What Would You Change In WordPress?

The second of a four part series which kicked off last Thursday with Why WordPress? Just as last time, RSS readers are missing out! Today the question twenty one of the WordPress community – developers, designers and bloggers – is answering is the question:

You have the power.
Second question. Hypothetically, you have the power to change one thing in WordPress. What would that be?

As with last time, in no particular order, here are the responses:

Strip out all of the worthless features and let plugin developers continue to improve ideas and innovate new ones. There is no reason for crap like post revisioning and image editing to be included in the WordPress core. Stick with the essentials, eliminate the fluff, and focus on optimization, security and performance. Basically, if I had the power, I would stop the bloat and eliminate the push for upgrades just for the sake of upgrades. Well, okay so that’s like two things, but it’s all kind of related.
Jeff Starr

WordPress has about 2 major release per year if not more, this makes it outdated easier especially when it comes to API and hence the documentation of it in codex may not be up to date. If I have the power, I will assign someone to have a official documentation rather than relying on the public to update it.
Lester Chan

If I could change just 1 thing (or rather, have 1 thing changed for me) it’d be easy-as-pie installation profiles. It could totally change the way WordPress is distributed and used.
Ian Stewart
I’m pretty sure they are headed this way – but to combine all of the current WordPress platforms. WordPress, WordPress MU, BuddyPress and bbPress all into one.
-Brian Gardner
There’s in my opinion too many updates. Otherwise, there’s really nothing to change on WP!
Jean-Baptiste Jung

I’ve been thinking about this question for long. I even asked my Twitter followers about it but wasn’t convinced by the feedback.

A couple of years ago, I would indeed have had a few stuff to answer. Most likely, I would have debated a bit about open source vs open development. A couple of years ago, I had the feeling that, while code was coming from a number of folks, but the project was clearly led and ruled by Matt (or so it seemed at least from an outside point of view). Namely, the 2.5 redesign was something completely closed. Nowadays, the dev process seems to be much more open: polls about features or UI, regular dev meetings.

Honestly, today, if I had to change one thing about WordPress, I don’t know what it would be. Maybe I would just kill everything related to the visual editor because I just hate this stuff 🙂

Not a thing. It’s perfect the way it is. Even if there’s a piece missing you can always find a plugin that fills the empty hole.
Indrek SaarnakUhm… I would probably make the image handling superiour, so that you could upload, crop, resize the image and have a built in dynamic resizer built-in. We use timthumb for that now, and it seems like all themes use this, so why not make it standard?
Magnus Jepson
It would be nice if there were a few less security releases. I don’t really see that as a huge inconvenience, it just shows me the developers are paying attention to any potential threats.I’m also a bit concerned the core is getting too “bloated” with code that would probably be better off in a plugin that could be installed separately. But again, I don’t see this as a huge problem.
Leland Fiegel
I’d like more fine-grained control over how thumbnails are made, how users can change the thumbnail image easily, and letting WordPress automatically choose a default thumbnail from the post images.Thankfully, WP2.9 devs seem to be ahead of me on this one! 😀
Michael Martin
Getting rid of Media features or anything which is not necessary (we have apps for those purposes) and anything else which pushes it to be bloated. In short I want it to be at its top notch performance par.

I’m also a bit concerned the core is getting too “bloated” with code

Speed – I’m obsessed with making things fast so optimising database tables and queries is high on my list. It would be nice if the existing code was refined more to make everything as streamlined as possible. Less is more.
Ben Gillbanks
I’d like to see a better API for HTTP response headers to set a very long expiration time for last years archive for instance. This is already possible … but not very elegant.The hard coded rel=”nofollow” attributes must go away. They’re yesterdays code.And the misuse of guillemets (»«) for arrows is … annoying. The default theme and many plugins have this bug.
Thomas Scholz

I wouldn’t change anything but instead, add an easy to use theme CSS editor. I’d be pretty happy if I could just take the basic styling system in vbulletin and put it into WordPress. People could then use more of a streamlined approach to editing their themes CSS file without having to go through a file with 300 lines of code in it. I would also provide a way for people to revert those changes to the original or at the very least, provide revisions for themes.
Jeff Chandler

I’d add full support of custom post/content types. The foundation is there and there’s been a lot of work done toward this goal in WordPress 2.9. What I’d like to do is type a few lines of code and have a new write panel open up in the admin that fully supports its own taxonomies and allows you to easily do all the things you can now do with other post types. It should also be easy to create new permalink structures for these post types. That’s at the top of my wishlist, and I’m hoping this is available in WordPress 3.0.
Justin Tadlock

I do not try to change WordPress or influence the direction it goes in. My relationship with WordPress has gotten better every year since I made this decision. There are a number of very smart people who are highly involved in every decision and I trust that they will make more good ones than bad ones.
Alex King

From a themers point of view, one of the things I’d love to see changed is the ability to decide where do you want to show a widget, at least for pages, and have a suffix field for each widget, to enable have differently styled widgets in the same sidebar.

This is a hard question to answer. I really wish there was a bit more flexibility (without the use of a plugin) as to where, when, how posts can be displayed without a ton of work hacking the loop.
Jason Schuller
Quite specific here, but having to re-click the media icon each time I want to insert an image into a post. I add images in after having written an article, and I find that infuriating.
Alex Cragg
Not to change anything though, I would want to have more options to generate thumbnails. Woulnd’t it be nice to implement a dynamic image handler tool into WordPress to call a thumbnail (eg where 150×100 image is being processed from attached image?
Mehmet Ozekinci

Another great round of interviews; thanks again to all those who answered :). Once again, I open the question to the floor: if you could change one thing in WordPress, what would that be? Do leave a comment.