“Your Site, Your Way” is what WordPress is aiming for in 2017. When you look at the recent releases from WordPress, you’ll agree with me that this year WordPress is more focused on business themes and “See What you Get” Interfaces. Twenty Seventeen theme is the first default theme designed for business websites.
Since it’s first release was 13 years back, WordPress usage has grown over time. As per usage statistics, WordPress continues to dominate the web industry with around 76 million websites under its roof.
If the CMS wants to conquer the remaining percent of the Internet, it will need to reach out to people that aren’t using it now.
In a conference in December 2016, Mullenweg laid out ways WordPress will become more accessible in 2017 and reach even more people.
To become more accessible, the updates are going to be more focused on usability, bespoke administration tools and try before you commit type of interfaces.
Let’s check out how will these new updates shape the development of WordPress in 2017…
1. Twenty Seventeen Theme
We can say Twenty Seventeen is one of the most versatile default themes of WordPress till date.
WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme was released with a long list of highlighted features which are beneficial for users as well as developers. It works only on WordPress 4.7 and above.
Twenty Seventeen aims to show off some new core features and enhancements, such as:
- A better flow for using a static page as your front page.
- Visible edit icons in the Customizer
- Expanding custom header images to include video.
- Dummy content for live previews.
The most talked about feature of Twenty Seventeen is the Video Header.
The benefit of video is that it can tell stories like no other medium. With sound and development, it can engage more users and evoke more feelings than still photography.
This trend is expected to continue and become even more popular in WordPress themes. Hubspot suggests that in 2017 video consumption will make up almost 80 percent of Internet traffic. Adding to the fact that internet connection speed is increasing, it means we will be seeing more of video headers in 2017.
2. Calypso – More compatibility with Plugins and Post Types, to increase Business Site Usage
Things have already started to heat up with the release of Calypso.
The Calypso app is, essentially, a desktop admin environment that allows you to manage, add, and edit content across one or more WordPress sites.
Since the time it was launched, Matt has been stating that calypso is setting off to the future of WordPress.
If Calypso wants to be a promising replacement for WordPress admin it needs to come up with more interoperability with WordPress plugins ecosystem.
According to Matt, the main focus in 2017 would be to make Calypso plugin aware, starting with some of the famous ones like WooCommerce, VaultPress.
For that, they need to get in all the plugin developers to build plugins compatible with the Automattic’s product.
Features of Calypso:
- Multi-site support
- Real Time
All these features coming in with open source development, WordPress is surely going to dominate the web industry in 2017.
If all things fall in place Calypso interface is going to be the next big thing in the open source industry.
3. Encryption and HTTPS for WordPress
Google might make certificate transparency mandatory for its chrome web browser by October 2017. Google software engineer Ryan Sleevi made the announcement in conjunction with the CA/Browser Forum that took place in Redmond, Washington.
From SEO perspective of a website, google might start considering HTTPS as a metric while deciding the Page Rank of a given website.
In 2017, WordPress is going to introduce features that require having HTTPS certificate. One of such feature would be API authentication.
Around 11.45% of WordPress sites are on HTTPS. And WordPress would not recommend hosting partners unless they provide SSL certificate by default for all accounts.
Going from HTTP to HTTPS is not an easy task, so if you’re building a new site in 2017 make sure that it implements HTTPS.
4. Multi-Purpose Themes
It’s human tendency to get most out of everything that’s available and paid for. Thus multipurpose themes are trending and would be trending in the future as well.
A multipurpose theme allows a user to build any type or any style of a website with all the features that are necessary for a website and that’s the main reason behind the gaining popularity for multi-purpose themes among the users and the developers.
Since more and more organisations now consider WordPress to reasonably to construct their business sites, we can hope to see a decent rise in popularity for multipurpose themes in 2017.
5. SaaS WordPress
For a most recent couple of years, there had been a huge ascent in WordPress Software As A Service (SaaS) modules.
For open source application improvement, the development of WordPress plugins has turned out to be more reasonable. Consequently, there is an extraordinary rise in SaaS modules among WordPress clients. As they give better chance to use more advanced software like OptinMonster and SumoMe, WordPress engineers jump at the chance to utilize these plugins to manufacture new sites.
Considering this development, we can state that SaaS modules will be among the 2017 WordPress trends.
6. VR Optimised WordPress Themes
Virtual Reality is something that is going to change the way we see the world. It’s not just limited to gaming but it has reached every corner of every industry existing today.
With the introduction of VR headsets like Gear VR and Facebook’s Oculus Rift, People are more curious towards how it will be more meaningful if websites are supported by virtual reality.
With gaining popularity, we can surely see some crazy stuff in the coming future of entertainment and it could be the gadget that we will soon use to enter virtual words and yes, even to peruse the web.
This future is nearer than a blink of an eye.
7. Mobile- first theme
“Yes! That’s nothing new!”, I can hear that. Mobile first theme and responsive design have been in the news for a couple of years.
If stats are to be believed approximately 51% of market share is now owned by mobile users. As they now take on the central role in the web industry, now we know where we should concentrate more while creating a website.
Before, developers would concentrate more on creating a desktop website first and then check for mobile compatibility. But now it is going to be vice versa. First mobile and then desktop.
Mobile optimisation won’t be an option anymore.
Nowadays a mobile-first website is the best way to generate revenues.
If your website is not compatible with mobile, then you are losing out on a huge customer base.
The Mobile first configuration isn’t new to 2017 and has been around for a couple of years now, yet with cell phones now authoritatively named as the essential gadgets utilised for browsing the web, more organisations are understanding the significance of having a website that adequately conveys content on a smaller screen, and is hurrying to get on-board.
Considering all these factors, we are sure that we would witness more of mobile based theme in 2017.
Finally, even WordPress developers would be putting more efforts in creating mobile-first themes, rather than fitting everything in one place.
Mobile first isn’t an idea new for 2017, however, we picture seeing more sites over the coming year which adopt a more thoughtful strategy in conveying their content to smaller screens.
8. Parallax will continue to be in the limelight
The combination of parallax scrolling and single-page design creates parallax theme. A simple trick of moving background slower than the foreground creates a 3D illusion. With parallax theme, it becomes easy to showcase one’s work and services they provide on a single page.
Data analysis shows that there’s an increase in website traffic with parallax theme based website, so we find no reason that it will not do the same in 2017. So get ready for some amazing parallax theme website in 2017.
With users more inclined towards unique content, they are more inclined towards unique appearance as well.
Users want to see a creative page than a page with the same font all over.
Particularly with expanded screen sizes and less demanding to read text styles, there will be significantly more going ahead in this heading.
These days, it is far simpler for designers to utilise third party applications, for example, Google, and Adobe, to make an appealing text style and import them in the WordPress environment. Altered Textual styles show up much better than the traditional ones and they will surely stay in design even in 2017.
So let’s gear up and start making our websites mobile compatible before the world moves ahead and we stay behind.
These are just a few features from the bunch. We would be noticing some amazing new updates and much more fascinating themes and plugins in 2017.
WordPress is not going anywhere but up the ladder and you can expect great things from the CMS for many years to come.
Gear up to witness something innovative and something astonishing in 2017.