WordPress is een krachtige software, waardoor zowel gebruikers als ontwikkelaars in staat om bijna oneindig uit te breiden en aan te passen. Innovatieve toepassingen voor WordPress, net zoals WooCommerce, Happytables, en AppPresser, zijn testament aan deze. Maar deze rijke-feature set en ontwikkelaar vriendelijkheid kan ten koste gaan van de toegankelijkheid en het gebruiksgemak voor nieuwe of niet-technisch onderlegde gebruikers. Mike Little, mede-oprichter van WordPress, bevestigt dat dit een prioriteit voor WordPress toekomst.
Ik weet dat er meerdere strengen van het onderhanden werk om dat te bereiken [een betere UI] en maken het nog makkelijker voor mensen beginnen.
Zodra je de basis in WordPress te leren, het is allemaal heel eenvoudig, maar tot leer je de basis, het is eigenlijk niet. Ik weet dat er veel energie gestoken in het maken van deze eerste stappen veel makkelijker wordt gezet, zodat iemand gloednieuwe gewoon kunt op dat “one-click install” knop en eenvoudig worden geleid door de volgende stappen.
Ik denk dat dit de grootste uitdaging, want als meer en meer mensen maken gebruik van WordPress, in wezen dat je meer mensen die minder tech-savvy hebben, and it’s important to make it easy for them to come on board.
Mike Little (WordPress co-founder)
Other content management systems, zoals Geest, have taken the publishing experience to a new level. WordPress needs to respond and make the Admin area simpler and easier to use. Advanced functionality still needs to be available to power users, but it shouldn’t get in the way of the average user. Finding the right balance will be difficult, but I think they [the WordPress team] are up to it.
Stephen Cronin (ThemeForest and CodeCanyon Quality Team Leader)
UI improvements were the one aspect of WordPress’s future that everyone I spoke to seemed to agree on: the platform could be easier to use. But in the first WP Think Tank panel, Matt Mullenweg highlighted the fact that this is, essentially, a truism: that nobody is going to say that a given piece of software should be harder to use. He suggested that the team is constantly working on incremental UI changes already, and will continue to do so. Many in the community are fans of this incremental approach:
There is always going to be room for improvement in the WordPress admin panel. The amazing contributors are already doing a great job. One of the best examples is the new themes section which is a 100% improvement over the old one.
Echter, some in the community feel like this work is not being done fast enough, like James Farmer, founder and CEO of WPMU DEV:
Zeker, WP may be powering 22% of the web and growing, but it’s standing still. Maneuvering more like an ocean liner than a zippy yacht.
And that makes it both vulnerable to competition and complaints, and the biggest challenge to all of us working with the software, the question of how long will users stand this kind of experience and lack of progress.
When the WordPress admin is compared side by side to its competitors, it is clear that it is not on the cutting edge of UI design. The question is: how much does this matter, werkelijk? The community is divided on this, though the consensus among panelists at WP Think Tank was that the admin UI is due for an overhaul. It has not been significantly overhauled since the Dec 2008 ‘Coltrane’ release (2.7), first debuted over 5 jaren geleden. Geest admin interface. Squarespace admin interface. Medium admin interface. Wix admin interface. Weebly admin interface. WordPress admin interface. Matt Mullenweg has repeatedly emphasized that the incremental approach to improvements comes from a deliberate effort to maintain backwards compatibility. We can see this reflected in the incremental approach the team has taken to improving the WordPress UI. Recent changes to the WordPress development workflow, like trialing features as plugins first, has sped up the pace and number of improvements added to new versions of WordPress in recent times. Nog steeds, the tension between innovation and backwards compatibility has often polarized the WordPress community.
Backwards compatibility is WordPress’s biggest strength, and its biggest albatross.
