Yesterday Automattic (the company behind WordPress) announced Calypso, a new admin interface for anyone using a WordPress website.
It seems like there is a lot of misinformation in the community. Let’s clear this up and understand what it means for us as Web Developers.
WordPress just moved to Node.js. https://t.co/5oV5m7scM1
— Mikeal Rogers (@mikeal) November 23, 2015
WordPress is not being rewritten in Node.js
Relax. WordPress is written in PHP, but the Calypso admin interface for WordPress is written with popular front end tools like React and Lodash.
What about WordPress is Node.js?
So, why are we seeing tweets about Node.js? Well, almost all front-end tooling is built in Node.js. Calypso is built with popular node tools like WebPack, Babel, Jade, Uglify, Hot Loader, Marked and over 100 other modules.
This is how the front end space is evolving and frankly I’m glad to see WordPress start using them because its one space we don’t see a lot of people using these tools.
Isn’t it just for WordPress.com accounts? What about self hosted? Plugins? Custom post types?
Calypso is an editor and an RSS reader for WordPress.com sites. You can, however, use it to manage your self-hosted WordPress account. Once you enable Automattic’s JetPack plugin, you can manage your content with Calypso.
I went ahead and built a copy locally to try it out.
Right now, you can only manage, Pages, Posts, Themes, Menus, Plugins and a few settings. Everything you need to manage a blog.
What is missing is an interface for custom fields, custom post types and any custom interface that a plugin would expose. This is a deal killer for most devs as we aren’t using WordPress just as a blog, but I can only assume this will be coming.
What does this mean for me as a WordPress Dev?
Right now? Nothing. But this is thunder in the distance as to what is to come in the WordPress.
It’s all about the experience
Since Calypso is open source, I’m curious to see what will come next. I can imagine developers like Elliot Condon from Advanced Custom Fields and the folks at Web Dev Studios are excited about this. This means we can build much more flexible plugin and admin interfaces which will in turn make clients extremely happy.
There is a reason why things like Squarespace are becoming popular — the interface for creating a beautiful website is a breeze and WordPress is now _react_ing in a huge way.
So as a WordPress builder, don’t rush to this, but don’t write it off – keep an eye on it.