When it comes to web development, WordPress is king. 27% of the internet is powered by WordPress and top brands such as TechCrunch, CNN and UPS use it. In fact, TheeDigital uses WordPress exclusively for all our web design and web development clients. It’s user-friendly which makes it easy for novice website administrators to make small updates to their site, such as text changes and blog posts. WordPress also offers a massive library of plugins to its users, making it completely customizable to any web development need. All WordPress websites are also mobile and SEO-friendly.
WordPress trends are driven by overall web design trends in addition to new features provided by the company itself. Last year, WordPress gave us version 4.8, which included new and improved widgets for adding images, audio, and video to your website. On the advanced development site, the update added the ability to perform multi-site updates and improved its text editor.
Naturally, we want to keep up with the latest WordPress trends so we can continue to deliver amazing websites to our clients. Here’s what we can expect from WordPress in 2018:
New WordPress Features and Improvements
WordPress 4.9 is already in beta and is expected to be released soon. This version includes fixes and improvements to the 4.8 release. Users can expect to see improvements in editing code, managing themes, managing plugins, and easier customizations. These improvements will help developers in addition to website administrators. These improvements are exciting as ease-of-use is one of the most important aspects of WordPress for our clients. Once we create a website, we want to empower our clients to make website changes on their own as their business grows.
Drag-and-Drop WordPress Themes
While WordPress offers many basic layout themes for free, customizable themes are often worth the price. Since WordPress prides itself on being user-friendly, there are themes that range from simple to complex at various price points. Last year, we saw a rise in the amount of “drag-and-drop” themes, which allow users to create and customize websites without writing any code. These themes are easy to use for both web developers and non-coders alike. Drag-and-drop makes experimentation with different layouts and plugins easy as well. Want to experiment with video headers? Simply drag and drop a video header widget and see if it increases time on site! Here are some examples of drag and drop WordPress themes:
- Foundry – Foundry is an elegant, visually stunning responsive theme that’s flexible and easy to customize.
- Uplift – Uplift’s drag and drop builder features 54 elements to completely customize your website with ease.
- BeTheme – BeTheme is an easy-to-use, responsive and fast-loading theme that’s great for beginners!
WordPress Video Headers
It’s no secret that video will dominate web design in 2018. Video headers and backgrounds might not be “new”, but it is becoming trendy in the web design world. Luckily, WordPress makes it easy to get on board with this trend by offering themes that feature video headers. Here are a few examples:
- Inspiro – This theme features a full-screen video that’s great for showing off a video portfolio.
- Naila – Naila is a single-page theme with an optional full-screen video background display.
- Balzac – Balzac is a responsive theme with full video support. It includes multiple layouts within the theme, so it’s incredibly flexible.
Virtual Reality WordPress Plugins
Web developers and designers on on-pace to start including virtual reality and augmented reality in web designs. WordPress fully supports virtual reality content as well as 360° videos and images. There are several plugins already available. Expect to see more WordPress websites make use of this content in 2018. Here are a few plugins that are currently available:
- MomentoPress – MomentoPress is a free plugin for displaying 360° photos and videos.
- 360° Panoramic Image Viewer – 360° Panoramic Image Viewer is a responsive plugin that allows you to add “hotspots” to static images, creating a completely immersive experience for your visitors.
- WP-VR View – WP-VR View is a popular plugin that allows you to display PhotoSphere images and 360° video on your WordPress site. Smartphone users can even get the virtual reality experience using Google Cardboard!
Enhanced Ecommerce WebsitesEcommerce makes up a large portion of WordPress websites with WooCommerce being the most popular plugin by far. Other ecommerce platforms such as PayPal and Google Checkout integrate easily with WordPress as well, making it a popular choice for online stores. Ecommerce trends such as mobile shopping, subscription-based services, and personalized shopping are easily addressed by WordPress in its newer ecommerce themes:
- Uncode – Uncode offers a ton of options to enhance your online store. It offers plenty of customizable shop templates and easy shortcuts for store-related features, such as pricing plans. It’s responsive and integrates with WooCommerce.
- Divi – Divi bills itself as “The Ultimate WordPress Theme and Visual Page Builder” and it is completely accurate! This is an all-inclusive, fully-customizable theme for any website, but it’s especially powerful for ecommerce websites. It includes sleek product pages and is completely responsive, dynamic, and integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce.
- Handmade – Handmade includes powerful ecommerce features such as a one-click demo importer, product filter widgets, and plenty of options to customize your online store.