January 6, 2019 — WordPress draws a lot of its success from the fact that it jumps through hoops to maintain backward compatibility. Most WordPress sites can be smoothly updated to the latest version of WordPress Core with the click of a button. However, this compatibility comes at a steep price: through this absolute priority on backward compatibility, the project sets itself up to continuously accumulate technical debt in the process. The effects of this are an increasing effort to maintain the codebase and an increasing difficulty to add new features. Let’s examine how these two factors interrelate and what this means for WordPress’ current state and future evolution.