Part 2 - The Bright Future of WordPress
In part 1, we discussed the history of WordPress and how it became the widely used platform that it is today, and briefly touched upon some of the major changes that recently happened, along with some bigger changes that are on the way. In today’s episode, we’ll get back to the topic of The Future of WordPress, and my opinions on how things may shake out with the major core changes that are soon to come, and how that will affect the future of this mighty but humble platform called WordPress.
I personally think that the future of WordPress is a bright one. When you think about how large the user base and ecosystem is, it’s kind of hard to imagine it failing. Also, much effort has been spent thinking about the future and better positioning WordPress to compete with modern and easy to use web solutions such as Shopify and Wix. The purchase of WooCommerce by Automatic, and the neat ideas that they are currently shaping out helps to illustrate Automatic’s drive to compete with Shopify. They are working to simplify and make the entire process of running a powerful ecommerce site as easy as possible. Integrated payment and shipping solutions, and many other helpful add-on features will soon be readily available at the click of a few buttons in your WordPress admin. Coming soon to a WooCommerce site near you, no more complicated setup. It’ll be like the Uber of ecommerce—it’ll practically drive itself!
With soon to be released version 5.0, WordPress is set to undergo its biggest change in the history of the platform ever—Gutenberg! This is the name of a plugin that is being developed by the WordPress core team, which will soon be standardized and included into the WordPress core and no longer just a plugin. Just like Johannes Gutenberg’s revolutionary printing press, Gutenberg for WordPress is set to revolutionize the way we create and edit WordPress content.
Soon the standard WordPress WYSIWYG editor that everyone is used to seeing will be gone and replaced by the UI of Gutenberg. The central idea is to modernize and streamline the entry and editing of content and to bring WordPress into the modern age in order to better compete with the likes of Wix and Squarespace. This is a very large change that will be incompatible with the vast majority of themes and plugins, lest their developers work hard to add Gutenberg support, which means a lot of extra work and re-writing of existing codebases. This seems like a huge unknown and many people are worried and concerned about the very future of WordPress.
However, some see this as instability, while others see this as quite simply the way of the future. There are certainly valid concerns, since Gutenberg inherently changes how many Themes and Plugins will be required to function, so undoubtedly much work will go into Gutenberg compliance. However, unbeknownst to many a worry wart, the Gutenberg development team is being very careful to allow Plugin and Theme developers a chance to opt out of, or to declare that their code is not compatible with Gutenberg. This will allow themes and plugins that do not support Gutenberg to fall back to using the standard WordPress WYSIWYG editor that we all know and may have a love/hate relationship with.
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Regardless of the level of uncertainty that Gutenberg brings to the table, I fully believe that WordPress is here to stay for the long haul. This new age of Gutenberg may well bring a culling to the table where old Themes and Plugins die out and go away, which is actually not a bad thing. There is a lot garbage out there that is not maintained or constantly developed or secured, and those things should go away in order to make room for the new! I, for one, am excited to follow along see where this ride takes us... and if you’re coming along for the ride, be sure to pack your sunglasses!
Should you need any help shaping out the bright future of your web presence with the modern and practically future-proof platform that is called WordPress, please call us at (847) 699-0300.