World’s most popular content management system WordPress was released in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg. In the past 20 years, this CMS has truly proved to be groundbreaking and innovative. To date, over 75 million websites are powered by WordPress, and the CMS has been downloaded over 160 million times. WordPress now powers up to 26.4% of the web and is continuously increasing its market share.
Since the release of WordPress 4.8 is near, everyone in the WordPress community expects a truly revamped version of WordPress with more speed, security, glitch free backend and a very slick front end design.
I decided to go to the WordPress community to find out what features, users and developers would like to have in the upcoming WordPress version. I believe that in addition to the improvements as mentioned earlier, WordPress community has some excellent ideas for WordPress core development teams.
Let me take you through the expectations of the WordPress geeks who are part of the global WordPress community.
Robby McCullough is the Co-Founder at BeaverBuilder. According to him, the community’s expectations come from the history and standard the core team has set.
“Backward compatibility has always been a very high priority but, especially in light of Matt Mullenweg’s push for a better customization experience, it might be holding the project back from competing with other website builders like Squarespace and Wix.”
Ahmad Awais is a full stack web developer and core contributor to WordPress. Ahmad’s views were quite spot on:
“I’d like WordPress to be better on these three fronts in a way that helps writers write rich media posts quickly without any hassle, users can customize their sites more with no road blocks, and developers should be more empowered to build better/flexible solutions with REST API.”
Gary Jones is a WordPress Engineer at Gamajo, currently residing in Basingstoke, England. He wants a truly revamped version of WordPress and has high hopes for the upcoming release. He presented his point of view in some detail:
“What the community expects, and what the community wants are likely to be different things, and I think that is perhaps more of an interesting avenue to explore. Different areas of the community also want different things in future versions of WordPress – users will want better content editing and a nicer onboarding process. Developers want more beautiful code-base, with higher minimum levels of PHP. Plugin and theme developers may also want the ability to manage their .org repo with git, and business folks want ongoing stability so that it “just works”.
Can they reasonably expect that all to happen in the next few versions of WordPress? Maybe, maybe not. The point is, there is no clear discussed road-map of what we can expect, other than for the next immediate release. Apathy amongst the community suggests that with the limited supply of those with the willingness and ability to volunteer their time, and key groups apparently not listened to much, not everyone’s desires can be met.
I think we can expect a continued absence of logic with regard to the order in which areas are tackled. Rewrite the whole of wp-admin to use the REST API, or completely change the concepts around how content management works? They are the new and shiny, but how about fixing the basic import/export bugs first, or doing more for accessibility so some folks can use WordPress in the first place? It’s easy to be cynical, but I’d love for a bug fix / technical release every second or third version, where the existing features are improved, even if few visible features were added.”
Ryan Hellyer is a WordPress fanatic and blogger hailing from Berlin, Deutschland. He thinks WordPress should focus on improving the current version rather than introducing new features. He said:
“I would like to see less concentration on new features and more concentration on stability, performance, and security of future versions of WordPress.”
Joe Howard is the lead UX strategist at Salient CRGT, Head Buff at WP Buffs and DC Ambassador at Sandbox. He is quite excited about the upcoming version of WordPress:
“We’ll see an even bigger push towards a simpler user experience when it comes to setting up a WordPress website as well as navigating the dashboard. Most people who prefer sites built on Wix or Squarespace want a very straightforward setup. WordPress isn’t there yet with regards to making things easy for new users, but they’ll want to move even higher than 27% market share, so this should be a top priority moving forward.
That being said, we’ll see less overall core updates as well. WordPress will focus on delivering real quality and value to its customers in larger quantities. Matt Mullenweg went into detail on this in his State Of The Word address at WordCamp US, and I think WordPress will follow through.
In 2015, active plugin usage increased by 20% and plugin downloads increased by 34%. This trend means we’ll keep seeing an increase in plugin development and promotion as a primary driver of WordPress growth.
2/3 of the world speaks 12 languages, all of which WordPress covers. Again, with WordPress wanting to continue increasing their market share, they will move to translate WordPress into even more languages to make it available to even more people around the world.
Finally, we’ll WordPress make it easier for non-technical users to implement more advanced tasks. An even more effortless way to install SSL certificates or implement AMP or Schema markup will be addressed by core updates or new plugins.”
Adnan currently works as a lead WordPress developer at Analytify.io and is a WordPress geek. He is pretty much satisfied with the current version of WordPress, and the only addition he wants in the new version of WordPress is:
“A Page Builder.”
Josh Eaton is a partner and lead developer at Reaktiv Studios. Besides user experience, he is more focused on the usage and integration of REST API at the core.
“Looking at the three focus areas that Matt outlined in his last State of the Word, I think it’s pretty clear at least at a high level, what is coming in future versions of WordPress. A better editing experience. A better customization experience. Increased usage of the REST API in core. I hope to see API-driven development that treats the REST API as a first class citizen in core development rather than an extra feature. Given these focuses, outside of bug and security fixes, this is what we can expect in the near-future versions of WordPress.”
These were the views of several well-known WordPress experts from around the world. These individual opinions depict the high expectations of the WordPress community and that these experts wish for an improved version of WordPress that offers high-value features and improved performance.
Some More Expectations From The Community
Apart from these WordPress influencers, I asked a random question about the expectations regarding the what people expect from future versions of WordPress on different social media mediums and here is the feedback that I received. You can view the post on Facebook’s group of All About WordPress and this question on Quora as well.
Ivica Delic is a WordPress expert with over six years of development experience. According to him, a better UX is required. “Much better user experience, primarily for the beginners along with much better interoperability between plugins/themes/WordPress itself is needed, so we don’t experience frequent sites’ stoppages after sites’ updates.” To an extent, I would agree. Being a user of WordPress myself, I have experienced the website breaking up when it is updated.
Another point of view that was widely supported was that WordPress should have a document for every theme that contains the required image sizes, an index to what line does what in the style.css sheet, what plugins are necessary to make the website work, and what resources are required to set up the site.
This Is Just A Beginning
This particular post cannot have a conclusion. It is about the future of WordPress versions and what the users, developers, and the active members of the WordPress community expect from this popular CMS. Moreover, this post is in no way a complete compilation of the community as only a few responses were received or recorded. I am 100 percent sure the WordPress community expects a lot more than this. So I am looking forward to the comments. I am looking forward to what the community has in mind about the future versions of WordPress, especially the upcoming version, WordPress 4.8. If you have a feature in mind, regarding the theme, plugins, extensions, or the core of WordPress, then feel free to comment below or on the forum mentioned above. Come on, let’s make future of WordPress, better.
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