Ways WordPress Could Be (Should Be) Improved – 2019

by Johnny Dean, PMP. Industry Expert in Web Development, Ecommerce, Enterprise Technologies, Marketing/UX, Project Management, WordPress. @johnnydeandotco
PUBLIC DRAFT: Additional updates are pending for this article and will be published soon.
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  • WordPress is basic (out of the box).
  • Content Management needs more options.
  • Potential for enterprise development.

I’ve been working with WordPress awhile (since 2006) and have developed/worked on 100+ WordPress websites (front-end and backend). These are improvements I would suggest to help make WordPress an even better product/CMS.

Statistics

Today, WordPress is being used by 22.8 millions websites.

Corporate Identity

Most of these suggested improvements are more geared to larger WordPress websites, usually managed by a team/business. Although WordPress is marketed as a free open-source content management system for a general websites or blog, most businesses are using WordPress as their online corporate identity and/or to manage their services and products (ecommerce).

Improvements

  • Content
  • Theme Features
  • For Developers
  • Administration
  • Plugin Replacements
  • Nice To Have

Content

  1. Publishing workflow improvement – The user experience of managing posts is on the a bit too simplistic side. While there is some authoring states (draft, private, password, published), the ability to pass content through a review process is non-existent.
  • Individual authors: Posts should have multiple “Published” options as most websites managed by individuals are in a constant state of authoring.
  • Team authors:
  • Corporate authors:
  • Agency authors:
  • News authors: This is probably the most complex workflow since a post (article) can take days, weeks, month to compete having gone through various editors and checks and supplemental articles, media, references.
  1. A/B Testing (pages) new
  1. Cloud hosting (media) new – One of the most daunting tasks of maintaining a website with lots of posts/content is managing the post images/media (featured images).
  1. External Content (API) improvement – Posts are treated as isolated entries of content, mostly manually entered by an administrator/editor.
  1. Front-end Page Builder new
  1. Hashtags (not replacing tags) new – Out of the box WordPress lets you categorize posts in categories and tags. Categories are mostly used to manage the navigation menus. For larger websites, tags can get quite out of hand. Even with nested tags the task of better organizing content can still be a bit confusing, especially for search engines (SEO).
  1. Spell-check new – I still can’t get over how this most basic feature is not a standard feature. My assumption is since most web browsers automatically add the red squiggly line, this feature is not low on the to-do features list.

Theme Features/Development

  1. Better Default Themes improvement – One of the biggest complaints about WordPress is the basic default themes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a published WordPress website that is actually using any of the default themes. Business owners (or anyone who wants a nice looking theme) has to resort to either hiring a web developer/designer to make a custom theme or purchase a “premium” theme.
  • While most premium themes look great (in the demo), the implementation of the theme to your website and content usually is far from the design you purchased.
  1. If/Else Logic (on hooks/widgets/layout/etc) new
  1. Mobile theme (AMP, not just responsive) new
  1. Inline content editing (via the theme) new
  1. Comments via social graph (API) improvement

For Developers

  1. Child Plugins (i.e. child themes) new
  1. Built-in Debugger (backend and front-end) new – Most WordPress Developers are not classically trained Engineers and with WordPress built on PHP there are not a lot of debugging tools available to the Developer. One of the things that has made WordPress the leading CMS solution on the market is the development community. The ability to create custom themes and plugins.
  1. Customizer (API) improvement – To many themes make the administrator make theme design settings through a custom interface.
  1. Editor Blocks (API) improvement
  1. Query Gutenberg Blocks new
  1. Version Snapshots new
Advanced Development (Enterprise)
  1. Application framework new major request
  1. Headless CMS new
  1. Personalized Content new
  1. Environment synchronization new
  1. Dynamic Theme Parts new
  1. Enterprise Integration new

Administration

  1. Client Admin/Dashboard new major request
  1. Agency Dashboard (white label) new
  1. Content synchronization (API) new
  1. Settings synchronization (API) new
  1. Custom Post Types improvement
  1. Admin Permissions new
  1. Users synchronization (single sign-on) new
  1. Dashboard changelog (settings) new

Plugin Replacements

  1. Caching/Speed new
  1. Backups new
  1. Subscribe (Newsletter) new
  1. SEO new
  1. Ecommerce new
  1. Membership (Users) new
  1. Custom Fields (better then the default) improvement

Nice To Have

  1. Content summary (list) new
  1. Content 508 compliance new
  1. Content localization (translation) new

 

Johnny
@johnnydeandotco

NOTE: This article was posted, taking WordPress 5.2 in review.