Adventurous colour palettes and gradients
Gone are the days when website designers had to stick to so called safe colours. These days, thanks to improvements in computer monitors and the myriad of efficient mobile devices, it’s now acceptable to use a variety of colours on your website.
Today, bold and vibrant colours are de rigueur. Web designers now fully grasp the function of colour psychology and the wonders it can do for websites. Colours evoke different emotional and psychological reactions in people, so the right website colour scheme can greatly affect how customers see your brand. In fact, about 90% of consumers’ assessment (when it comes to products) is based on colours. It therefore follows that if what’s been seen on the internet is anything to go by, 2018 is the year that the web will be saturated with a myriad of colour schemes, ‘in your face’ combinations and even gradients.
WordPress designers are not left out of the trend either, as many theme publishers and authors are turning out more highly colourful themes.
The rise of video headers
For some years now, the internet has been full of articles lauding the benefits of using videos on your website. Videos are known to have one of the highest engagement levels in web content and can improve your conversion rate tremendously. Not only can a well-produced video keep visitors on your website longer, but it’s also a good way to improve the user experience. That said, videos are not new to the WordPress scene, as their use in WordPress website headers has increased significantly.
Already, there are a number of themes that support video headers and we will almost certainly see a lot more of them in 2018, especially now that the good people at Automatic have seen fit to include a video header in the new Twenty Seventeen default WordPress theme.
Of course, you can also choose from the number of themes that support video headers. However, if you like your current theme and don’t want to change, there are workarounds to help you use videos in your header.
Because of the many benefits, videos offer site owners, it won’t be surprising if many designers begin to opt for video headers on their WordPress website.
Virtual reality will evolve into WordPress
Virtual reality has quickly become a part of mainstream media consumption and entertainment. VR gadgets such as Oculus Rift (and others) have whetted people’s appetite for this type of augmented reality. As if that’s not enough, devices like Google Cardboard and Oculus are being supported by WordPress. In fact, it won’t be surprising to see WordPress themes with features that can fully support VR devices in 2018. Already, there are plugins that you can use to optimise your WordPress website for VR devices such as WP-VR-view, which enables you to experience virtual reality via your WordPress website and Google Cardboard.
The implications for combining WordPress with virtual reality are huge. Once this happens, the way consumers interact with brands online will change. For instance, shoppers can fully interact with a product on an e-commerce website, before making a purchase decision. It also has potential benefits in the areas of sport, real estate and travel. Admittedly, it would require huge amounts of bandwidth, but that is a small price to pay for the level of engagement it would bring.
An increase in Mobile First websites
Back in 2016, the number of internet users assessing content on their mobile devices exceeded the number of those using desktops. This was seen as a turning point on the web; it showed quite clearly that having a mobile responsive website is the way to go.
Mobile friendly websites have been on the lips of internet users for some time now, but with Google’s mobile-first indexing, it’s safe to say that we will see a lot of WordPress websites and themes designed with this principle in mind. This will mean designing websites suited for small screens and then scaling them up to fit larger screens.
In the words of James, technical expert at Domain Names Here: “With more than 60% of search coming from mobile devices, it is understandable that search engines – as well as website developers – should want to develop websites that meet the needs and expectations of these users, hence the focus on mobile-friendly websites.”
If you plan on making your WordPress website meet the mobile first best practices, there are some excellent materials online to help you get started. There’s also a good number of WordPress themes that provide a similar solution.
Remember those Facebook emojis that react when you hover or click on them? That is micro-interactions at work. Micro-interactions simply refer to the way elements on your website respond to interactions.
What micro-interaction does is give your website a living feel. Visitors feel like they are actually interacting with the page – not just reading the boring text.
Social media has made micro-interactions popular and WordPress is (as always) catching up quickly. With a simple plugin like Animate It!, you can add different animations to almost any type of content and then specify when the animation will trigger, as well as the action that will trigger it, and so on.
As we move further in 2018, it’s safe to say that we will encounter more trends with WordPress. This is because WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, powering millions of website on the internet. There are people working day and night to see that WordPress provides the best experience and reaches its full potential. So, my advice is to keep your eyes open and adapt to change to get ahead of the game.