WordPress 5.8 will ship with the new template editor. Like Elementor and some other editors, this can be a game changer not only for designers – but especially for devs. It is a step towards creating a full site editing tool using the block editor, which means you can expect it to get better with future releases.
After complex integrations and plugin/module development jobs, I can certainly say: building templates for apps is a pain in the arse. Mostly, the best option is simply cloning single and archive templates and sparkle hooks here and there.
Yeah, that is definitely not nice or glossy, but does the work. However, as clients tend to use builders more and more, and Gutenberg’s possibilities for templating are rather obvious, this practice became dated.
As a theme feature
Furthermore, the possibility of editing templates visually has come as a theme feature. In other words, if your theme doesn’t allow that feature, the box won’t appear in the editing screen, as shown in the website WP Developer.
By adding a template editor within the post editing page, this means every single post can have a differente view (without the need of coding new template files).
Does that mean the end of other visual editors?
Definitely not. Of course some poorly developed or maintained editors might be discontinued, but some good ones will prevail.
In fact, since the block editor in WP has been added for good, top notch builders accelerated their development. Examples like Elementor ou Beaver Builder have been monthly adding new features and improving their editors – either for designers or devs.
Most likely, some of them shall be changing completely in the next few years. Likewise, the rapid evolution of WordPress’ native or third party editors starts to put pressure on other CMS systems (with outdated editors).
Perhaps (or ideally) this means standalone versions can be soon available for being used in other systems. Think about it: the block editor or Elementor available for a Magento or Prestashop e-commerce website, or even for LMS platforms, like Moodle (which desperately need some usability improvement).