Is this what WordPress 4 will look like?


Over the last year, there have been tantalizing hints of a new direction for WordPress.

In this interview from May, Matt Mullenweg says that he “had been hard at work coming up with a new interface that will eradicate some of the complexity that WordPress is usually associated with.”

He went on to say, “one of the things I’ve been working on for the past few months is a radical simplification of the interface.”

Matt himself summed up his thoughts in this blog post: “There are hints of this [increased simplicity] already happening in our iPhone and Android apps, but even though I’m thinking about this all the time I don’t have all the answers yet.”

In the comments he reassures people that they won’t lose access to existing WordPress features, but we should “think of these as alternative ways to use WordPress.”

So can we get glimpses of the new WordPress?

Yes, I believe so.

The version has a huge userbase and changing direction can only be done slowly.

However, the version of WordPress has no such limitations. The team can move as quickly as they want and in whatever direction they think their users want.

So what do their users want? In a word: Tumblr. They want a radical simplification of the interface. How do I know that? Because that’s what the team is giving them.

Let’s take a look at how now compares to Tumblr:

Choosing what type of post to write

Here are the choices from


And here are the choices from Tumblr:


The writing screen

Here’s the writing screen from


And here’s the writing screen from Tumblr:


The photo upload screen

Here’s the photo upload screen from


And here’s the photo upload screen from Tumblr:


The slogans

WordPress allows people to, “Share with the world, your community, or your closest friends.”


Whereas Tumblr is “the best place to find and share the coolest stuff in the world.”


What’s the difference between the WordPress and Tumblr slogans? Tumble promises to help you find content.

Well, here’s what promises for 2013 …


So how do you find new content?

Either by browsing three columns of large photos with tags on WordPress:


Or by browsing three columns of large photos with tags on Tumblr:


What about the “old” WordPress dashboard?

So has now become Tumblr? No, not entirely.
The normal dashboard is still available, it’s just been tucked away, behind all the Tumblr-style interfaces.
You might even say that is now showing an alternative way to use WordPress.

Could these changes come to

I think it’s pretty clear that showchases the direction that Matt and the Automattic team would like to take WordPress in. Simplification is the future for the blogging market.
The question is whether it would ever be possible to introduce such changes to the version? Yes, it could be done by adding a simpler interface and allowing people to easily click through the current interface.
Perhaps we’re looking at WordPress 4, due in 2014?


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 years ago

It would be great to have a responsive dashboard, like Joomla…

9 years ago
Reply to  hepa!

You need to upgrade your wordpress. The dashboard is Responsive

11 years ago

I also like how Joomla 3.0 is now using Bootstrap in the admin. The interface is now very clean but more importantly consistent – even for 3rd party modules. This is an area of WordPress that has bugged me for some time. Each theme/plugin has a radically different UI within the admin.

10 years ago

Hey Steve,

Currently WP has the Quick Post box on the front page of the admin. Maybe they’ll do a slight redesign of that dashboard to feature something closer to this?

Max Pen
Max Pen
10 years ago

I would hate if they changed how WordPress is now to something totally different like tumblr…
I like the dashboard it uses now, I like the features, the many plugins you can use that also work.
This big chance would break alot of plugins.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x