The reasoning behind the new open source WordPress.com interface, named “Calypso,” is simple. The existing PHP codebase served the company and the WordPress community well since the company’s founding in 2003, and made a lot of sense three, five, and certainly ten years ago. But in the super-fast, mobile-first era, it had become a hindrance.
“What would wordpress.com look like if we were to start building it today?” – Andy Peatling & WordPress Core Team
The most strong pushback to Calypso comes from WordPress users who joined the community for its ease of use. According to Lorelle VanFossen, a web design and blogging trainer at Clark College and the author of Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging, her students’ “reaction to Calypso is usually one of misery, not joy and ease.” They get lost trying to accomplish small tasks and want to continue using their blogs as they were prior to the November Calypso launch.
“All I want to do,” one student wrote, “is continue with my blog as it is now. I don’t appreciate other people deciding that the process should be changed.”
Users can now edit their sites from anywhere, on any device, and see their changes in real-time without having to refresh their page. They can also manage all of their WordPress and Jetpack-enables sites from one URL with sleek new editing features that allow for easy in-page previews and instant publishing.
For now, WordPress users can opt to use only the old interface, but how can competitive developers confidently stay put in the past when, as Matt Mullenweg puts it, “the new shiny open source thing that powers the core business is right there?” How long should a stubborn PHP developer wait until his site feels “awkwardly antiquated?”
At that point, it won’t just be his or her site that is antiquated – it will be their skillsets and capabilities too. Like it or not, Calypso is the future of WordPress, and even with a rocky road, it’s very exciting. Don’t dawdle.