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Yoast SEO Founder: WordPress Admin UI Is “Simply Bad”

Yoast SEO Founder: WordPress Admin UI Is “Simply Bad”

Ivana Shteriova
Joost de Valk, the founder of one of the most popular WordPress plugins, Yoast SEO, called out the WordPress user interface (UI) in a critical blog post, describing it as “simply bad” and “old fashioned.”

In particular, de Valk called attention to WordPress’s lack of a unified design system and UI library. Such a system would contribute to creating a consistent interface across the entire platform, making it easier to use and navigate.

“The current state is simply bad: WordPress core basically has 3 designs now. The edit post page I’m typing this in looks nothing like the Posts overview page, which looks nothing like the Site Health page. And then you go into plugins and each has their own UI there too. This makes WordPress as a whole harder to use.”

De Valk further explained that the last Yoast update deviated from the standard WordPress admin UI components because the company couldn’t build a modern interface with them.

The Yoast SEO founder believes this is the main factor WordPress continues to lose market share to competitors like Wix and Shopify, which have unified design systems.

Even WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg agrees that creating a website with Wix is easier. He revealed that it took designers a month to redesign two WordPress pages with its own Block Editor, something that would probably take a day with Wix.

There is also public consensus among the Twitter WordPress Community. The majority of users think that some of the other leading website builders do a better job in following the best practices and maintaining consistent design systems across all screens, something that WordPress should implement as soon as possible.

There is evidence that WordPress is aware of its UI limitations. WordPress users can install the Design Experiments plugin, which is a free tool that allows users to try out experimental Admin UI concepts that include a “dark mode,” increased font sizes, and a new stylesheet. Unfortunately, this plugin hasn’t been updated since 2020.

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