Business interests played a crucial role in propelling WordPress to become the most dominant CMS in the world. However, the balance has clearly shifted in favor of building WordPress themes for business and ecommerce rather than for the enthusiasts who just want to create. Other platforms have better catered to these users and filled in the gaps left open by WordPress.
In a couple of years that won’t be the case. I might be earning something from themes, but themes as we know them will no-longer be made.
Stylesheets will be relegated to selecting fonts, and colours; and setting sizes and spacings. Gutenberg will take care of the layout. This could easily be done by a plugin or in core directly. There are definite benefits to doing this from a user’s perspective – they will have full control of their site – but it’s going to result in some very boring website layouts.
I’d love to create a WordPress design system but WordPress isn’t designed in the right way, and it would be hard to change since there’s so much legacy content. I hope the Gutenberg team consider this and build things so that this is possible.
Somewhere along the way, we lost the innocence and artistry of building WordPress themes for the pure fun of it. WordPress grew up and WordPress themes along with it.