Everybody loves to make predictions, especially this time of year. It’s human nature for us to analyze our environment and want to make educated guesses as to what is just over the horizon. We all do it. Yet few people actually follow through with checking on their predictions a year later. So let’s change that this year!
As a big fan of the Tech News Today podcast and their prediction and prediction results episodes, I asked all of you for your predictions on the Advanced WordPress Facebook page. I also wanted to make a few of my own for WordPress in 2014 so that I can be held to the fire next year.
Most of these predictions may never happen—they may just be crazy guesses—but you can’t surprise people if you only ever make simple predictions, so here we go…
WordPress Predictions for 2014
1. Someone will successfully integrate WordPress through a plugin or dropin to work with another database system.
With the discussion of some tools like Ghost using SQLite3 and the introduction of MariaDB being faster and somewhat backward compatible with MySQL (made by the same guys who originally created and sold MySQL), it’s only a matter of time before interest increases in other database systems.
MariaDB is the most likely suspect but the trend will move to SQLite3 yet my preferred option would be Postgres, which has built in hash store capabilities which I love. The major problem is that in order to make this possible may require monkey patching the WPDB class and may end up breaking any plugin that tries to write SQL to the database directly.
2. DesktopServer will become a potential acquisition target for Automattic—or others.
As I recently wrote about in an interview with my old friend Stephen, ServerPress, which owns DesktopServer, is doing an amazing job filling a niche market of making WordPress development easier, and the competition working at their level is almost nonexistent.
Though I myself promote using tools like WP-Chef with Vagrant for local and deployment purposes for WordPress, nothing beats local development and no one makes it easier than DesktopServer. When they launch their latest version it will be a tipping point for getting more people into developing for WordPress, and one of the larger WordPress companies—like Automattic or WooThemes—will have to take notice that this is an area they are missing from their portfolios.
3. There will be at least another 3 big new players into the Managed WordPress business and it will drive prices significantly down.
I love WP Engine and Pagely; they were some of the first folks to do managed WordPress hosting at a reasonable price with a customer service level better than anything that was on the market. Yet competition has arrived—Dreamhost released DreamPress, Zippy Kid rebranded to Pressable, and now GoDaddy is rumored to be entering the WordPress managed hosting space…
Plus, when you add in all of the new startups, like Flywheel for example, it becomes evident that there is a lot of innovation happening in the WordPress hosting space. And this will eventually dramatically reduce prices across the industry.
I see at least 3 new companies coming out over the next year to compete in this space full steam ahead, and that should also drive innovation even further. The big guys will continue to do well, and may retain their prices, but there will undoubtedly be a drive to the bottom again as there was with standard hosting.
I would love to see something like Handlebar.js templating natively in WordPress but since their move to sass for CSS I can see the trend growing to make WordPress a more deploy-ready streamlined app. That move may include differentiating production from development environments internally…but maybe I’m totally off on this one and it’s just the Ruby Dev in me wishing the unnecessary.
5. The Foundation will open up the repository to premium themes and plugins in order to help bring in more funds.
With the introduction of premium themes into WordPress.com, I can envision a day where premium plugins make their way into it as well. There has been an explosion of third party repositories offering premium plugins and themes. Though the Foundation has been strongly against it, it would make sense to open up the public repositories for select companies to sell and give a huge portion of their earnings to the Foundation App Store.
I know they have been strongly against it, and I would understand if this prediction never came true, yet I can see an implementation where users get offered the ability to login using their WordPress.org IDs and make purchases if they’d like to support the nonprofit.
So those are my predictions! Now it’s your turn—what are yours?
PS: I will do a follow up same time next year on what I got right and what I got wrong; please keep my fee to the fire and fell free to remind me if I made a prediction that didn’t pan out or congratulate me if I actually get something right. If you have something against any of these predictions, please share with me below or join the discussion on Advanced WordPress anytime you’d like. I hope your holidays have gone well and happy New Years everyone!
Self & School taught C++, Java, PHP, Perl and Ruby Open Source Developer working as a Software Engineer for SPAWAR Research (G2 Software Systems) with a BSCS degree. Started using and developing on WordPress in 2009 and started the AdvancedWP.org community in 2011 which now has over 1,400 members world wide across 3 social networks. Has spoken at over half a dozen or more WordCamps on a range of advanced topics. Message him on Twitter @bastosmichael.
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