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6 WordPress features we need

WordPress has been around for a very long time and I know from experience that developers don’t seem to have a clue what typical users want. I’ve been frustrated like many other people are when certain WordPress features should be part of the core. We end up having to install too many plugins, even for a single function.


WordPress Features that Should be Part of the Core

When I say core, I am referring to the default settings and functions of WordPress that are there for you when you first install WordPress. Over the years, I have used other content management systems, Movable Type and Joomla! to name a couple. What I will do is compare a few standard features of Joomla! — a powerful CMS that is used for actual content creation and management — to that of WordPress features. The one thing I’ve noticed when installing and using WordPress is that there is very little in actual content management built into this popular CMS. Before  I move on here, let me state that WordPress is actually a blogging content management system. This means it was built for blogs.


WordPress Features – Update Themes & Plugins with the Installer

Many people are familiar with the update notification they get when logging into the dashboard and having 1-click update capability for themes and plugins. However, this only works if you installed either one from the website, but not from third party websites. There are a few sites that have that feature, but for most they do not. If you try updating a theme using the theme installer, you are greeted with the lovely message of: “The destination folder already exists” Without getting into a lot of boring technical talk, basically it means you have to use an FTP program to update a theme or plugin. In Joomla!, I can easily use the installer to update anything because it simply overwrites the existing extension (what Joomla! calls plugins). Now if we could get WordPress to offer that feature, people would not have to use or be scared of using FTP for updating; just install the item again after downloading it.


WordPress Features – A Proper Content Editor

The default editor in WordPress is very basic and very restrictive as to what type of content you create. One thing that has been a major frustration is how it changes your content. It adds paragraph tags where you don’t want them. If you switch to the code view (which really isn’t a code view) to add HTML content, it changes your code, or worse, it can remove code that you add.  There is also a lack of editor features; you need a third party plugin to get everything that should be in a true content editor. Enter Gutenberg – This is a new editor that WordPress is about to become the default editor while completely replacing the existing one. Sounds like a good thing but this Gutenberg editor has brought on an enormous amount controversy and backlash. gutenberg editor If you want to read all the posts related to Gutenberg and comments, check out all the Gutenberg posts at WPTavern. I mentioned earlier that the current editor as we know it is going to be replaced with the Gutenberg editor. This should be a plugin option for users, but what we really need is a fully functional content editor for creating a variety of content. They should have focused on building a more usable editor, or at least greatly enhance the TinyMCE editor that comes in WordPress.


WordPress Features – Hide Page Titles

I find it confusing why this is not part of WordPress, but when you create a post or page, why is there no setting to disable the title from the editor? Unfortunately to do this, you need a third party plugin. The really bad news here is that there used to be a few plugin options for this but there are none that are kept up-to-date or functional without problems.


WordPress Features – Hide Widget Titles

Ever find yourself wanting to disable widget titles from the front-end of your website but discover you cannot do that? Again, you have to find a plugin that does that single feature. Let’s say you want to add a banner or slider to your site. Obviously you do not want a widget title showing so you have 3 choices:

  1. Do some custom CSS code to hide the title
  2. Don’t enter a title in the widget title field
  3. Find a plugin that hides widget titles

After all these years, why has this not been built as a WordPress feature by default? It would be great to hide a widget title from the front-end but show it in the Admin area.


WordPress Features – Show Widgets on Select Pages

Another annoyance is the fact you cannot publish a widget to select posts or pages. Yet again, you need a plugin to do this. When you publish a widget, it will show up on every single page that has that sidebar position. Right now, you have a few plugin options and one that is part of Jetpack, but they are not perfect.


WordPress Features – Disable Emojis

For anyone who is adamant of maintaining a fast speedy website, the Emojis in WordPress has a chunk of JavaScript that gets loaded into the <head> of the page source code. Google is pressing for speedy websites and will give preference to those sites whose page load times are 2 seconds or less. When Emojis was added, there was no way to disable this from the admin, so again we need to install a plugin for this. Luckily there is one called Disable Emojis with over 60,000 active installs and a plugin with nothing but 5-star ratings (with the exception of one who did 1-star).


In Summary

I’m sure there are other features and functionality that you can add to my list, but unless people don’t keep pushing the developers on these issues, they will never happen. Most if not all of the items that I talked about above would be considered common sense features that should be part of the default installation of WordPress. If you have anything to add, I encourage you to post it on social media. Perhaps we can get WordPress developers to listen.

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