What to expect from WordPress in 2015

Now that the last days of 2015 are upon us, we can outline what we can expect from WordPress in 2015.

Web design trends

In the year 2014 we have seen the introduction of great styles and features, making our browsing experience much more pleasant. As expected, WordPress has closely followed these trends through the introduction of many plugins and themes.

For all those who are keen to learn more about what would be new in the world of WordPress web design and those who are on the lookout for the best techniques to use in the development of their new website in 2015, these new trends are important.

Although not all of these will apply with the same strength to every type of business, website or blog, one should keep them in mind and apply them whenever possible to develop great websites that his users are sure to love and visit often.

Responsive design

In 2015 responsive design will become not just a trend but also a norm for WordPress theme design. Nowadays it is a must to have a responsive design. As browsing encompasses more and more devices at a very fast rate, you will need to ensure you have a website that looks great, no matter what type of device is being used to access it. It is unacceptable to have a website, which layout is breaking down on small devices or doesn’t display correctly on very wide screens. If you don’t account for responsive design, you website traffic will suffer.

Flat design

More and more Word Press websites will adopt the use of flat design. Flat design removes effects like shadowing, texture, beveling, etc. with the aim to create … flat design. It ensures you’re the elegant and clean look of your website while still attracting visitors with bold colors. This kind of minimalistic design grows in popularity and it will develop even further in 2015.

Large images and videos and less text

The popularity of full-screen videos and images used for backgrounds of WordPress themes is also gaining momentum. They ensure the websites stands out and emphasize the power and beauty of your website in a new way.
A stunning image with a descriptive and short text overlay or a short clip that showcases your business ensure your website has a much bigger impact on your visitor than a lot of images and texts. This is especially true when your WordPress website is being accessed through a tablet or mobile phone.

Typography on the rise

Not so long ago it was costly to find and use the correct typography and not all were able to use it the way they wanted. These days, however, the prices of web fonts are going down and there are more and more free fonts available at places like Google Fonts, allowing the typography to assume a more prominent role in WordPress web design and not only. Those tried but overused fonts like Times New Roman and Ariel will be more often replaced by stylish, cool, and much more sophisticated fonts that allow your site to look better and stand out.

The importance of scrolling is on the rise

As web design practices that apply to all types of devices are gaining momentum, the importance of scrolling is also higher. Single-page websites, allowing you to scroll through their content will gain more popularity in the WordPress theme design in 2015 even though these lack the SEO power websites with multiple pages have. Single page websites or stacked pages also look and function better on the traditional devices we use to access our websites with by reducing page load time and allowing for a more intuitive experience on site.

The rise of Card Design

Websites such as Spotify and Pinterest prove how worthy such a design style is. When used, Card Design allows your information to be shared in a more digestive way, and keeps the appearance of your website more organized and modular. The use of cards allow visitors to browse the page in greater depth, and reveal more information while they do so. There is no best way to present your work on tablets and mobile phones. This style has been in existence for a long while but will remain as a trend in 2015 due to its effectiveness and simplicity.

So much for design but what can we expect from the new WordPress 4.1 release?

As a start, we can look forward to no less than 3 important new features – an easy language access, a distraction free and improved writing mode and a new theme.

Twenty Fifteen

One of the upcoming release’s most notable features is the addition of a brand new theme – Twenty Fifteen. In my opinion, it is one of the best WordPress theme included in a release so far. It will look much cleaner than Twenty Fourteen and focus on basics. The theme is an example of how one can achieve more with less. Additional features and functionality are always available through plugins.

The distraction-free mode just got better

The distraction-free mode is an effort to improve the process of post editing. The current WordPress versions allow fullscreen access, granting you the means to write content without being distracted. The only problem with it is that it hides almost everything and all your tools are only accessible if you leave fullscreen mode.

This is easily solved through the new distraction free mode, which hides everything with the exception of your post editor when you write content. Should you click escape or position your mouse cursor outside the editor, all the menus float back in.

At first the feature looks a bit disorienting but I learned to like it after using it for some time.

The only downside to this new feature is that should your mouse moves out of the editor’s frame, all menus slide in. This may turn to be somewhat annoying to you if you move your mouse a lot.

Language access is now easier

It now takes minimum effort to install languages. In the general settings there is a new switcher for languages, showing both your available and installed languages.

By choosing an available language it is possible to easily and smoothly download the language pack and apply it to your WordPress installation.

Title tags are also improved

It has been a bit difficult to output the title of the website prior to 4.1. The Twenty Fifteen’s header.php doesn’t have a title tag. Instead it is made available through the declaration of theme support. The way it is being added to the theme is through wp_head() hook.

The idea is to allow users to change these titles a bit later from the backend of their site. However, because of the fact that this feature is still not very plugin friendly, theme authors are advised not to build functionality around it presently.

Better queries

The WordPress queries saw a lot of improvements in 4.1. The most important of these is the WP_Meta_Query. It has been revised and rewritten so many times that now it is substantially improved. For those who use meta queries a lot, this will be a substantial improvement.

Better theme customizer

The Theme Customizer API has also seen a range of modifications. The WordPress website lists the efforts behind it in details.

Sections and contextual panels with be made available to make the interface less cluttered. You are now able to use $wp_customize->add_section(), which allows you to pass a callback, granting you the option to enable or disable a particular section based on what URL a visitor is currently viewing.

As a conclusion I would like to add that the people behind WordPress have invested a lot of effort into improving existing systems and constantly revisiting them to improve the user interface of the CMS, improving in turn the user experience as well.

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