WordPress users have been the beneficiaries of several major changes and updates to the system so far in 2019. New data and marketing feedback has also allowed WordPress website owners to gain new insights into what makes a WordPress site work for specific types of businesses and niches. Read on to find out what’s been learned about WordPress so far in 2018 and how you can use the new information to improve your own WordPress websites.
Gutenberg Makes WordPress Easier
The release of the Gutenberg editor has arguably been the biggest change to WordPress in 2018. Gutenberg is a condensed power-editor that allows users to integrate media and other features directly into an article or post using the article’s default editor.
Many newer users and those without HTML or CSS knowledge are praising the release of the new Gutenberg editor because it makes drag-and-drop operations even simpler and more powerful. This editor hasn’t been bundled into the core WordPress release yet but is expected to be rolled out to all WordPress users by the end of 2018 or early in 2019.
So far, users who have tried the beta version of Gutenberg have left overwhelmingly positive reviews. You can try to new editor for yourself in its beta version at WordPress official Gutenberg page.
The new editor is expected to be implemented on both WordPress.com and WordPress.org versions of WordPress but it doesn’t change the imperative that WordPress users should download and install the .org version of the WordPress Content Management System on a proper web server with WordPress hosting options in order to fully take advantage of what the CMS has to offer.
Themes are Improving
We’ve learned from both an enduser perspective and as website administrators that WordPress themes are getting better each month. If you haven’t updated your WordPress theme in the past 6 months you should really be browsing some of the free or premium WordPress theme developer collections like those at ThemeForest and TemplateMonster to see if you’ve been missing out on any new designs or features.
Some of the improvements seen in WordPress themes from various developers in 2018 include new customization options and more responsiveness in frontend design. Most theme developers offer either proprietary editors or third-party plugins to allow you to make changes to your website without editing any coding.
One of the most popular style editors that can be used to customize the home page of your WordPress website is Yellow Pencil. This affordable plugin converts CSS styling options to simple graphical menu options so you can see instant changes of your site’s color scheme with just a few clicks.
Plugins are Getting More Advanced
One of the most important lessons that WordPress users and website owners are learning this year is that plugins are becoming incomparably useful tools for WordPress websites. Every WordPress website owner has a few select plugins they rely on but in general plugins have sometimes gotten a bad reputation in the past. That’s because plugins are sometimes found contain vulnerabilities that can affect the security of your WordPress websites and databases.
You can mitigate the risk of vulnerabilities from your WordPress plugins by getting secure WordPress hosting and keeping all the plugins and software that websites runs on up to date.
A couple of the more exciting plugins to recently hit the market include i-Search and CommentRefs. i-Search allows users to see live search results as they type on your WordPress website, much like is done on Google and other search providers. CommentRefs is aimed at helping you highlight and share the best comments on your articles to improve the quality of engagement on your site.
Along with these newer plugins many major and established plugins are making changes for 2018. Yoast SEO is a great example of this as it’s been implementing new coding techniques to give your WordPress website the upper-edge when it comes to search engine rankings.
WordPress Security is Improving
WordPress users and developers have learned a lot about web security in 2018. There have been prominent leaks and vulnerabilities discovered this year that had the ability the affect millions of WordPress websites.
WordPress maintains a guide on how to report bugs and potential security risks for users and developers. For those interested in finding bugs in cutting-edge WordPress technologies and versions there’s a beta testing program that is helpful to the entire WordPress community. WordPress security improves each month and should continue to tighten as 2018 progresses.
There have been several major changes to the WordPress CMS platform this year and virtually all of them have been well received. WordPress users are especially excited about the Gutenberg editor and the new, more powerful plugins that are finding their way to WordPress site owners in 2018. Keep your WordPress installation up to date to make sure you benefit from all the changes and improved user data analytics for your own websites.