Phase 3: Collaboration

Over the last few years, the WordPress project has been transforming the way users create and manage content on their websites. The introduction of blocks and the editing experience surrounding them has provided people with increased flexibility and expressive options.

The GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. project has undergone several phases since its inception. It began with the introduction of the blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor in WordPress 5.0, which allowed users to create and edit content using modular blocks. It then followed with a second phase, bringing the block editing experience to the rest of the site.

As the project evolved, new features were introduced to enhance the user experience further. Patterns, for instance, allowed users to reuse predefined block combinations and layouts, helping streamline the design process. Block themes enabled creators to fully embrace the blocks for an entire website, from headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. to footer. The community’s collaborative spirit has fostered an ever-growing library of resources that empower users to create stunning and highly functional websites.

We are now planning its third phase, which is going to be centered around fostering seamless collaboration, tying together the user experience, and streamlining the content management flows to improve the way creators and teams work together within WordPress.

Mockup showing the editor with three users online and editing at the same time. Users are displayed in the header as "active" and their cursor shows in the canvas.

To accomplish this, we’ll be looking beyond the editors at the rest of the adminadmin (and super admin) experience. This post provides a preliminary outline of the focus areas. These items are not set in stone, and your feedback and contributions are crucial to help shape the direction.

  • Real-time collaboration. Imagine being able to work together in real-time across all block editors, crafting content and designs seamlessly without being locked out of editing. The goal is to provide all the necessary infrastructure and UIUI User interface to handle multiple users working together on the same content simultaneously, making it easier to create, edit, and customize web pages and posts as a team.
  • Asynchronous collaboration. While simultaneous collaboration is a crucial part to unlock, there are multiple workflows that rely on asynchronous collaboration that will also receive attention. Key features include draft sharing for content and design changes, inline block commenting, review assignments, improved version controlversion control A version control system keeps track of the source code and revisions to the source code. WordPress uses Subversion (SVN) for version control, with Git mirrors for most repositories., and task management. The goal is to enable users and larger teams to collaborate on projects and its different parts at their own pace and based on their workflows.
  • Publishing flows. This includes the various processes, requirements, and steps involved in creating, editing, reviewing, and publishing content within WordPress. These flows could include features such as editorial requirements, customized goals (accomplish certain number of words or images), task completion prerequisites (set featured imageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts.; complete info on block x; etc; before publishing is unlocked), and support for multiple preview contexts (members vs no members, different context for stories, etc). CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. wouldn’t necessary add all the features but provide the necessary infrastructure to define flows that can integrate seamlessly with the editor.
  • Post revisions interface. Make them more visual, aware of individual blocks, and explore adding the ability to schedule revisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision. across multiple parts of a site. For example, being able to target updates for an event or campaign that might require coordinating the scheduling of multiple content types and resources. This also overlaps with addressing theme switching flows and scheduling that leverage the flexibility of block templates and styles.
  • Admin design. Begin the process for an admin design update and navigation work, with plugins and customized user flows in mind. Admin notices and the UI library of design components will be a major part of this effort to ensure use cases are supported while respecting the user experience. This work also includes improving the admin list views (those used in posts, pages, categories, templates, comments, and by hundreds of plugins) with a more modern design and refined extensibility support for interactivity.
  • Library. Introduce an admin section or “library” for managing blocks, patterns, styles, and fonts. As part of this work, also look at what improvements can be done to enhance the media library design, interactions, and extensibility.
  • Develop a global search & command component that’s extensibleExtensible This is the ability to add additional functionality to the code. Plugins extend the WordPress core software. and can accommodate navigating to content (example: edit About page); navigating to admin sections (example: go to WooCommerce orders); and running contextual commands (example: create new post; toggle top toolbar; insert pattern; etc). As AI tools are taking the world by storm, this could also play an important role in letting pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party authors integrate novel solutions that are prompt based in nature.

If there’s anything you were hoping to see addressed that’s not yet captured, please share your thoughts in the replies. Keep in mind that there are other active projects related to the prior phases that will continue alongside these newer efforts (i.e.: more blocks, footnotes, better tables, grid layout system, the block APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. roadmap, block development experience, performance, infrastructure like sqlite, playground, etc). For clarity, the phase 3 items shared above are not planned for 6.3.

#gutenberg, #phase-3