I have been using WordPress pretty frequently for about a year now. I’ve written two plugins and counting for the blogging CMS, ran a site dedicated to customizing themes for a while, and have been working hard with the rest of the WPCandy team to create the third version of the site, which I’m sure will be a huge hit among the WordPress community. I haven’t been using WordPress nearly as long as other people, but I have a good feel for the system, both front-end and back-end, and I have compiled a list of 30 things I think should be changed, added, or built in to WordPress.
The following suggestions are in random order. Some things may be able to be accomplished by plugins, but I believe these things should be built in. This list was created on April 28, 2008. If you see something outdated, let me know in the comments.
1. Customizable Color Schemes
WordPress 2.5 allowed users to change the color scheme of the admin area. This was a great change, except it gave you two options: the old colors, and the new ones. Give us a way to set the four main colors with a cool little AJAX color picker. What would be even better is if it supported PNG files from ColourLovers.com, where it automatically detects the colors in order and puts them into the scheme.
2. Cleaner Admin Source Code
The admin source code is disgusting, with its table-based structure and un-semanticness. Please clean it up and make it easier for us code ninjas to customize.
3. Login Form Tabbing
This will probably change soon, but something is screwed up with the admin login form tabbing – at least in Safari. You can easily tab from username to password, but the next thing it goes to is the address bar. Looking at the source the tab indexes are 10, 20, and…90?! Both “Remember Me” and “Login” are completely missed.
4. Add Hovers to Admin Tabs
I hate having to load a new page to access the subpages in the admin area. Just make them appear below on hover.
5. Plugin Installation and Options
When I install a plugin that has an options page, take me directly to it. Make the plugin options pages third-level so they don’t clog up my settings screen.
6. That ****ing WYSIWIG Editor
I’ve had enough. That WYSIWIG editor WordPress comes with has to go. It screws up my HTML, de-paragraphs my paragraphs, and twenty other things I don’t care to name. Believe it or not, some WordPress users are actually HTML ninjas, so let us talk in geek when we want to. For some reason, turning off the visual editor doesn’t seem to do much for anyone.
While on the topic of the WYSIWYG, let's make the
tags tell WP to ignore the code inside them so they work like they should.
8. Better Theme Editor
When I am forced by a client, friend, or my brain's password memorization sector to use the theme editor instead of FTP, at least try and make it a somewhat pleasing experience for me. I guess making the tab key usable for semantic gurus isn't a reality, but maybe make the text slightly smaller and add a quick-save option or something.
9. Customizable Login
This is somewhat related to issue number one, which suggests color palette functionality. Much like 37Signal's Basecamp software, it'd be nice to have a way to edit the login screen to add your own logo and customize colors.
10. Dashboard Customization
The WordPress Dashboard still sucks. I don't care about the latest comments, community news, or what theme I'm running. I'd love to see the Dashboard become more useful, with additions such as a quick post form and a bulletin board available for higher-level logged-in users.
11. Admin Bulletin Board and Private Messaging
I think the bulletin board is such a good idea it deserves its own number. It'd rock to have a way to post notes and stuff to other users. A private messaging system would also be sweet to have so you could easily communicate with other admins.
12. Admin Options When Logged In
There's a few plugins to do this, but the "admin bar" should be standard with the next version of WordPress. This bar is located at the top of the page that, when logged in, gives the user admin-related options such as posting, managing comments, etc. right from the page.
13. Quick Posting from Mobile Phone
It'd be nice to see a mobile-friendly page for WordPress that lets you write and edit posts, approve or delete comments, and perform other administrative options over your site. Matt Mullenweg's mentioned it, so let's see it come into reality.
14. Where'd the IDs Go?!
What happened to the IDs in the manage panel?? They used to be there, now they're gone. Let's catch the ID monster...
