Creating websites seemed only possible in the early days of the internet if you learned how to code. However, the content management system has allowed individuals with little background in coding to create stunning websites for hobbies, blogs, or businesses. Since its inception, WordPress has become the most popular and widely-used website management software, and to this day, WordPress Web Development is still the top choice of individuals, small businesses, and even large enterprises.
Like most good management software, WordPress continues to evolve by adding new features. Here are the Top WordPress Web Development Updates to look out for in 2022.
1. A Transition To Full Site Editing
You heard that right! WordPress is transitioning towards a Full Site Editing model. As part of its Gutenberg project roadmap, WordPress has been developing Full Site Editing (FSE), and it is the second phase of the said project, which began in 2021.
The 5.8 version release of WordPress in August 2021 initially brought us an early glimpse of FSE features. WordPress users can simultaneously edit website design and page content with Full Site Editing by using drag-and-drop-blocks.
And with the 5.9 release, WordPress users can expect more features that give them more control and freedom in designing their WordPress Sites.
2. Block Theme Integration
Another thing to watch out for in 2022 is the integration of Block themes. These features are essentially WordPress themes with templates, which make Full Site Editing achievable.
Users can utilize these block themes in editing websites and post elements via the Gutenberg block editor. These elements include sidebars, headers, and footers, among others.
Block themes are still an experimental feature since Full Site Editing is only at its infancy stage. However, the highly anticipated release of Twenty Twenty-Two, WordPress’ most flexible default theme, will only propel FSE and, consequently, Block Themes forward in terms of features and will be something to look forward to.
3. Gutenberg Improvements
Other than improvements in block themes and Full Site Editing, another much-anticipated development to watch out for is in the Gutenberg plugin itself.
Gutenberg’s four-phase plan aims to transform how WordPress users customize and edit their WordPress sites. In preparation for Full Site Editing, the latest version of Gutenberg introduced more improvements to WordPress.
Collaboration and multilingual support are what the succeeding phases are about. Thus, developments in those areas are among what we can expect in the upcoming Gutenberg versions.
4. Headless WordPress
As we move forward to the next decade of web development, one of the most promising changes we expect is WordPress shifting to a headless content management system (CMS).
A headless CMS is perfect for omnichannel marketing applications since the website’s front, and back ends are separated in this model. While the original intention for WordPress didn’t include plans for it to become a headless content management system, it is a popular option for a shift towards that system, thanks to the large market share it possesses.
We predict that more companies will use WordPress due to its backend functionality in 2022 alone, so we can expect more developments in this sector throughout the year.
5. Google Core Web Vitals Will Improve SEO
Google’s Page Experience update, which was released in June 2021, was an algorithm update that created three new ranking criteria to improve the page experience of site users and visitors. This update was completed in September 2021 and has provided WordPress users with new ranking opportunities for their websites.
Other than your typical WordPress Seo plugins, users will need the help of tools like Page Speed Insights from Google to understand fully proper website optimization for ranking and speed.
6. Accessibility Improvements in WordPress
When WordPress released version 5.6 in December 2020, it showcased several improvements in terms of accessibility. This update gave users the option to add subtitles and captions to videos via the Web Video Text Tracks format (WebVTT) available in the Gutenberg video block.
Users can expect the continuation of this trend as WordPress continues to develop version 5.6’s default Twenty Twenty-One theme. This theme abides by the accessibility-ready guidelines set by WordPress.
In addition, in 2021, Colorado officially became the first state to require all local government and state websites to meet accessibility standards. Thanks to that decision, other states may follow Colorado’s example, inevitably generating more accessibility improvements in WordPress.
7. WordPress for E-Commerce
While originally gaining a reputation as a platform for small business owners, large enterprises are now turning towards WordPress to handle the e-commerce side of their business.
Truly, e-commerce has been driven to an all-time high ever since the start of the pandemic, turning into a megatrend that has helped WordPress advance forward by leaps and bounds.
More websites are expected to use WordPress to handle the e-commerce side of things as e-commerce continues to be a dominant part of people’s daily lives.
8. AI-driven Chatbot
Over the years, Artificial Intelligence has advanced so much that it has simplified how we perform and accomplish our tasks. Specific tasks that would take humans hours or even days to complete are accomplished in minutes thanks to Artificial Intelligence. AI has become so reliable that we can delegate tedious work to them, leaving us more time to focus on other duties.
Chatbots are a solid example of how reliable artificial intelligence has become. Their capabilities are continuously being developed every day, and some even predict that this AI software will eventually replace humans in support management positions.
With that in mind, the versatility and value that AI brings to the table will allow companies to save money and resources on recruiting managers and employees and reallocate and reinvest resources appropriately. Some of the duties AI can perform are the following:
Navigation: With the help of virtual assistants who can interact with users, AI can make navigation become more enjoyable and turn it into a function similar to a guided tour of the site.
Data Handling and Analysis: AI can automatically handle and study the data collected from chatbot interactions, making the process less tedious and time-consuming.
Providing Answers to Sales Inquiries: Handling sales inquiries can also be automated by artificial intelligence by utilizing planned responses and frequently asked questions. Lead generation is also a part of this process since the result enables users to collect conversion-ready leads according to the data provided by customers.
Chatbots are an excellent option for companies that function 24 hours daily, such as online retailers, fast food chains, and banks. Human customer support specialists aren’t always available to answer customer inquiries or resolve client issues, leading to a negative customer experience. But with the introduction of chatbots, this problem can become a thing of the past since they can answer up to 80% of customer inquiries. This reliability and versatility is a testament to the impact that artificial intelligence can make for the customer support branch of businesses, so the improvements in WordPress’ chatbot integration and features are something we are excited for in 2022.
WordPress Web Development 2022
WordPress has always been an amazing platform to create stunning websites more easily and efficiently. It has helped countless individuals express their passion and has given small businesses another avenue to earn and make a living. With all these big changes on the horizon, WordPress Web Development will continue to be the top choice for most people who want to create and own websites, and these features will only work towards giving users more freedom, control, and security for their WordPress websites.