I’ve been using WordPress almost since I first started Web Development. It’s almost a right of passage for PHP developers in many ways. It’s one of the most used web apps across the Internet as well as one of the most popular open source PHP platforms you can find.

It’s super easy to install and doesn’t require a great deal of technical knowledge to operate, but one of the most impressive features of WordPress is that with technical knowledge you can mould it into almost anything you can imagine. Not just a blogging platform anymore, WordPress is much closer to a powerful application framework, and if I’m honest, it’s one of my favourite development platforms.

Admittedly, there was a time when my impression of WordPress was much less positive than it is now. Anyone who’s been in web development for a while has heard the negativity, but let’s be honest, most software sucks, and it’s WordPress’ ability to continually evolve and improve that makes it the incredible platform that it is.

As of 2019, I use WordPress on a daily basis. This site runs WordPress and in my job I operate well over 70 web applications, many of which are WordPress as well. We use WordPress for it’s core function as a publishing platform, but we push it much further than that. Custom themes using the latest Javascript technologies, plugins that connect to dozens of different services and extend the core functionality, we use it for Internet facing websites as well as internal tools for reporting and analytics.

We have sites that serve content to tens of thousands of subscribers and millions of hits a month. Everyday, WordPress’ ability to cope with everything we can throw it surprises me, although at this stage, it probably shouldn’t anymore.

WordPress 5 and Gutenberg

Late in 2018, WordPress 5.0 was released with the new block editor Gutenberg. Lots of people online were frustrated with the changes and if you search the web you can find posts both positive and negative.

As an example, the Classic Editor plugin that reverts back to the old WordPress editor has well over 3 million installs just in the few short months since WordPress 5 was released.

I don’t really have an opinion on that, the freedom that WordPress gives you means you have the right and the ability to use the software however you want. Don’t like Gutenberg, that’s fine.

Personally, I enjoy Gutenberg and have only good things to say about WordPress 5. It took some adjusting at first, but the block editor feels much more natural now.

For what it’s worth, I give WordPress 5 and Gutenberg a big thumbs up and can’t wait to see what comes next.

The future of WordPress

I can’t say what the future of WordPress will be, I’m not a core developer and I’m not involved with how WordPress is run. I have contributed to WordPress in a number of small ways though, both documentation and code, so who knows. That is the benefit of open source after all.

Beyond that, I hope WordPress continues to evolve and improve. Regardless of what cranky people with opinions seem to think, change is good, and WordPress will need to change in order to stay competitive.

For myself though, I plan to make more contributions to WordPress itself outside of my job. I’m constantly working on improving my Javascript skills, and more than that, I will keep pushing myself and my team on what we can create with WordPress.