It comes at no surprise that 2019 has great things in store for WordPress.
Since its humble beginnings in 2003, WordPress has continued to grow to become one of the most popular CMSs (content management systems) we’ve ever seen.
According to this 2019 report, the global market share of WordPress in the world of CMSs is a whopping 60.8%.
Meanwhile, 34% of all websites use WordPress.
In fact, some of the world’s biggest companies like The Walt Disney Company, Pulse by Target and Microsoft News Center all use WordPress.
Also, it’s estimated that more than 409 million people will look at over 20 billion pages per month.
And so for your page to stand out from all that noise, you’d likely want to know all of the most up-to-date trends and how they’re going to help you.
If your website is a blog, an E-commerce platform or anything in between, then implementing new strategies and tactics drawn from relevant 2019 WordPress trends can really help your business.
So before you rush to make some changes to your sites and blogs, keep this in mind:
More is Less — Now that’s the major trend of 2019, across a variety of niches and industries.
So your objective should be to have a sleek, smart site with all the newest plugins necessary.
At the same time, don’t overdo it since you wouldn’t want to overwhelm your ideal viewers.
But following the latest WordPress web development trends doesn’t mean you’re just simply copying what everybody else is doing.
This certainly doesn’t mean your site will be the same as others.
Quite the opposite, keeping up with new WordPress trends will allow you to make your website look and feel more unique with numerous features and methods of engagement.
So designing a unique and stylish website has never been easier.
But as technology improves at such a fast rate, we need to keep up with the latest trends.
And the main design trends this year involve vibrant color themes, animations and micro-interactions.
Meanwhile, things like Virtual Reality, video headers and personalized chatbots are becoming more common.
Here, we’re going to take a look at how WordPress Webmasters are prioritizing mobile viewing experience.
And we won’t forget to discuss just how significant E-commerce will continue to be this year.
But first, let’s start with a snapshot of facts and figures that can provide us with a lot of options for improving our WordPress properties.
WordPress Web Development & Design Trends by Numbers
WordPress has released stats of their most recent studies.
Using its own plugins to wow us, you can see an interactive map.
This shows all WordPress posts, comments and likes from around the world.
If you use Jetpack, then you’ll be able to view your stats with its integrated system.
So now back to WordPress:
- There are 70 million new WordPress posts per month;
- There are 77 million new comments in WordPress posts and pages per month;
- Blogs hosted by WordPress are written in more than 120 languages;
- WordPress 5.2 has been downloaded 16,712,361 times (22% of all Webmasters); and
- 26.7% of Webmasters still use WordPress 4.9.
No other website CMS can boast such numbers.
According to ilovewp.com, there are 18,262 published plugins.
And when you take a look at active plugins, Classic Editor has more than 4,000,000 installs.
Now the WordPress team has this figure at over 5 million.
And as you can imagine by its name, this is a classic editor that looks similar to a text document and is really simple to use.
On the other hand, the most downloaded plugin is Elementor Page Builder with over 10 million downloads.
These numbers show that people want to focus on design and layout before getting to the nitty-gritty.
But with so many plugins to choose from, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start.
This is why keeping up with the most relevant WordPress trends this 2019 can help you narrow down the many options and pinpoint the most suitable strategies, themes, plugins and tactics to use for your WordPress websites this year.
Pros & Cons of These WordPress Web Development Trends
For some Webmasters, the idea of updating their site is just a headache.
It might take too long, or you’re happy with the way your site is working at the moment.
But remember, keeping up with trends in WordPress is no different from following trends in IT, music or fashion.
Instead, it’s a simple case of keep up, or get left behind.
For example, a psychologist actively learns about the latest studies to help his or her patients.
Meanwhile, a builder constantly tries to learn about new materials that can improve their work.
So as a Webmaster, your goal is to provide your target viewers and ideal customers with the best experience while they’re browsing the content of your websites and blogs.
And here are more benefits that you can gain when you follow the latest WordPress trends today:
- Much Better Options — Developers are constantly working to develop new plugins and themes, or improve their existing products. And you might find that a new plugin or an improved theme has similar features to the ones you’re using at the moment, but are much lighter and faster. Also, some new themes and plugins might enhance what you’re currently using, which is another way of improving how your site runs;
- New Marketing Strategies & Content Publishing Tactics — If your top competitors aren’t following the latest WordPress trends this year, then you could out-do them with suitable strategies and techniques that you can develop from these trends; and
- More Unique Look & Feel — New plugins and themes can make your sites and blogs stand out from the digital properties of your competitors. You can learn more about this in our section on specific trends.
