The Future Of WordPress Widgets

With all the talk about Phase 2 of the Gutenberg Project (aka Full Site Editing) there hasn’t been enough talk about widgets.

For what seems like an eternity, the widget screen has not change one iota. It has a reliable drag and drop UI where a widget (basically micro content) can be placed into set areas on a web page. No doubt, you’re familiar with this.

Screenshot of current WordPrss widget screen
Current WordPress Widget Screen

But all of that is about to change. The widget screen is about to become “Gutenized.” Out with the old widgets and in with Gutenblocks. It will look something like this:

Screenshot of future WordPress widget screen
Future WordPress Widget Screen

As of this writing, 5.7 is the current version of WordPress which does not support the new widget screen. But you can still see exactly what’s coming in my video.

When Will We See The New Widget Screen?

Actually, the new widget screen was scheduled for rollout in WordPress 5.6, but due to various issues, it was held back. We may see it in WP 5.8 which is slated for release in mid-July. However, its inclusion is not confirmed yet.

Whenever it is rolled out, don’t get too comfortable with what you see. It is likely that the widget screen will eventually be a WordPress relic. Why? Widgets are outdated. They will become a seamless part of working with the Gutenberg page editor. In one way or another, widgets are likely to become part of the Full Site Editor that we will begin to see this year.


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