We are standing on the edge of a gorge looking off into the future of 2020 in the WordPress industry. Look closely.
What do you see?
I can see a few things, and I have outlined them in this article. Am I right? Am I wrong? We will only know this time next year.
I think most of these things will happen, but it might take more than 12 months.
So today, I bring to you my almost, kind of, sort of 2020 predictions for the future of WordPress. Most of these effect WordPress, some, the broader digital marketing industry.
The blurring of lines
I’ve been saying for some time that the lines are blurring between things generally recognized as separate. For example, SEO and copywriting are increasingly needing each other.
The massive changes in the past ten years by Google continues to reward good content; thereby, that means we need copywriting skills more than ever.
Content marketing is also a must when we talk about the business of digital marketing. Content marketing is one of the best things you can do to help your SEO efforts.
Digital marketing is the process of marketing business online or in the digital world. To do this adequately, you need to have an understanding of all the skills of digital marketing.
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We can no longer just be website designers or website developers. A website that does not make our clients money is no better than a paper brochure that no one sees.
A new source will emerge for WordPress news
The WP Tavern started as an independent news source for the WordPress community. Over the years it has evolved into a comprehensive source. Also, Audrey Capital, an angel investment company by Matt Mullenweg, purchased WP Tavern.
In other words, it is now the official third party news source for WordPress. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and the Tavern is still putting out great news and content. It may stay that way, but there will always be the possibility of the delivery being influenced by the parent company.
Therefore, I can see an independent, truly third-party news source emerge for WordPress news.
To be sure, many podcasters and bloggers are already delivering some news with commentary. One may emerge as the go-to source in 2020. Who knows?
WordPress will continue to evolve its .com platform
Several things happened this year that have some thinking that WordPress.com is going to become a bigger player in the productized service market for websites.
Automattic received an investment from Salesforce. What will be the result of this investment? No one knows for sure. Salesforce is one of the largest CRMs on the market, and Automattic’s Mullenweg hinted of possible integrations.
Automattic also now controls Tumblr, WooCommerce, and Zero BS CRM. This has the makings of an entire ecosystem similar to Shopify or Squarespace. The difference is, of course, WordPress already powers a significant part of the web.
Creating a self-contained system with all products under one roof makes it easier for someone who just wants to create the content to focus on that rather than the system running the platform.
As a person who runs my own lifestyle news platform, I can appreciate that.
WordPress open source will begin to evolve with a clear line separating it from .com
I think because of what I mentioned about the WordPress.com platform (see above), we will see more of a line between the open-source part of WordPress (.org) and the commercial part of the ecosystem (.com).
This means projects by agencies will probably bigger in scope and for larger companies. At some point in the future, you may see many small businesses completely (or almost completely) adopt the .com side of WordPress.
I realize it may not happen that way, but why would they pay for a custom build when they can pay a few dollars a month to get everything they need.
This should create a definite separation from the Open Source side from what Automattic manages.
Agencies will start delivering copy as part of the project eliminating one of the biggest headaches of a project
Did you ever get a project and waited on the content? How long did you wait? What was the roadblock?
Your client didn’t know what to write. Writing copy for your website is a different skill than writing an email to a colleague for family members.
We write every day, so we figure we can write the content, but it turns out, it is harder than it seems.
Some agencies have already begun creating the copy themselves, and that trend will continue into 2020. No one wants a project stalled because of the copy.
Don’t leave the writing of the website copy up the client. Partner with a copywriter and bring one in-house to write the website copy.
We have likely seen a peek in page builders for WordPress
Will there be other page builders in the space? I don’t know, but I can’t imagine we will see more launch than we already have. There are several popular page builders on the market, and each has its own community.
Some who used to be available have gone away. I have documented page builders over the past couple of years, including an update to my first article last year.
Some page builders have come and gone over the years, and a group of builders seems to have lasted while some have morphed into something different.
Add in Gutenberg, and page builders for blog posts aren’t really necessary if you want to customize a blog layout. Those that focused on customing blog layouts have dropped out of the race.
I believe we have what we are going to have with page builders. Sure, a new one might come along, but it will have to compete with page builders that have matured and generated a community.
Privacy policies and terms have become a necessary part of a website
I can remember several years ago when I worked for an agency. We only created privacy policies if the client was selling something online.
Those days are gone.
Companies have helped with this in the past, including using generators of some kind, but it is more important now than ever. Your client will likely have to pay for the service.
Most of your clients won’t even know its not the radar, so it will be up to us to help them navigate this process. That’s where a product like Termageddon comes in handy.
Wrapping it up
What do you see changing in 2020? I invite you to share your thoughts and predictions in the MainWP Users Facebook Group.