WordPress is Not Keeping Up
After working for two years with WordPress content management I’m starting to realize it is not always going to be the best open source system. WordPress does update regularly with security features and some usability. What it doesn’t do is look past the code to see what people actually need WordPress for and how they use it. Some of the most popular plugins include variations of:
- Search Engine Optimization
- User Profiles
- Custom Post Types
- Database Backup
While all of these would seem like fundamental features of the WordPress core the developers never seem to add them. Their logic may well be that there is no need to add it to the core when a perfectly good plug-in is available to do it for us.
WordPress Without Search and Replace
WordPress doesn’t include, at present, an easy way to manipulate page and post content en masse. This is something that surprised me considering WordPress uses a mySQL ISAM database. ISAM has always had the great ability to search within text fields for matching text, i.e.:
# A normal fulltext SEARCH matches ONLY UNIQUE strings SELECT * FROM test WHERE MATCH (article) against ('Molde has the best football team in Norway') # A BOOLEAN mode SEARCH matches words IN this example SELECT * FROM test WHERE MATCH (article) against ('molde' IN BOOLEAN mode); # A BOOLEAN mode SEARCH SELECT * FROM test WHERE MATCH (article) against ('+molde -music' IN BOOLEAN mode);
Recently mySQL INNODB also allows text searching built in. This is a strangely important feature when you think about it. For the average user (most clients) changing all URLs from www.example.com to www.example.net is well beyond their capabilities. Even something more common would be a customer pointing out a spelling error for the word “WrodPress” but not remembering what page it was on. A quick text search/replace in the administration of WordPress would fix that in a hurry.
WordPress Popular Plugins in the Core
Every WordPress website wants to be seen so why not include a built in meta for SEO? They could even use the text search capabilities above to create an set code which will fill in the meta description and keywords based on common words and phrase sequences.
As for a very demanded feature of user profiles I would think using two of the most long standing plugins S2Plugin and Members could easily be integrated in to the WordPress core.
While WordPress is known for its 5 minute install and friendly user interface for beginners it leaves much lacking in its core. Each update barely touches on what would benefit the massive community the most and many minor updates seem added on a whim. With hundreds of thousands of plugins to choose from, many that duplicate the functionality of another, WordPress developers appear to ignore what people want the most.
This approach to a content management system tells me that WordPress will have no long term future except with the most hard core fans.
Where to go from here
As developers we need to always look to the future. If we don’t then technology and consumer demands for the shiniest toy will leave us in the dust. So where do we go from here?
Myself, I’m looking towards some brilliant PHP Frameworks that, on their own, have many of the abilities I cited above already incorporated – most noted are the Yii Framework and Code Igniter Framework.