to explain why these things are important.
Your current role and value
Well, now, even if the builders of pages are everywhere, they are not the norm. People see the default WordPress theme or even join Elegant Themes and install Divi. They can play with him for a little while, then quickly realize that they need a professional designer.
They contact you, and your role is to make models, to have meetings, to finally decide on a direction, and you will work. You design the site in Photoshop or Sketch (or directly in your choice theme like Divi!), Create the site on WordPress, and maybe write a custom plugin or a simple script.
You hand them the keys of the realm (or the username and password, as the case may be), and your work is done. They might need you to do a transfer training, showing them how it all works.
Given all this, you bring a ton of value to your customers. You plan and sketch. You build and you train. You are a single person design machine, and you switch.
And that's partly because you have incredible tools like Divi to use. But it's mostly because you've spent years and years figuring out what works and what does not work .
Think of the first site you built (mine was a Star Wars fan site on Angelfire written in HTML). Then think of the second. What about the first site for which you have been paid?
Are you still embarrassed? God knows I am, looking back.
And what about the first project you had to give up and start over? What about the first project you phoned and that your customers were just dissatisfied? These failures have taught you not to fail again like this, is not it?
Your clients did not have to learn these lessons.
Now think about this: these examples are just on the front-end of things. Not only can you do it, but you also have an intimate and functional knowledge of WordPress. For me, this goes back to WP 2.7, and I know that many of you go even further than that.
Over the course of all these updates and punctual publications, you have acquired a vast range of knowledge that a handyman simply does not have. You know how to queue messages, what are the hooks, the why and how child themes and even small things like .single-post difference, .single- page and .single.
Your technical expertise puts you in a position of fantastic job security.
Moreover, for many people, cheating on the Internet is scary and intimidating. You can get customers because they have not received the super WordPress-y credentials you have.
What looks like superpowers on the internet, it's really experience and hard work. People who are afraid now feel that when Gutenberg starts, everyone will have the same superpowers for which you worked so hard, making yours more common and therefore less valuable (and less viable for a living).
I really do not think that will happen.
Your future role and value
I will venture to ask questions again today about why people should pay you when they can do it themselves with Divi or another existing builder.
The answer, of course, is what we have described above. You bring verifiable experience and skills they can trust. You have a portfolio behind you that shows your learning process and evolution as a professional ..
Anxiety and uncertainty come because when Gutenberg launches, some people believe that these technical skills may not seem so special. They will always be. Nothing about your skills will change.
However, the builders of pages and sites that become the default have the potential to make others believe that your job is simply to play Lego with digital blocks. These people will be in the minority, just as they are today.
Here's the problem: no matter how sophisticated the DIY tools are, there will always be a need for your experience. The general WP user base will soon have access to a much larger set of tools and features than they currently have. These tools have much more raw power than the existing editor and customizer.
However, you have had years of experience with this raw power, so you know how to focus and use it effectively. They do not do it.
And eagerly, these people who have this power mean that the experience you bring to the projects will be much more important.
Why? Because with their new Internet superpowers, people will fend for themselves more than before. They will also have more problems than they had before.
All WordPress professionals will have to rotate what this designation means, but this does not indicate that you have no work.
In my mind, you will probably do less construction by yourself. Instead, your job will likely become that of a consultant. Your customers will come up against a roadblock, either with WordPress or their homebrew design, and they will call you. You will teach them how to solve the problem or finish the project that they could not do.
Remember, you have done this before. They do not have it. You are not necessarily smarter or more competent than them. Just more experienced with the tools in front of you. So when DIYers have problems, they always come to you. Just as my students still came to see me after bombing an exam.
Keep in mind that Gutenberg is a bridge builder
Gutenberg himself can do a lot of things. But he can not do everything. Honestly, being part of Core, it is limited because of its need to respond to the general population with polished fundamental characteristics instead of advanced ones.
Gutenberg will only create employment opportunities for WordPress professionals rather than removing them. Developers and coders will be in constant demand. These do-it-yourselfers will hit a brick wall with the boundaries of Gutenberg. At this point, when they need a feature that's just not there, who do you think they're going to turn to for a solution?
Hint: This is you.
There is a huge market for additional modules and Divi plugins, for example, and it's the most robust page builder on the market. Tons of developers make plugins and modules that add features that users want, but are not included in the main product. Gutenberg will create the same need for its users.
As Gutenberg gets adopted by more and more new users, they may not want to jump directly to another more advanced builder like Divi. Instead, they can opt for a single third party gutenblock that does what they want, and not a license for a new builder.
Because builders are inherently scalable, WP pros should not be afraid that their own value will go down. On the contrary, the demand for specific services to the builders of pages will only increase.
Someone made a comment to WordCamp US about the official plugin repository being too full. The joke was something like the number of different contact form plugins can we get into the repo? I think.
To avoid being lost in the crowd and trying to fight to get to the top, many developers can avoid creating general WordPress plugins and move to the support of the page or constructor of their choice, be it Gutenberg, Divi or other if not entirely.
In the end, we are here to help
All of our work as WordPress professionals is to help people. It's about making the site up and down, repairing color palettes that destroy the eyes or assembling the perfect feature set to increase their profits.
Gutenberg is not going to change the core of what we do.
As more and more people become familiar with Gutenberg, experiment and try new things, your value as a WP pro skyrockets. Your experience paves the way for teaching, mentoring and mentoring people that Gutenberg attracts.
You are not at risk of losing your livelihood because of this update – or because of the builders of pages in general.
For the same reason that English teachers still have work despite the fact that students can read and understand books, designers and developers will still have work even though every new WP installation has its own built-in page builder. They might be slightly different from what they were before Gutenberg.
What are your plans to adapt your business to the Gutenberg era of WordPress?
Article Item Image by Mario Breda / shutterstock.com
The Post The Value of WordPress Designers and Developers of the Gutenberg Era appeared on Blog of Elegant Themes .