Please bear with me as I say it, but WordPress seems to be just as susceptible to trend-following as anything else. Well … okay … maybe not as much as fashion, but still.
Don’t believe me? To prove this point, today we’re looking into the 9 WordPress trends in website building to look out for in 2016:
1. The one-page website trend will continue
One-page websites started sprouting up somewhere in mid 2014. Soon after that, business owners and WordPress developers alike realized that this type of site structure is very suitable for product websites, agencies, small businesses, and basically any kind of website that doesn’t expect to publish a lot of content. So the WordPress trend started.
One-page designs are also great for storytelling and guiding the visitor from one section to another towards a certain final goal – most often a sale, or some kind of webform submission.
2. There’s going to be more parallax
The parallax effect is a very interesting concept, allowing us to introduce some depth of field into an otherwise two-dimensional experience (which viewing a website certainly is).
The whole trick is to make the background move at a slower rate to the foreground when scrolling. Put together, this creates an illusion of depth of field – something that site owners seem to really enjoy.
There’s no reason to believe this trend in WordPress website building will go away anytime soon in 2016.
3. Theme juggernauts will dominate
The classic way of building a WordPress site was to scavenge the web in search of the perfect theme that would suit our needs hand-in-glove, and then adjust it just slightly.
The downside was that the process could go on for weeeeeeks.
Now things are often a bit different. With themes such as Create, site owners can start with a feature-rich theme that’s multipurpose, and then adjust the design and the individual pages later on.
Again, in this WordPress trend, we start with the features that we want to have on the site, and then move on to tweaking the design. Not the other way around.
Overall, it’s a rather positive trend, leading to more functional sites that aren’t only design-driven. Although there are downsides too.
4. Drag-and-drop content building will shine
The times when all we could do was rely on the classic content/sidebar layout are slowly coming to an end. With functional drag-and-drop content building plugins (some of them free), we can do so much more in regard to how our content looks, and that’s even regardless of the theme that we’re currently using.
This is a great trend in WordPress that finally breaks the tradition of publishing only blog-like content on WordPress websites.
5. Some plugins will move to SaaS
As awesome as it is, there are still some problems with WordPress, especially from a developer’s perspective. Chief of which is that all code related to WordPress – including plugins and themes – is GPL. This means that anyone can take any plugin, modify it, and then use it without any legal consequence.
6. Typography will become more important
One thing that platforms such as Medium have taught us is that H2 headers and simple paragraphs aren’t going to cut it for website typography any longer.
Publishers and site owners have simply begun to expect better-looking text presentation at this point, and WordPress sites need to follow suit.
On the technical side of things, the execution of this is becoming easier due to various type kits that are available these days (be it Google Fonts or Adobe Typekit). They effectively enable anyone to import and then use custom fonts on their websites, and at the same time, make sure that every visitor will see those fonts problem-free.
7. Most sites are going to be mobile-first
Believe it or not, but it’s reported that around 80% of internet users own a smartphone these days.
What this means is that every website – okay, at least most of them – needs to be built in a way that caters to mobile visitors first. This is becoming the only way to not leave money and traffic on the table…
The equation is simple, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, and your competitor’s is, who do you think will get the business? All this makes mobile-first a WordPress trend with high ROI.
8. Continuous domination of image-based designs
Lots of modern WordPress website designs are highly dependent on good imagery and carefully selected background and foreground images.
(Example by http://www.qooqee.com/humanhubris/)
This allows the site to remain minimalist, mobile-friendly, and at the same time provide a great visual experience.
Also, with sites like Unsplash sprouting up what seems like every month, it’s not like we’ll come to a shortage of great images anytime soon.
9. WordPress is going to be more and more popular for e-commerce
WordPress is slowly becoming the system of choice to run an e-commerce store with.
This is possibly the most important WordPress trend of them all.
With the rise of WooCommerce, launching an online store has never been easier. And combined with the overall richness of features in WordPress, the final product proves to be optimized, friendly, and fast for all visitors / buyers.
What would be #10 on your list of WordPress trends in website building to look out for in 2016? Feel free to share in the comments.