Ok, so first up I know it might be a little late to be doing yearly predictions in February. I’ve had this post sitting here for a few weeks now so I thought I would publish my thoughts anyway. The predictions I have might be a little bold, but frankly safe predictions are boring. Having said that, although they may be bold I think that all these predictions are definitely more than possible.
WordPress gets an “App Store”
WordPress.com or WordPress.org will finally gets an “app store” for paid/premium plugins. It somehow seems more likely that this will happen to WordPress.com first, and I don’t think it will be a full-blown app store to start with, ala apple, but there will be the beginnings of an app store. First you will see Automattic products available for purchase, such as Akismet, Poll Daddy and VaultPress. We may even see a few select premium plugin providers invited to participate in much the same way a select few theme developers were chosen to sell themes on WordPress.com
Left Field: It’s also likely that we see other members of the community band together to form their own app store. MassivePress is a perfect example of how this might happen.
WordPress + Social
I think pingbacks are great way of connecting other websites and conversations on the web but it would be great if this could be extended further. For example it would be great to be able to keep all the WP.org sites that I follow/manage in one place much like you can on WP.com.
I know that Automattic is looking to build more bridges from WP.com to WP.org, which is the long-term idea for JetPack. Although some more social feature would be cool, this will be tricky to balance to get right.
Better Media Experience
Media in WordPress finally gets some loving. This is more of a wish (plea!) as this has been an ongoing “joke” in the WordPress community, but I think 2012 will see it get some much needed attention. Even basic things like being able to categorise media, replace and existing file (instead of re-linking every instance) and better sorting would be a nice start.
WordPress Dominates the Web
WordPress CMS share will reach 20% of all CMS’s. I know this is a pretty ballsy prediction, but right now its currently sitting at 15.7% of the entire web and during 2011 WordPress CMS market share grew by and average monthly growth rate of 1.71%. If it does the same average growth rate in 2012 it will reach 19%, but I am going to bet that its has a little more steam given that currently 22 of every 100 newly registered domains in the US have WordPress installed.
Party Up Front
This is more of a wish than a prediction, but I know it is definitely on the cards for WordPress. WordPress will get more front end editing functionality. As Matt Mullenweg said, the Admin Bar is the starting point for front end editing. Unfortunately I think WordPress spent way too much time chasing Tumblr in 2011, when they should be looking at the front end capabilities that Drupal and even more so that Squarespace have been working on. People don’t want dashboards, they want an easy way to update content. See Scribu’s front end editor which I think makes for a nice stepping stone.
So there you have it, my 5 WordPress predictions for 2012. I’ll see you all back here in 11 months where we can scrutinise the results. Do you have you own predictions? Please leave them in the comments below.