The Direction of Travel for WordPress Websites

The Direction of Travel for WordPress websites

I want to help you get ahead of some important changes which are coming down the line from Google, Apple and indeed, is to do with the whole direction of travel with how websites work because you will need to make some decisions.

What is happening….


Google is clamping down on down on websites that (accidentally or not) offer a poor user experience. If you want the low down, I’ve written a blog post here.


This other silicon valley giant has, over the last couple of years, taken privacy into its core. As a result, their main web browser, Safari, may well block scripts like Google Analytics from working in the upcoming version of their O/S*.

(*Even if they roll back from this, I think this is a very significant warning shot).

What does this mean for you and your WordPress site?

I would advise all website managers to:

  1. Audit all the plugins and scripts running on your website
    (You may need help from web technicians like us help with some aspects of that)
  2. Internally agree which plugins/scripts you want to keep
    (As I bet some are no longer need)
  3. Ask your tech team about each service you would like to keep
    (As we may know issues, or may be able to suggest alternatives)
  4. Work with your tech team to remove any services you no longer need
  5. Seek qualified legal advice to create updated terms & conditions/privacy policy etc.
    (Tech teams can help with a cookie audit but generally cannot legally advise)
  6. Cookie Pop-up
    If your legal advice suggests a cookie-pop is required in some/all regions; your tech team can help implement based on their recommended criteria.

Note: a bonus win for all the above steps is that, after this extensive housekeeping is performed, your website may well receive a significant boost in performance (because it is no longer burdened with performance-sapping scripts/plugins that it does not need). In fact, many of the steps above are what we do as part of a performance audit anyway.

Google Analytics & Safari

From our experience, Apple’s Safari web browser accounts for anywhere between 10-25% of all website users in Google Analytics. So if Apple blocks that traffic, you will no longer see that data & will see a dip.

You should consider the possibility that Apple is ahead of the curve here and other major web browser manufacturers will follow suit. Also, perhaps Google can find ways to make their analytical product less likely to fall into a privacy problematic landscape.

One alternative to Google Analytics I hear a lot of is Fathom Analytics – it is built from the ground up to be privacy-aware. If you are considering a move from Google Analytics, perhaps look at that (here is a post I found which may be of interest). However, I am also seeing some companies simply ditching Google Analytic full stop.

The Direction of Travel

Over the next 18-36 months, websites are going to need to become leaner, and more privacy-aware. This is almost a culture shock to the WordPress world where it has been all too easy for website managers just to install any old WordPress plugin (note: with our higher-end support clients, we take care of all plugin activity – including installation – for the reasons outlined in this email).

If you get ahead of the curve now, your website will be ready to meet the challenges coming down the line. Feel free to get in touch if you want to talk.

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