Some of the main disadvantages of not using these new WordPress trends to good use are the exact opposite of the benefits that you can get when you do this.
But the worst result of not keeping at pace with these latest development trends is that your site might look dated.
So imagine a row of beautiful gardens, but your own looks like an overgrown jungle — This won’t definitely attract more viewers!
And now for the other disadvantages of ignoring these trends:
- Outdated WordPress CMS, Plugin Features & Security Protocols — Introducing new form and function requirements drawn from a new trend to your site encourages us to do some general cleanup and maintenance work. This in turn can improve the speed and security of your WordPress site;
- Inefficient Digital Marketing & Costly Web Publishing Campaigns — Just like how technology quickly evolves, you should also ensure that your sales and marketing tactics are aligned with relevant trends, which can significantly affect the behavior, habits, preferences and needs of your target audience; and
- Buggy Compatibility Support — New devices are constantly being introduced to global markets. These include the latest smartphones and desktops, which are mostly integrated with advanced display technologies. These also run on up-to-date versions of various platforms, apps and tools. So this combination of the newest hardware and software might not have the right compatibility support for your outdated WordPress CMS, theme and plugins. This can result to poor viewer experience, slow loading posts and pages among other issues.
Top 12 WordPress Web Development Trends of the Year
Pageless WordPress Themes for a Minimalist Approach
Your WordPress site needs to provide media-rich content.
Plus, you should regularly keep your site updated with fresh posts and pages.
And with so much space to put content on your site, you might start to unknowingly add unnecessary blocks of text, images and videos to your posts and pages.
This is a recipe for disaster today, since dense content tends to make modern viewers quickly lose their interest and attention.
Pageless or single page sites are rapidly becoming more popular.
That’s because more viewers now prefer sites and blogs that are much like mobile apps.
This is when only the most useful information is shown to viewers, and one easy click, a simple tap or a quick swipe can take them to the section that interests them the most.
And if you have just one page, then you won’t be tempted to add anything irrelevant.
Plus, one massive advantage of switching your site to pageless is for its SEO benefits.
Having a single page keeps your content organized, media-rich and SEO-friendly, and this can also make it more straightforward for you to improve your Google rankings.
Skoda, KitKat and UCHUR are all using single page WordPress themes.
You won’t need any extra plugin to do this — This is just a question of clever design.
Imagine you’re the customer.
Consider how you’d like to see all relevant information in one page.
Now also imagine simply scrolling up and down, left and right, to access the content that you want.
This is how more viewers prefer to browse content on the Web today.
You’re bound to quickly find many single-page themes that have been designed for those who want a single page site.
Creativo and Montblanc are 2 of the top ones this 2019.
Video Headers Attract More Viewers
Today, more viewers are likely to prefer watching a video than to read text.
This applies to a lot of niches and industries, but of course, not all.
But what this means is that interesting videos can entice more viewers to go and spend time in our sites.
So it might be time to learn how to add a video header to your WordPress site.
Cisco provided an in-depth report on forecasts that cover 2017 to 2022.
Their findings say by 2022, IP video traffic will account for 82% of all IP traffic.
Now the main benefit of a video header is that you can attract more viewers to your site.
And it’s also a great, fun way to engage your target audience.
Vlog is a WP theme where you can add videos from YouTube straight to your site.
You can choose one or many videos to insert into the homepage slider.
There are over 200 layouts to customize your video frames, and each is optimized for speed.
Meanwhile, Powerclub Lite is a free WP theme and will also allow you to customize your video header layout.
It’s compatible with many other themes, including WooCommerce and NextGen.
It appears to be aimed at the health and fitness industry, but it can be used for any type of website.
There are many video header themes that are also designed for single page sites.
Don’t feel you have to choose between the two.
The Lara Theme is a great example of simplicity, elegance and timely support for video headers.
Even though videos are an excellent way to improve your user experience, always avoid overdoing it.
Video headers are designed to capture attention, so keep them short and sweet.
