In the previous year, there has not been a striking trend that encapsulated all WordPress themes. The difference was quite minimal. The noticeable trend though is that themes are becoming simpler but neater. In this post, we will talk about WordPress theme design trends for 2013.
As Mashable forecasted, 2013 is the year of responsive web design. This speaks much volume in the use of mobile phones to access blogs and websites. Responsiveness is key to get users explore more of the site instead of feeling frustrated waiting for items to load. This eliminates the need for users to resize and pan windows, scroll the page and do additional steps to show content. Also, content gets to be read with compatibility in layout even when it is viewed using the desktop, tablet, smartphone, etc. with varying screen size and other proportions. This fosters convenience to every type of user.
2. Sleek Mobile Navigation
In relation to the first point, many of the WordPress themes will strive to have mobile-friendly design and navigation. This is to target a wider market of users who are on the go and prefer to seek references while they are not on laptops and desktop computers. Navigation on the mobile device for 2013 comprise of minimal buttons and dropdown menu.
3. Parallax Scrolling
Parallax scrolling is a special scrolling method mostly used for friendly and easy navigation in computer graphics. The effect is that the site will appear like there’s an added depth and top layers seem to form overlaps on the bottom layers of the page. Try downloading and installing “Parallax Universe,” “Pen & Paper,” and “Mercurial” themes to see how parallax scrolling works best.
4. Masonry Style
Taking inspiration from Pinterest, Tumblr and other portolio sites, David DeSandro’s Masonry style is such a trendy design this year. With only a jQuery plug-in, any web designer can craft their websites to have dynamic grids with items that can be arranged either horizontally then vertically. To benefit users’ eyes, this layout optimizes the presentation of content meshed in a page. Check out Pronto.
5. Metro Style
We have the design of Microsoft’s Windows 8 to blame for this. The Metro Style consists of bold blocks that are great to segregate the different topic areas in a WordPress blog. Conveying minimal styling, each element in a block can stand out with a unique and attractive color that captures attention. Examples of such themes are “Nemo” and “One Touch.”
Remember that trends for 2013 circle around having uncluttered themes. If you think that only the background images and images embedded on the sidebar and content area are what make your content look attractive, think again. With great typography designs, you can have an edge against other web pages which take some time to load because of these heavy graphics. There are tons of millions of font styles that can be downloaded for free, so take advantage and apply appropriate font faces to your site.
7. Pantone colors
In case you don’t know yet, pantone color of the year 2013 is Emerald Green. There will be more themes in WordPress that has pantone colors either on the foreground, background, tables, etc.
8. Fixed Header Bars
In Excel, this is called freezing the first row of the spreadsheet. This is to guide the viewers of data on the columns they are reading. In terms of web design, fixed header bars serve to help users navigate through the site regardless the page they are in. Improving overall experience, having fixed header bars can also help to boost brand awareness as you may have your brand name and logo part of the fixed area.
9. Large Photos as Background
Gone are the days when web designers use only one solid color, gradient or pattern to fill the background of the home page. Now, large photos are the trend. This is to maximize the chance to promote the image and impression of the brand of the site to visitors. High quality images, of course, are preferred as large photos do not look good when pixelated.
10. Single-Page Design
Blogs in WordPress normally have multiple designs and layouts for each page. There is one specially for the home page, one for the blog page, one for the “about” page, etc. Now, the trend will be centered on the “one-page” design, wherein an innovative technique will be used to display appealing content. This features single-column WordPress themes that let users scroll the page at minimum loading speed. Check out onepagelove for examples.
12. Retina Ready
WordPress released the Twenty Twelve theme this year and this is among the best examples of the retina ready themes. What’s more, when Apple unveiled its newest laptop that has the name “Retina,” people went more gaga over high-definition screen resolution. WordPress themes strive to achieve the same ultra-sharp resolution to wow users.
13. Prominent Branding
More WordPress themes would allow web designers to occupy the entire top portion of the page in the home page for features. Instead of placing the usual like site title, author name or company name with headers, this time, even videos and large typography which immediately spark interest will be placed featuring logos and newest offerings that improve the communication of branding message.
14. Social Media
Different networking sites are popping here and there so there’s no excuse for WordPress not to utilize the power they can bring. These themes would incorporate the most popular and most used social media icons already by default such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Stumble Upon.
15. Larger Buttons and Text
This trend can be more seen in mobile sites to accommodate the user’s fingers and have better responsiveness in touch devices. However, this is not to imply that large buttons and text will be all over the page. Just by choosing one that will become eminent on the page will mean a lot more. You will notice that font sizes will be larger than 14 pixels to support readability.
There might be newer trends to pop out in the middle or latter of the year, but these ones can be your best bets. If you can center your design on minimalism and focus on great content to offer to readers, your traffic and engagement will go a long way.