At some point, everyone has heard of WordPress. There are many reasons it is used heavily in making web pages. This is mostly because of its versatility. With it, designers can choose how to utilize it. If you can think of it, you can make it. You can even choose to build it from scratch or use one of the many in-built options. But what can we expect from it in the future? The updates and improvements keep on coming in regular intervals. What will be modified, added, changed, and removed? To understand its future, we will also have to go back and look at its development history. There is a reason it became a number one content management system. It is cost-effective, there is only a small learning curve, and there are a plethora of customization options. In this article, let’s cover if WordPress will remain relevant.
- How changes occur
First things first, how do changes even occur in WordPress? Firstly, changes come from companies that make the ecosystem. This ecosystem is reportedly worth over 10 billion dollars as per Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder and project lead. The second, the community. This represents anyone that uses WordPress. Those who care about the software and the ecosystem will make suggestions. The community sometimes overlaps with the companies. But this is not always the case. Independent professionals and end-users all have a say in its development. Lastly, there is a constant, natural push to modernize and optimize. The web industry is moving at an ever-increasing rate. New technologies are emerging. Not only that, they are more affordable and available than ever. This means WordPress has to follow. Otherwise, the project risks falling behind and becoming obsolete. These forces work in unison. Also, competition like Squarespace and Wix are major factors in development.
- Previous changes to WordPress
Some major changes happened in 2020. Features were added and impacted the ecosystem, mostly for the better. Of course, the idea is to constantly improve the landscape. Security is a major concern. That is why WordPress implemented auto-updates. Outdated versions of anything can pose great risks to security. This feature helps website owners to keep everything updated to the latest version. In turn, this minimizes the chance for successful hacking attacks. Version 5.5 was the first to introduce an auto-update plugin. WordPress 5.6 introduces a user interface. In it, you could opt-in to auto-update to the latest releases. WordPress is praised for its backwards compatibility. PHP dropped WordPress at the end of 2018. The users picked safety over modernization. That means, WordPress still supports PHP version 5.6. Due note this, old PHP versions will become obsolete. WordPress plans to drop those in a multi-year plan.
- WordPress and performance
Performance is always a key factor in the online world. Speed matters when it comes to content delivery. The attention span of the average visitor is only a couple of seconds. If you cannot deliver what they want, there is someone else that does. According to Google, more than half of website visitors will bounce if the page does not load within three seconds. Everyone benefits from a fast and secure website. Owners, hosting companies, and most importantly, search engines. The last one is very important when it comes to SEO. Web designers in Perth are making constant strides towards improving page loading times. This goes for all content. Text, images, audio, and video. All multimedia content needs to present itself, and do it fast. Most notably, video is the heaviest of them all. For developers, there is always room to improve and optimize.
WordPress also improves accessibility. These are mostly bolstered by the community. Also, in smaller part by businesses. For the past few years, WordPress has put great focus on improving its accessibility. Accessibility compliance is also required by law. This is motive enough to invest time and effort into developing it. Even if it wasn’t, there is always someone with a disability. If your site does not account for those people, you will lose a large chunk of the market share. And in such a saturated online market, no one can afford to give ground. That is why WordPress is making great efforts to make its websites accessible for everyone.
- New developments
Still, development is not slowing down. There are a hundred tickets every day. Developers keep coming up with new ways on how to make it better. The WordPress project is working on many different things all the time. For all the details, you can always check out the WordPress roadmap. Let us cover the basics. There are four stages for the future. The first one is the editor. This phase will introduce the block editor as a plugin. The second phase will utilize the full power of Gutenberg’s block model. This means that the entire site will be customizable. The third phase focuses on collaboration. This will allow multiple individuals to access the content at the same time. Lastly, phase four will focus on languages. This will make translation and language plugins unnecessary. Multilingual support will come natively. We can expect basic functionality in the near future.
WordPress is solving a lot of problems for individuals and companies alike. Anyone that has skills in WordPress can look forward to great career opportunities. Freelancers, conventional hires, and contractors will always be in high demand. Especially in the online industry. Writers, editors, developers, designers, marketers, content managers, tech support, you name it. Multiple industries will benefit and expand thanks to WordPress.
The future of WordPress is looking bright. Their focus on innovation is enabling it to remain the top CMS. For this to keep happening, this project employs a lot of people from different industries. WordPress has an interesting philosophy. Features that 80% of people welcome will be incorporated natively. For the smaller percentages, this falls down to plugins. WordPress provides flexibility, backups and is highly secure and fast. And it will only continue to improve upon those traits.