The future of WordPress is bright like a thousand suns for lack of a better simile. Once a run of the mill blogging platform, WordPress is effectively morphing into an application framework that’s riling pundits and newcomers all over the web.
A while ago, we outlined how WordPress came to be and how it grew into a content management system (CMS) that powers over 75 million websites, including big name brands such as CNN, Jay-Z and so much more.
At the time of writing, WordPress is quite the robust platform what with the arrival of new technologies that, let’s face it, appear to come from Sci-Fi movies. If you’re wondering, we drop a couple of terms that might fry your brains, but please don’t run away.
WordPress as an Application Framework
Well, in its most basic form the REST API is simply code that allows you to send and retrieve data from WordPress regardless of the application you have. This means you can use WordPress as a framework to manage content for any web application out there.
Say hello to all kind of great possibilities for the WordPress developer of the future. You can build mobile apps on WordPress just as easily as you build websites. You can have native iPhone or Android apps running on WordPress because – REST API.
This also means you can create highly customised WordPress themes and so much more. Simply put, the REST API brings a lot of possibilities to the table, which means the future of WordPress became even brighter. Imagine building apps in whichever programming language and using the powerful WordPress backend to drive everything.
Guys, WordPress is no longer just a CMS, it is now a full application framework that can do virtually everything. At the end of the day, the REST API is an amazing addition to the WordPress core that means you’re not going anywhere soon.
A Bigger Piece of the User Base Pie
WordPress powers a gargantuan amount of websites. It’s the most popular application framework (yes, this sounds better than CMS) from here to Mars and beyond. Many other solutions will need decades of development just to catch up.
And with all these new updates dropping all the time, you can expect more and more people to jump on the WordPress bandwagon. Of course, the future of WordPress means a more beginner-friendly platform that woos everybody across the board. The result? More beginners join.
Beginners won’t split hair on boarding and developers across the web will no longer think WordPress is just a blogging platform. Thanks to the REST API, all developers will know the unbridled power of WordPress is at their beck and call whenever. The result? Developers from all walks of life join.
Speculation by them experts has it WordPress will power over 35% of the web by the year 2020. That’s a huge figure considering WordPress already runs 1 out of 5 websites in 2017. Do you need us to tell you what a user base of this proportion means for your WordPress-related business?
If you need us to hold your hands in regards to this, it means plenty of business opportunities, a bigger and better community and so much more. The community is one of WordPress’ strong suits, and the driving force behind most (if not all) WordPress products.
Front-End Content Design
With the advent and popularity of WordPress page builders such as Beaver Builder, Visual Composer and these site building tools (via Website Builder Insider), it is evident there’s a faction of WordPress users who are into front-end content design. The trend has migrated to WordPress themes with the best shipping with full-blown page builders.
On matters performance, the WordPress team has a keen focus on stability, usability and speed. Or as Matt puts it:
First and foremost the most important things for a platform are stability, speed, and security. To do those well you need the ability to push updates and fixes as close to real-time as possible. And it needs to work in every language. User authentication, data and caching abstraction.
He has some advice for aspiring theme and plugin developers as well:
Design and usability are more important than ever. Watch a friend or family member try to use your plugin from start to finish, and it’ll give you a ton of ideas on how to make it better.
Further, WordPress utilizes plugin-driven development in the sense that new features are trialed as plugins first to gather feedback from users. This provides plenty of room for performance upgrades that mean only great things for the future of WordPress.
When all is said and done, WordPress primary focus is to make the platform useful to the average Joe, while offering power users the tools they require to bend the framework however they desire. It’s tough, so please make your contribution already.
WordPress has released it’s own Accessibility Handbook but there are hundreds of other open source resources for developers on the web (like the free WP Accessibility plugin). With these tools developers can hone their products to be sure their themes and plugins are usable by everyone. A great example if the Total WordPress theme, which integrates new accessibility features with each update (one of the main reasons why the University of Hawaii chooses to use Total).