Drag & Drop with Gutenberg
Gutenberg has significantly changed the way many Webmasters design their posts.
Everything is now organized into blocks.
For example, there’s a quote block, audio block, heading and subheading block and a code block.
Each block can be inserted, arranged and styled for the perfect layout.
Simply drag and drop files, and you’re now ready to make some modifications and changes.
The great thing is how easy Gutenberg has made post design.
It’s especially handy for beginners with no relevant WordPress posting and formatting experience.
But many of us already know how drag and drop features work, so we won’t feel like complete novices.
What’s more, you don’t need to open a separate window to see previews of content that you want to post.
We’ve all been frustrated when our layout has changed once we switch to preview mode.
Using Gutenberg, you can see exactly what your post will look like.
Now you can also edit your posts from a mobile device with the same drag and drop features.
Choose YouTube videos or images from the gallery, and drop them to your posts.
There’s a button that you can select to see the HTML version of the post.
Gutenberg is the default editor for WordPress version 5.0 and later.
At the moment, it only has the option to design posts and not full websites.
But we’re fairly convinced that this can be an update to look for in the future.
Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR)
Up until now, many of us associate VR with games.
But AR and VR can put a 3D twist on your site.
Customers can feel a stronger connection to content and sites that they’re familiar with because of their real world experience.
For example, VR can change a standard property site to a 3D tour of homes for rent or sale.
Interested customers can see the entire house and get more of a feel for it before going for a visit.
This saves a lot of time because the customer can make more informed decisions early on.
AR is technology that integrates digital content into the real world.
The world first tasted AR gaming when Pokémon Go was released.
And if you’ve ever been in Ikea’s site and played with their 3d designs, then you’ve had a taste of AR already.
This is where you’re able to preview different furniture items in your house before buying it.
There’s no doubt that both VR and AR are going to grow in 2019 and beyond.
Any form of e-commerce or design site will benefit from the “try before you buy” concept.
Some WordPress themes are already integrated with these features.
A few are quite cheaper than you might think, considering the impact it can have on your site.
Prices start from as little as $10.
Don’t be put off by VR or AR because it’s too modern and could be complicated.
Many plugins that provide this technology are straightforward.
Read reviews to check about customer service and support before you choose the most suitable plugin from a list of options.
E-Commerce Continues to Rapidly Grow
Online shopping is nothing new, but the trends in lots of retail industries are constantly changing along with our buying preferences.
A massive $2.84 trillion was spent online in 2018.
This is more than double the amount in 2014.
We’re likely to see this rise to over $4 trillion by the end of 2020.
One thing set to improve in 2019 is the way we make our payments.
Smarter, safer and faster payments will reduce the number of shoppers who put things in the cart but leave before buying anything.
You’re recommended to choose a suitable single payment platform.
This means you have more control over your money without worrying too much about different platforms or currencies.
Payoneer is a trusted option.
Not only does it make payments easier, but it can also help you to save money with exchange rates and faster clearances.
It’s free to use, and there are no monthly fees.
Another hot e-commerce trend for 2019 is Dropshipping.
This business model is quite straightforward.
A customer places an order on your site, and you buy the product from a cheaper retailer.
The retailer ships the product directly to the customer, and you pocket the profit. This is ideal for those who don’t have a lot of capital resources.
Meanwhile, WooCommerce runs 70 million E-commerce sites.
It’s a free WordPress plugin, but you’ll need to buy certain add-ons.
WooCommerce allows for higher security and subscriptions, as well as many other features to run an E-commerce site.
Also, keep an eye out for BigCommerce, a new WordPress plugin that’s set to challenge WooCommerce.
Animations for Adding Motion to Images, Videos & Texts
Animations are a way of adding movement to your site without the need for large videos.
There’s no need to worry about your site running slower because modern animations often don’t weigh sites down.
Normally, streamlined visual motion can make sites look more attractive.
Animations can be applied to videos, images, headers and page transitions. They are ideal if you want to highlight specific information on your site.
By animating one element, it can stand out from the rest.
It isn’t a new concept, but it has certainly developed this year.
Animations are now focused more on the way viewers interact with your content.
Examples are animations like mouse-hovers and page scrolling.
There are already numerous plugins that allow you to create animations, many of which are free.
Animate It adds CSS3 animations to your site.
Your animations can flip, bounce, flash and pulse.
