Matt Mullenweg was the original developer of WordPress, and, although WordPress has grown way beyond anything a single developer can control, Mullenweg is a lead developer at the WordPress Foundation and CEO of Automattic, the company behind the Jetpack plugin collection and WordPress.com. His words carry a lot of weight in the WordPress community. It’s always worth paying attention to what he has to say about the future of WordPress and its community.
In June, Mullenweg made a speech at WordCamp Europe, in which he discussed where he sees WordPress going over the next few years.
WordPress vs. The Publishing Platform
I’ve often discussed publishing platforms like Medium on this blog. While they certainly make the process of getting content onto the web painless, they also remove much of a publisher’s control over their content, how it is managed and published, and – possibly most importantly – how it is monetized.
Mullenweg echoes many of the same sentiments. If a publisher is entirely reliant on Medium, then they’re at the mercy of Medium’s decisions about where the platform is going.
“They essentially have outsourced the entire future of their business in many ways to this platform which does not have a business model and is not certain how they’re going to monetize it, if they’re going to monetize it, and what effect that will have on both their readers and publishers.”
Self-hosted WordPress sites, on the other hand, leverage an open-source project and a massive ecosystem of plugins and themes to build a custom site entirely under the control of the site owner.
WordPress As An Operating System
“WordPress can be an operating system for the open web… As it grows, we shift the web to be more open, the APIs, everything.”
Under Mulleweg’s leadership, it looks like the WordPress project will continue with the innovative approach to content management that led to its current dominance.