Freelancers Risk Missing Out on the Future of WordPress
When WordPress introduced the Gutenberg editor, few people could have predicted the many changes that would come from it – and the many positive changes that are sure to happen in the near future of WordPress, too.
Right now, WordPress powers almost 38% of websites. More than 500 websites are built every day using WordPress, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that number increases thanks to recent (and coming) advancements. To put that into perspective, platforms like Shopify and Squarespace only have up to 80 new sites created each day – making WordPress the fastest-growing content management system and website platform you’ll find.
Gutenberg set WordPress on a leaner, lighter, more streamlined trajectory, which opened a lot of doors for agencies, freelancers, and other WordPress professionals. More people were suddenly able to work with WordPress, even without in-depth developer-level knowledge. Plus, they were able to design faster sites to impress customers.
As WordPress becomes easier to use, it will be adopted by even more beginners who didn’t want to bother with the Classic Editor before. That means more websites, more competition and more pressure on WordPress service providers to offer…well, more.
Now, service providers, like theme developers and hosting providers, have to adapt quickly. Demand changed (and increased), and to keep up, WordPress companies have to offer more to customers so they can stay ahead of the competition.
Common Problems Most WordPress Users Face
Many WordPress users face the same problems, especially when it comes to performance issues and the customer experience.
Poor, Unreliable Hosting
What happens if there’s an emergency or a crisis? Or even in a non-emergency when traffic surges?
You never want to deal with poor or unreliable hosting, but it becomes an even bigger concern if your site goes viral. If you can’t trust your host, you put yourself at risk for losing a ton of business because your site crashes at the worst possible time.
Whatever the reason is for needing to get information across quickly, high performance is a necessity. Maybe a company has to deliver vital health or safety information during an emergency. Or, maybe a shop that was just mentioned by an influencer on social media has to keep up with the sudden surge of traffic – and if they can’t, they’ll lose potential sales and miss out on developing loyal customers.
When your website can’t scale to keep up with demand – either slowly or in-the-moment should your site go viral – you’re going to have a near-impossible job of keeping your business afloat. If your site is incapable of scaling when and how you need it to, the future of your business is at risk – and in the meantime, you’ll miss out on sales.
For every additional second that it took the BBC’s website to load, they found that they lost 10% of users. DoubleClick had an even scarier finding – if a page took more than three seconds to load, they lost more than half of their mobile site visits.
To improve conversions, you have to retain your visitors – and slow sites do the exact opposite.
Negative Customer Experience
Are your users having an overall negative customer experience because you’re not gathering the right insights or personalizing their visits? When you don’t know enough about your customers – or when you know plenty, but you don’t let that knowledge inform web design – they’ll go elsewhere where their needs are catered to.
Today’s users expect high performance, full customizability and a personal touch at every single point of contact with a business. Many companies, though, still fail to offer premier services or excellent customer service, making it impossible for them to be ready for the future of WordPress.
How is WordPress Economy Changing? What You Need to Know About the Future of WordPress
When Gutenberg – WordPress’ new block editor – was rolled out, it created a more user-friendly and intuitive editing experience. You can also copy and paste content from other places – like a Google Doc, for example – and put it into a Gutenberg block without having to do any heavy reformatting. These improvements made novice users, along with agencies and freelancers who need a universally easy way to build websites, feel more empowered.
One of the main goals of Gutenberg was to close the gap between how changes look in backend WordPress versus what they look like live on the site. And with the new visual editor came new expectations for WordPress themes, too. For one, niche WordPress themes are emerging, catering to specialized markets like music, podcasting and vlogging.
That’s not the most exciting thing to come from themes, though. Gutenberg has blocks for all sorts of features and content, and when you combine that with the many WordPress plugins available, that means that themes don’t need all the extra bells and whistles they once did. Instead of being bloated with features, theme developers can focus on other important aspects, like reliability, loading speed and security. When you add that type of performance to high-quality hosting, you have a phenomenal offer for clients.
Here’s something else to keep an eye out for: developers are creating block add-ons and extenders that can integrate with Gutenberg to make it more powerful and customizable.
With few themes 100% perfect for you out-of-the-box, companies like Premium Coding excel at creating stellar themes and then adapting them to your specifics. Then, a leading hosting provider like Convesio can ensure your site stays protected while being as fast as possible.
Preparing for the Future of WordPress: How Can Agencies and Freelancers Keep Up?
There are a lot of ways to stay ahead of the competition, even with the new normal of WordPress – and into the future of WordPress, as well.
