WordPress is by far the most popular CMS platform in use that powers more than 23% of the top 10 million websites. It is trusted by such well-known brands as The New York Observer, CNN Political Ticker, Play Station and others. There are also many people, who have invested in the platform’s success and all of them are now interested in how it will change in the course of time. Due to this we have decided to highlight some of the trends of WordPress development and offer our readers a glimpse into the future of this famous CMS.
One of the most recurring themes connected with the evolution of WordPress is the REST API implementation. REST API (Representational State Transfer Application Programming Interface) provides a way to retrieve pure data (usually in JSON) over HTTP with no loops necessary. It has the potential to completely turn the way users query the database and display content. WordPress is evolving to embrace the REST API, which raises the wave of excitement among prominent WP experts and community. Here is what Rhys Wynne once said about this in his interview: “I think with the WP API development is probably the most important thing happening in WordPress. Effectively if this gets put into core (which seems to be happening), in effect you will be able to build WordPress sites completely separate from WordPress. You will be able to build some great apps that integrate with WordPress a lot deeper at the moment, and have custom admin interfaces.” Now the most important question is, if WP does embrace the REST API what’s in store for the users? Some of the benefits include:
- Look and feel: More engaging user experience;
- Speed: Queue up content, better mobile experience;
- Offline: Control over failed connections, etc;
- Resources: Potentially reduced server load.
Due to this REST API is likely to continue its growth and soon we may see it in the core of WP.
Another area with new exciting possibilities is responsive images. It’s been a couple of years now since websites started going responsive, however, there are still many challenges in this area. For example, most techniques for making images responsive do not actually change the size of the file, instead they only shrink the same large picture to fit the layout. WordPress is now actively working on solutions to create possibilities of real responsive images for different sized screens. In fact, you can already download RICG Responsive Images plugin from WP Plugin Directory. Stay tuned, there are new developments in this area to come!
If you are a WordPress newbie, the following novelty will be of special interest to you. WPMU DEV have released Upfront – a parent child theme combo that allows to customise and run a WordPress site from the front-end. It offers a choice of elements to edit almost everything at your site right there and then. Now the important thing is what Upfront represents – it might be the beginning of a new chapter of website design and the direction that WordPress needs to go to remain relevant.
Last but not least is mentioning the WordPress community itself. How did it change over time and where is it going? Apparently, there is a trend of growing diversity of specialists working with WordPress and even making a living on it. It’s not only the developers who are actively involved in this CMS now – it’s also the content creators, designers, educators, marketers and people of many other specializations and backgrounds. Even now so many not internet related industries, like charities and education sector, are using WordPress to support their work, and in the future their quantity and variety will only grow.
Without a shadow of doubt, the most important driving force behind WordPress’ development is it’s community. As Chris Perryman put it, “As long as there are passionate people backing WordPress the way we see now, then it isn’t going anywhere for a long time.”
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