January 8, 2014

New Year, New Look: Freshen Up Your Website with These Trends

The popularity of CMS-based websites has been growing constantly, and WordPress is the most used platform by far.

At least 19 percent of the entire Internet is powered by the WordPress platform. This number includes nearly half (48 percent) of the top 100 Technorati blogs, as well as some of the largest websites in the world – Ford Motor Company and NASA, to name a few. In 2014, that number is expected to increase.

In the 10 years since its launch, WordPress website trends have come and gone. Below are some of the latest emerging 2014 WordPress website trends that you can expect to see more of in the new year – and some of the features that have fallen by the wayside.

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2014 WordPress Website Trends: What’s Hot

Speed, Simplicity, Standout Backgrounds

Fast loading times are crucial for a successful website today. With more people than ever accessing the Internet on mobile devices, the trend is toward websites that are simple and easy to navigate, yet elegant and interesting.

Look for these WordPress features to rise in popularity during 2014:

Typography Over Images

Through simple add-ons like Typekit, more WordPress websites are creating great looks with the use of distinctive fonts.

Previously, most websites were limited to using standard fonts like Arial, Times New Roman or the dreaded Comic Sans, with the process of displaying custom fonts limited to hand-coded or designer sites.

Now just about any font style can be displayed through easy-to-use technology and more WordPress sites are incorporating stunning typography to help them stand out.

Flat Websites

The latest digital interfaces, including Windows 8 and iOS 7, shy away from fancy design elements like gradients or shadow, and instead rely on the use of color to make things pop. This trend is also surfacing in WordPress websites.

Clean and simple layouts with strategic color placement are the basis of the sleek, modern designs you can see reflected in many WordPress templates and custom websites. Expect this WordPress website trend to continue through 2014.

Single Page Websites

Potentially inspired by navigation challenges on mobile devices, there have been plenty of these simplified WordPress designs popping up lately. Simple, yet elegant, single page websites contain all of the main content in one page. When you click on a “menu” item your view shifts to another area of the same page, rather than changing the URL and loading a new page.

Some examples of single page WordPress templates include the free One Page from WordPress, and paid themes like Renova, Stylos, and Interion.

Full Width Background Images

While simplicity is trending high, style and professionalism are still important facets of a successful site.

One way many WordPress websites are bringing their designs to life is through the use of page-width imagery, usually with a hi-definition photo as the background.

2014 WordPress Website Trends: What’s Not

Lag-Prone, Slow Loading Page Elements

In a world built on speed, most WordPress websites are shedding anything that slows them down and makes navigation cumbersome.

These outgoing elements include:


A popular page-within-a-page layout style for many years, frames can make for a dramatic website.

Unfortunately, they also slow down loading times and make for SEO (search engine optimization) unfriendly pages that can bring searchers to random content outside the main website.

PDFs as Pages

While it’s fairly easy to insert a PDF document as a page into a WordPress website, it’s also cumbersome and most visitors don’t appreciate the shift from viewing a standard Web page to downloading a PDF, especially on mobile devices. PDFs also have a tendency to crash browsers.

Flash and Animations

In the battle of Flash versus HTML5, the more dynamic HTML5 is far ahead. This is particularly true in the mobile market, with iOS devices not supporting Flash display. Other types of animations, such as Gifs, are also being left behind due to the drag on loading times.

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