WordPress has come a long way since launching in 2003.
From a simple publishing system that allows people to write and post blogs, it now powers different websites — ecommerce stores, forums, job boards, and more.
And it shows no signs of stopping.
Now we’re on our way to 2020 — what updates does WordPress have in store? And how will these affect your existing website?
Here are 2020 forecasts for WordPress, along with tips on how your website can keep up with the changes.
Big WordPress Changes Coming in 2020 and Beyond
Gutenberg will revolutionise how people create content
Gutenberg made headlines last year when it was released as the new WordPress editor.
As a block-based editor, Gutenberg makes it easier to build content and layouts. The building blocks include regular text, images, video embeds, widgets, and more. It’s expected to reduce extra plugins needed for contact forms and columns.
This makes it ideal for media-rich pages and posts.
And while not a full-blown page editor yet — Gutenberg’s end goal is to “go beyond the post into page templates and ultimately, full site customization.”
As of now, the Gutenberg plugin is still in beta, with developers releasing it as a plugin to gather user feedback. It is expected to be released to the core platform soon.
How to keep up: Give it a try!
If you’re not tech-savvy person, Gutenberg is the editor for you.
You can create eye-catching layout, add call-to-actions, and anchor links to your headings. There’s so much you can do to provide your audience a good reading experience.
Though Gutenberg’s reviews have been, erm, less than favourable — you can always test the plugin out for free.
WordPress will be more than just a CMS platform
If you’ve been keeping up with WordPress in the past months, you likely have heard of REST API.
REST, an acronym for Representational State Transfer, is an API that’s adopted by tech leaders like Facebook and Google. Developers prefer it thanks to its simple structure and use of lesser bandwidth.
For a while, REST API was an independent plugin that developers could experiment with. But its recent integration to the core platform signals WordPress’s move towards becoming a “fully-fledged application framework”.
You can read more on REST API on WordPress’s official developer page.
How to keep up: Diversify your online presence
With WordPress REST API, you won’t be limited to platforms like say, PHP.
It creates an exciting opportunity to start mobile apps using WordPress. Say for example you run an ecommerce site — now you can easily extend your desktop experience on mobile.
WPblog has a great step-by-step guide to using WordPress REST API.
Don’t limit yourself to mobile apps, experiment with other web projects like new plugins. The more you explore WordPress API, the more you understand how powerful this feature is.
More languages will be supported
More and more people will be using WordPress. And they’re not just confined in one location, users are from all over the world.
That means more languages are needed in the platform.
Predictably, developers will meet that demand and integrate more languages into themes, plugins, and even in the core platform.
How to keep up: Localise your content
Content localisation is important, especially if you’re targeting a specific region.
Translate your content to their local language. While doing so, consider differences in spelling for each reg. For example, personalise and colour in British English is spelt as personalize and color in the U.S. respectively.
Also use terms that are specific and sensitive to your audience’s culture and lifestyle. Take note of idioms that may mean one thing for a region but a different one in another.
Lastly, localisation does not just involve text content, but also visuals.
Some colours, symbols, and images mean differently for each region. So use the right ones for your website!
There’ll be more accessibility
The REST API doesn’t just make it possible for developers to create WordPress-based apps. It also allows developers to make platforms that are user-friendly for the sensory-impaired.
Coupled with the existing WP Accessibility plugin and the WordPress Accessibility Handbook, there’s a lot of room for websites and apps that are usable for everyone.
How to keep up: Build your website with accessibility in mind
Good user experience is inclusive. It considers the needs of users from all walks of life — including the specially-abled.
That said, make your website more accessible to them.
- Add toggles so users can adjust contrast, font size, and saturation.
- Write descriptive content for screen readers to understand. That includes your call-to-action buttons, image alt texts, anchor texts for links, and many others.
- Build a website design that’s convenient for keyboard-only users.
- Evaluate your website’s accessibility using online tools.
WordPress will grow bigger than ever
In 2019, WordPress powers 34% of the entire internet. That number has been steadily increasing since 2011.
If you consider content management systems alone, it holds a whopping 60% of the market share.
With all these radical changes happening to the platform, there’s no doubt that the trend will continue.
And as more people benefit from WordPress, more developers will aim to accommodate the demand. This means more plugins, themes, and other WordPress-centric tools.
Who gets happy to have access to abundant tools? More users of the internet!
It’s an endless cycle of increase in demand and supply — a growth that’s unstoppable.
How to keep up: Get a WordPress hosting service
There’s never been a more perfect time to use WordPress to get your business online.
With an intuitive content editor, tools for better localisation and accessibility, and opportunities to scale, it’s easy to build an online presence that attracts traffic, generate leads, and earns revenue.
The future looks bright for WordPress. All these predictions pose a good run for the platform in 2020 and the following years to come.
What about the future of your website?
Take note of these fearless forecasts as you strengthen your website and make improvements. When your website keeps up with progress, its future will be bright, too.