The WordPress team is hesitant to make sweeping changes to WordPress because the platform’s backwards compatibility is a core strength. Developers feel confident to build plugins, themes and extensions for WordPress because they know that future changes to the platform won’t break their code. Users can update WordPress with confidence knowing that, in de meeste gevallen, their themes and plugins will continue to work as before. This has been a contributing factor to WordPress’s massive adoption, and to its thriving developer community. By contrast, WordPress competitor Drupal has openly spurned backwards compatibility of code, often to the chagrin of both users and developers. The dominant market position of WordPress suggests that embracing rather than rejecting backwards compatibility was the right strategic choice. Yet, this emphasis on backwards compatibility makes anything but careful, incremental changes impossible. This is a tension WordPress seems to wrestle with every day.
Success brings its own drawbacks, and WordPress is an excellent example of this. After more than ten years of powering sites around the web, WordPress rests atop a huge legacy of versions, plaatsen, and technology. Keeping backwards compatibility makes WordPress reliable. From themes to plugins, hosting to UI, ask a WordPress user from five years ago to do something in WordPress today and they’ll figure it out in no time at all. As a comparable example, try putting a Windows XP user straight into Windows 8.
And therein lies the question. Does WordPress need a radical shift in its core? Maybe a shift in user experience? Or a reworking of its plugin architecture? Perhaps a different approach to design and theming? Many of these efforts are much much harder when you need to maintain strong backwards compatibility.
Collis Ta’eed (CEO of Envato)
All signs from Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg suggest that WordPress will continue to maintain backwards compatibility above all else, and will further continue to make only incremental changes to the platform.
We rewrite or refactor about 10 naar 15% of WordPress in most releases, so that we can keep users getting updates and new features quickly, while doing the “ground up rebuild” incrementally in the background, fixing bugs and getting feedback as we go. Sometimes old functions hang out for a while… [zoals] deprecated.php. That’s because we try to be good about backwards-compatibility, so that people can upgrade to the latest version without worry.
This suggests that WordPress will not be changing radically any time soon. But what actually is WordPress?
More Than a Blogging Platform?
WordPress is arguably best positioned to be de way people make websites. It’s already powering some 22% of them! While that’s the largest share by a long way, it is, echter, a long way from a majority.
I think in order to get to that future WordPress needs to resolve the fundamental question of what it is. Consider for a moment who WordPress competes with. Is it up against tumblr en Medium? Or does it compete with Squarespace en Wix?
Right now WordPress does an impressive job of being in two categories – blogging tool and website tool. I think to power more of the web, WordPress needs to go from a blogging tool that can make websites, to a website tool that can make blogs. It’s a fundamental shift, but I believe that’s where WordPress is headed.
Collis Ta’eed (CEO of Envato)
WordPress has its roots as a blogging platform. Vandaag, it is being used for blogs, eCommerce websites, membership sites, tijdschriften, mobile applications, enterprise services, forums… the list goes on. Eigenlijk, WordPress has been used for just about every kind of app and website you can imagine. Though still primarily known as a blogging platform, it is slowly becoming a generalized application platform. With the help of plugins, extensions and custom themes it can be transformed into whatever the user needs it to be. De WP Think Tank panelists discussed whether this has created an identity problem for WordPress. When a platform becomes more general, is it at risk of being surpassed by more specialized services with a clear user-base, and clear use-case? (Geest is explicitly a blogging platform, bijvoorbeeld). Echter, those that I spoke to felt that the generalist nature of WordPress is a strength, not a weakness, and that WordPress should continue in this direction.
I’m a big believer in using specialized tools designed for a specific job. It’s true that WordPress is a generalist platform that can be used for almost anything, but it can be turned into a specialized tool through themes and plugins. Want to start a job board? Simply get a theme or plugin that turns a WordPress site into a job board.
WordPress has all the benefits of a generalist platform, such as a low barrier to entry, very active community, enz., while at the same time offering people tools to build a specialist site.
