In his annual State of the Word, Matt Mullenweg laid out the release plan for WordPress in 2017. There will no longer be a strict release schedule, instead, updates will be announced only when they are completely ready. The editor will get a facelift, making it easier to create content. But perhaps the feature with the most buzz around it is the customizer.
Mullenweg’s vision is for a user to see changes as soon as they are made. “WordPress was created for publishing and editing and we should have the best interface in the world for that,” Mullenweg said.
The team took his words to heart and released the plan for WordPress customization in 2017.
More than the Customizer
Though the customizer itself will be a priority, there is more work to be done to impact the overall ease of customization on the site.
According to the announcement, “[the] goal is to improve the entire process of setting up a site, from initial installation to something you’re comfortable launching, to making changes to an existing site that has been live for some time.”
The ultimate objective is to be able to make sites developers and clients will be proud of.
As it stands
Though there is some intuitive customization options that users can utilize on their sites, custom changes often require a lot of work and knowledge of the back end.
“That’s fine if you’ve hired an agency, or you’re a developer building yourself a website — but not fine if you’re a freelance site builder/implementer (a market I see every day in my local community) or are trying to build something for yourself with limited time and budget,” the announcement said.
The team wants to make it easier for freelancers, small business owners, and beginners to make beautiful, professional sites without enlisting the help of others.
Starting the Year Off Right
The announcement lists things the team can start working on in the first few months of the new year. These are things that already have tickets and just need people to start work on them.
- Demo content on theme switch for an existing site
- Exploring a better onboarding experience
- Adding a media widget
- REST API endpoints
- Improved Custom logos
- and more
There are bigger problems facing customization that will need collaboration with the editor team.
- Content blocks
- Revisions you can see as you update
- Drafting, reviewing, publishing, and scheduling changes
According to the announcement, by the end of the year, the team hopes to have on-boarding guides that direct you through building a site, drag and drop capability, set up a site all in one screen, edit content as soon as you see it, and more.
As with all things WordPress, the team is looking for user input. If you have ideas or just want to help, stop by the meeting in the #core-customize channel in Slack on Monday, Jan. 23 at 10 am PST.