WordPress continues to be the most popular CMS in the world: an impressive 40% of all sites on the internet are built on top of it!
Here are our top 3 latest UX improvements that were introduced to WordPress CMS recently.
#1Advanced Unit Measurement Support
In order for a site to be fully responsive, it needs to use flexible, scalable units of measurement. Achieving this level of responsiveness is incredibly easy with WordPress, which now supports all types of measurement units.
Pixels are a fixed unit of measurement that don’t scale to fit different dimensions
Em and rem are scalable units that get translated into pixel values by browsers
Elements defined by em and rem can adjust according to screen size
For the best user experience, text elements should be defined by a unit like em and rem, which is able to respond to different browser settings without ruining the layout. With scalable units, the layout will adjust and the text will be properly accommodated, whether the browser font is set to 16px or 160px. Using a CMS that supports these measurements is critical to the user experience for a number of reasons:
Em and rem units bring flexibility to websites by making their elements scalable. This means that the integrity of your design will withstand screens of all dimensions, allowing more users to have a pleasant experience when navigating your site.
These units can also be used with media queries to ensure that content adjusts to a user’s default browser settings. This also means that if a user resizes down their window, the layout will shift accordingly without running off-page. With all this in place, you know that your website is functioning well for all users.
Users will be able to improve readability – they can zoom in or out as much as they like while still enjoying a user-friendly and optimised design.
This goes hand-in-hand with some accessibility improvements that were also made to WordPress. By setting em or rem values for text, it means that those who are visually impaired can scale the text up or down and still keep it on one page.
Pixel units, however, stay fixed in size and aren’t scalable, meaning that the text could run off screen, or the user would have to rely on sliders in order to read a whole sentence. This results in an awkward and inaccessible UX experience that can negatively affect dwell time.
Dwell time is a key site metric that us fellow marketers are always trying to improve. In this digital age, where high-performing sites are a base requirement, this can be hard to do if your design isn’t responsive, and could cause users to quickly click away.
By supporting more advanced measurement units, WordPress easily lets you make sure that your website can adapt to a wider range of dimensions and default browser settings, leading to a much smoother UX experience and a longer dwell time.
#2New Block Design Tools
Brand new block design tools have been introduced to WordPress: from custom line heights and link colour control to block gradients and an improved UI, both customisation and usability have been taken into account when working on the block editor.
Here are some noteworthy features:
Block patterns are a new concept, and they combine blocks that are regularly used together into a sleek, cohesive layout. This makes it really easy to seamlessly integrate something a little more complex onto a page, like a list of products or services, a gallery of images, or a contact sheet.
HTML anchors now have their own section in the block editor. This is a really easy way to optimise site navigation for users.
Inline image editing allows you to edit your images without ever having to leave the editor. Crop, rotate, adjust the aspect ratio – whatever it is you need to do, inline image editing will let you do it faster.
#3Pre-Vetted Block Plugins From The New Directory
By now, you may have heard some whispers on the wind about the new block directory that’s been introduced to the editor in WordPress. This is similar to the plugins directory that gives you unlimited options to extend the default WordPress functionality.
The new block directory is also another step towards an incredibly efficient way of customising pages with easy-to-use block plugins and improving the security of a website:
Block plugins are independent blocks that contain a minimal amount of PHP code
As a result, they will be more robust because they’re less likely to break, have the potential to run more efficiently, and will be easier to bug-fix.
Block plugins should run independently of other supporting plugins or installations
Block plugins won’t “require any external dependencies” that could otherwise affect their function. This minimises the risk of block plugins going out of date or becoming exploited.
Block plugins must conform to stricter security measures and policies
Any block plugin you select from the directory has been thoroughly pre-vetted for bugs and security risks, giving you some peace of mind.
Detailed guidelines have been provided to developers who are submitting block plugins
In order for a block plugin to be accepted into the directory, it must first meet all the requirements set out in the guidelines issued by WordPress. You can think of this as a gatekeeper that ensures only quality plugins ever reach your site.
Aside from all of these incredible security benefits, the block directory is also integrated into the visual editor.
All in all, these new features help you to achieve a more consistent web design, as well as one that is creative, engaging, and centred on UX. This is important to take advantage of; a better design means better SEO, more traffic which in turn increases lead generation.
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