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For those who follow the WordPress industry, you’ll know that the past year brought big changes, including the arrival of a certain WordPress block editor called Gutenberg. Launched at the end of 2018, Gutenberg has given creators a new way to interact with their content and made the experience more enjoyable (for some).

In 2019, WordPress releases focused on improving the editor and adding new blocks. Website owners can now do a lot more with posts and, increasingly, more with pages too.

For theme and plugin creators, Gutenberg has brought on a bit of an existential crisis. This kind of functionality is what many themes and plugins have built a following around. I believe there is a ton of life left in the theme and plugin ecosystem and that this next iteration brings new opportunities for creators to delight users.

We’ve begun to see the WordPress industry take notice too. In 2018 and 2019 there were some major acquisitions targeted at Gutenberg. Liquid Web acquired iThemes in 2018 and WPEngine acquired StudioPress, the makers of the Genesis Framework, as well as Array Themes, the makers of Atomic Blocks. In 2019, GoDaddy acquired ThemeBeans, the makers of CoBlocks.

Each of these acquisitions is aimed squarely at the future potential of Gutenberg. It’s the kind of vertical integration that’s often seen in the traditional media industries but a first for WordPress. Hosting companies, backed by thousands of active WordPress customers, are bringing design and creativity in-house.

So, what does this all mean in 2020? What can asset creators and website owners expect? Here are my top five predictions for what’s going to be happening in the WordPress space this year.

1. Gutenberg Grows

This year, the WordPress development team is hoping to launch a new repository for Gutenberg. Their aim is to make it as easy as a one-click install right from within the post or page you’re working on.

I expect that we’ll see many asset creators jump into this block repository with gusto. With a distribution method in place, this will also create opportunities for premium blocks and templates. What blocks do you think will be the most popular in this new repository?

2. Privacy, Privacy, Privacy

Do you remember when a few years ago when GDPR happened and everyone started updating their privacy policies and sending you emails?

This year, California is doing the same thing, which is creating more emails and a lot of focus on the privacy features of WordPress. As with GDPR, I predict there will be a demand for assets that support website owners with more sophisticated privacy features.

I also predict there will be an increased awareness and scrutiny on assets to see how they handle and manage user data and Personal Identifiable Information (PII).

3. Accessibility Friendly

WordPress has been making significant strides in the area of accessibility. The UI has undergone some major changes in recent updates to reflect greater awareness of accessibility needs.

With more laws and legal rulings coming out that favor web accessibility, it will continue to grow in importance for website owners and asset creators.

I predict designers, developers and users alike will be looking for ways to be more inclusive and accessibility-friendly.

4. Disruption Ready

Vertical integration, industry consolidation and company longevity are the perfect conditions for disruption.

Many of the most prominent plugins and ways of working with WordPress are getting older. That maturity brings stability and a depth of extensibility that many people value. However, it also creates space for others to reimagine solutions to historical problems.

Ecommerce, forms and events calendars are all areas that I believe are ready for new entrants.

WordPress 2020

So, while there is a lot of change happening behind-the-scenes with the WordPress industry, on the front-end there are some amazing opportunities. Asset creators who can navigate the changes brought on by Gutenberg and Elementor will do really well and those who adapt to the demand for greater privacy and accessibility will grow too.

Well, there you have it. My predictions for what will happen in WordPress in 2020. What do you think?

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WordPress Development

Get your websites back-end sorted right. Select from any of the categories below. Each bullet represents one credit. Click here for the full catalogue of services.

Including:

  • Enable logs and/or WordPress debug mode to diagnose the issue.
  • Attempt to resolve the issue if the website or logs reveal a plugin or widget related error.

Install, activate or update a Plugin

  • Install and activate one custom plugin, purchased plugin or plugin from the WordPress catalog
  • Update any number of installed plugin(s) to the current live release using WordPress Dashboard

>> You must specify which plugin(s) to update.

  • Manually update one plugin

>> Example: A specific version provided to us by uploading it to the hosting account

>> If none are specified, we will update the currently active theme

  • Manually update one theme

>> Example: A specific version provided to us by uploading it to the hosting account

Troubleshoot and fix WordPress plugin issues

  • Enable logs and/or WordPress debug mode to diagnose the issue
  • Attempt to resolve the issue if the website or logs reveal a plugin related error

Config file changes

  • Enable a specified PHP module installed on the Hosting
  • Modify the value of a PHP setting
  • Enable or disable debug mode
  • Disable Cache
  • Remove the FTP prompt when installing or updating a plugin
  • Update database connection information in WordPress configuration
  • Reconnect a WordPress database and files

Unable to log in to WordPress

Troubleshoot and fix WordPress image issues

Troubleshoot and fix 404 error, broken links, or redirect issues

Troubleshoot and fix WordPress core file errors

Troubleshoot and fix a WordPress White Screen of Death

Troubleshoot and fix a WordPress internal server error

Troubleshoot and fix a contact form issue

Theme Maintenance

Tasks include making sure your website looks professional. Select from any of the below items. Each one represents 1 monthly credit. Click here for the full catalogue of services.

Install, change or update a theme

  • Install and activate one custom theme, purchased theme or theme from the WordPress store
  • Update any number of installed themes to the current live release of theme using WordPress Dashboard

>> If none are specified, we will update the currently active theme

  • Manually update one theme

>> Example: A specific version provided to us by uploading it to the hosting account

Troubleshoot and fix theme errors

  • Enable logs and/or WordPress debug mode to diagnose the issue
  • Attempt to resolve the issue if the website or logs reveal a theme related error

Create and activate a child theme

  • Create and activate a child theme

Customise a theme

  • Modify one of the following for a theme:

>> Header

>> Sidebar

>> CSS

>> Background

>> Menu

>> (Each modification along with one revision will consume 1 credit.)