Are the Top 10 Themes Gutenberg Ready?
Are you tired of a blank page and simple editor in your WordPress website? Let’s take a look at the best WordPress themes and the future of your WordPress website. Your WordPress theme may or may not be compatible with the new WordPress version 5.0 called “Gutenberg”. We have dug through articles to find what each WordPress theme is doing to get ready for Gutenberg and tried to determine if the report for each theme is positive or negative.
Before we begin, let’s clarify, not all themes have builders. Some themes work best with certain layout builders. In this article, we have organized our list of the most popular themes and their builder if not included with the theme.
#1 WooCommerce Themes
The most popular and widely used theme is woocommerce. Woocommerce was purchased by Automatic in May of 2015. They currently make up 20% of the top 1 million WordPress websites1. Woocommerce isn’t 100% sure how woocommerce plugins will work with Gutenberg. They have “explored and experimented with adding product blocks”. These seem to be a direct use of Gutenberg blocks with a WooCommerce theme. This report is neither optimistic nor pessimistic… just neutral. I would think if anybody was Gutenberg ready it would be these guys… we’ll see.
Genesis Framework is used on 8% of the top 1 million websites1. Owned by StudioPress, Genesis was perhaps the first WordPress framework, standardizing theme construction. As I am writing this article, I have learned that StudioPress was just purchased by WPengine. This makes two, the top two, themes purchased by hosting companies. They are testing Genesis and child themes for compatibility. They report that they have “tested the Gutenberg plugin with many Genesis themes and have not yet seen any issues”.3 So a favorable report. Go Gutenberg!
Our favorite theme is the Divi and it’s builder Divi builder. Divi is used on 5% of the top 1 million websites. Developed by Elegant Themes, they are working on make Divi compatible with Gutenberg. They have written articles about what Gutenberg is, how to test your website for Gutenberg, and the value of the web designers. Randy Brown4 claims Divi is still the best choice… is it because it will be the most or least compatible with Gutenberg? It seems Elegant Themes is well aware of Gutenberg. I have high hopes. Elegant Themes is well known for lots of tutorials and huge community. Unfortunately, we have no real evidence, yet, so we will mark this report as neutral.
A very popular theme for a long time now. Avada is used on 4% of the top 1 million websites1. We owned a copy of Avada at one point, along with several of our customers who owned a copy. Avada is made by themefusion. “ThemeFusion will ensure Avada will continue to be fully compatible with future WordPress versions and will always enhance it to provide extra features and functionality.”5 They seem very optimistic at themefusion. So, that is a great report, one more for Gutenberg.
A premium theme by Kreisi, reports “Gutenberg will probably not work well with our current page builder”6. They go on to say that will make sure it is compatible. This is the same as what we have seen with mobile compatibility. Compatibility meaning that it won’t break but doesn’t necessarily means it works together. The real question here is can you chose the page builder or Gutenberg on each page. In other words, use the builder on some pages and Gutenberg on others within the same website? I would think that someone could. So, I found this report neutral because you can still choose and as long as it doesn’t break then you are good.
Beyond the top 5
The following default themes made the top 10 list: Twenty Seventeen, Sixteen and Fourteen. I searched several times because I wasn’t really finding any reports. I found one article of a test on Twenty Seventeen but it was not favorable7. There seems to be a lack of optimism around these default themes even though they are #6, #8 and #10 themes respectfully.
Ranking in at #11, I have a client using this theme so my curiosity keeps me going. BeThemes uses the Muffin Builder. I had to check a lot of boxes to read the forum post but then it didn’t make sense. I saw the word compatible, so that puts this report as neutral. Hopefully, the website will not break but you may not be able to use Gutenberg. I am OK with this.
Moving on down to #12, Salient is installed on about 2000 websites1. I know of at least one ;). According to my first find, it is a non-favorable review8. Another post says “when it gets closer we’ll ensure that the page builder will still be in working order”9. So, this may be yet another neutral theme.
Many of the themes that I report as neutral are just compatible, hopefully. Though if I have a page editor I will continue to use that instead of Gutenberg, at least for pages. However, I think the real value for Gutenberg might be on blog posts. After all these years, I have tried but yet dis-liked using page builders for posting articles… it just doesn’t make sense. Plus my thought was that maybe one day, sooner or later, it would be easier to port all the blog posts from one theme to another if we just used the default editor. So, if Gutenberg is going to be the new default editor then maybe my blog posts will get a little more fancy while remaining safe for migration from one theme to another. Well, I say that but I am still a big Divi fan.
Reviewing all these themes and their builders I don’t see a lot of certain yet, time will tell. What I do think about is how customizable for example that Divi is. You can add CSS to any module in Divi. Many child themes have extensive CSS customization. That would be my primary concern. Usually, when we have more than one builder or a builder and a non-native theme working together there are odd issues with CSS. I suspect that this what we can expect to happen. Some theme or child themes or even layouts and modules that have been heavily styled may not display correctly once the WordPress 5.0 “Gutenberg” drops in. So, let’s brush up on our CSS skills!!!
We hope you can join in the discussion and we can update this as we go. Go Gutenberg!