WordPress, our beloved content management system, is getting to a mature age of 15 years this Sunday, 27 May. For a web software, we can truly say that it’s mature and a great achievement as the service is still going so strong. Over 60% of all websites using CMS are currently powered by WordPress.
During the last 15 years, the web has changed greatly. We’ve seen the birth (and death) of multiple trends and different platforms. We don’t use web anymore just to get information, but it’s rather a vital part of our daily lives. A big challenge for WP has been coping with this change and evolving around it.
Image credit: WordCamp Europe
Most people might already know that WordPress at first was just a blog publishing platform for a relatively small audience. In the history of WP, we have seen many incremental development steps under the hood that have made WP the fully-fledged CMS it currently is. Plugins came into existence in 2004, custom post types in 2010 and the REST API was (finally) merged to core in 2016.
Power of the community
But what really has been the driving power behind WP has always been the WordPress community with its mixture of developers, designers, copywriters, marketers etc etc etc. We all must give our thanks to the volunteers who have put hundreds of hours to developing the open source software, themes, and plugins that we all love.
Of course being a popular open source platform has its caveats. In the past, people have found some very nasty security exploits in WP, which have had the potential to cause large-scale problems. The strength of the active community comes into play here, as well. Most of the security issues are found and reported by the good guys. This means that they are usually fixed even before anyone else knows about them.
Image credit: WordCamp Europe
The WordPress community is also a lot more in addition to the technical development of WordPress. Enthusiastic WordPress people meet almost on a daily basis all around the globe in WP Meetups and WordCamps. These events are great places to meet, talk and have fun with people from different life and work situations.
WordPress and its community have also made it possible for numerous companies to create business around different opportunities. Besides digital agencies like Evermade, there are businesses built on offering premium themes, plugins, hosting, education, and way more.
What about the future of WordPress?
In the near future, we will see WordPress development focus more on the admin interface, through solutions like the upcoming Gutenberg Editor. Also, the open source problems gain more attention in the future when all public WordPress.org themes and plugins start getting scrutinized and scored by code quality.
In the bigger picture, global trends like accessibility and privacy will surely affect the future development of WordPress, as people become more aware of the issues. Legislation will follow – first with GDPR (effective from today, 25 May!), and the Accessibility Directive, both of which apply to all EU countries.
We at Evermade of course hope that WordPress continues to develop and thrives for many years to come. But at the same time, we as a responsible agency must think critically about different platforms, and for how long a single software can be the best option for our clients.
Overall, the future and development look bright for WordPress. So let’s give a collective virtual cheer for our good pal WP! ???