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Happy New Year! Let’s look at 3 predictions I have for WordPress in 2024.

1. New Admin Changes the Game

The biggest change in WordPress coming, for me, will be the redesigned admin.

I think when any software gets a redesign it brings in more people to try it out, poke around, and take it for a test drive. It will be a milestone moment as far as the end user experience is concerned.

I do think it will also set the stage for the most long term prediction we’ve been making about WordPress for a while: custom experiences.

If the admin components are powered by blocks with a powerful API model under the hood, we’ll finally see WordPress hosts building out their various flavors of WordPress. Imagine an Admin Editing experience similar to Site Editing experience. End users could customize what’s displayed in the admin based on user roles without the need of plugins.

WordPress professionals would have the ability to present the CMS as a dialed-in solution for “regular” end users.

Want just a blogging platform? Let’s build your experience for that.
Want a bespoke directory for content? We’ll tailor the admin experience for you.

I can’t wait for the new admin experience to land!

2. A New Addition to the Culture of WordPress

As WordPress continues to grow its share of the market, inevitably we’ll reach a point where we bring on people that don’t share in the same romance we do for the software.

And that’s okay.

Users that see WordPress for the powerful tool that it is, but aren’t necessarily bought into the idea of the “community” as we know it today.

It’s a good opportunity to see WordPress thrive in terms of numbers and an increased user base. The other opportunity is to welcome these users into the space, understand that they might not be interested in going full throttle on the community side, but to show them the benefits of how this open source project operates.

That’s the real chance to see WordPress thrive for years to come.

3. AI Decisions to Make: Closed Source vs Open Source

Matt Mullenweg urged us to learn AI deeply — again.

One big push I haven’t seen from the Automattic side is for calling on open source AI solutions. For those of you that haven’t spent much time looking at the various AI technologies out there, heading over to HuggingFace website will show you some of the open source tech available to us.

Founders of other WordPress AI solutions that I’ve interviewed have told me that closed source AI tech is just faster and better.

I think that’s the case for a lot of new open source tech vs closed sourced at the start.

Jetpack uses ChatGPT for its features, so I assume that the same closed source tech is used inside WordPress.com AI features. It’s a bit of a crossroad for Mullenweg and team to be about the open web, but at the same time, deeply integrating a closed source system. Especially one that we saw become so brittle as an organization, and is now facing heavy scrutiny (and lawsuits) from publishers.

I hope 2024 is the year of open source AI tech for WordPress.

Important links

Now it’s time for some of the important links that you don’t want to miss this week!

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