The founder of the Yoast SEO plugin, Joost de Valk, has published a critical assessment of WordPress’ user interface (UI), saying it makes it “harder to use” and may be the reason WordPress is losing market share to companies like Wix and Shopify.
The official WordPress design philosophy states that they want to make WordPress easier to use with each new version released.
They write that their goal is for the “non-technically minded” user to be the one they design for so they can be up and running with a fully functional website within five minutes.
However, the reality of how easy WordPress is to use is not far from their philosophical statement.
Even WordPress developer himself, Matt Mullenweg, said that designing in Wix is faster than doing the same things in WordPress.
WordPress User Interface Design
- 1 WordPress User Interface Design
- 2 WordPress is Old Fashioned and Losing Market Share
- 3 Is WordPress Hard to Use?
- 4 Response from Twitter WordPress Community
- 5 WordPress Admin User Interface Needs Improvement
- 6 What is a better search engine than Google?
- 7 How do you write land for search engines?
- 8 How does website content affect SEO?
- 9 What do you mean by SEO?
Joost points the finger at the current WordPress admin UI as a contributing factor to why WordPress is confusing to use.
He drew attention to the fact that WordPress has three different user interfaces, forcing users to learn how to use each interface and complicating the experience of using WordPress.
To make matters worse, themes and plugins introduce their own UI elements, which again forces users to learn a completely different way of navigating and using the software.
An ideal user interface (UI) offers a consistent workspace so the user doesn’t have to stop and rethink where all the buttons and links are.
Interaction with the interface should be similar on all screens, regardless of what they are trying to achieve.
“The current state is just bad: WordPress core basically has 3 designs now.
The post edit page where I’m typing this looks nothing like the post overview page, which looks nothing like a website health page.
And then you go to plugins and each one has its own user interface there. This makes WordPress as a whole more difficult to use.”
In addition to the UI being inconsistent, Joost also pointed out that competitors like Wix have a consistent UI across their content management systems.
So while the rest of the world moves on with best practices WordPress is stuck with the same inconsistent interface it’s had for years.
Yoast insisted that the poor user interface was contributing to the exodus of users from WordPress to competitors.
“This is how we’re losing CMS market share to companies like Wix and Shopify (each with their own design system).”
Is WordPress Hard to Use?
The main feature that makes a closed source CMS like Wix attractive is that it is easy to use. One of the reasons why it is easy to use is the consistent design system.
PC Magazine awarded Wix its Editor of the Year 2022 award, writing:
“If you want to build a website online with minimal effort and maximum creative freedom, look no further than Wix.”
WordPress received no such award. However, in PC Magazine’s review of WordPress, the authors noted that it wasn’t “particularly difficult”.
But PC Magazine’s review authors also acknowledged the learning curve for using WordPress:
“…people unfamiliar with the process may need a guiding hand.”
WordPress website ThemeIsle says:
“While WordPress requires no coding knowledge, customizing your theme is often not that simple.
By default, you don’t get quite the same visual editing experience as with Squarespace or Wix, although the new Block Editor is evolving in that direction… Some poorly coded themes can also be a pain to customize unless you’re an advanced user.”
One of the goals of WordPress is to make it easy for users to build.
So it’s puzzling that WordPress is recognized as difficult to use, especially when compared to closed source alternatives like Wix, Shopify and Duda.
Joost de Valk puts the finger on the outdated admin user interface as one of the reasons why WordPress is so difficult to use.
It practically advocates for WordPress leadership to prioritize designing a consistent user interface.
“WordPress needs a design system and it needs it fast…”
Response from Twitter WordPress Community
The response to Joost’s article was overwhelmingly positive, with many in the WordPress community thanking Joost for bringing attention to the topic.
“Great text, summary, recommendations, tips, resources. It’s not often that you get so much valuable information in one blog post.
WP Product Devs, take note! UI settings matter, whether you like the route Yoast has taken or not, I think it’s worth paying attention to.”
@Shock9699 tweeted thanks for the article, drawing attention to the mismatched menus within the WordPress admin interface.
“Totally agree. WordPress looks like a 10/15 year old CMS now. Especially with the new FSE coming out where the internal menus are different from the regular dashboard.”
@mnowak_eth tweeted agreement with the sentiments about the state of the WordPress admin UI:
“…Wordpress panel is starting to look like ancient business software (you know the names). With the entire SaaS movement constantly educating the internet community about good and bad UX and ergonomics, the wp panel has been overlooked.”
A standardized design shared by plugins and themes would create a seamless and coherent administrative interface. @wpsecurityuser tweeted a call for a standardized design system.
