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.
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.
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.
It’s shaping up to be a great year for simplifying and transforming your website using the latest 2014 WordPress website trends. Begin to envision your Web presence for 2014 now.
Hot Trends Photo via Shutterstock
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I did not know about PDF pages, good to know.
My pleasure, and thanks for reading, Tamar! Best of luck to you.
Wow, WordPress has been going for 10 years? Seems like only yesterday.
Curious about one-page themes as I have a project it might be useful for. Will check it out.
I’ve always liked simple, minimalist, functional, intuitive-to-navigate websites/blogs. So it’s good to see WordPress heading more in that direction in 2014.
I agree, Ebele – simplicity is key! Keep us posted on your experiments with the one-page themes.
It is interesting how WordPress is getting inspired by other web platforms, e.g., Squarespace, with a simple and clean look. I wonder how smart it is with one long page, instead of several pages.
I agree, Martin, it is interesting. Seems to me it would work better when there is minimal copy – if there’s a lot of info, it probably makes sense to split it out across multiple pages for easier scanning.
Megan: Thanks for your feedback! Are you thinking of jumping on any of the trends for your Chamber blog?
We are in the midst of re-designing Chamber right now. We hope to re-launch soon!
Looking forward to some Flat Designed WP themes. They will definitely borrow heavily from the iOS 7 design choices.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Thanks for reading, Kelsey!
nice collection keep it up thanks for sharing
Thanks, Maddy! Stop back often for new tips. 🙂
D Grant Smith
Great insight here into WordPress Meagan. We’ve had some conversations this past year with clients regarding the perceived limitations of WP compared to some other site building options, namely Expression Engine. One of the new themes WordPress is offering has a competitively similar flow and function to EE with modules that give users a more basic template to operate from, and at the same time not seem to have a stagnate site.
And yes the shift away from Flash sites is increasing, not just on WordPress but across the spectrum (no pun intended). It’s a good change. Great work on this informative piece here.
Thanks, Grant! Glad it was helpful. We’ll keep an eye on the progression of WordPress and the de-Flashing of website development. 🙂
Single Page Websites are BAD for SEO. That doesn’t seem too hot to me for 2014.
I think the trends may have risen because there is now the focus on responsive designs. That’s why minimalistic and wide backgrounds is the trend. It is also clean to the eyes and easier to navigate.
I totally agree with your words Aira Bongco 🙂
Seeing the various internet enabled devices that people own and understanding that all have various display resolutions the need for a responsive design can be considered critical. Replacing of frames by containers and using a listener function can enable that.
Thanks for the great read Megan.
I completely agree. There are so many different devices people are using to view websites now that having a responsive design is becoming more and more critical.
Hi Jean, I just wanted to drop you a quick thank you for sharing this article. I am an old FrontPage/Expressions designer and recently found WordPress and its infinite opportunities. This platform has made it even easier for me to design and then hand off sites to users.
I will have to look into the PDF as a WebPage item. One of the sites I have designed and now help with the day to day is our booster club. We send out a newsletter and design it as a PDF. We share the link on our page but this app sounds better as s complete page for it. If this app works out we may have more members opt to reading it online rather than mailing it out, saving our club some money on postage.
Thanks Again and Have a Wonderful Weekend,
I had addresses you as Jean in my comment.
Not a problem at all!
And WordPress is great for that. It’s always best when you can let people do what they’re hired to do – creating greater efficiency!
I hope that the app works out for you. Any way you can save money is always great!
Great inforamtion shared you, megan.. Thanks for posting
can you add sliders to the list of OUT?
those are so annoying…