2021 was a big year for WordPress. Besides launching a podcast, WordPress also:
- Introduced its in-house managed hosting solution
- Held WordCamp U.S. after a gap year
- Released two major WordPress core updates
These events and releases let us know what to expect from the world’s top content management system in 2022.
Here are our top predictions for WordPress in 2022:
2. Block Themes
In 2022, we expect the Full Site Editing project to conclude and several other improvements to WordPress’s user experience.
1. Full Site Editing
WordPress 5.8 release in August 2021 introduced the early FSE features to WordPress users. Full Site Editing enables WordPress users to edit page content and website design simultaneously through drag-and-drop blocks.
We can expect more FSE features when WordPress 5.9 drops in January 2022.
2. Block Themes
Block themes are WordPress themes with templates that make FSE possible.
Using the Gutenberg block editor, you can use these block themes to edit posts and website elements such as headers, footers, and sidebars.
Block themes are still largely experimental as FSE is still in its infant stages. But the release of Twenty Twenty-Two, WordPress’ most flexible default theme, signals features to look forward to in 2022.
Along with developments in FSE and block themes, we expect to see improvements to the Gutenberg plugin.
Gutenberg is following a four-phase roadmap that aims to change how WordPress users edit and customize their websites. Gutenberg 11.9 — the latest version — introduced improvements to the Site Editor in preparation for FSE.
The subsequent two phases of the Gutenberg project are collaboration and multilingual support, so we can expect the upcoming Gutenberg releases to include advancements in those areas.
As we move into The Next Decade of the Web, one trend we’re looking at is a headless content management system (CMS).
A headless CMS contains separate website front and back ends, perfect for omnichannel marketing applications. While WordPress wasn’t intended to be a headless CMS, its large market share makes it a popular choice for headless architecture.
Expect developments in this space as more companies use WordPress for its backend functionality in the coming year.
5. Improving SEO With Google Core Web Vitals
In June 2021, Google started rolling out the Page Experience update, an algorithm update that introduced three new ranking signals to improve page experience. The update was completed in September 2021.
You will now need tools such as Google’s Page Speed Insights to understand how to optimize your website for speed and ranking.
WordPress 5.6 release in December 2020 introduced several accessibility improvements. It provided the ability to add captions and subtitles to videos using the Web Video Text Tracks format (WebVTT) in the Gutenberg video block.
You can expect that trend to continue as WordPress works on WordPress 5.6’s default Twenty Twenty-One theme that conformed to WordPress accessibility-ready guidelines.
Besides that, Colorado became the first state to require state and local government websites to meet accessibility standards in 2021. Other states might soon follow suit, leading to more improvements in WordPress accessibility.
While it was considered a platform for small businesses, WordPress is now used by large enterprises for e-commerce.
In Matt Mullenweg’s keynote address at State of the Word 2020, he shared that e-commerce was a megatrend that helped propel WordPress (and subsequently, WooCommerce) forward.
As e-commerce continues to be part of our daily lives, expect more websites to use WordPress for their e-commerce functionality.
2021 was a big year for WordPress.
The trends and acquisitions give us a peek into what to expect from the world’s top content management system in the upcoming year — from Full Site Editing to accessibility and SEO improvements.
Follow @Bluehost on Twitter for the latest WordPress news.