If you missed it, make sure to check out State of the Word from WordCamp – Part 1.
“WordPress should be invisible” was something I loved to hear Matt Mullenweg say during his “State of the Word” address at WordCamp San Francisco. What did he mean by that? He was trying to say that WordPress should be out of the way so you can focus on your content. This means a few things. First, WordPress needs to be extremely easy to use so you don’t have to think about what you’re doing, and fast so it’s not frustrating to use. Second, WordPress needs to be powerful so that you’re never in a position where it’s keeping you from doing what you want. Lastly, in order to accomplish the first two things, WordPress needs to be flexible and have supporting tools. If you try to make it do everything, then it will end up too complex. If you make it too simple, it won’t do everything. Flexibility and plugins is the only way to have the best of both worlds.
To address the ease of use and speed issues, Matt talked about how they have been “focusing on making it faster”. The release of version 2.8 has been greatly delayed, but Matt assured everyone that the delay was not without reason. They have been concentrating on infrastructure, trying to simplify things and speed them up.
To address the need to do everything, Automattic has worked on the plugin system (especially the Widget System). They have also been releasing some of their own stuff, such as PollDaddy, WordPress.com stats, intenseDebate comments, and their soon to be released VideoPress. Add that to the quickly growing list of quality plugins from popular sites like picApp means that you can easily make WordPress do nearly anything you want.
Lastly, Matt says they’re doing plenty to make WordPress easy to extend. My favorite idea that he talked about was canonical plugins. Basically, WordPress would officially “bless” a plugin as the main plugin for a specific purpose, to encourage the community to get behind it. For example, maybe Twitter Widget Pro would be chosen for handling Twitter feeds. Since the plugin is marketed by WordPress as the standard for a specific purpose, it would be more likely that someone would help make the plugin better rather than just make their own similar plugin. This should REALLY help plugins progress.
Something else that Matt mentioned is that WordPress is one of the fastest growing “skills in demand” on freelance sites. It’s officially the fastest growing skill on Elance, and has seen a 427% increase in popularity on oDesk, putting it in higher demand than writing or SEO! The great thing about these numbers is that the more a skill is in demand, the more people will try to meet that demand, which means the next time you need WordPress Development, it will be easier to get it done. Thanks everyone for making WordPress better.