I’m amazed at how many people are still not aware of the direction WordPress is going. Many still do not realize the Gutenberg editor was just the beginning. Plugins won’t change much, but themes will be going through a major transition at some point in time. WordPress users will be able to adapt, but if you are switching to ClassicPress, that is a different story.
ClassicPress Themes Will Still be Themes
Since ClassicPress was forked from WordPress, themes still work on ClassicPress. A nice assurance for anyone making the switch that doesn’t want anything to do with the Gutenberg block editor.
I talked about the Future of Themes and ClassicPress themes where I touched base about possible changes that are coming.
Recent discussions from the core WordPress development team are now talking about full-site editing. How this will impact ClassicPress users is not entirely known at this time, but I can guess future themes will not be compatible.
WordPress Full-Site Editing
The future of Gutenberg is transforming WordPress to become a page builder with Full Site Editing. Their goal is to give the user the ability to customize every aspect of your website with blocks. Right now, blocks are associated only with the content editor, but they are moving towards full site editing.
Future themes for WordPress will be like a TV dinner or a cafeteria food tray. Things such as your site header, navigation, sidebars, and footer will exist as placeholders. In a sense, themes will become WordPress templates with predefined areas for blocks.
This means templates will be a blank canvas with a hidden layout structure. Blocks will then be dropped into each area to build your web page. Like the TV dinner and cafeteria tray analogy, you have individual areas for a header, footer, navigation, etc.
Themes will simply become placeholders and include a stylesheet to style blocks.
The Lifespan of WordPress Themes
Based on what I know, you should be able to keep using WordPress-coded themes on ClassicPress until sometime in 2021. Of course, this should give enough time to see more themes available that are specific for ClassicPress users.
With regards to WordPress, my guess is that by the end of this year, you will begin to see themes showing up that are built around the “block area” concept.
You can be sure that future WordPress themes will be built entirely of blocks. I will talk about this particular subject at a later time as more information and details come to fruition.
ClassicPress Themes Will be Classic But Different
You are probably thinking the above heading is contradicting and confusing, but let me explain what I mean.
Themes for ClassicPress will be the same in the sense that functions, features, and even visual design will appear familiar. They will function as they do now, but as ClassicPress continues to evolve, so will themes. The good news is that you should see more themes come available that are designed specifically for you–not WordPress.
Building themes and templates for ClassicPress will eventually move away from WordPress and will have their own coding methods.
What About Themes at Rough Pixels?
I have talked about the possibility of designing a few themes for ClassicPress. I’m planning to build at least one soon and will make it free for anyone wanting to try it out.
I should mention that themes here at Rough Pixels are compatible with ClassicPress, which is a good starting point. The only difference with our themes is that they are built to support WordPress and ClassicPress.
Any themes I design will more likely focus on blogging because I believe this is the biggest market for CP.