Fully-Customizable Products and Services
In 2020 and beyond, hosting will become a much more competitive space. In the very near future of WordPress, it will no longer be enough to offer just hosting. Hosting providers will have to offer a truly unique service with unexpected features if they want to survive and thrive.
There will be an increased need for fully-customizable and fully-managed WordPress site builder platforms. Scalable hosting and websites will become standard, too, and customers will want easy add-ons and complete customizability.
Agencies and freelancers will need to offer fully-customizable products and services moving forward. Two things that must be included in every package are fantastic customer service and reliable, fast scalability.
Convesio’s proactive customer support reduces technical headaches. For example, we’ll see if your site has a problem and fix it before you’ve even noticed. Soon, automated plugin updates will be part of our standard offering, too.
User Experience Optimization
Agencies and freelancers must optimize for an amazing user experience. We already know that improved versions of the Gutenberg block editor will enhance WordPress’ accessibility for non-tech-oriented site owners. This reflects a growing interest in more intuitive user interfaces. It’s now more important than ever to optimize websites for effective page speed and usability, too, and site owners who don’t optimize in backend WordPress will quickly fall behind.
The average time to load a webpage is over 10 seconds on desktop – on mobile, that goes up to more than 27 seconds. On average, web pages take nearly 88% longer to load on mobile than on desktop. The larger the size of the page, the worse the loading speed, too.
According to Google, a website that loads within five seconds (compared to one that takes 19 seconds) can see the following positive outcomes:
- 35% lower bounce rates
- 70% longer sessions
- 25% higher ad viewability
Think of it this way: there is no user experience being delivered when a visitor waits for a page to load. That’s not a big deal when you’re talking about a few seconds or less. The longer the wait time, though, the more likely it is that no user experience will become a poor user experience.
Customized and Streamlined Websites
With less-complex plugins and themes – thanks to Gutenberg and the add-ons and themes that are developing in response to it – WordPress sites will be leaner than before. Streamlined WordPress sites are much easier to maintain than the bloated sites of the past. They’re also easier to customize, whether you’re handling everything yourself or working with a company like PremiumCoding to take over theme adaptations for you.
Keep this in mind: the more streamlined the site, the better. A lean site is a faster site, and that can make a huge difference. Take Mobify – they increased their annual revenue by about $530,000 just by improving page load speed. Need more examples? Pinterest increased traffic and conversions by 15% when they reduced wait times by 40 percent. COOK decreased bounce rate by 7% and increased conversions by 7% when they reduced average page load time by just 850 milliseconds.
Complement the services you offer agencies and freelancers by also offering fully-customizable hosting with Convesio.
PremiumCoding doesn’t just help with your WordPress theme – they have security measures in place, too:
- Daily or monthly website backups.
- Updates to the WordPress core, plus plugins and themes.
- Regular WordPress security checks.
- Management of WordPress security settings.
- 24/7 support with a short, 12-hour max response time.
Your host should have plenty of security best practices in place, too. At Convesio, we have an advanced HTTPS tool (to encrypt the browser-to-server connection); next-generation, highly secure servers; and isolated container deployment, which means that if there’s an issue on one site on the server, it won’t affect your site.
Offering a Full-Stack Solution to Create Foolproof Sites for the Future of WordPress
The WordPress-focused services you rely on should handle the issues that agencies and freelancers struggle with. Between PremiumCoding and Convesio, we have so much covered, including:
- Premium and customizable WordPress themes.
- Branding-specific elements, like font styles and customized logos.
- Custom menus, sliders and widgets.
- SEO preparation to make your site easier to find.
- Excellent uptime and lightning-fast hosting.
- Proactive handling of website issues.
With thoughtful, optimized themes and reliable hosting, you can keep your customers (and their customers) happy and your sites running smoothly. Both PremiumCoding and Convesio are optimized for speed and security, too – when it comes to performance optimization, you need every WordPress service to be on board. When you have the right service providers on your side, you’ll be able to offer beginning-to-end brand and WordPress development to your customers.
Final Thoughts About Preparing for the Future of WordPress
WordPress and Gutenberg will keep maturing through the coming months and years. In effect, more users will choose WordPress for creating their sites.
Overall, WordPress and its users want websites to be fast and lean, and we should expect any changes to be in-line with those goals. (They release upgrades several times a year, too.) Moreover, any updates that service providers make should share those goals.
Both PremiumCoding and Convesio are at the forefront of innovative WordPress services and hosting technologies. Get your business up-to-speed so you can start competing right now and as we move into the future of WordPress website design and management. If you’re ready to finally trust a reliable host, visit Convesio today.