WordPress Switches from PHP Interface to JavaScript

The popular content management system (CMS) that now powers roughly 25% of the entire Internet has switched from a PHP user interface to JavaScript interface.

WordPress developers made this announcement earlier this month, saying that after 12 years it was ditching the PHP code for its user interface and replacing it with a JavaScript interface. Dubbed “Calypso,” the new interface includes numerous features and enhancements to assist webmasters in creating and managing content.

Today we’re announcing something brand new, a new approach to WordPress, and open sourcing the code behind it. The project, codenamed Calypso, is the culmination of more than 20 months of work by dozens of the most talented engineers and designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” said Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO of Automaticc.

So, why did Mullenweg and his team feel the need to change WordPress’ interface after all of these years? In a blog post, Mullenweg referred to the codebase as a “sea of institutional knowledge,” but said he and other developers struggled to bring the user interface up to speed with modern web design trends. This prompted the Automaticc team to create a new interface using JavaScript, and after a year and a half of hard work, Calypso was born.

It’s important to note that Calypso was launched for WordPress.com, which is the hosted version of Automaticc’s web-building platform. Anyone who creates and manages a website on WordPress.com will automatically see the new interface the next time they log into their dashboard.

But many webmasters prefer the self-hosted version of WordPress, which is found at WordPress.org. The self-hosted version offers greater greater control over customization, as well as more themes and plugins, making it the preferred choice among seasoned webmasters and bloggers. The good news is that you can still use Calypso on self-hosted WordPress. Just download and install the Jetpack plugin, and your website will now feature the new JavaScript-based interface.

Here are some key points of the new JavaScript-based Calypso:

  • 100% open-source platform, with developers encouraging the community to view the Calypso source code and offer suggestions on improvements.
  • Written in JavaScript, Node, and React.
  • Supports multiple websites, meaning you can manage dozens or even hundreds of WordPress websites straight from a single interface.
  • Features a Responsive Web Design (RWD) consisting of proportion-based grids to allow a seamless, fully functional experience on all devices.
  • Social media integration.
  • Drag-and-drop functionality for image/video uploads.
  • Supported by all major web browsers, with the exception of IE.

You can access the source code for Calypso by visiting the GitHub page at https://github.com/Automattic/wp-calypso

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