Top Template Design Trends in 2018

As we leave the summer of 2017 behind, it’s easier to look back on the bulk of the year to determine what some of the top template website design trends have been. Many of these have been seen across the board, not just in WordPress, but in Drupal, Weebly and the Wix website builder gaining in popularity as more individuals who can’t necessarily code take the leap and develop their own websites.

Rush to Responsive

Responsiveness in website themes gained headway in 2017, but as many made the shift and saw positive visitor results, that headway became an all-out rush. Unresponsive designs were left far behind, and responsive websites saw some streamlining as smartphone interfaces became more uniform across devices. As of 2018, it can safely be said that responsiveness is the new standard in template design. It makes the head of the list because it’s no longer a trend: but the new normal.

Ghost Elements

Ghost elements are those which pair so seamlessly into the theme that they’re unobtrusive to the viewer, often matching colors or becoming subtle until activated hover-over effects make them more prominent. Ghost elements have gained in popularity as designers turn more and more towards more minimal, futuristic, and clean-cut designs.

Typography Is King

It used to be true that template design relied on a small set of fonts which were web-friendly… or utilized complex javascript to make other fonts look good. Web font kits have been expensive or otherwise prohibitive. In 2018 with the popularization of Google fonts, more and more templates are offering their users either an easy way to plug in custom fonts, or the ability to change to a different Google font with the click of a button. In part because of this, there are more and more type-centric designs which emphasize unique typefaces in bold colors. Typography has become as important as imagery in template design.

High-Res or No-Res

Many themes these days are high-resolution optimized, and simply won’t function well with anything else. As more and more easy to use image editors, and smartphone tools make photography more accessible, the trend has been in helping novice users capture and publish fantastic, crisp, high-res images and videos. And in part because of the availability of high-res images more broadly, large splash images on home pages and landing pages have begun to become the new normal, where as early as just a year ago they were the iconic image of only the top-tier in websites. templates, as well of those of other website builder platforms, make it easy to incorporate high-res images not just as a static function, but in home and splash page sliders.

Emphasis on Scrolling

Another holdover of the mobile web browsing trend?Emphasis in themes on infinite scroll capabilities, rather than clicking to the next page. A trend that is quickly becoming ubiquitous, this sometimes challenges load times, but allows for a far more dynamic experience of a website.

As the mobile web continues to grow and web design continues to skew in the direction of a more effective and enjoyable mobile experience, scrolling will continue to dominate clicking. It’s more intuitive, easier to do, cuts down on load times and allows for more dynamic interaction to take place between the user and the website.

Flat Design Won

In 2015 and the beginning of 2016, there was a war going on that few noticed: between rich design and flat design. Rich designs mimicked the textures and shading of real life objects, while flat design focused on stark color palettes and minimalism. And based on the designs of many of the top themes – flat design has won the war. In general, flat design is often easier to use when mobile, which could account for its broad success.