May 27, 2003: this date marked the initial release of WordPress as it was made publicly available. Sixteen years later, WordPress is still growing in popularity and depending on the source, 34 percent or more of all websites on the internet use WordPress. Like with anything else, age and increased popularity bring the need to adapt to stay current.
Agencies and developers are getting smarter in what to use for specific scenarios and needs. WordPress still serves its classic use-cases well, as a blogging platform or a Content Management System (CMS), but there are some new trends to pay attention to.
Let’s take a look at these WordPress trends to get a glimpse into which WordPress programming language you should use to extend your latest WordPress sites:
Going headless bypasses the need for traditional WordPress themes and allows developers to utilize WordPress for content management while keeping the look and feel of the website controlled by a favored framework. Even if you still need plugins for specific parts of your site, the functionality is still there to be utilized, while clients are able to manage their content in the familiar WordPress interface.
While you can still use the “Classic Editor” until (at least) December 31, 2021, using the Classic Editor plugin, it would be a great idea to start learning Gutenberg now if you plan to use WordPress in the future.
WordPress Programming Language #2: PHP
Take the time to learn PHP standards that apply to PHP versions 7.1 and beyond. The reasoning for this is PHP5.x up to 7.0 is already end of life. Learning older standards would only apply if you were to work in a legacy environment. You can still utilize older versions of PHP on Liquid Web Servers with cPanel, Managed WordPress, and Managed WooCommerce servers for the time being.
Do understand that learning a PHP framework is quite a bit more complex than learning to make a theme for WordPress, for instance. Learning programming principles will go a long way towards understanding concepts outside of the WordPress ecosystem.
Here are some reliable sources to help you begin learning PHP:
If you already have a workflow that allows you to produce quality work for a large number of clients then that is great. You likely do not need to change much. If you wish you could provide a bit more to your clients or feel like you have grown stagnant, changing things up by learning a new framework or a new language might be something to consider.