15. Theme Library API
This larger feature suggestion is 100% my original on-the-spot idea. Develop an API for the theme library. The current theme respiratory for WordPress is full of crap templates that are great for blogging about your 2001 expedition to a remote area somewhere in Asia and sharing it with your grandparents. With an API, "premium" theme websites, such as WPDesigner's Theme Club, PremiumThemes.net, and iThemes.com can let subscribers add their site to the WordPress admin for quick browsing of awesome themes. Granted, these themes obviously won't be able to be modified since they aren't on your server, but hey, for five bucks over at WPDesigner, what do you expect?
16. New Default Theme
This is something I've heard a lot of users comment on. Kubrick - the default theme shipped with every copy of WordPress - has been around for a while and by now it's outdated. Replace it with a sandbox-type theme, with admin options for less experienced users. ThemeShaper.com has gathered some nice ideas for a new sandbox theme.
17. Easy Plugin Integration
There are hundreds of great plugins out there for WordPress. There are also thousands of themes, and I've seen some that are made to work with certain plugins. Why not add a way for theme developers to package free plugins with their themes?
18. Theme Live Preview
It's sad we're taking this example from MySpace - and their version of this feature really sucks for advanced customizers - but the ability to preview your site with a new theme before activating it would surely be welcome.
19. More Flexible Post Display Options
One of my favorite things about Expression Engine is how much flexibility you have when listing posts on a page. The
query_posts function isn't a very good option because it ruins pagination. Things I'd like to see include post count (number of posts per page), category and particular post exclusion (including its date, category, etc.), and filtering options. The less PHP needed to do these, the better.
20. Multiple Weblogs
WordPress doesn't do it at all, and the multi-user version doesn't do it well enough. Just the simple ability to manage multiple weblogs would make WordPress an excellent option as a CMS for a simple website.
21. Fix the Freaking Blogroll
The typical WordPress sidebar includes a list of categories, archives, latest posts, and a list of links, which with WordPress is known as the Blogroll. Why in the world is the Blogroll always formatted differently? The categories and archives always list so nicely, but with thefunction, you can't seem to get rid of that title list item (which incidentally is wrapped in an
) and the formatting of unordered lists is different than the rest. The widgets seem messed up too - please make all of the sidebar functions a bit more uniform.
22. Universal Date/Time</strong
I am not a PHP guru, and therefore, I do not have all the date functions memorized. Instead of making us look up the PHP date/time functions each time we're displaying a date on the page, just make the option in the admin set the default date and time format, so every time
is used, it'll be the same every time. The date formatting option is there, it just doesn't expand into that particular tag.
23. Burn My Feed.
The first thing many serious bloggers do after starting a new blog is burn their feed at Feedburner. Even when that's done, the theme assigned to WordPress is still the default feed URL that comes with the site. Either enable feed burning from the admin or provide an easy way to change the link to your feed without entering the theme editor.
24. Built-In and One-Click Caching
For those of us who've been hit by the Digg effect, we all know what it's like to lose your site to thousands of eager readers. There's a caching plugin out there, but this should be built in and allow one-click caching of individual posts to avoid losing your site to heavy traffic.
25. Comment Notification
Beginning with version 2.0, Askimet, the popular comment spam filtering plugin, was shipped with the system. Of course, spam comments still float through my various blogs, so I keep the e-mail notification on for new comments, whether they're up for moderation or not. This may be a bit nit-picky, but please, don't send me an e-mail about a new comment after I've just moderated it myself. I'd like one when there's a new comment from a trusted author, but not after I've already clicked, read, and approved.
26. Auto-Run Askimet
What's up with the developer code that's needed to activate Askmet? This thing should begin running as soon as you install WordPress with no activation needed.
27. Comment Subscriptions
There's an excellent plugin to do this, but this should be built in.
28. Threaded Comments
There's another good plugin for this, but it's another feature that should just be built in.
29. AJAX Commenting
This would be freaking awesome - built-in comment posting with AJAX. It shouldn't take a whole lot of work, really.
30. Cleaner comments.php File
Right now it's a little hard to find your way around comments.php - the code is poorly organized. Please, clean it up.
That's all. If there's anything else you can think of that should be changed or added to the next version of WordPress, sound off in the comments and we might add it to the list. Thanks!