Stephen Cronin (ThemeForest & CodeCanyon Quality Team Lead)
Tom Willmot is the CEO and co-founder of Human Made Limited, a WordPress development agency that created Happytables, a tool that allows users to create a restaurant website with the help of WordPress. Though it runs on WordPress in the backend, the end user might never know. The landing page pictured above doesn’t mention WordPress, and the developers have created a custom admin panel to suit the product’s specific use case (creating a restaurant website). Applications like Happytables suggest that WordPress is reaching maturity as a generalized application platform. Tom Willmot believes WordPress can stay true to its roots as a blogging platform while still facilitating the kind of innovation that madeHappytables possible:
WordPress as a CMS is obviously going to continue to be the largest use-case for a long time to come. Web publishers need WordPress to be powerful, intuitive and robust so they can get on with their job of posting great content.
Echter, just because WordPress ships with a blog and CMS system doesn’t mean we as developers have to use it. In-fact I think that’s the core of what using WordPress as an application framework means; you can pick and choose the bits you want to use in your app.
Tom Willmot (Co-founder & CEO of Human Made)
Applications using custom wrappers around WordPress to target specific verticals (like restaurants, law firms or auto repair shops) will probably become more common in the future. Yet Cory Miller, founder of iThemes, cautions us not to lose sight of what makes WordPress special to the majority of its users:
And although I love how WordPress allows my mom to start and maintain her high school alumni site, or for people to run full-blown ecommerce sites, empowering people to just share their lives freely with the world (on their own domain and hosting without regard to someone’s shifting policies) has been the underlying reason why WordPress is where it is today … 10 years later.
WordPress is still perceived mainly as a blogging platform by those outside the community. The broader, more strategic work of the future will be enabling WordPress to be seen as the powerful website, toepassing en blog builder that it has become.
Plugin Driven Development
This new approach that Matt Mullenweg has introduced to the team, of developing new features as plugins until they reach maturity to be merged into WordPress itself, is fantastic.
Developing plugins first speeds up the cycle of development and allows for things to be created that might otherwise have been too difficult directly. Examples being the new Widget Customizer that was added in WordPress 3.9, and also the JSON API (WP-API) that’s scheduled to be added to WordPress 4.1.
Spearheading new development with plugins has helped speed up the overall pace of changes to the WordPress platform. Developing new features as plugins first also allows the WordPress team to test new functionality within the community before it is integrated into the WordPress core. We will most likely continue to see major plugins pave the way for core integration further down the road. If you want to know where WordPress is going, look to the some of the major plugins being released, spearheaded by members of the core team. One such plugin to watch is Velocity Page, a powerful front-end page creation tool. Mark Jaquith, Lead Developer, describes why his team saw a need for this plugin:
I’ve seen people struggle with the Visual Editor in WordPress, pasting in complicated code, and using shortcode soup. I knew that for creating more complicated page layouts (dat is, something beyond a fairly linear blog post), there had to be a better, more visual way of arranging text, beeld, video into a grid layout.
I created this plugin with an emphasis on giving people an accurate view of what the content will look like to visitors — often a pixel-perfect representation.
Mark Jaquith (a Lead Developer at WordPress)
Comments from the WordPress team and those deeply involved in the community suggest that robust content design and front-end editing tools will form part of future versions of WordPress. To reach that goal, the WordPress team will need more and better…
Mark Jaquith, (a Lead Developer at WordPress)
We’ve also seen a fairly recent spate of things occurring to indicate this really is WordPress’ richting. Including the release of VelocityPage by long-time WordPress developer Mark Jaquith and team. Even the recent changes to the Widget Customizer feature in WordPress itself is a step in this direction.
The excitement around Barley, Aesop Story Engine, Visual Composer enBasis suggest that better front-end editing and content design are necessary additions to WordPress. Automattic’s recent acquisition of Scroll Kit suggests that moves in this direction are a high priority for the WordPress team.
I’d like to see more agencies step up and start pitching WordPress at enterprise level organisations and government. The main reason that it’s not used more in such organisations is that there are very few agencies responding to tenders with a WordPress solution.
Stephen Cronin (ThemeForest & CodeCanyon Quality Team Leader)
The sentiment that WordPress needs a further push to penetrate the enterprise market was shared by many of those I asked.
Most of the work that is required has more to do with the larger agencies getting better at selling to and working with Enterprise clients than it does about improvements to the WordPress core software itself.
