If you love all things WordPress, you’ll love WordCamp. WordCamps are two-day conferences that popup in cities around the world. As the name suggests, they focus on everything related to WordPress, the leading content management system (CMS) used to create and manage websites. Since we’re big fans of the platform here at Swim, attending WordCamp Minneapolis was a chance to learn from industry pros and share ideas with our peers. While WordCamp also covers content marketing, design, and community building, here are some highlights from the web development track. Warning: this post may contain developer-speak.
One message rang loud and clear at WordCamp: we’re approaching a pivotal moment with WordPress. Version 4.4 took the first steps toward WordPress’s REST API, something that until this point was only available via plugins. And while you’ll still need to grab the plugin to access the API’s endpoints, there remain substantial implications for the future of the platform.
- Native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone powered by WordPress
- An optional WordPress front-end where WordPress itself is just another application hitting API endpoints
A New Way to Build Themes
- Improved animations and transitions for smoother interactions and navigation
- Faster speeds with more server-less access to stored and pre-fetched content
- Opportunities to create and control offline experiences
If you’re looking for some real world examples, check out:
WP Tavern’s article on ustwo
Picard WordPress Theme
As as aside, Partner & Art Director Reid Piefer, was one of the speakers I saw at WordCamp Minneapolis
WordPress-Powered Mobile Apps
APIs for WordPress aren’t a new idea. The API has existed as plugin for years and even the popular JetPack plugin also offered a JSON API module. As such, WordPress as a backend for mobile apps isn’t a new idea. Here at Swim, we launched the DSSO app in 2014, an iOS and Android app powered by WordPress.
Ionic Framework (my favorite)
As WordPress continues to roll out its REST API, we’ll likely see a boom in WordPress-powered hybrid and native mobile apps.
Do we need wp-admin?
I’m going to close with this question. Do we need wp-admin? Obviously for the immediate future yes. Though, the technology is certainly available to work around it.
During Reid Peifer’s talk at WordCamp, he described a project that required a custom interface for WordPress content authors in rural Africa because of slower connectivity and internet speeds. In his case, he was mostly concerned with file sizes and page load times.
Yet, I could argue (WordPress purists don’t read this next part) that regardless of internet speeds, there are cases when WordPress’s UI is just plain unnecessary. Think micro-task stuff. Managing stock may be a perfect example:
I just ran outta Hello Kitty handbags on my online store. I pull out my phone and hop on my super snazzy companion app for my WordPress site. It lets me manage my inventory with a simple on/off switch. I can quickly update my stock so I can get back to being kawaii.