WordPress 5.0—What Can We Expect?
Currently, the last stable release of WordPress is 4.8.1, so we’re still pretty far off from the 5.0 release (scheduled for December 2017). But there are already speculations about the future WP features, some of which Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, discussed during this year’s WordCamp Europe.
Revolutionary Gutenberg Editor
WordPress plans to completely change the way users add content to their WP websites, replacing the traditional text editor with a block-based one. The core version of WordPress 5.0 will include the new editor by default.
You can already install Gutenberg editor as a plugin. And even though it’s only in beta version, it does give you an idea behind the concept of WP’s new approach to managing and adding content.
Gutenberg editor treats every element of the page as a different block—the header, text section, image, link, button, widget, etc. You arrange these elements as you write your piece of content, which gives you a chance to see how your page is going to look like on-the-go.
Source: WordPress Tavern.
Gutenberg editor works for mobile, too, so that you can add content anywhere you happen to be.
Gutenberg editor changes the way users add content to their WP website, making the whole process easier and more intuitive.
With a serious WordPress REST API exploit that occurred in January 2017, there’s an increased need from WP users for security. Even though it was contained fast and efficiently, the exploit allowed hackers to alter the content of some of the WP websites.
To prevent attacks, WordPress has already introduced some security features, such as recommending hosting websites with SSL Certificates or two-factor authentication. The company is likely to continue improving its security in future releases.
Any security flaws are a potential threat to businesses which deal with confidential customer data. WordPress recommends frequent updates to decrease cyber threats.
While WordPress is already winning on the mobile front, the company is constantly improving the mobile experience for both the developers and users. Decreasing the differences in website maintenance between desktop and mobile has become a routine for the company. Also, the majority of WP themes are now responsive.
Having similarly advanced viewing and editing options for WP sites on mobile devices increases flexibility in adding and managing content.
Simplified Usage for Beginners
Like the introduction of Gutenberg editor, future releases of WordPress will focus on ensuring easier website management and usage for beginners. Simplifying installation process of SSL certificates and decreasing the need for using markups for widgets already improved user experience, marking WP’s future direction.
Easier access to WP’s advanced customization features decreases the need for hiring a developer.
Shift toward SaaS
SaaS (Software as a service) means delivering software on a subscription-based licensing plan for a yearly or monthly fee. SaaS applications and plugins are convenient because they do not require maintenance or updates on the side of the user. SaaS apps are updated automatically, and because they are operated from the cloud, they do not consume the precious resources of the user’s server, thus improving website performance.
SaaS is already widely popular on the Internet, and WordPress team seems to be shifting toward that solution as well. WooCommerce, also founded by Matt Mullenweg, has already implemented an automatic renewal for Woo’s plugins and add-ons. In future releases of WordPress, we are likely to see an increase in SaaS solutions.
SaaS plugins and applications are convenient and require less maintenance. They also save your server resources, letting your site deliver better user experience.
What Would We Like to See in the 5.0 WordPress Release?
Better interoperability. Not all WP updates are followed by updates of themes and plugins, which often causes crashes and lower performance. It would also be useful if more options available as plugins were included in the core version of WordPress. That approach would ensure better compatibility.
Matt Mullenweg’s dream is to pursue the remaining 70% of the Internet and increase the number of sites that use WordPress. And even though that dream will undoubtedly be difficult to achieve, with WP’s invariable approach to open-source and user-centered vision, the company will surely snatch a significant chunk of that market. With that in mind, WordPress users can expect increasingly better user experience across all WordPress areas.
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