This is the first in our three part series looking at what the year ahead has in store for the world of WordPress. As we bring in a new decade, we thought it would be an ideal time to look ahead at what the WordPress ecosystem has in store for the next year.
Although WordPress started off as a simple tool for hosting blogs, a hallmark of the platform has been its open-source model and capacity to evolve and develop.
- Today, WorldOWeb stats show that WordPress powers over 35.2% of the internet
- A rich, and flexible ecosystem with a huge multitude of plugins and themes
- The capacity to cater for nearly every type of business site / eCommerce store
If the next ten years are anything to go by, we think that WordPress has a rich future ahead of it.
WordPress website builders
Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress (no less), announced in November of last year, that Gutenberg would be the future of WordPress web development and the internet. A bold claim, but the growth in Gutenberg adoption has been huge in the last year and continues to grow. So what exactly is it?
Gutenberg is a block-based web design editor that allows developers to build sites by dragging and dropping elements, intuitively. Far from ham-stringing developers into using uniform themes and colour schemes, Gutenberg is incredibly customisable, and developers can build complex sites with cool features at the drag of a mouse. Better tools for developers means quicker build times and sites that are easier to maintain as your business grows – a great trend to keep an eye on.
Super fast WordPress sites
It’s no secret in the age of on demand entertainment and user centric design that the battle to keep eyeballs on screens is as competitive as it’s ever been. Just a one second delay can damage conversion rates by as much as 7% according to Neil Patel.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have been at the forefront of this battle to increase load times as much as possible. AMPs are a lightweight, optimised HTML version of your site which are cached by Google, and load instantly in searches. PWA plugins allow users to launch your site from user mobile phones via the touch of the app emblem, just like a mobile app. As mobile use of applications continues to grow exponentially, the app-like interface is yet another win for WordPress users.
Voice Search and SEO
Voice assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant are driving voice interaction interfaces across the internet with ripples being felt in WordPress-land too. The stats from Bright Local are pretty interesting:
- 58% of users used voice search to find lout about local businesses last year
- 76% of voice assistant users search for local businesses once a week
- 27% visit local business sites via voice search
The WordPress ecosystem has reacted by adding voice search capabilities to WordPress sites using plugins. WP Fastest Site Search, for example, lets you add voice search capabilities to your site, but don’t forget, adding voice capability means that you should also be prioritising voice search optimisation techniques for the best results.
Look out for next week’s post, as we continue explore WordPress trends in 2020.