Customization in 2017

The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

The customizer will help out the editor at first, then shift to bring those fundamental building blocks into something that could allow customization “outside of the box” of post_content, including sidebars and possibly even an entire theme.

Matt

One expectation I want to start with is, customization isn’t just improving the Customizer — our goal is to improve the entire process of setting up a site, from initial installation to something you’re comfortable launching, to making changes to an existing site that has been live for some time. To that end, our goal is to help people accomplish the following:

  • “I want to make a site that I’m proud of that helps me succeed.”
  • “I want to make a site my clients are proud of that helps them succeed.”

The current customization flow in WordPress doesn’t generally facilitate either of those goals without a great amount of work, prior knowledge, and often a lot of additional development. That’s fine if you’ve hired an agency, or you’re a developer building yourself a website — but not fine if you’re a freelance site builder/implementer (a market I see every day in my local community) or are trying to build something for yourself with limited time and budget. If you can install WordPress, either manually or through a host, we should provide you with the tools to build out a website that accomplishes your personal and business goals.

With these goals in mind, what can we accomplish in the first couple months of the year?

  • Demo content on theme switch for an existing site. [#38624]
  • Pain points with lost widgets and menus when switching themes. [#19912]
  • Exploring a better customization-focused onboarding experience.
  • Adding an media widget. [#32417]
  • Adding formatting options to the text widget. [#35243]
  • Adding a code editor to the Custom CSS control, and make additional enhancements. [#12423, #38707]
  • REST API endpoints. [#39634, #38900]
  • Improving Custom Logos. [#38329, #36191]
  • Some more minor Customizer improvements [#37471, #38953, #39389] and continued bug fixing.
  • What else? Please comment.

Throughout the rest of the year, there’s a lot of larger projects that we’ll collaborate with the editor team on:

  • Content blocks, so we can build a better layout editor that helps people build a site that fits their individual needs. [Post]
  • Revisions, so you can visually see the changes you’ve made to your site and revert if you mess up. [#31089, #21666]
  • Drafting, reviewing, publishing, and scheduling changes, so you can get your site looking just right before you push your changes live. [#31089, #28721]

Some of these, like revisions in the Customizer, we can prioritize sooner.

By the end of 2017, we hope you’ll be able to:

  • Have an onboarding experience with smart defaults that guides you towards building the site you want, faster.
  • Build complex, dynamic layouts for your WordPress sites, regardless of your theme.
  • Move any piece of content on your site to a different part of your site, just by dragging and dropping it where you want.
  • Allow you to preview and select page layouts before you create your page.
  • Edit every piece of content where you see it, instead of needing to hunt for it.
  • Set up a basic website without having to jump in and out of multiple admin screens.
  • Live preview any settings that affect how your site looks.
  • Revert changes and see your revision history.
  • Maybe even build your whole site from your phone?

What other customization flows do you think we need to improve? We need your input to help make a better way to build sites with WordPress.

We’ll be doing weekly meetings every Monday. The next meeting is Monday at 1:00PM EST. Join us in #core-customize in Slack to get involved!