WordPress is creating guides and tools to help publishers migrate to their block based editor Gutenberg and away from commercial WordPress page builders and private closed source content management systems like Wix.

While it’s understandable that WordPress might want to help publishers and businesses migrate away from Wix, some perceive it as a somewhat controversial move to create a guide to undermine software publishers who are a part of the WordPress ecosystem itself.

WordPress Page Builders

The mission for WordPress has always been to make it easy for publishers and business people to easily create beautiful websites. But that goal has eluded WordPress for years.

Software developers like Elegant Themes (makers of Divi page builder) and Elementor created point and click solutions that enabled users to visually webpage templates using a visual interface that made creating webpages as simple as drawing.

Page builders enabled users to drag and drop text boxes, forms and images in order to create the site visually. These elements can be moved around a page, resized and colored with just a few mouse clicks within an easy to use intuitive interface.

Then WordPress released their Gutenberg Full Site Editor that essentially replicated the visual block-based page builder experience.

Users continued using page builders because Gutenberg initially fell short of the more polished user interfaces of commercial page builders.

But it was only a matter of time before WordPress caught up and that day is just about here as WordPress continues to iteratively make Gutenberg increasingly easy to use.

That’s created an impression with developers that commercial page builders like Divi and Elementor will eventually lose their relevance in the WordPress ecosystem once Gutenberg reaches parity with them.

WordPress appears to be hastening the end of page builders by creating guides and tools for helping users migrate away from commercial page builders so that users can more easily transition to the Gutenberg page full site editor.

Data Liberation Project

WordPress is developing a series of guides and tools to help users migrate to the now mature Gutenberg site builder. It’s not perfect but it’s functional and relatively easy to use.

The future of creating webpages appears to increasingly resemble one in which Gutenberg becomes the default method and the new Data Liberation project seeks to make that day come sooner.

WordPress describes the project:

“This project imagines a more open web where users can seamlessly switch between platforms of their choosing, eradicating the concept of being locked into a system and keeping openness at the forefront.

Moving to and within WordPress should be a one-click easy process as much as possible whether moving from social networks, moving from a page builder to core blocks, or shifting from the classic editor to the block editor.

Rather than each person or organization needing to figure out a migration pathway, the WordPress community is coming together to provide scripts, plugins, and guides for us all to use to bring folks to WordPress.”

A post by the admin of the Dynamic WordPress Facebook Group offered this opinion:

“The “data-liberation” initiative is apparently preparing guides on how to move from various page builders to core Gutenberg.

If Elementor wrote a guide on how to move from core Gutenberg to Elementor, people would likely call foul.”

Some of the members of the group did not see this as problematic and welcomed the migration guides as something useful.

The official WordPress Data Liberation page contains the following guides:

  • Squarespace to WordPress
  • Tumblr to WordPress
  • HTML to WordPress
  • RSS to WordPress
  • Wix to WordPress
  • Drupal to WordPress
  • Blogger to WordPress
  • WordPress Site to Another WordPress Site

The official GitHub page for the guides contains the following migration tools:

  • Figma to Blocks
  • Divi to Blocks
  • Classic Editor to Blocks

The official GitHub page contains the following additional migration guides currently under development:

  • avada-to-core-blocks.md
  • contentful-to-wordpress.md
  • divi-to-core-blocks.md
  • elementor-to-core-blocks.md
  • kadence-to-core-blocks.md
  • wpbakery-to-core-blocks.md

Is it right for WordPress to make it easier for users to migrate away from commercial page builders? In some sense it’s always seemed to be inevitable that Gutenberg would challenge and eventually replace commercial solutions.

Page builders have not done much to innovate beyond the simple drag and drop innovation. But some builders like Breakdance continue to publish useful tools for developers to create beautiful and fast performing websites.

Featured Image by Shutterstock/alekseiveprev

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By Rose Milev

I always want to learn something new. SEO is my passion.

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