The Future of Wordpress

6 Oct 2017 / Aliesha Ellington

For many users, the main benefit of using WordPress is the content management system (CMS), which is currently an open-source project, relying on contributions from the community which ensures the highest contemporary user experience, and modernized code. But are changes to how it is built on the horizon?

The founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg, has recently (14/09/17) announced a move away from React as the CMS for WordPress. The move was prompted by Facebook, who created React, stating that React would no longer be open-source, but licenced in the near future. A decision such as this would undoubtedly have a significant impact on WordPress.

In the latest ground-up rewrite of Wordpress (Calypso), React plays an essential role. It was set to be fundamental in the forthcoming Project Gutenberg, which was being written solely using React. This would also impact future core updates, as React was expected to be used. To move in another direction, away from using React would radically change the way WordPress writes updates going forward. The impact on current projects would also be immense, such as Project Gutenberg, which would then require a complete re-write with a new javascript library. This could mean that the project is delayed significantly, as a large quantity of work will need to be re-done using a new CMS.

Following the announcement of the WordPress founder, many in the community started to contemplate other libraries which could be used in future. Perhaps Preact, Vue, or Angular 2 could fill the gap left by React? However, only two weeks later Facebook reneged their decision, announcing that React (as well as Immutable, Jest and Flow) would now be re-licenced, and remain open-source and available for users. Two weeks is a significant amount of time in a constantly growing and changing industry, and for React it could very well have passed the point of no return. Wordpress developers worldwide have started to swivel in another direction already, away from React and towards other open-source content management systems as a result of the prior announcement. Will we now be seeing less of React and more alternative CMS’s like Vue. Preact or Polymer?

If you want to delve deeper into the React and Wordpress story you can read morehere, on WP Tavern.

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