Since its inception in 2003, WordPress has grown considerably and now commands an enviable market share in website development. With nearly 40% of all websites built on its platform, WordPress continues to dominate the market and shows no sign of slowing down.
The popularity of the WordPress platform is largely thanks to numerous improvements, platform upgrades, and a vast community of active developers providing a wide range of additional themes and plugins. With a renewed focus on usability, accessibility, and technology, here are 9 WordPress trends to watch out for in 2021.
White Space and Minimalistic Themes
From clutter in their homes to clutter on the websites they browse, today’s audience believes less is more. With a focus on providing simple, innovative navigation paired with clear copy and plenty of white space, minimalistic themes began gaining popularity in 2020, and the trend will continue in 2021. Developers are using WordPress to create websites that allow users to quickly scan for the information they are looking for while instinctively drawing them toward the intended call-to-action.
Accessibility for Everyone
There has been a lot of enthusiasm surrounding smart assistants and voice searches, however one often overlooked benefit of this trend is accessibility for hearing and sight impaired users. With the world becoming increasingly reliant on the internet for even the most common day-to-day activities, improved voice capabilities, closed captioned media, and better navigation tools are allowing individuals of all abilities to easily access important tools and stay connected.
2020 saw an unprecedented rise in online shopping, and platforms such as WordPress, through plugins like WooCommerce, quickly pivoted to accommodate the increase in ecommerce transactions. Rather than going backward, 2021 will see the ecommerce trend continue to grow, with better integrations, more seamless checkouts, enhanced security, and new payment methods.
Limited ability to shop around in-person and the rise in ecommerce transactions, staples of 2020, have led to a demand for improved visuals, which will continue to grow in 2021. One such area in particular is virtual reality and 3D imagery. From virtual real-estate visits to trying a sofa in your living room before buying, WordPress VR plugins have allowed businesses that traditionally depended on in-person interaction to shift entirely to an online platform.
No longer limited to static backgrounds, WordPress now offers video backgrounds that help grab a user’s attention and add a dynamic artistic element unachievable through fixed images alone. Video backgrounds have been shown to significantly lengthen the average amount time spent on a website – and improved user engagement directly influences conversions. While not limited to this format, the vast majority of video backgrounds are compressed GIFs, making them surprisingly light and quick to load.
As more tasks are moved online, the need for 24/7 support has also increased. There are many reasons why businesses large and small have been so quick to adopt this technology; Chatbots offer limitless opportunity for response customization, are able to handle multiple dialogues at once, keep an exact detailed recording of all conversations, and most importantly, are able to provide instant replies any time of day.
It’s not just the amount of time we are spending online and what we are doing that has changed, but also how we are doing it. While older generations may still use one hand to hold and one hand to scroll on mobile devices, much of the younger population has adopted one-handed, also known as thumb scrolling. This may not seem drastic, but this shift actually has a large impact on how the user interface needs to be laid out. Ever on-top of development trends, WordPress offers many themes that cater to this thumb movement.
WordPress has become the platform of choice not just for web developers, but also for individuals with little to no actual coding experience, to design beautiful websites. Thanks to simple drag-and-drop website builders, virtually anyone can build, maintain, and update a website, without having to write a single line of code. DIY drag-and-drop websites are expected to continuing growing in popularity throughout 2021.
Ever evolving to meet user demands, there is little doubt that WordPress will continue to be an important platform for developers and website builders in 2021 and beyond.