WordPress.com Goes Open Source and Gets a Desktop App

Finally after a long time WordPress.com, the fully hosted version of WordPress, has a received one of its biggest updates ever today, it has been long time that Blogger.com has improved their interface so much back in years. This time a new Codenamed called Calypso is introduced, Automattic rewrote WordPress.com from scratch  and everything is new under the hood. Here are the big changes that you might want to see.

New WordPress.com Goes Open Source

First and most biggest update is that WordPress.com is now completely separated from the WordPress core and now its new admin interface interacts with WordPress core just like any other third party interface. The new tech what they are using is RestAPI to fetch the posts, publish new ones and to uploads files.

Second, the main team behind WordPress.com moved to an entirely new web software stack. Instead of tradition PHP and MySQL, the developers built everything using JavaScripts and API calls which will make your whole WordPress site that mostly runs in browser and very few or minimum hits made on servers.

Now WordPress.com will act as a single page application, that means that you will get a very few loading screens when you interact and navigate with the interface. The same thing will go for mobile and tablet as well, because everything is responsive now. The old WordPress admin backend is still present there which is accessible and you can still go directly to backend. But you also have another option now on WordPress.com if you are using a hosted WordPress.com blog, a self-hosted WordPress with the Jetpack plugin or a WordPress VIP site.

Finally, everything is open source on GitHub. You can look at the code, fork it, and reuse it as long as you comply with the GNU General Public License version 2. But the WordPress.com team didn’t stop there. You can also download a new Mac Desktop App to access WordPress.com. In many ways, this app works like the Slack desktop app. It leverages web technologies and desktop features so that you get more or less the exact same thing as on the WordPress.com website, but with a few goodies, such as notifications. Windows and Linux apps are in the works.

The new interface of WordPress.com looks cool and I downloaded the app and played with it for a few minutes. If you’re familiar with the WordPress.com interface, you’ll feel right at home as it looks exactly the same. But it’s always nice to have an app icon in the Dock for instant blog updates. Here are some screenshots.

WordPress Mac App
WordPress Mac App
WordPress Mac App Editor
WordPress Mac App Editor

So why did Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, go through this painful rewriting process? WordPress.com now feels and works like a modern web app. It’s back in the game against newcomers, such as Medium. While the editor lacks many features that WordPress power users make use of, WordPress.com is a clean, efficient writing interface that should appeal to many people who are writing today on Medium.

Almost more than 25 percent of the websites today runs on WordPress. This is no small feat, and WordPress isn’t the young, hustling startup working against bigger companies – it’s a web giant. With today’s move, Automattic proves that it is still aware of its environment and potential threats. It’s an encouraging sign for the future of WordPress.