A couple of weeks ago there was quite a lot of talk within the WordPress themes community about the future of WordPress. Ian Stewart started it, and then it spread around the blogosphere... so I thought I'd offer my rather late tuppence worth.
First a quick round up of the current posts:
- What’s in store for WordPress themes in 2009?
- WordPress Themes In 2009
- Looking into the future of WordPress
- What is the Future of WordPress themes?
The current argument is revolving around theme frameworks. Many people think this is where things are heading - and there are a few who disagree.
As I said in a comment on Adiis blog (and others seem to agree), I think people are approaching this from different angles. Adii looks at things purely from his perspective, his end users are the people he sells themes to, and most people who buy themes are unlikely to want to edit them.
Ian and the people he questioned are coming at things from a different perspective. Their audience are developers and they want to make theme development easier. Some would argue that this approach is more complex but that's not the issue.
I think both groups are missing the point. Whether we use theme frameworks or not the future of WordPress will be dictated by the way people use the software.
Personally I think WordPress is going to move away from simply being a blogging tool.
Earlier this week I mentioned how I think blogging is evolving, and I see WordPress evolving to match. With version 2.7 of WordPress pages were demoted in the navigational hierarchy but I think that will be changing (If not in the core then through plugins). More and more people are using WordPress for cms style sites.
I think people will stop using WordPress solely for blogging and use it for many more things. We've already seen examples of this with themes for Estate Agents and the like. I also think more complex plugins will be released that will continue the trend of turning WordPress into a complete website solution, in fact I hope to make one or two of these myself.
From a development point of view theme frameworks will continue to grow in importance and popularity but I really think that the technology comes second to how it's used, and it's this that will drive the future of WordPress themes.
I think these are fantastic times for both WordPress and blogging and I am looking forward to seeing how the two of them continue to evolve.