Viewers can apply this movement continuously, or for a certain number of repetitions.
Also, Easy Textillate is a good free WordPress plugin if you want to animate your text.
It has numerous libraries to best suit your style and preferred animation types.
You can simply select the options that you want and add it to your content.
Meanwhile, CSS3 Rotating Words doesn’t have a huge amount of options like these other WordPress plugins.
But if you want to rotate a phrase, changing a word as it rotates, then this is the right plugin for you.
Parrallax Scrolling for Smoother User Experience
It’s hard to imagine a website that doesn’t have standard scroll up and down features.
Now parrallax scrolling lets viewers scroll individual sections of a website.
Viewers can save a lot of time by not having to scroll throughout a site just to find information that interests them.
The 2019 trend for parallax scrolling is where background images move at a slower speed than foreground images.
This helps create a 3D illusion.
But this should be subtle and not something that will draw attention away from your main content.
Like many aspects of web design, it’s easy to get carried away.
So before you know it, there’s so much movement on your site that users can’t focus and rest their eyes.
This means before you start implementing parallax scrolling into your site, take a closer look at some examples.
EdenYale, Crema, and Hitachi have all used this technique to create stylish and attractive sites.
There are some good free plugins for parallax scrolling, such as Advanced WordPress Backgrounds.
It isn’t compatible with all themes, though you won’t have any issue if you’re using Gutenberg.
Now this might require a bit of concentration at first, but its effects are often worth it.
On the other hand, Slider Revolution is a much easier option.
This premium WordPress plugin is great value for money and comes with a huge range of features.
It’s worth investing in a premium plugin for parallax scrolling, as they tend not to affect speed or SEO.
CSS grids & Much Better Mobile Responsiveness
Since 2016, more people have been browsing the Web using smartphones and other mobile devices more than desktops.
But today, almost everybody’s using their mobile devices for all their online needs.
In fact, everywhere you go, you’re likely to see smartphone users viewing Web content, studying or shopping.
Now obviously, websites need to be suitable for desktops, tablets and mobile screens, even TVs.
But different brands, makes and models of these devices have a huge variety of screen sizes.
And your site has to be compatible with each.
A CSS grid is a responsive grid that changes the size of content, depending on where it’s being displayed.
When you make your screen smaller, you’ll see the content shrinks.
Not only this, but the content is also re-arranged in ways to make it easily readable and visible.
Kuhn is a WordPress theme that’s already being used to automatically adjust the size of your content to fit the current screens.
Meanwhile, Elementor is an awesome plugin that’s simple to use.
Your site is more likely to be visible on any type of device because you can set dynamic widths to each element that you insert into your page.
On the other hand, the WPtouch plugin can do the same, and it also makes sure that your mobile-friendly site complies with the latest Google SEO standards.
We know how SEO works, but many may not realize Google has a specific mobile-friendly algorithm.
Also, in most cases today, you might want your site to be optimized for mobile search in Google than desktop search because of the sheer number of mobile users.
Micro-Interactions for Macro-Impact
Micro-interactions are already all over the Web today.
By definition, these are so small we probably don’t pay much attention to them.
The most common micro-interactions are social media share and like buttons.
You also see these micro-interactions when little icons pop up that let you interact with the content after you scroll over an area of a post.
Another more subtle example is when you delete something and your device displays a message that reads “deleting” or “processing”.
Now these allow interaction from both sides, you as the site owner and your viewers.
For instance, when you carry out any form of online banking transaction, there’s a moment between clicking OK and the transaction finalizing.
This is when a micro-interaction shows the user that something is happening.
So by using micro-interactions, you’re bringing your site to life.
It provides interactivity and engagement.
Not everyone wants to add videos to their site, so this is a way to make your site more attractive.
Plus, it provides high levels of interaction without slowing down your site.
Let’s say you’re a chef, and you just added your newest recipe to your WordPress food blog.
Let’s say at the top of the recipe is an image of the food.
Now a neat micro-interaction can make this image pop up when your viewers put mouse or control focus over it.
Many WordPress themes and plugins are already integrated with features to use micro-interactions on text.
Going back to the chef example, you can highlight the name of the recipe and then share it across a variety of social media platforms.
This feature is also very useful for blogs and E-commerce sites that need maximum social media visibility.
