The Most Interesting Year in the History of WordPress and Drupal

That title sounds like clickbait, but I'm 110% convinced that it's true.  

Even in just the last 7 days, we've seen major changes.

In the Drupal world, Dries Buytaert reversed a fundamental Drupal principle. For 15 years, each new Drupal version has involved massive changes. No longer. Each version will now be backwards compatible. I'm often wrong, but I'm going to claim this one as an accurate prediction. This is absolutely the correct decision: huge, breaking updates are as out-of-date as punchcards in 2017.

Also, the Drupal community finally acted to fix the very broken process of submitting code to This should help increase the number of new contributors, which had been stalled.

In the WordPress world, Matt Mullenweg and Automattic launched an integration between Google Docs and WordPress. Wait. Isn't WordPress the best and easiest editor? No, far from it, according to Matt: "Google’s annotations, comments, and real-time co-editing are years ahead".

How can WordPress catch up? By improving the editor. There's a lot of experimenting going on in this area at the moment.

Check out the Gutenburg demo for an early preview. Even though it's not fully functional, you can see where WordPress is headed.

gutenburg is often a testing ground for ideas that eventually end up in the self-hosted version. So, it's not surprising that is also improving their editor. Check out the difference between the old version ...

old wordpress editor

... and the new version below. Notice how much cleaner the new editor is?

new wordpress editor

If you're interested in how the team tests and develops these new features, check out this excellent presentation by Mel Choyce from WordCamp US.

All of that happened in just the last week. We haven't even started talking about the REST API and Customizer changes in WordPress, or the Composer and Outside-in changes in Drupal.

All-in-all, this really is shaping up to be a fascinating year for both projects. Both WordPress and Drupal are brave enough to be fundamentally rethinking who and what they are.

If you're involved with these platforms, your work in 2018 could be radically different from today.

Let us know what you think about the new direction for these projects. Leave a comment below ...

About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.