By Tom Fanelli, the CEO of Convesio
While WordPress is far from the only website builder available, it’s hard to argue with its success. Almost 40% of one billion websites rely on this site builder, and when you think of all of the reasons why those sites were created, it’s hard to imagine how vastly different they could be. There are diverse needs and requirements, yet WordPress meets those challenges for almost two-fifths of websites. That’s some competitive edge.
When we think about the future of WordPress, we also need to be thinking about the future of the Internet, and vice versa. What I expect will shape WordPress in the years to come are also the areas that are in the highest demand right now, in 2020, in the WordPress industry and the broader digital space:
- Optimizing for speed and performance
I expect to see a greater number of integrations being connected even more intelligently to improve the user experience, or UX, for both end-users and digital professionals setting up their marketing and web analytics tools.
Following this, I anticipate that we will explore the still relatively untapped potential that personalization offers, and we’ll see a continued need for speed and performance improvements. Again, these enhancements benefit website visitors by improving UX, but also help the businesses behind those websites by increasing sales leads, conversions and revenue.
Bringing business into the future of WordPress with integrations
The reason we add integrations to our websites and other digital products is to create extra functionality. Technology does so much for us now that we expect to have systems and integrations set up to handle menial tasks behind the scenes. We want digital tools to connect and communicate with one another to take unnecessary burdens away from us.
Take a digital marketer who needs to monitor and manage analytics for their website and a variety of marketing tools such as automated email campaign software, lead generation software and their CRM, as an example. They will likely want reliable integrations across the core products they use to save time so that they can focus on diving into the marketing data and using their analysis to create real insights with plans of action.
Meeting the enormous set of needs from such a diverse range of WordPress users and websites is bound to lead to creating additional functionality, whether that involves innovation of new products or bringing existing solutions into the WordPress space through plugins and integrations. WP Fusion is a perfect example of a no-code solution that is doing this already by seamlessly connecting WordPress to marketing automation services, CRMs and other business tools to increase revenue.
Building layers of clever integrations adds complexity and there’s a risk of bloating and slowing systems, which is why managing to increase functionality without negatively impacting on performance is the greatest challenge we face in this area. From my perspective, the future of WordPress combines speed, marketing automation and business needs with next-generation websites.
Respecting the needs of each web visitor with personalization
Every website is looking for a conversion of some kind, and most commonly this involves converting web visitors into customers or clients to increase revenue. No matter what type of calls to action you have identified for your website, you can improve the likelihood of conversions by improving user experience through personalization. This means providing an experience that is personal to each web visitor by providing exactly what they are looking for.
In the past, personalization in WordPress caused performance concerns due to the large number of database calls that personalization plugins typically made. However, next-generation web hosts like Convesio can solve this problem, with personalization that doesn’t threaten performance.
Websites aiming for conversions, whether these are leads, sales or subscribers, will benefit from adding the following functionality, much of which can be powered by the likes of WP Fusion:
- Using tags to control access to content
- Tracking purchases and subscription statuses
- Sending form submissions to your CRM
- Recovering abandoned carts
As is so often the story with technology, there’s a fine balance to achieve with personalization. First, storing more information on your users is not necessarily more helpful. Having too much information becomes difficult to filter and manage, so it’s a good idea to identify specific information that you want to measure rather than trying to monitor everything.
Second, it’s important to keep a safe distance between serving web visitors what they need versus showing them you store too much information about them. This will likely seem unnecessarily personal and possibly uncomfortable for users, which could damage their trust and loyalty. With that in mind, I see the most important aspect of personalization for WordPress in 2020 (and beyond) as respect for users.
Optimizing speed and performance for search engines and users alike
Website speed is a key metric for both search engines and website users, and the significance of speed and performance cannot be understated. Google’s new Core Web Vitals metric places extra emphasis on the importance of website performance, both in terms of speed and the experience your web visitors have on each of your web pages.
However, speed and performance can sometimes be threatened by adding functionality to your website. Additional functionality tends to use more server resources, which could slow your sites and will negatively impact both search rankings and user experience, which is bad for business.
The future of WordPress requires additional web functionality and optimized speed and performance to co-exist, and it’s usually your website host that stops this from happening.
If your WordPress website is hosted on a regular server that is not optimized for WordPress, you could experience issues such as:
- Slow site speed
- No caching functionality
- Unreliable uptime
Hosting providers can solve a big portion of these issues for you, and choosing a WordPress-optimized hosting solution brings even greater benefits. For instance, Convesio fixes your website speed issues and reduces downtime to zero because it is set up to intentionally provide solutions to these problems. Meanwhile, Convesio also caters to your business and website needs in real-time, for example, by scaling up to deal with a sudden increase in traffic from a successful marketing campaign.
There is a growing need for optimizing the speed and performance of WordPress websites with extended functionality, and this is critical for many businesses. Consider a landing page on a website. It needs to load instantly to rank higher in Google searches, but it also needs to load instantly because users aren’t going to wait around. With optimized performance, you increase the likelihood of converting web visitors into paying customers, clients, subscribers or sales leads.
Let’s say you have also added extra functionality because you want to track this progress and hook up your data with marketing automation tools. All of this is essential for business and you shouldn’t need to choose between functionality or speed and performance. WordPress requires a more holistic approach to business needs, and we must acknowledge the role of WordPress in commercial success.
Solving WordPress problems now and in the future
Creating a website now that’s fit for the future is a near-impossible task because business and marketing needs in the digital space will continue to evolve, and so will technology. However, we can make smarter choices about the technology we invest in to future-proof our websites as much as possible. When it comes to WordPress, we need to meet our commercial needs through the websites we build and the tools, products, and plugins we purchase.
WP Fusion is well-positioned for this because it connects WordPress to anything, gearing up its users to increase their revenue by bringing marketing automation into their websites. There’s so much scope for businesses to have even the most bespoke needs fulfilled by hooking up their WordPress websites with integrations through WP Fusion’s no-code solution. It brings business and marketing a step closer to WordPress, and in doing so, brings WordPress a step closer to the future.
Complementing WP Fusion’s integrations, Convesio offers innovative solutions to some of the major problems with WordPress now and in the future. While WP Fusion changes the WordPress space by integrating tools, Convesio brings the next generation of managed WordPress hosting into play with the first self-healing, autoscaling, platform-as-a-service for creating and managing WordPress sites optimized for speed and performance. Find out more about Convesio.
Rather than repeating mistakes of the past, such as adding functionality that slows websites, it’s important to take considered steps forward in the world of WordPress, not least because we have the power to move 40% of the Internet forward with us. By considering business needs such as integrations, personalization, and optimizing for speed and performance, we can pave a healthier future for WordPress that encourages commercial success.
This not only benefits the WordPress community and the businesses that are part of this ecosystem, but it also benefits every brand with a WordPress website and creates a better experience for the enormous number of people visiting WordPress websites all over the world every single day.