“Please stop plugins from implementing their own UI systems, update the wordpress admin UI and refine everything, let’s be modern.”
@bitartem drew attention to the value of having a design system in place so the WordPress ecosystem can know in advance what to expect.
“Another problem is that WordPress is in transition, I mean block editor and full site editing, and new features are added almost every day, so if there is a design system, we need to know what WordPress will become in the near future. ”
WordPress Admin User Interface Needs Improvement
It’s hard to escape the conclusion that WordPress is in trouble when the person who created it says it’s faster to get things done with closed source competition than with WordPress.
Joost’s article focuses on the outdated state of the WordPress admin interface and draws attention to the need for a coherent design statement that plugin and theme developers can adopt to create a more user-friendly end product.
Read Joost de Valk’s Blog Post
The admin user interface of WordPress needs to be better
Featured image by Shutterstock/fizkes
What is a better search engine than Google?
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- A comparison of some of the best secure browsers.
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Is there a deeper search engine than Google? DuckDuckGo DuckDuckGo is well known as one of the best private browsers for the visible web, but did you know that the company also offers an onion site that lets you explore the dark web? Even a regular search engine offers deeper web content than Google.
How do you write land for search engines?
If you are interested in submitting a feature or volunteering your expertise as a resource, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Given the volume of applications we receive, we will only respond to those inquiries we are interested in.
What are SEO keywords? Your SEO keywords are the keywords and phrases in your web content that allow people to find your site through search engines. A website that is well optimized for search engines speaks the same language as your potential visitor base with SEO keywords that help link search engines to your website.
What are SEO content writing examples? SEO writing is the process of writing content with the goal of ranking on the first page of search engines like Google. This is achieved by researching relevant keywords and creating optimized content that matches user intent. Google, for example, uses “spiders” that crawl content to see what it’s about.
How does website content affect SEO?
Quality content helps you generate backlinks – One of the best SEO strategies is to get high quality backlinks from high authority sites. For Google, high-quality backlinks indicate credibility and trust. The more quality backlinks you have, the more likely you are to rank higher on Google.
How does content affect SEO? The more content it adds, strategically placed around your most valuable keywords, the better your SEO ranking. Content marketing helps businesses spread their in-demand organic keywords throughout their websites in an engaging, valuable way, and can also increase backlinks.
Does more content increase SEO? SEO benefits of long content. Longer content produces higher search rankings. Simply put, studies show that longer content dominates the first page of search rankings.
What is the relationship between website content and SEO?
SEO refers to the technical process of increasing the quality of traffic and attracting the maximum number of visitors to your website. On the other hand, content marketing is focused on using valuable and relevant content to encourage profitable action from customers or clients. SEO without content marketing is like a body without a soul.
Does changing website content affect SEO?
It can definitely affect SEO. And that can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing. So it’s not that you should avoid making these changes, but when you do make these changes make sure you’re doing everything really well.â€ That’s good advice.
Does content affect SEO? The short answer to this question is yes. Content is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the two go hand in hand. If you want your website to appear in search results and drive traffic to your website, you will need to continuously create high-quality and optimized content.
Does updating content improve SEO?
If you’re looking to improve your SEO, look no further than updating old content. This is the perfect way to increase the traffic your website receives from search engines, and it is guaranteed to significantly improve the ranking of your content. Start by creating compelling new content to add to your old articles.
How often should I update content for SEO? You should update the evergreen content piece as often as you need to update the information in it. If it’s a theme that doesn’t change much, you can edit it once a year. If it’s a fast-growing topic, you might want to update it more often.
Does old content affect SEO? Search Engine Journal increased organic traffic and page views by more than 60% by removing and updating old content. Siege Media trimmed 15% of their site and increased organic traffic by 50%. Outdated content doesn’t just hurt your SEO efforts. Content that is inaccurate or misleading reflects poorly on your brand.
What do you mean by SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process used to optimize a website’s technical configuration, content relevance and link popularity so that its pages become easily accessible, more relevant and popular according to user search queries, and as a consequence, search engines rank them better.
What is SEO and how does it work? Well, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, which is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial or native search engine results. Its goal is to improve your website’s position on search results pages. Remember, the higher a website is listed, the more people will see it.
What is SEO and types of SEO? The three types of SEO are: On-page SEO – Everything on your web pages – Blogs, product copy, web copy. Off Page SEO – Anything that happens outside of your website that helps your SEO strategy – backlinks. Technical SEO – Anything technical done to improve search rankings – Site indexing to help crawl robots.