WordPress is the best Content Management system without a doubt. Sure Drupal has a superior code structure, and Joomla has super flexible theme and user control, but you can’t ignore WordPress’s user base and the fact just about every strange need you may have has already been thought of and figured out with a plugin.
This isn’t to say that WordPress is perfect. There can be more improvements, and I’m going to write about what I think are the top 3 most crucial improvements that WordPress should have.
#1 The Media Library
When you upload a photo to WordPress, it automatically creates multiple sizes. These extra images at first glance don’t seem to be much of an issue but if you have an active blog run by a team of people the size of the wp-content/uploads folder (which is where the photos reside) explodes in size.
These extra and unused JPG and PNGs create unneeded website bloat. When the files pile up backups can become an issue because it takes too long to compile the archive. The lengthened backup process taxes server CPU usage and many hosts will shut down the process. Now you have to exclude /wp-content/uploads to get the backup to run which means it’s not a 100% backup. It’s a headache.
Zeroing Out the Sizes in Media Settings Does Not Fix The Issue.
You’ll read everywhere that the solution to the file bloat is to place zeros in settings > media but unfortunately this does not resolve the issue because it’s not the only place where image sizes are defined. The commands found in your theme’s function.php file also create files sizes.
Solution #1 Create Images if Needed vs. Create Before Needed.
Why is it that WordPress has to create the multiple sizes before they are used on the site? For example you post a 500px by 500px image. You upload the image to the media library and place it in your post. When realizing it’s too big, you click the image options and define what smaller size you need. Then and only then would WordPress create the reduced size
Solution #2 Give the User the Option to Exclude it Multiple Size Generation when posting pages/posts.
In this example, you create an image that’s the perfect size for your blog. When you upload it to the post, there is a checkbox that reads, “Multiple sizes are not needed” when checked it overrides all size creation parameters in both the core and the theme’s function.php file.
#2 Replacing Images In The Media Library Create New Images
The following situation happens thousand times a day with WordPress. The designer creates an image and places it on the site as a background image, logo, banner, etc. After reviewing the updated page, you realize that the image is the wrong size, color or aspect, etc. You jump back into Photoshop and make the change. If you upload the filename a second time, WordPress does not overwrite the file. WordPress takes the file and appends a “-1″ to the name and creates a second post (yes, images in the Media Library are post types). Now, if the system is producing four extra sizes for each photo that’s eight photos created when there should only be one.
[su_highlight background=”#faff99”]To fix the issue, you have to go back to the library and remove the original which is a major PITA. [/su_highlight]
Solution: WordPress should execute an if/then statement replacing an image with the same name. WordPress should automatically overwrite image images like an FTP client. I realize that the Media library is a post type just like pages and posts, image uploads should behave like the image are being overwritten no duplicated.
#3 Automatically Highlighting Text View Code
This feature would be fantastic. Many times when you have complex HTML in a page or post it’s difficult to find the code that generates specific parts of the page. What I do is place a series of X’s near the area that I need to edit which helps me find the area needing attention. If WordPress could automatically highlight the section that was selected in the visual tab, it would make development so much faster and easier. Dreamweaver used to do this back when I built static sites. It is the only feature I miss with that program.
I’ve been waiting for this capability for seven years, and the day I write this blog post highlighting the need for this feature BOOM WordPress releases the solution. Thank you WordPress! This update is one of the most significant they have occurred in a while.
Thank you, WordPress Community!