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WordPress Trends and Predictions in 2016

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Beloved open-source platform WordPress has evolved beyond its rustic beginnings as a simple blogging tool, even though it still adheres to the notion 13-odd years since the initial launch.

Following this trajectory, current development trends, and some sentiments in the community after the #wpdrama debacle of last year, we can confidently pinpoint a few milestones that the web’s top CMS is going to cross this year; all without breaking out a single tarot card or any Dr. Strange-esque abilities.
Most of these are direct results of the first half of WordPress REST API, which was rolled out in December 2015 with the stable release 4.4 Clifford.

So in 2016, you can count on WordPress and the army of developers to bring you:

 

  • Ever enhancing takes on wp-admin

After the great success and enthusiastic response garnered by Calypso (an advanced interface created to revolutionize the way people have been interacting with the CMS for over a decade), folks at Automattic seem to be ready to take this new client further up along this brand new path.

new wordpress look

This JavaScript based, API-powered, super-fast, and incredibly handy (it can act as a browser-of-sorts, manage multi-site networks and updates for plugins/themes) interface is also open-source and available to be customized for use on and beyond anything WordPress.

This will simplify the way end-clients interact with WordPress: by giving away native apps to be run as desktop clients, making the platform more intuitive and user-friendly than ever before.

 

  • Truly Enterprise-grade websites

This one is also made easier (and even possible) thanks to just the first half of WP-API (Yep, I’ll never tire of those sweet, sweet words).

Until now most businesses and developers relied on plugins like WP Tao, LeadIn, etc. to handle marketing automation processes via WordPress for their clients. But no more!

Thanks to the WP-API, we have projects like Microsoft Dynamic AX (taking ERP to the web with OAuth) in the works. And that’s just the beginning.

As WordPress rolls out the second part of this groundbreaking API (set this year with release of version 4.5), integration with 3rd party ERP, CRM, and marketing automation software will become as easy as playing Tetris. In other words, businesses will finally be able to work through WordPress, and that’s awesome.

 

  • Accessibility and Localization for all

achievements of wordpress          changes in wordpress themes and plugins

Summary of Accessibility and Translation related achievements in 2015 WordCamp.

The linguistically-gifted members of WordPress community continue to make the web a better place for everyone with their drive to translate WordPress into as many languages as possible upon each release. They are also commissioned to translate the most popular themes and plugins so as to amplify their reach in the global community of users.

The admin interface itself is making leaps and bounds of improvements in accessibility criteria. And with the REST API now integrated, everyone is free to build a new interface to make even more easily accessible interfaces with JavaScript, or recreate the open-source Calypso to do the same.

 

  • The Real Mobile Shift

Developer and non-coding users alike rejoiced on receiving the year-end bounty of integrated option for responsive images (with automatic retina support). But that’s not the only step to a more mobile-friendly WordPress.

Nomadbase.io is a fun and fast web-app with Mapbox and JS in the front, WordPress in the back. StoryCorps is a really heartwarming web-to-native iOS/Android app built with WordPress API.

The real shift is, therefore, due to REST API which will now allow anyone to build mobile apps using WordPress. Eventually, WordPress will be able to hold mobile apps together like a platform.

 

  • Less Power to PHP!

Matt Mullenweg (the figure behind Automattic, which is behind WordPress) agrees that Javascript and API driven surfaces are the future of the web. And in the State of the Word 2015 speech, he did encourage PHP programmers to spend time learning JavaScript, deeply.

While he agreed that PHP is not going away (the platform’s latest version supports PHP7, and will continue to have many PHP components), he also made it a point to essentially say that JavaScript-centric development is the next thing.

This opens a lot of doors for front-end developers who can now do crazy-awesome things with WordPress themes and plugins for an amazing web experience without just being limited to an interface and design. PHP developers will now have to take the suggestion seriously and learn to work with JavaScript if they want to remain in the running, since JS-driven interfaces on WordPress are here to stay.

 

  • A stand on security with Let’s Encrypt initiative

LetsEncrypt is an initiative launched by Electronic Frontier Foundation which will make trusted certificates available to websites for free. Basically it’s a way to provide painless, hassle-free move from http to https with one-click enrollment for average website owners.

Automattic joined the major sponsors list (consistent with their solid stance on Reset the Net campaign against mass surveillance).

This can ease the set-up process for SSL on self-hosted wordpress.org websites. We shall see in 2016.

The Endgame:

Turning WordPress into a fully fledged application development framework and making the web a better place.

How do you think WordPress is faring along the way? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

12 thoughts on “WordPress Trends and Predictions in 2016

    1. Tim: As I said in my point, PHP is not going away at all. I don’t think WordPress will be WordPress without PHP.

      Less power to PHP is simply another phase of WordPress development, and it’s a good thing because the community is now a more even mix of front-end and back-end developers. The highly interactive front-end interfaces (like Calypso) wouldn’t be built based entirely on PHP.

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