In Response to Matt Mullenweg on a “Radically Simplified WordPress”

Thanks to WPMU, I came across an interesting post by WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg, entitled “Radically Simplified WordPress“.

In the post Matt talks about the need for a radical simplification of WordPress to meet the demands of an increasingly mobile technological landscape – smart phones and tablets.

His point is that as mobile technology increases and the relationship between content and consumer evolves, publishing platforms run the risk of being left behind. Or at least they’re having to play catch up.

Since WordPress is of course one of the major publishing platforms on the Web, it stands to reason that Matt and his team at Automattic would want to bring WordPress up to speed.

Matt sees the simplification of wp-admin as one of the key elements in bridging that gap. He makes it clear that it’s “not a matter of a responsive stylesheet or incremental UX improvements, it’s re-imagining and radically simplifying what we currently do, thinking outside the box of wp-admin.”

With this video, I offer a humble response to these ideas and to suggest that there is an opportunity here not only to think “outside the box”, but to rethink the box altogether.

What do you think about Matt’s idea. Is a user interface overhaul going to be enough to make the most of the potential of mobile? How far is WordPress behind when it comes to exploiting the potential of mobile devices? I’d love, as always, to hear your thoughts.

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About the Author: Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.


  1. Well said!

    I think posterous was ahead of wordpress on this. Their UI was much simpler and still created beautiful sites with intuitive ease. All be it with less customization options. Their App bridged the gap for mobile quite well I thought. It’s too bad they never got a greater hold in the CMS world.

    WordPress and theme developers have serious work to do for the admin UI to go mobile and for the framework to adapt to the mobile landscape.

    At the end of the day, it’s about less options in the UI in my opinion. For example are both tags and categories really necessary?

    It seems close by to be able to add any content via mobile, but far off for any actual development or custom “site-build/dev” or theme development to go mobile.

    1. Some good points there Chris. I also liked Posterous. Such a hard market to break into though. Tumblr dominates microblogs and WordPress dominates blogs. Everyone else seems to struggle in between.

      I think the sentiment of “so near, yet so far” is spot on. I can well imagine mobile WordPress, but somehow I don’t think it will be as radical as Matt makes it out to be. I may be wrong. Time will tell.

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