Tom Willmot (Co-founder & CEO of Human Made)
Echter, when asked about the biggest challenge facing WordPress’ growth, Matt Mullenweg recently cited mobile rather than enterprise as the next big challenge for WordPress:
Q: What are the biggest challenges facing WordPress’ growth, beyond powering “just” 22% of the Web?
Matt: I think mobile is very challenging because it’s fundamentally on closed platforms.
WordPress: How it Came to Be and Where It’s Heading, Smashing Magazine (februari 2014)
Though WordPress does have an enterprise offering in VIP, those I spoke to felt that WordPress is still not the platform of choice for most enterprises. WordPress pundit Chris Lema suggests that this may have more to do with a lack of marketing and education than a lack of suitability. Eigenlijk, he suggests that WordPress is an excellent choice for enterprises:
As the Vice President of Emphasys Software, a 35-year old company that specializes in enterprise software products, and as an advisor of technology startups, I’ve seen and used WordPress as an application framework across dozens of projects for years. I choose to use WordPress for our enterprise projects for a variety of reasons. But I can distill it down to three. I use WordPress because it is easy. Because it is free. Because it is there and it makes amazing things possible.
What could have been a .NET application that our dev team might have spent days on was instead a WordPress solution that was up in less than two hours.
Chris Lema (VP of Software Engineering, Emphasys Software)
Powerful plugins will increase the appeal of WordPress to enterprise markets. Its adoption in this space is most likely hurt by the perception outside of the WordPress community that WordPress is just a blogging platform. Enterprises will feel like they need much more than that. As plugins like WooCommerce en BuddyPress become more well-known, enterprises may start to see the ways that WordPress could be customized to fit their business. Power Elite author Muhammad Haris (ThemeFusion) echoes this. He and business partner Luke Beck created Avada, ThemeForest’s highest selling theme of all time.
There’s no reason not to choose WordPress when there’s a plugin to solve almost every problem.
The Era of Premium Plugins
I believe the gold rush era for premium plugins is here, so we are going to see an increased shift in functionality from themes to plugins.
It isn’t sustainable to cram all functionality into premium themes, and when a premium plugin comes along that handles the functionality of your theme better, it only makes sense for the theme provider to add support for the plugin, instead of building the functionality from scratch.
Magnus Jepson (Co-founder of WooThemes)
We are entering a time when WordPress plugins are having a greater impact than ever before. They’re built by talented teams, are professionally presented and marketed, en plug-makers zijn het ontwikkelen van effectieve business modellen. WooThemes co-founder Mark Forrester zei onlangs dat WooCommercenu goed voor 80% van de omzet van het bedrijf. Met andere woorden, themes are no longer the biggest earner at WooThemes. At CodeCanyon, wpbakery recently became the first author to reach Power Elite status ($1 miljoen + in de verkoop) op de rug van een WordPress-plugin, Visual Composer. De plugin is meer dan gekocht 27,000 tijdstippen $30 een knal. Dit rivalen het succes van zelfs de meest populaire en alomtegenwoordige WordPress thema's. Kan de toekomst van WordPress zien premium plugins een dag rivaal de dominantie van premium thema's? De tijd zal het leren. Echter, Mark Jaquith is een expert die gelooft thema's zullen altijd de drijvende kracht achter de WordPress economie:
Ik vermoed dat thema altijd zal blijven een grotere markt. Elke WordPress site moet een thema. Niet elke WordPress site zal een bepaalde plugin nodig. Maar ik denk dat de plugin markt is een stuk kleiner dan het zou kunnen zijn, en het is fascinerend om te zien mensen erachter te komen business modellen eromheen.
Mark Jaquith (a Lead Developer at WordPress)
Het aantrekken van ontwikkelaars
De omvang van WordPress is het moeilijk om te concurreren met. Het rent 22% van het web. Wilt u het internet te veranderen? Werk aan WordPress. Maak het beter en je direct invloed op een grote strook van het web.
