WordPress is always evolving, whether that means new plugins coming out, updated versions of the platform, or even the design trends that set the tone for each year. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to figure out how to match your design process with the latest WordPress trends.
The good news is that keeping up with the latest WordPress developments isn’t complicated. There are plenty of websites and resources to help you keep your design process up to date. Plus, knowing these trends will enable you to stay at the top of your design game.
In this article, we’re going to talk about why your web design process needs to evolve, by introducing you to a couple of ways to stay ahead of the WordPress curve. Let’s jump right in!
1. Focus on Custom Design Solutions to Compete Against Website Builders
Website builders are powerful tools, but they often fall short for clients with custom requirements.
Depending on which side of the fence you’re on, website builders are either God’s gift to mankind or a serious threat to your business. If you’re a professional WordPress designer or a developer, chances are you’ve lost business over the years due to site builders. Other potential customers might just chose to use WordPress.com and set up everything on their own – especially since the platform now offers a lot more customization options, including the ability to install third-party plugins.
While the drag-and-drop builder trend can be troubling for business, however, it also represents an opportunity. Whether you’re a coder or a designer, you’re now free to focus on more custom solutions. By that, we mean offering the kinds of elements regular users can’t pull off with the latest trendy site builder. Here’s why that’s good news for you:
- It enables you to stay relevant. If you can adapt to the latest trends in WordPress, you’ll always come out ahead of other professionals.
- You can charge a premium for your services. The more specialized your work gets, the more you can charge for it, and the less pushback you’ll receive for your rates.
However, pulling these benefits off in practice can be a challenge. The first thing you’ll want to do is sell clients on your expertise, rather than your rates. A great way to do this is to find a specific niche where you’re an absolute rockstar! For example, if you’re great at designing or creating landing pages that are proven to convert (and you can showcase that to your clients), you’ll never lack business.
On the other hand, you can also stand out by offering to provide user-friendly solutions. If you develop WordPress products, for example, you’ll want to make sure they’re as easy to use as possible so they can compete against free site builders. Take Weglot, for example – while the built-in editor of our plugin isn’t a marquee feature, we still take pains to optimize it for ease of use. That way, we can reach users who would otherwise go to different platforms.
2. Target More Upmarket Niches to Expand Your Business
WordPress started off as a blogging platform, but nowadays it’s powerful enough to help you create any type of website.
As we mentioned earlier, a side effect from the WordPress user base’s love affair with drag-and-drop builders is that you may see less people looking for professional help to build a website. This means your best course of action is to focus on a more upmarket clientele. There are plenty of reasons for doing so, besides simply being able to charge more:
- They’re less likely to use platforms such as WordPress.com and Squarespace. Larger clients don’t want to use all-in-one platforms in most cases; they want good talent who can help them create custom websites.
- You’re more likely to get good references. Small projects are great, but upmarket clients may be likely to recommend you to other businesses. If you’re talented enough for the big leagues, chances are you’ll always have work coming your way.
More importantly, WordPress itself is also trying to shed its image as just a blogging platform. For example, Software as a Service (SaaS) business models are becoming more commonplace, which in turn tends to attract bigger fish. Plus, as we said earlier, WordPress.com has recently enabled the use of custom themes and plugins on its Premium theme, which now means power users can consider it seriously as an option.
In short, when an entire platform starts moving upmarket, it sends a signal that you should too. If you’ve only been using WordPress for small projects so far, it’s probably time you tried it for more serious business ventures. On the other hand, if you’re a developer or designer, you’ll probably have an easier time convincing clients that WordPress is the right platform for them. Not only is it powerful enough to handle almost any type of website, but it’s also working on improving its interface to become more user friendly, with advances such as the Gutenberg editor.
Overall, this means you’ll have an easier time talking serious clients into using the platform. Together, you’ll be able to create stylish and easy-to-use sites with powerful features.
If you dabble or work as a WordPress designer, you need to find ways to provide exceptional value to your clients. These days, it’s becoming easier for anyone to create beautiful WordPress websites, even if they don’t have experience with the platform. That doesn’t make design work obsolete in the slightest, though – it just means you need to evolve.
Here are two ways to stay on top of the WordPress design process:
- Focus on custom design solutions.
- Target clients with decent budgets.
Do you have any questions about how to adapt your design process to the current state of WordPress? Let’s talk shop in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.