Late last year I was interviewed by wpdaily.co, and one of the things they asked was where I see WordPress heading. My thought is that the WordPress code is basically complete. It has everything you need to build any type of site, and anything it doesn’t do can be done by plugins.
So – I think future enhancements will come in the shape of improvements to the core code and, more importantly, the user experience. This was started in WordPress 3.5 with the major overhaul of the media uploader interface – and looks set to continue in WordPress 3.6.
Below is a quick look at what we can expect to see in the WordPress 3.6 which is currently scheduled to be published on the 22nd of April 2013.
The distraction free writing screen was introduced in WordPress 3.2 – but to be honest I haven’t really used it (in fact – this post will be the first one I have written entirely in the environment).
There is clearly a demand for something like this though – there’s loads of distraction free writing apps available and so the WordPress team are going to work hard to improve the experience in the hope that more people will be able to learn the joys of the distraction free writing.
In this case it’s all about polish and making the experience as wonderful as possible.
As someone who creates WordPress themes, I think improvements to the custom menu interface will be very welcome. I get a decent amount of support requests from people who don’t know how to edit their website menus.
This area of WordPress will be getting a lot of user testing time, so hopefully the process will be smoothed out considerably.
Revisions are a feature that I’ve never really used. In fact I tend to turn them off on all my sites. However for sites that have multiple authors contributing I can see the need for good management of content revisions.
However the interface currently is very technical – for those of us who are used to code diffs its fine, but many users don’t know what’s going on and want something nice and easy. And to be honest, if they can improve the process then perhaps code comparison tools will borrow a few ideas and make diffs nicer as well :).
Editorial flow is all about improving the management and scheduling of content. This time a lot of the changes being proposed are technical improvements to the underlying API. So whilst this won’t have an immediate effect on the usage of WordPress, it will make things much nicer for plugin authors who want to enhance the WordPress editing process for multi author blogs.
Daniel Bachhuber has been asked to lead this area of development – and this is partly because he has a really nice plugin for managing the editorial flow on your WordPress site. Including things like editorial calendars, editors comments, more complex post statuses, and even cost management – the plugin is great for people who want to properly plan their websites content (in fact I am planning to try it out here on Pro Theme Design).
Improvement to the Autosave process for your WordPress posts will be a welcome addition. I am sure many bloggers have experienced the pain of losing an internet connection, or a browser crashing, in the middle of writing a blog post. WordPress have tried to address this in the past with the autosave feature – but it’s still not perfect, and so in WordPress 3.6 they hope to address it even further.
Post formats is one of my favorite untapped features in WordPress. Much like the WordPress team I think it has a lot of potential but the current implementation falls short. There’s no standard for implementing the different post format types and so each theme treats them in a different way making requirements for different post types awkward to standardize. I am hoping they will implement something like the interface used on Tumblr whereby the required meta data is stored per post type. If it was done in a standard way with functions to pull out the requested info then I think the takeup in themes would be much quicker.
Getting WordPress 3.6 Updates…
If you want to keep up to date with the progress of WordPress 3.6 then you can check out the WordPress Core Development blog.
So what feature are you most looking forward to? Is there anything you’d like to see improved in 3.7 and beyond? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.