Here’s what I don’t understand about the ‘losing ground to Wix, Weebly, et al’ explanation. The above graph is from December 2018. WP’s next largest competitor is a little more than 1/10th its size, and of the self-built options, only Squarespace cracks the top 10 at roughly 1/40th WP’s size.
I don’t think the decision to move to the block editor was driven primarily by competitive concerns; that is, the market didn’t pull WP in that direction. I believe the market size of business and professional website owners who want to build their own cookie-cutter website is fairly limited, and that’s why we don’t see Wix and Weebly in the top 10.
It’s a bit of mystery to me why WP would decide it needs to offer more options for page layout for non-coders (and it’s a basic principle that ‘more options == more complexity’), but CP basically says, ‘Nah, we not goin there’. While we believe pursuing the business and professional website market will cause CP to grow and evolve in ways that represent REAL improvements to the platform, CP is for ANY USER who looks at WP today and says ‘Nah…’
I wonder if rather than looking at the graph of existing websites, they were looking at a graph of potential future websites. Obviously as they (WP) have been around so long there will be a huge number of already existing sites, but it’s the new sites and chosen platforms that may show them a very different story.
WP/Automattic (I believe) is a publicly traded company. So if that is the case, they have shareholders to appease, meaning they must continually make more profits quarterly. WP takes up the bulk of the CMS market but has little monetization taking place other than the “let’s sucker hobbyists in with a free DIY template generator thing and then make them pay quadruple for super-cheap, low quality low value services we can cheaply outsource overseas” approach. This attracts the endless Army of Wantrepreneurs/Hobbyists that all WP developers must contend with at some point or other.
So, obviously, Gutenberg was WP’s “Hail Mary” play that would supposedly level the playing field immediately between WordPress and Wix, giving WP a “new and improved” drag and drop builder that would somehow destroy page builders while making more hobbyists and super-cheap “startup founders” want to go to WP/Gutenberg now. This is why there was such a wild rush to get Gutenberg out asap despite known bugs and compatibility issues and wildly counter intuitive editing. Matt could not get Gutenberg out fast enough. Now that it’s finally out, most WP users are looking for a ways around it or using the “Classic Editor” to deal with it and the “final victory” for WP never occurred. He’s probably telling investors that Gutenberg will show some uptick over time.
I’d be interested in what statistics there might be somewhere on how Gutenberg affected WP use, if at all.
Since so many WP sites are for hobbyists, it’s likely still that most people with WP sites still don’t know what Gutenberg is or used the “Classic Editor” workaround until the time that they can’t.