If you want to add micro-interactions to your page, then take a look at plugins like MaxButtons, Pulse, Highlight and Share among others.
And if you already have Animate It, then you’ll be able to use this plugin to create micro-interactions.
Vibrant Colors Combined with Asymmetrical Layouts
Color has and always will be a major aspect of all types of design, from homes to clothes.
And it certainly shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to designing your WordPress site.
Color themes can say a lot about the personality of your brand.
It can also affect the mood of your viewers.
Here are a few examples of using color to provoke buyer emotions:
- Red & Orange — Exciting and aggressive colors that promote a sense of urgency;
- Purple — The color of wisdom and suggests luxury;
- Blue — Encourages a sense of trust. This is often used by banking and insurance sites; and
- Green — Promotes peace and nature. Many of your viewers are likely to feel like they’re choosing a healthy option.
So for the last decade, the rule of thumb for Web design was to play it safe.
Many of us often kept to pastel colors that wouldn’t offend the audience.
The layout also needed a certain amount of symmetry to display your levels of organization.
But this year’s trend is quite the contrary.
Bright bold colors are encouraged.
They don’t just make your site “pop”.
Instead, they also show a brave, fearless brand behind the site.
And if you want some inspiration, then cobalt blue, natural green, gold and neon colors are all in fashion.
Also, 2-color themes are also on the rise.
For example, the Skin theme lets you choose 2 colors to create a gradient color scheme.
Or, you can create and design your own gradient patterns.
This year, there’s no need to have each image inline with text and other visual elements.
Overlapping design is the new trend.
For instance, the Overlap theme uses Drag and Drop features that allow you to create a layout exactly how you want it.
But remember, bold colors and overlapping texts and images can look really cool, though not if you overdo it.
Your site still has to be easy for your target audience to view and use.
So before you launch your WordPress site, take a moment to make sure it has the right amount of “pop”, without going over the top.
Personalized Chatbots to Assist with Customer Support
The most successful sites today provide professional customer support.
Traditionally, your viewers should be able to conveniently send a message or an email to request for assistance.
But today, this isn’t fast enough for many users.
That’s because modern viewers are looking for instantaneous solutions.
And live chat services are among the best ways to deliver instant customer support.
But do keep in mind to avoid infuriating customers more.
Many of us know how annoying it is to listen to an automated voice prompt that says something like “Press 1 for …”.
Now chatbots can’t have this same system as lots of customers won’t feel like they’re being treated personally.
So here’s why Webmasters should integrate personalized chatbots into their WordPress sites today:
- Fast response to customer issues;
- Less chance of error;
- It’s easier to communicate;
- You’re more engaged with your viewers and customers;
- You can provide 24/7 support; and
- Most of your customers can leave your site with a happy experience.
According to botpenguin, 85% of businesses will be using chatbots by 2022.
Some major industries that now use chatbots are hospitality, retail, customer service, real estate and banking.
Chatbots can use text and voice chat to interact with customers.
In the same report from botpenguin, 46% of businesses already use AI-powered engines for voice dictation.
Basically, an AI chatbot communicates with their viewers and customers through text and voice chat sessions.
Now chatbots are used for tasks like ordering a pizza and for providing counseling services, among others.
Some of the best chatbots for 2019 are Free Live Chat and IBM Watson.
Also, collect.chat is a chatbot that collects data from your site visitors.
You can use this to learn more about the interests and preferences of your viewers, which can greatly help you adapt your services to their habits.
Brutalism — Turning Back the Clock When It Comes to Design
After WWII, there was very little money to rebuild a lot of structures.
So here, brutalism in architecture was born.
But there was nothing brutal about it.
This actually means “raw”.
Though this is more than just minimal design techniques.
Instead, brutalism is also raw in function and purpose.
The word “raw” might conjure up thoughts of a very plain site.
But this isn’t the case.
Though it does describe a site that doesn’t have many of the things we mentioned here.
So brutalism forgets about animation, video headers and micro-interactions.
Imagine oversized and various fonts, along with pictures displayed on top of each other.
It’s raw in a sense that it hasn’t been formatted for hours on end.
This site is a perfect example of brutalism in action, in terms of design.
Also, Craigslist was probably one of the first sites to use brutalism.
It’s purposeful without any kind of distraction.
