With each passing year, the WordPress community evolves— adding new design elements, plug-ins and themes to the mix.
These developments provide website owners with endless possibilities for customizing their sites and creating captivating, easy-to-navigate pages their target audiences will love.
But in order to take advantage of the full potential of WordPress, business owners must be paying close attention to web design trends and newly added features, so they can implement these elements on their own sites.
Over the last year, we watched as WordPress adapted to better meet the needs of its users, and learned some important tricks and tips along the way.
And since WordPress currently runs 43.3 percent of the entire internet, while remaining the fastest growing CMS available, remaining ahead of the curve on all things WordPress is imperative for entrepreneurs who want to succeed online.
Thus, we’ll be some of the most beneficial WordPress information we gathered in 2018, so you can apply it to your operations moving forward.
Let’s cut right to the chase!
Here are the 5 most valuable WordPress lessons we learned in 2018:
1. Plugin issues became easier to troubleshoot
It’s a frustration almost all WordPress site owners have experienced at one point or another— the burdensome task of trying to manually determine which of your WordPress plugins is creating problems on your site.
While plugins provide a ton of value, they also must be regularly updated and can sometimes result in bugs or glitches that impact your overall site.
In the past, website owners were left to manually review each plugin on their site in order to figure out where the bug was coming from. But in 2018, that all changed with the introduction of Plugin Detective.
Plugin Detective is a WordPress plugin that automates the process of troubleshooting, scanning all of your plugins to find the malfunctioning one, and then giving you the option to immediately deactivate it.
It’s easily one of our WordPress developments of the last year, based purely on the amount of time it can save for businesses and website owners who use it.
2. Drag and drop themes are here to stay
For website owners who do not have in-depth knowledge of web design or coding, drag and drop builders are undoubtedly one of 2018’s greatest blessings.
These easy-to-customize themes make rearranging your website a breeze, giving business owners and content publishers more control over their site’s design and appearance.
All users have to do is log into their page builder and begin clicking and dragging the various design elements of their web page. Each builder has a simple, user-friendly interface, and typically comes with pre-made templates that can be used as a starting point.
We recommend checking out these popular WordPress theme builders for ideas on how to get started!
3. Minimalist designs are a sure bet for 2019 and beyond
Out of all the design trends of the last few years, the minimalist approach has proven it has staying power. It’s use of plentiful white space, clear, clean fonts, and well-composed visual elements, makes minimalist design the perfect aesthetic for business owners who want to wow their target audiences with straightforward practicality, without any of the unnecessary clutter.
Minimalist design also allows entrepreneurs to focus creating great visual content and providing a smooth, seamless viewing experience.
We recommend checking out these top minimalist websites for some high-quality design inspiration!
4. Video consumption will continue to increase
More than ever before, websites must be video compatible. After all, 96 percent of consumers find videos to be helpful, and 86 percent of businesses already use video on their website.
But the key here is to not upload just any video to your site. You want to ensure your video content is optimized by implementing SEO best practices and creating eye-catching thumbnails, along with other video content strategies.
The more your video content is optimized to perform well online, the more traction it will gain and the more exposure your brand will receive.
We recommend reading this post about how to embed videos on your WordPress site, if you aren’t familiar with how to do so already.
Remember, 83 percent of businesses who use video think it gives them a good ROI. So now really is the time to invest in this content form, or, if you already use video, it’s always a great idea to build upon your current marketing materials.
5. Custom illustrations are worth the investment
The online world is reliant upon imagery. Millions of users flock to social media platforms like Instagram and Youtube to share and consume visual content.
In fact, it is estimated that 84 percent of online communication was visual in 2018.
And there are no indications that these numbers will decrease any time soon.
So, now is the time for business owners to brush up on their graphic design skills, and invest in unique, custom illustrations and graphics that speak to their brand and differentiate them from their competitors.
We recommend checking out these industry-leading websites who invested in custom illustrations as part of their marketing and branding efforts in 2018.
By pulling from these incredible examples, you can visualize your own illustrations, and even use these free online design tools to create them yourself!
By studying and implementing these 2018 WordPress developments, businesses can ensure their sites remain relevant and contemporary for years to come.