WordPress will be around for a bit longer…

It’s true! In 2020, 80% of websites are still using PHP, 77% use jQuery, and WordPress has 63% of content-management system (CMS) market share.

And, “worse,” the numbers are increasing. Only it’s not really “worse” at all. When you’re running a business it’s not necessarily “worse” to use common, standard technology as long as it performs well, is easy to operate, and as long as people who can support the technology are easy to find and no more expensive to hire than plumbers, electricians, or general contractors.

It’s an uncomfortable secret in the industry that sites that are custom built with more cutting-edge technologies are often very difficult and expensive to modify. The cutting edge moves very quickly, with the result that the hot development stack from just a year or two ago may now be virtually obsolete. With the result that it’s very difficult to find someone who can quickly understand and modify your site without spending hours or days reproducing the old programming environment, let alone mastering the code used to build it.

In my experience as a WordPress developer it’s often easier just to rebuild an older custom-coded site from scratch in WordPress than to wade into the old code.

For better or worse, WordPress has 17 years of practice handling updates. And for better or worse, WordPress has always had a firm commitment to backwards compatibility. And for better or worse, WordPress has had 17 years of tracking down and squashing bugs.

The comic asks what cool new web technologies will be available in 2030. I’m not promising that WordPress will still be the standard web platform in 2030. By 2030 WordPress may no longer be written in PHP! But! Chances are that for any given year in between there will be a decent migration path from “old” WordPress to “new” WordPress, just as there has been for the last 15+ years.

Analogy: is it “worse” that the number of delivery trucks and vans is growing? Not particularly — as business goes more and more online it makes sense that more businesses are delivering products to customers instead of having customers drive to pick them up. And it’s not like delivery truck technology is standing still — they’re becoming more electric, they’re getting better navigation and collision controls, drivers are becoming more sophisticated, and same with delivery scheduling and routing!

It’s the same with WordPress! As more and more people use it, it’s evolving to meet new needs.

WordPress won’t be around forever. But it will still be around in 2030.

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David Innes, RealBasics.com

I've been building and maintaining websites since 1997 and building and supporting similar hypertext-driven software since 1987. I've done maintenance, support, and maintenance for physical and digital systems since 1981. And no, I still haven't seen it all but by now I usually know where to look. More about David Innes...