Co-founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg details in the video what’s coming in WordPress and what has been done recently. My impression is WordPress is about to get seriously pro, with lots of solid new features for developers, big sites, and small blogs, part of their mission of “democratizing publishing.” Gutenberg is the massive change coming in 2018. It will simplify WordPress “into one elegant concept: blocks,” which are code modules that everything will be built on.
Themes, plugins, admin, everything will be built using blocks, rather than the current situation, where things can be are built without much thought for how they interact with each other. Blocks should, among other benefits, eliminate the ongoing problem of rowdy plugins breaking something on the site – it can take hours to figure out where the problem is.
Blocks also mean old-style plugins and themes will slowly become archaic and after a while may stop working. Yes, it’s a big, revolutionary change. It starts with the editor in WordPress 5.0 in about April 2018, which will be optional, at least for a while. They have a plugin, Classic Editor, for those who don’t want to use it yet.
WordPress introduced WYSIWYG editing twelve years ago. Matt says Gutenberg will be what they will build on for the next twelve years.
HackerOne: Report security bugs. Bounties paid and thanks given!
Tide: Automated testing against all plugins and themes on WordPress.org. Results will be on plugins page for all to view. The goal is to give developers information on how to improve their products.
Customizer: Can save drafts of theme changes, then schedule the changes to be published when you want. Draft changes have a private URL so clients can easily preview it. Customizer has autosaves and changes by multiple developers can’t be overwritten.
Coding: Now with syntax-highlighter, auto-complete, and linters that do error checking. The linters won’t let you publish the code if it’ll break the site. Yay!
REST API: Still a work in progress. The goal is to have WordPress Admin run entirely off the WordPress API.
WP-CLI: Command line for WordPress!
And finally, the biggie: Gutenberg.
As mentioned, Gutenberg rolls out using the editor as the first iteration. The Gutenberg editor is more powerful and easier to use. Drag and drop images into the post and it uploads it to Media Library. Images can easily have text added to them. Multiple columns are simple to create. So are Gallery images, which can be displayed in multiple ways with a couple of clicks. It’s quite a lot like the Medium or Facebook Notebook editor, but more powerful. With Gutenberg, posts and pages can be way visually attractive, with no HTML coding skills needed. However, as always, HTML code can be added. Also, blocks that you create in a post can be saved and reused in other posts, which is definitely a useful feature. (Blocks in a post are paragraphs, images, galleries, etc. – all the parts of a post.)
Blocks make everything easier. A paragraph block in a post can easily be given a background color. The theme designer can specify what the colors will be, so they match the theme, and the editor will only have those color to choose from.
The State of the Word is the annual keynote address at WordCamp US, presented by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. In this year’s address, Matt summarizes the highlights of 2017 — including the 4.8 and 4.9 releases — and previews what we can look forward to in 2018 ( spoiler: it’s Gutenberg 🙂 ).