The Dish On WordPress From Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg
- March 11, 2015
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About a year ago, WordPress Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg ran an “AMA” or “Ask Me Anything” open Q&A on Reddit. The personable entrepreneur covered multiple topics, from current to future projects, ideas and inspirations.
Take a look at some of our favorite excerpts below.
WordPress might not always be a CMS.
Q: Hey Matt, I was at your State of the Word in SF and you talked about moving WordPress more towards being an application framework rather than a CMS or blog platform. What specifically do you have in mind for this (better settings API, developer features, etc)? And then if you could break backwards compatibility (which really isn’t a option for WP), what would you really like to completely redo or add to WordPress? Thanks!
A: First and foremost the most important things for a platform are stability, speed, and security. To do those well you need the ability to push updates and fixes as close to real-time as possible. And it needs to work in every language. User authentication, data and caching abstraction.
A lot of what people think of as platform stuff is actually at the CMS layer — custom post types, taxonomy meta,
If backwards compatibility wasn’t a concern I would rename all the inconsistent column names and variables to match our style guide, drop TinyMCE, simplify the user roles and capabilities system, replace widgets with page blocks, redo the admin menu system, denormalize the DB, flatten dependencies and deep hierarchy in function execution, and completely reorganize the code so the bare minimum of files are included with any given request.
Akismet was created by WordPress, and it’s actually working quite well.
Q: Hit me with some Akismet stats.
A: We’re blocking 40-50 million more spam every day than we were last year. The volume of spam has been growing unusually fast.
WordPress may invest in other initiatives some time soon.
Q: If something in the future interests you enough to make WordPress/Automattic part-time for you, so you can take on something else or contribute to another cause, what might it be?
A: I’m really fascinated by micro-electronics, hardware, and the “internet of things” for lack of a better term. It’s surreal to be approaching an age that resembles the sci-fi I loved as a child.
WordPress was made for non-techies from day one.
Q: I find WP so much more user-friendly than the competition. Was that a conscious decision from the outset?
A: The first few users were friends of mine who weren’t into technology at all, so from the start we needed to make it work for regular people. As we grow it’s mostly just a matter of reminding ourselves of that, sitting down with them to see how they use the software, and anticipating their needs.
WordPress leaders are still actively involved in its daily workings.
Q: How directly involved are you in ongoing development?
A: I’m as involved in WordPress development as I was 10 years ago, it just manifests itself in ways that tend to be a lot more behind the scenes and less visible, which I don’t mind as I’m way more interested in things moving forward and the results than credit or recognition for any specific thing.