We live in a world of constant change. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the digital marketing space. Indeed, the frequent changes to Google ranking factors, design best practices, and the need to maintain constant vigilance against increasingly sophisticated security threats means it can be difficult to keep up.

WordPress continues to dominate the CMS marketplace in 2016. And that looks set to continue, with more and more sites being built every day using WordPress.

Major changes are happening in web design with fully responsive design becoming the standard. And with Google changing their ranking factors to penalize sites that aren’t responsive, making the switch isn’t optional.

Site speed has also become a factor in rankings since 2010, and soon Google will be taking mobile site speed into consideration for their mobile rankings.

More and more users are browsing the internet via mobile devices and this is going to drive many changes into the future. Users (especially mobile users) are becoming more selective about the sites they visit. Attractive design is becoming more important, along with mobile page load speed.

Here are some important facts about WordPress and Web Design you need to know in 2016:

General Internet Stats

The online market is expanding at a rapid pace. Around 40% of the world’s population are now online, and this number only continues to grow.

The internet plays a critically important role for retail, both in online sales and in store purchases. And with high abandonment rates, business are trying everything to optimize their shopping cart process to convert browsers into sales.

An important factor in customer abandonment is site load speed. It’s been proven that the attention span of the average person in 2016 is now less than that of a goldfish. Is it any wonder that most don’t have the patience to wait for pages to load?

Here are some more things you need to know about the current state of the internet:


It’s a fact. WordPress is undisputedly the most popular CMS in the world. It’s responsible for powering 26.7% of all CMS websites, worldwide.

There are many reasons for the enduring popularity of WordPress. For starters, it’s free and it’s also quite easy to use. Many hosting companies, like BlueHost, offer one-click WordPress installs making it even easier to get started using WordPress.

There are also plenty of theme and plugin options that add functionality and the ability to customize your site to your liking. You don’t need tohave a background in web development to use WordPress.

Here are some interesting stats about WordPress for 2016:

WordPress Themes

There are over 10,000 WordPress themes available for you to choose from. Themes are great because they allow users to easily change the look and functionality of their sites without having to code it themselves.

Thousands of themes are available for free from WordPress.org. And there are even more premium themes available on marketplaces like ThemeForest, CreativeMarket, Etsy, and more. Many themes are extremely popular and are used by hundreds of thousands of websites.

  • The Genesis Framework powers 13% of the top 10,000 sites, closely followed by Twenty Eleven (5%), Avada (4%), and Enfold (4%).
  • Globally, Divi powers 8% of sites, closely followed by the Genesis Framework (6%), Avada (6%), Twenty Eleven (6%), and Twenty Twelve (6%).
  • Avada has been downloaded over 254,000 times, making it the most popular theme on ThemeForest, and generating approximately $15,240,000 in sales.
  • ThemeForest boasts 7,578 WordPress themes in their marketplace and there are over 4,000 themes available through WordPress.org.
  • 93% of overall sales at ThemeForest are from responsive themes.
  • More than 70% of themes on ThemeForest have a niche focus.

WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins are an easy way for non-tech users to add functionality to their websites. And with over 46,000 to choose from, there’s a plugin for every possible want or need. With the sheer number of plugins available, it can be difficult for the average user to decide what’s actually worth installing. Indeed, some plugins are out of date, not supported or actually make a site vulnerable to hacking. This is why it’s usually best to stick with plugins that are popular, well-rated, and supported.

Here are some interesting facts about WordPress plugins:

  • There are more than 46,880 total WordPress plugins, which have been downloaded over 1,415,190,823 times.
  • Akismet is the most downloaded plugin at 52,551,595 times.
  • 21 plugins have reached over 1 million active installs – they are Yoast SEO, Jetpack by WordPress.com, All in One SEO Pack, Duplicate Post, Page Builder by Site Origin, Regenerate Thumbnails, Advanced Custom Fields, WordPress Importer, WooCommerce, Google XML Sitemaps, Akismet, Google Analytics by MonsterInsights, WP-PageNavi, WP Super Cache, NextGEN Gallery, W3 Total Cache, Really Simple CAPTCHA, Contact Form 7, Hello Dolly, Wordfence Security, and TinyMCE Advanced.

Web Design Trends

Design trends can shift at a moment’s notice. Yesterday’s must-have feature can quickly become obsolete. Sliders are a great example – they were extremely popular but a recent study has proved that they’re ineffective, achieving on average a 1% click rate.

And with the increasing number of websites online, you need to stand out. If your site content and layout isn’t attractive in 2016, you’re going to be losing your visitors.

There’s no doubt about it. Millennials are the biggest consumers of digital content. And they’ve grown up with internet access. If you want to impress, you need a design that’s as beautiful as it is functional. And fast to load. Not only is page load speed a factor for ranking in Google, it’s also a requirement if you want to retain your visitors.

Here’s what else you need to know:

Responsive Web Design

It’s official – if your theme isn’t fully responsive in 2016, you’re losing visitors, customers, and Google rankings.

Responsive design means that your site retains the same user experience regardless of whether it’s viewed on a desktop, tablet or a smartphone. Having a responsive design is no longer an option – it’s an expectation.

The trend towards mobile browsing isn’t going away either. More and more people are turning to their smartphones and tablets for browsing and moving away from the traditional desktop. And if your site isn’t optimized to look good on a mobile device, you’re going to lose out on traffic.

Here are a few more things you need to know about responsive web design and mobile browsing:

  • Between December 2013 and December 2015, tablet internet consumption grew by 30% and smartphone internet consumption grew by 78%. While during the same time period, desktop internet consumption dropped 1%.
  • 13% of adults only access the internet via a mobile device.
  • Mobile now represents 65% of digital media time.
  • Google rewards sites that are responsive as of 21 April 2015.
  • 40% of people will leave a non-mobile responsive site to choose another result.

Wrapping It Up

It’s an exciting time to see so many changes happening in the way we use the internet and the incredible rate of growth, especially in the case of WordPress and mobile browsing. Businesses are going to have to move quickly to keep up with changing user demands, the increase in mobile browsing, and the continual updates to Google’s ranking factors.

Did any of these facts and figures surprise you? Let us know in the comments!

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