Top WordPress Trends to Watch for in 2018

by Jan 25, 2018Design

WordPress has come a long way since its beginnings as a simple blogging platform. With a vibrant community and a dedicated development theme, it’s constantly evolving. It’s no wonder that nowadays, it’s one of the most popular platforms used for not only blogs but also small business websites, portfolios, membership sites, and large corporate websites.

If you’re planning on starting your website with WordPress this year or if you want to make sure your current site stays competitive, you need to pay attention to WordPress trends. In today’s post, we’ll cover the top WordPress trends to watch in 2018.

Top WordPress Trends For 2018

Below, we’ll cover both design and technology trends that will shape the way WordPress websites are used and developed. Some of them are new and emerging while others are a continuation of trends from a previous year. Let’s begin.

WordPress 5.0

This year marks the 15th anniversary of WordPress and is rumored to bring a major core upgrade, version 5.0. This will be the first major upgrade since 2014 and WordPress 4.0. The development team behind WordPress is working on big changes and major improvements in the new version, one of which is a brand new editor.

Admin UI Improvements

WordPress-UI

Along with a new editor, you can expect to see an overhaul of the admin user interface which aims to make managing your site easier on the backend. You can see what types of improvements are coming if you have an account on WordPress.com. As you can see from the screenshot below, the post editing screen looks less cluttered, giving you ample opportunity to focus on content creation.

Minimalistic Design With Bold Typography

Minimalistic design has been prevalent in the design industry for quite some time now and we don’t expect it to go away any time soon. The main reasons why minimalism in web design is so popular is the fact that it greatly contributes to better loading times, allows your visitors to focus on your content and calls-to-action, and gives your site a polished and modern look.

In line with minimalistic design is the increased focus on typography. Bold and large headings, hand-drawn fonts, and letters creatively arranged on a page make it easier for you to make a memorable statement. At the same time, browsers don’t have to download large images which contribute to your web page speed and facilitates the reading and skimming of the content.

Epok Design Minimalistic Website

Duotone Themes

Gradients are making a comeback so you can expect to see a lot more websites and WordPress theme designers adopting this trend. Some of the gradients are subtle while others use a bold combination of bright and sometimes contrasting colors. Duotone gradients make a strong visual impact and help your typography stand out more.

Winshape Duotone Website

You can use them as backgrounds as well as overlays on hero images, parallax sections, and even product images.

Responsive Design and AMP

2017 has been the year of mobile. For the first time, the mobile usage of the Internet has surpassed desktop devices so the focus on responsive design will remain a top priority for both WordPress and theme developers.

When you pair the statistics above with Google’s push for a mobile-first index and the AMP initiative, it’s more important than ever to ensure your website is responsive. A responsive website will provide visitors with a smooth user experience even on devices with less screen real estate and allow them not only to read your content but also buy your products, initiate a conversation with you, and hire you for their next big project.

Microinteractions

You’ve probably been using microinteractions on a daily basis without even realizing it. If you use Facebook, we are sure you’re familiar with the ability to react to a post in your feed using the Like button as well as emojis that have a small animation when you click them.

The use of those subtle animations such as an animated check mark when you submit a form lead to a better engagement, easier user interaction, and better visual feedback without the need to reload the page.

You can expect more themes to adopt this trend or use a WordPress plugin such as Animate It! to add interesting hover effects to buttons.

Animations, Hand-Drawn Elements, and Particle Backgrounds

When it comes to visuals that enhance your website’s design, the trends are shifting towards the use of animations that go beyond microinteractions. They add another level of visual appeal and the uses are many; from animated logos to loading animations and innovative slide-in menus to different hover effects and animated backgrounds.

You can also expect to see more custom, hand drawn elements and graphics that allow you to create a unique brand identity to stand apart.

Another emerging trend is the use of particle backgrounds instead of video backgrounds due to their smaller size.

Chatbots

More and more websites are using chatbots to interact with their customers. When used correctly, you can answer potential customers’ concerns, guide them through your website, and facilitate the sale.

And thanks to the huge rise in popularity of Facebook messenger bots, you can even stay in touch with your customers on the most popular social network or integrate it directly into your site.

Thanks to numerous chat bot plugins as well as Facebook messenger bots, it’s easier than ever to add them to your site.

Augmented and Virtual Reality Based Websites

AR and VR are slowly making their way onto the scene. While the technology is still in early stages, chances are more and more websites will experiment with the use of Augmented and Virtual Reality. Some companies are already using both technologies in promotional videos for their products. Thanks to full VR support in WordPress and plugins that add VR functionality, it’s only a matter of time before themes get onboard with this trend.

SSL Everywhere

Lastly, you can expect to see an increase in SSL certificates and HTTPS protocol. With Google’s push to promote secure content and restrict access to websites that haven’t switched to SSL, now is the time to make that switch.

Thankfully, basic SSL certificates are becoming more affordable and some hosting companies even provide free SSL certificates with Let’s Encrypt.

Wrapping Up

Since web development and technology continues to evolve,, staying on top of trends is necessary if you want your website keep up. This will allow you to continually impress your clients and show them that your brand is here to stay. Use the trends above as a guideline to think of different ways to implement the latest tech, styles, and designs into your websites.

Download our Inbound Marketing Playbook

Take a PDF copy of our Inbound Marketing Playbook with you to read on the go.

Let's Work Together

We are the leading  WordPress development and HubSpot Consulting agency in the D.C. area, working with brands to attract and retain clients by leveraging web technologies and inbound marketing methodologies.

Don't be shy, drop us a line. Whether you are aiming to launch a new website yourself or want to hire a team of experts to build a custom site, we'd love to hear from you.