Collis Ta’eed (CEO of Envato)
Een vraag die ik krijg af en toe gevraagd (vooral door ontwikkelaars buiten WordPress) is “Waarom doe je WordPress”. Het eerlijke antwoord op deze vraag is dat ik denk echt dat WordPress (en de open source stack het is gebouwd op) is de meest opwindende plek waar ik zou kunnen zijn.
Denk er gewoon over na, Er zijn miljoenen websites gebouwd op WordPress en honderden duizenden ontwikkelaars ze te bouwen; thousands of engaged people attend WordCamps every year to share stories and experiences; grote bedrijven en overheden over de hele wereld worden wakker om open source; duizenden mensen verdienen hun brood uit de WordPress werk dat ze doen. En, het voelt alsof we pas net begonnen.
Tom Willmot (CEO & Co-founder at Human Made)
Creatief gebruik van de WordPress-platform, net zoals AppPresser, Happytables,restuarant Engine, Hallo Bar en Barley (onder vele anderen) maken WordPress een nog spannender platform om mee te werken. Naarmate de tijd vordert zullen we meer ontwikkelaars met behulp van WordPress als een fundament om de broodnodige apps en diensten te bouwen. Er is geen betere tijd geweest om te worden een ontwikkelaar die werkt met WordPress.
Vanuit mijn perspectief van de grootste kracht van WordPress is de grootte van het aantal gebruikers.
Andy Wilkerson (parallelus)
Veel van de mensen die ik sprak voor dit artikel geciteerd primaire kracht WordPress als de omvang van het aantal gebruikers. Voeden van een onthutsend 1 in 5 websites, er is een enorme markt voor iets ontwikkelaars dat verbetert de WordPress landschap, of het nu een mooi thema, een handige plugin, of een krachtige applicatie gebouwd rond de WordPress kern. If you can create a business model around something WordPress users need, your chances of success are high. This massive user base is something that consistently attracts entrepreneurial developers to WordPress, and it is these entrepeneurial developers who will drive the future of the platform.
The huge market size and the development community around WordPress are two reasons why it is great to base your business around WordPress.
Muhammad Haris (ThemeFusion)
Some developers, like Andy Wilkerson (parallelus), choose WordPress not because it is the platform they love the most, and not because it is a technology that excites them, but because it is a solid foundation for a business with a large customer base.
The popularity of WordPress is one reason it gets the most attention in our work right now, but given a choice of what platform to use I probably wouldn’t choose WordPress. I personally like the structure of other systems better because they’re closer to how I would build my own application.
Wilkerson does, echter, find WordPress a joy to work with:
There is rarely anything I cannot do with the structure they [the WordPress team] have created. The core continues to improve and become even more powerful and easier to extend. If I were to say anything about what could be improved it would only be nit-picking.
Andy Wilkerson (parallelus)
Growing the user base of WordPress will lead to a more vibrant community, more talented developers attracted to the platform, and more profits for those who base their business around WordPress. And despite the platform’s massive user base, there are still millions of people who don’t realize how easy it is to create a website or blog with WordPress. There are still thousands of businesses with bad HTML websites (or no website at all) who don’t realize that they could have a beautiful web presence with the help of a WordPress theme. As mentioned earlier, enterprises are still learning the benefits of WordPress. Creating a better experience on mobile overall will help attract both casual and business users. WordPress is in a very powerful position. Simply put, every person in the world, providing they have internet access, could benefit from having a website or blog. The potential market is massive. The only question is: what percentage of the web will run on WordPress 5 years from now?
A Snapshot of the Future
- Continue to maintain strong backwards compatibility.
- Improve iteratively and avoid sweeping changes.
- Continue to trial major new features as plugins.
- Get better at front-end editing and content design.
- Become easier for beginners to use.
- Move away from the perception that it is just a blogging platform.
- Make further inroads into the enterprise market.
- Offer more possibilities as an application framework.
- Provide the platform for a growing number of startups and services.
- Continue to excel as a blogging platform.
Now it’s over to you. What’s your personal vision for the future of WordPress? We zullen dit bericht updaten naar inzichtelijke opmerkingen en adviezen van de Envato gemeenschap behoren.