WordPress is the most popular content management solution available on the web today. Nearly 18 million sites use WordPress for their core content platform. As we are now entering our second month of 2017 let’s look at 4 WordPress trends that we predict will become mainstays in the WordPress world.
A mobile-first approach is nothing new to the world of web. This concept can be traced back to 2009. It is the idea of focusing on responsive designs for phones and tablets first, and then directing your attention toward the desktop. In 2016, for the first time ever, mobile devices surpassed desktops in internet traffic. This indicated a huge shift in how the average user was accessing your site. Also in 2016, Google updated their search algorithms which put a greater focus on mobile giving those a better ranking if they provided a good experience across all devices. In order to compete in today’s market your website will need to have a strong responsive component. Visit your site on an iPhone or Android, do you see the difference?
A typical WordPress install would give you access to a basic body window for your content with the option of adding a few widgets positioned around the page. This way of page building limited your ability to build beautiful layouts. Sure, you could’ve installed a couple of plugins to create fake columns. Or, you could’ve created custom fields. But these techniques were time-consuming and were not very user friendly. A WordPress Trend you will see in 2017 is a bigger focus on incorporating visual editors into the page-building process. These editors remove the need for custom code and can be installed in minutes. These drag-and-drop tools harness the power of the latest HTML5 and CSS3 components without the burden of knowing code.
Another WordPress trend in 2017 is accessibility. Accessibility is critical for reaching your largest audience. It can literally make or break your site. In 2017 it’s inexcusable to not improve your site’s accessibility. While adding alt tags to images is a nice start, you can go so much further. Using tools such as WAVE or Axe can uncover deeply-rooted issues within your site.
The idea of accessibility also goes hand-in-hand with usability. Just because your site passed a 508 compliance test doesn’t mean that you’re finished. Think about how your users interact with the site. Think about ways to improve that flow. Whether it’s design improvements, content adjustments, or navigational structures, always think about your users first.