It’s been 5 months and I personally am still giddy as an aftereffect of all the tremendous changes in Web and WordPress last year.
HTTP/2.0 adoption as proposed standard by all major browsers, the wonderful changes heralded by WordCamp Philadelphia, the incredible versatility lent to WordPress platform by REST API (stage II recently done with 4.5 ‘Coleman’), the stunning, ever-growing numbers of users… it’s one exciting time in the evolution of Web and WordPress, and we are all here to bear witness. Exciting, isn’t it?
Sure it is. Here are some directions we can expect to be blown in by the wind of change in 2016 and beyond:
1. Revamps on WP-Admin
The highly interactive, user-friendly dashboard (WordPress’ coup de grace in user-friendliness, if you will) is also open-source and available to all for customization. This means a complete transformation of the way clients (website owners) have been interacting with and managing their websites on WordPress.
2. Innovative, Enterprise-Grade Apps (with WordPress in the back)
Since separation of content management and front end rendering layers is now possible (thanks to RESTful API), developers can now twist and turn the platform any which way and connect it to as many 3rd party applications as needed to create entire systems with WordPress providing the efficient, sleek admin panel and leaving the rendering to more capable hands.
While projects like Microsoft Dynamic AX is still in works, the future of enterprise-grade web applications using WordPress to serve content across different front ends. That’s what a true ‘content management system’ should look like.
We are already seeing some remarkable examples – Nomadbase.io which is rendered using Mapbox, Leaflet etc. in the front as WordPress compiles data in the back from social media profiles of users. StoryCorps, WSU Website, The Intercept, Benjamin Robinson’s stunning portfolio app, and countless others are experimenting their way into WP REST API goodness.
No more will the developers (and as an extension, their clients/ end-users) be restricted to the mercy of themes to do the work.
3. A Diverse WordPress Developer crowd
This makes for a more diverse community as the popularity of the platform shoots up with its applications in web development.
4. SSL and HTTP/2.0 Adoption
WordPress dashboard has had SSL for a long time now (Let’s Encrypt Initiative, anyone?), but it’s after 2015 (HTTP/2.0) that we will see some major changes in the way we have worked with security and performance measures for WordPress websites; with a shift to SSL as the norm rather than luxury especially for self-hosted WordPress.org websites.
The shift to HTTP/2 also marks a significant change in the ways of performance, especially in CDN arena. In 2016, you’ll see CDNs mandating SSL or SAN certificate (SSL available for free on letsencrypt.org… a secure web initiative sponsored by WordPress and other big players on the web technology market), DDoS protection features, and their DNS servers being used for improved speed.
Developers of WordPress themes and plugins will have to ensure SSL-readiness in their products, especially with some hardcoded HTTP/1.1 URLs embedded in the code.
It won’t be long before WordPress becomes just another layer within a technology stack used to create entire custom platforms, systems, and apps for a more secure web. We are in line to develop and provide rich, context-centric solutions built on an already versatile platform, a separation of concerns as developers use their own assortment of tools to develop fantastic apps to which WordPress delivers content from its ever friendly admin interface.
It’s a future I would love to be a part of.