WordPress is driven by new and interesting plugins for attractive, lively Web design.
Now the idea of brutalism is still quite new.
There aren’t many themes and plugins for this at the moment, but there are enough to likely cover most of your needs.
But in order to design a brutalist site, you’re going to have to first change your way of thinking.
So step away from all the Web design principles and concepts you’ve learned over the years.
Now think clashing color rather than safe choices.
Fonts should be large and mismatched, for example.
Some of the best WordPress themes to use for this purpose are the older default themes.
Any theme by Automattic can likely help you organize your content in a raw fashion.
And if in doubt, themes like Elementor are great ways to start because they provide you with a blank sheet from the beginning.
Though keep in mind, this style is unlikely suited to every type of website.
Many Webmasters tend to have a love-hate relationship with the idea.
And if you do go down this road, do some research before you start.
How to Take Advantage of These Top WordPress Web Development Trends
Now that you learned all about the top WordPress trends today in terms of Web design and development, let’s talk about particular ways of using this knowledge to your advantage.
So we prepared some tips and recommendations that can help you do this.
And here they are:
Make the Most of Color Schemes & Typography
According to this 2014 research study, 90% of the information we absorb is visual.
So one of the first steps in web design for 2019 is to choose your color scheme.
If you have no branding ideas in mind at the moment, then you can decide on any set of colors.
Just think about what you want to achieve from your site, and how colors can help.
For example, chocolate brown is great for a baking blog, but maybe not for selling children’s toys.
Also, if you have a logo or an old site that you want to update, then you might want to stick with the same color theme.
But this isn’t to say that you can’t follow new design trends.
For instance, if you have pastel yellow, then you can change it to lemon yellow.
And if your current site is a solid color, choose a second color to set a gradient.
Remember, your colors should complement each other in some way.
You want to grab the attention of your ideal viewers, but you obviously don’t want to freak them out.
Also, bold text today is great.
And don’t feel it always has to be horizontal.
Sherif text is also coming back in fashion.
Asymmetry is key, especially if you aren’t planning to add dimensions.
Use AI Tech for Increasing customer satisfaction
AI (artificial intelligence) is going to be huge in many parts of our lives.
Right now, we’re seeing AI chatbots to help resolve customer doubts and problems.
These are robots that use machine learning algorithms to better interact with humans.
Lots of companies are able to save money because of this.
But chatbots don’t just have to be used for customer service.
They may well play an active part in our children’s education.
So you’re better off getting to grips with it now.
And AI technology doesn’t necessarily translate to expensive plugins.
So before choosing one based on price, find out how easy it is to use.
Start Learning New Skills
All of the latest trends in our roundup can provide us with the opportunity to learn new skills.
Imagine the sense of achievement you would get from designing an online clothes store with integrated AR (augmented reality).
Shoppers would be able to “try on” clothes through their mobile devices before buying.
Add Motion to Attract More Attention
There’s a fine line here between just enough motion and not enough.
Inserting a video header can help gain the initial attention of viewers so they’re likely to feel more enticed to keep on browsing.
Even small enhancements like a rotating text can bring a whole new dimension to a site.
If you’re going to add animations or micro-interactions, then try to explore all the benefits that can come with these improvements for your target viewers.
For example, instead of a jumping icon when the cursor rolls over it, see if there is a way to flip or rotate it.
But if you decide to add an action to each image and text, then your site might look like a can of jumping beans rather than a business webpage.
So as always, don’t go over the top.
You wouldn’t want to run the risk of the page looking unprofessional and distracting users from your primary messages.
Keep It Simple
You may not want to go as extreme as developing a WordPress site through brutalism design techniques.
but do keep in mind that “less is more” today.
So pageless or single page WordPress themes can prevent you from adding unnecessary content or distractions.
Instead, this forces you to get down to the point.
And remember, you just have a few seconds to grab the attention of your audience and clearly communicate your primary message.
And if you’re struggling to keep it simple, then use a WordPress theme that’s specifically designed for a simple layout.
Also, force yourself to follow a layout — Just because something is minimalistic, this doesn’t make it dull.
So keep these tips and suggestions in mind when you start generating new ideas for optimizing your WordPress sites and blogs this year.
And don’t forget to do some split tests.
This can enable you to identify the most effective strategies and tactics that you can scale up to generate much better results for your business.