The new WordPress

I was checking out the latest update to WordPress and noticed a couple of features were big steps forward in terms of the flexiblity of the platform. But firstly, a bit of background. WordPress is not the blogging platform that it was even five years ago. Back then it was better than Microsoft’s Community Server offering, but was still seen to be lightweight when compared to Drupal or Moveable Type.

Moving forward five years; WordPress now is a much more mature offering and gets used for offerings that would be well out it’s natural heritage like e-commerce sites. I was speaking with a friend of mine who is moving to the US to manage all the websites of a large global agency where all the sites will be hosted on one instance of WordPress. This is the kind of job that large corporates would have relied on an enterprise content management system for; like Vignette (since purchased by OpenText) would have paid customers six figure sums in licence fees.

And whilst there isn’t the deep workflow integration that Vignette’s offerings would have given at the moment, WordPress is now in such a central position that the likes of Salesforce.com will likely work how to fill those gaps (if they were really  necessary in the first place for many businesses).

But WordPress isn’t sitting on its laurels, the developers have worked on a raft of improvements for the latest iteration:

  • Improving co-writing capabilities, making it faster for one author to hand off to another
  • A Tumblr importer. When I moved to WordPress, it made the process of moving in posts from Blogger really easy to provide an easy on-ramp. Tumbler is the new blogger, its emphasis on visuals mean that it is less daunting than the blank page of traditional blogs
  • More powerful editing tools and an API that allows widgets and themes to provide a more customisable dashboard