Wondering how do new features get added in WordPress? Want to make a new feature suggestion for WordPress? Recently one of our users asked us how they can suggest a new feature to be added into WordPress. In this article, we will show you how to make new feature suggestions for WordPress. This article can also be used as a beginner’s guide to Trac, a bug tracking and ticketing software.
How New Features Make Their Way into WordPress
As an open source software, the development of WordPress is driven by its users, volunteer developers, and a core team of developers. Anyone can make suggestions for new features and improvements.
If there is a feature that enough users want and there are developers interested in working on that feature, then it eventually becomes part of the software.
WordPress can be easily extended with plugins. This means that even if a feature is not included in the core, it could still be added as a plugin. If a feature can be easily added using a plugin, and is not beneficial for majority of WordPress users, then it is not added into core. Usually this is the case with most new feature suggestions.
Users can suggest features by using the WordPress Trac, which is a bug tracking, development, and ticketing software. All WordPress development progress is tracked on trac.
Another place where users can suggest new features is WordPress Ideas. It allows users to submit their suggestion as an idea and other WordPress users can vote on it. Depending on the number of votes an idea generates, the WordPress development team can consider it to be added into core.
Adding a New WordPress Feature Suggestion Using Trac
First make sure that you are using the Trac correctly. Trac is not a support platform!
If you are looking for support, then use the support forum instead.
Before you create a trac ticket, please thoroughly search through to ensure that someone else hasn’t already suggested this fature.
Once you are sure that the feature you are going to suggest does not exist, then visit Trac and create a new ticket.
Log into your WordPress.org account. If you don’t have an account, then you will need to sign up first.
Once you are logged in, you will see the New Ticket form which looks like this:
First you need to provide a summary for your feature suggestion. This should be a simple one-liner that explains the problem that you are trying to solve with your feature suggestion.
In the ‘Description’ area provide as much detail as you need about the feature you are suggesting. Feel free to add screenshots and mockups to explain your suggestion. You also need to use this space to make a case for your feature suggestion explaining why you think it should be part of the core.
Make sure that you select ‘Feature request’ as your ticket type. If you are adding a bug report then select ‘defect (bug)’. If you think that the feature you are suggesting is actually an enhancement of an already existing feature, then select enhancement as your ticket type.
Choose a version number, component, and group focus as per your requirement. Lastly, click on Continue to Preview button.
On the next screen you will see a preview of your ticket, click on Create Ticket button to submit it.
What Happens After You Submit a Ticket to Trac?
Once you have submitted a ticket to Trac, it becomes available for other contributors and developers. Lead developers will also receive notifications and can take a look at your ticket.
Lead developers can take actions on your ticket. There are a number of actions that any WordPress user can take on the ticket. For example, someone can change its focus, component, status, etc.
If your ticket gains enough interest someone can submit a patch for it. This patch can then be reviewed by the lead developer and can be accepted. Once a patch is accepted, a lead developer or committer can add it to the core.
Depending on the nature of your suggestion, this can take days, weeks, months and sometimes even years to become a part of the core.
That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to make new feature suggestions for WordPress. You may also want to check out our guide on why is WordPress free? What are the costs and What’s the catch?