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  • As the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, WordPress powers more than 75 million websites around the globe. Subsequently, any change that WordPress makes to its code, interface, or policies has the power to make a big impact on the internet. Learn why WordPress is ditching the React library because of Facebook, and find out what that means for WordPress sites around the world.

    What Is React?

    React is a JavaScript library developed by Facebook. A Javascript library is a library full of codes for designers to use so that they don’t have to waste their time writing a code when it’s already been made available and ready to apply. For years, the WordPress team and its co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, had been planning to incorporate the React library into the platform’s CMS. In fact, Automattic, the company that powers partner platform WordPress.com, had already used the React library in a relatively recent site refresh. In addition, WordPress had also started using React for its evolving Gutenberg editor project.

    Why Is WordPress Eliminating React?

    In September 2017, Mullenweg made the surprise announcement that WordPress would be moving away from React, largely due to its approach to the library’s patent clause. Though React has an open-source license, it also has a patent clause, which has led to its inclusion on the Apache Software Foundation’s list of licenses it won’t accept. Mullenweg’s decision effectively protects all WordPress users from unnecessary legal risk.

    What Does This Mean for WordPress Users?

    While WordPress users may not notice an immediate change, the Gutenberg project, which is still under development, will almost certainly experience a lengthy delay. WordPress and WordPress.com users should also keep an eye out for updates to the CMS, which will no longer incorporate React. Ultimately, most users will notice few changes on the surface, but site owners and managers can look forward to better protection moving forward.

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