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The Side Dish

WordPress is Growing Up

Ben Kaplan / 6.12.2018

WordPress

We’ve dished about content management systems (CMS) like Kentico in the past. Enterprise applications like these are a must-have for large, complex applications serving medium to large businesses. Today, I’d like to discuss WordPress.

WordPress’ place in the world.

WordPress is a widely used CMS that perfectly fills a niche for businesses of all sizes, specifically in the area of marketing sites. I’m not saying it can’t handle minor applications or small level e-commerce, but its enterprise-level cousins do a better job of that. WordPress is perfect for getting your branding message out there and interacting with the public. It’s so perfect that 30% of all websites worldwide utilize WordPress. That’s an impressive number by anyone’s standards.

WordPress was originally built in 2003 so anyone could quickly set up a blog, make it look nice and start blogging asap. It’s grown tremendously since then. Today’s WordPress is a comprehensive framework for building large websites that can be far more than a simple blog.

Chances are that you have used WordPress before, either for your own blog or for your business. You are certainly reading on one right now. That’s right, we use WordPress for our own site!

WordPress

Big things are afoot for one of the most popular web frameworks on the web. Here’s what is coming next for WordPress as it undergoes two, huge makeovers.

So, that’s cool and all, but what I really want to talk about is what’s next.

WordPress is in the process of getting two huge makeovers:

  • An underlying framework change
  • A new way to edit that will make it easier for the average person to make incredibly stimulating and interactive web pages

The first part, about the change in the underlying framework, will most likely make your eyes glaze over. But hang in there with me – I’ll keep it short and sweet. Facebook is being converted from a PHP framework to a React-based Javascript application. WordPress is growing up and being built like Facebook. Don’t worry, WordPress won’t replace Facebook. It’s just getting built with the same underlying framework and this change will enable some amazing abilities. ‘nuff said about the technical stuff.

The second part, the new way to edit pages, is the fun stuff. This can happen because of the change in the underlying framework mentioned above.

The fun stuff.

Gutenburg WordPressCurrently, in WordPress, you have a simple Word-like editor. It’s simple, to the point and gets stuff done. It’s been around forever and hasn’t been changed much because it’s so reliable. It is now getting a full makeover. The new editor is called Gutenberg. This is a shout out to the famous German, Johannes Gutenberg, who introduced the printing press to Europe back in the day.

Gutenberg gives you the ability to add ‘blocks’ of pre-built/designed content on the fly without having to touch any code. Want to insert a bullet list? Click and boom, you have a new list. Need to add a new pre-formatted block quote, new gallery or new heading? No problem. Click a button and the editing program inserts the new format. Will a paragraph make more sense lower in the content? Sure! Just grab it and drag it to where it needs to go. You can focus on content and less on design.

To top it all off, with some crafty technical skills, you can customize all these new blocks in any way you like or create completely new ones that suit your needs. If you don’t have access to these skills, fear not. You can be sure there will be plenty of plugins introduced into the WordPress plugin realm relatively soon.

Not convinced yet? Try out a live demo at this cool test site.

Big things are afoot for one of the most popular web frameworks on the web. Matt Mullenweg and the full WordPress team are making sure this amazing tool stays relevant and ultimately useful for you in the future.

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