Should Widgets Be Deprecated?

Widgets were once all the rage in WordPress, but it seems as though they’ve been out of focus and out of mind for a while now.

Let it be clear: WordPress widgets won’t be deprecated. They can’t be as WordPress always strives to maintain backwards compatibility, but does this feature still deserve development time in a Gutenberg focused world?

The theory behind widgets is great, but the execution now looks very out of date when compared to the alternatives. As developers that make often make bespoke themes, it’s often easier and better to make any ‘widget areas’ using the WordPress options table and a plugin such as Advanced Custom Fields.

Gutenberg is getting bigger and better – love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. So where do widgets fit in? currently Gutenberg isn’t utilised to edit headers, footers and sidebars, but there’s no reason as to why this couldn’t be the case. Is the future blocks instead of widgets? we think it probably is. This probably also has some implications for the customizer, which itself may ultimately be phased out for a more Gutenberg focused experience.

We’d love to know your thoughts on widgets. Do you still use them? should WordPress phase them out for a Gutenberg based solution? Let us know in the comments.