Sitting at the end of 2019 when we look back at the year 2015, we see the term ‘WordPress’ has several technical developments, massive acquisitions, regrettable spats and internal rants that entertained a lot of audience across the world. That was the year when we felt that WordPress is growing and moving from a mere Content Management System (CMS) to something bigger and better!
Look back time…
It was already a decade of WordPress being one of the famous but puttering blog platforms, and expecting WP to act as a business platform for developing websites and e-commerce could have been a faintish experience for the owners as well. If we jump back in 2005, Matt Mullengweg was just focusing on establishing Autttomatic and WordPress.com. It was not sure how far will it go. But increasing demand for blog websites, fuelling the popularity of the plugins and themes, and the flexibility of platform enabling users to design and develop pages as per their requirements suddenly skyrocketed the popularity of WordPress. The pace that was set in those days is what WordPress is still enjoying today in 2019.
If we see the current trends WordPress is holding the strong global market share of 34% in 2019 which is a rise of 4% compared to 2018. If we talk about the Content Management Systems then WordPress currently holds a dominating position with 60% market share. WordPress has 50,000 plugins and more than 3500 GPL licensed themes from millions of community members. Apart from still being one of the most popular blogging website platforms in 2019, WordPress is also considered best for website development for small to large businesses globally including e-commerce segment. The best thing about WordPress is that it is now supporting several commercial packages as well. These facts play a vital role because it shows the unfading popularity of WordPress in the market in the year 2019.
Now the question is, will WordPress will always be alive? We know after spending more than a decade with the favourite platform, developing so many solutions, enhancing your business across markets, building your career around the platform, etc., it can be a difficult question to even think, but the fact remains fact! As per the historical data, every website or platform which had gained popularity over the years had to face the fall in a decade or so. Be it Myspace, AOL, or Geocities. However, Facebook has managed to look youthful and charm users adapting to the latest trends and techniques, and survive the wave of wearing off from the market. So in order to stay on the leading position for the coming decade and bring back the growing era of WordPress to the next horizon the real question is - What is WordPress planning in 2019 and beyond?
WordPress in 2019 and beyond…
If we see and think as per the vision of Mullenweg and how he considers the future of WordPress, it is time to adapt to the changes for something better. Shortly after releasing the breakthrough version in 2018 at Nashville, Mullenweg explained the complete planning for 2019 and beyond, for WordPress. He has diversified the growth and change of WordPress into various phases that will give birth to a completely new era and power-packed features over the period. Check out the video interview of Mullenweg at State of Word in Nashville: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWlfp-1Q19I
Planned phase-wise WordPress 5 changes in 2019 and beyond…
Phase I - Launch of Gutenberg WordPress Editor
With the launch of the latest version WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg seems to have seen massive popularity soon after its launch with more than 3 million downloads within a week its launch. This version comes with 70 native blocks and 100 third party blocks and the number of these blocks are constantly rising. It will also facilitate different block creation to ease the process of developers.
What are the major changes in WordPress Version 5.0?
Latest version 5.0 has made major changes in the core of WordPress. It comes with a completely new editor known as Gutenberg that offers a revived process of accessing the features including text, images and various other media files in the content. No need for short codes to create various content blocks. This not only makes the development process easier but also faster for developers and users.
Users who are using the classic editor will be able to manage their existing websites using the same. However, if you install new WordPress or upgrade then it will be loaded with the Gutenberg editor. For those users who think that moving from classic to Gutenberg can be difficult are free to use the existing editor up to 2021.
As per the priority defined for 2019, WordPress will be majorly focusing on resolving the bugs arising in the current version. It will ensure that the features and experience of creating new blocks and other features are improved.
Phase II – Reviving WordPress Widgets for Gutenberg blocks and offering practical customizations
(a) Revived WordPress Widgets
In Phase 2, WP users will observe a major change that will add new features in Version 5.0 with respect to content editing. The WP widgets are being redesigned to reflect as per the blocks. This may sound simple but it is a major shift which will transform the experience of using the widgets. With the help of phase 2 changes, users will be able to use widgets inside blocks and post it anywhere on the pages. Similarly, users will also be able to redesign the menu into a navigation menu block further simplifying the menu editing.
In addition to the upgraded WP widgets blocks, some of the WP developers are also working on the much-awaited Legacy Widget Block which will enable the WP Admin to add already existing widgets to Gutenberg blocks. Thus, making almost all the widgets, new or existing, compatible with the latest version.
(b) Mobile Enhancements in WordPress 5
As per the increasing demand for managing websites through mobile applications and custom support for mobile app based WP admin console, the version 5.x is planned to have the required mobile enhancements. There are certain features that enable you to manage the website through mobile but it comes with limitations. The Beta version of the enhancements has already been released on February 2019 and the comprehensive feature won’t take much time. Get the latest updates on WordPress and keep your platform on track!
(c) Hosting Changes in WordPress
With the increasing number of features and move out of the age-old hosting setup, it requires certain changes periodically. The upcoming WordPress versions will have changes in the minimum requirement of PHP versions. From April 2019, the minimum requirement of PHP versions will be PHP 5.6 and from December it will be PHP 7.
WordPress Features in 2020 and Beyond…
Phase III – Multi-user Editing and Co-Editing in WordPress
Phase III of WordPress is currently planned for 2020 and developers are focusing on offering multi-user collaboration features with it. With the help of the multi-user option, multiple individuals will be able to edit the WordPress document simultaneously. This will not only enhance productivity but also make the platform smarter to automatically manage all the changes made by each user. These changes are highly appreciated and welcomed by the users.
Phase IV – Multi-Lingual Site Support
Phase IV will see one of the most important and effective changes that will support the growing trend of multi-lingual site requirements. By utilizing the third-party multi-lingual plugins and plugins developed by the WordPress developers, a comprehensive multilingualism feature will be offered to all the users. It will be supporting 28 major languages of the world and just by adding the plugins, namely ATIT Languages Plugin, the admin interface will be showcased in the desired language and the website content will also be translated.
Long Term Vision of WordPress…
With the launch of the latest version, the user base of WordPress has been divided into two sections. One who are welcoming the changes and adapting to the latest version while some are still waiting for the matured versions. However, in our view, any technology player with the capability to evolve with the technology and market can survive in the cut-throat competitive market. And maintaining the leading position in the Content Management System (CMS) market requires drastic and disrupting transformation to the platform. So, WordPress is moving in the right direction, and in the later period, all users will benefit out of it.
What do you like about WordPress 5.0?
Let us know what you think about the latest versions 5.0, practical experiences, update on WordPress or do you want to wait till the last minute of WordPress update? Keep us posted in the comments section. Contact our WordPress consulting team for any queries regarding WordPress enhancements. We would be glad to assist you!
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