What can you expect from WP 4.9?

Release WP 4.9

photo found on Unsplash

Soon the new version of WordPress is going to be released to the masses and as usual we write a post on what the upcoming version has to offer.

Unfortunately WordPress 4.9 is focusing on stuff nobody needs.

The release is centered around the Customizer as well as Widgets, neither of which are used much on sites we develop for our clients. And even if Widgets are in use, we have a very specific use for them and none of our clients would have the need to add short codes, videos or other nonsense to them.

And even for developers there is nothing much useful. In a bizarre move the Code Editor is becoming smarter. This Editor should never be used in the first place and we remove access to it in any and all sites we work on. It basically is only used by cowboy and cowgirl coders, which seems to be the group where WordPress is shifting its attention to lately.

We think that Matt Mullenweg and Core Dev Team are not seeing the line between .com and .org anymore or, at the very best it is blurry for them.

And then next in line will be the 5.0 release, which can become a turning point for every serious developer out there. Personally I don’t think we can expect a WordPress fork, but what will be much more likely is that some people simply don’t update WP anymore. By re-versioning 4.9.x to 499.x one can basically stop any future updates.

And then there are of course the very valid alternatives to WordPress:

  • Squarespace for simple hosted websites that don’t need any customization, see this article
  • Shopify for hosted ecommerce sites
  • Grav CMS, a flat file CMS using MarkDown, Twig and something we are seriously looking at as a replacement and already have a few live sites running on. See for example SO WP or the Lean WP Documentation site