WordPress Web Design Trends of 2012

So far the year 2012 has brought some amazing changes in design and Internet technology. Web development has become smoother subject to jump into learning, not to mention the countless open source libraries useful in streamlining the process. And yet it seems the global design community is far from throwing in the towel.

The website theme development does not stay unchanged. Every now and then there appears a new technology or a trend which becomes highly appreciated both by users and developers. This year we can note an enormous raise in the amount of portable devices i.e. tablets and smartphones. Major manufacturers try to impress the publicity releasing every month new and powerful devices that sometimes exceed the power of desktop computers. With this portable device boom there came of the necessity to run two options of the website “full-size and a slender one” for mobile devices. Since this is not always that easy to run several versions of a website, we can note that portable device boom caused the chain reaction what resulted into the epidemic use of responsive websites.

Most of the recent trends in web design can be linked with tablet takeover. Websites were optimized in the way that users “surfing the web with their finger tips” would not feel jammed by the limitations of their small screens.

Some time passed and most web developers understood that innovations aimed at the “portable web surfing” are good to be used across-the-board. Meaning, their usage makes websites more lightweight what lessens their load time and creates perfect user interaction – resulting in positive feedback. When combined with HTML5 and Javascript (both of them are supported by mobile platforms, except for the Flash that causes indigestion in iOS powered devices).

With the raise of HTML5 the necessity to use heavy-weight Flash plugins fell off, still it’s very popular among web designers no matter to its ability to crash from time to time.

Now let’s have a closer look at some of the most popular trends in WordPress themes of 2012.

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Responsive WordPress Themes

(Touch screen-friendly themes)

Technologies evolve rapidly; nowadays market is full of portable device of all sizes and screen options, that’s why web content presentation stepped onto the new path where mobile versions of websites don’t satisfy the demands of web users. Websites based on a fluid grid are reflected fully on any screen without sacrificing valuable content; mobile versions usually omit most part of it. Here’s where responsive web design makes a point.

Responsive websites support numerous resolution options still there following ones are the major:

  • desktop layout (980px);
  • tablet layout (768px);
  • smartphone layout – landscape (480px);
  • smartphone layout – portrait (320px).

Additionally, we would like to mention that recently Google published its report considering the use of the responsive design. According to it, responsive websites are better digested by Google’ crawlers, because there is no need to crawl through multiple pages optimized for various devices. In other words, from now on it would be better for you to use responsive websites instead of supporting two versions of your web resource full-size and a slender for portables. This method reasonably improves your SEO.

Here are some examples of pretty Responsive WordPress themes produced by TemplateMonster:

CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Sport WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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Grids in WordPress

Having such a great amount of devices with a wide range of screen options (from mobile phone up to 2560px by 1600px) web designers have to look for extra design tools. Additionally to the 960gs grid and skeleton, there are many different options how you can organize design elements. For example, the 1140 grid, it fits perfectly into a 1280px monitor. On smaller screens it becomes fluid and adapts to the width of the browser. Beyond a certain point it uses media queries to serve up a mobile version, which essentially stacks all the columns on top of each other so the flow of information still makes sense. The use of these flexible grids eases greatly development of responsive themes.

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HTML5 & JS

HTML5

The future of the Internet are the beautiful websites built with HTML5. The newest version of HTML effectively turns words and graphics into another dimension without using any plug-ins. HTML5 is an updated version of the code used to build websites. The newer version allows to integrate all possible multimedia files directly into the mainframe. HTML5 combined with CSS3 programmers can can make websites even more visually appealing.

CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

If you are not familiar with HTML5 yet, you can use tutorials that can be found throughout the web. Here we found several sources with great information presentation:

HTML5 Web Designer’s Book
HTML5 Tutorials
15 Useful HTML5 Tutorials
HTML5 Website Coding Tutorials

JavaScript

JavaScript is always a joy to use, is has been used to make some impressive widgets and effects, some of which were useful enough to justify inclusion in the core jQuery library itself. However, the jQuery team wisely decided that in order to keep the core library focused; they’d separate out higher-level constructs and package them into a neat library that sits on top of jQuery. Below you can find some great WordPress themes with jQuery implementations.

CMS & Blog Industrial WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Web Design WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Animals and Pets WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Art and Photography WordPress Theme

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3D Effects

As always web developers are looking to find new ways to make user experience more interactive. Incorporating 3D effects into website design has become one of the most effective features that web creators have found to complete this interactive experience. With it web is developing into the illusion of depth, sometimes to the point where websites are like a movie or game. 3D effects incorporated in a site enhance user’s understanding and connection with the content and information provided.

CMS & Blog Web Design WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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Social Media Integration (Widgets)

After search engines, social media services are the second biggest source of traffic. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have established themselves as the most heavily used social sharing websites, with Digg, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn not far behind. Hard to imagine the blog post without these icons. We all share the info (especially photos of cute catz) with our friends and relatives. For some of us it turns into a nine-to-five job. You may already know that, form our previous blog post but the Green WordPress 3.4 has a new great feature, the tweets can be implemented into the body of a blog post with just a line of code. Anyone can answer this tweet right in the post without the need to go to Twitter, feels like this feature will be appreciated by all bloggers.

CMS & Blog Exterior WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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Typography Explosion

Fonts are a big part of the sphere encompassing web design tradition. The most notable fonts including Arial, Helvetica, Georgia, and Trebuchet MS have been around for years now. Although they continue to serve a deep purpose in web standards, there are plenty of alternate options for advanced webpage typography. Still there are hundreds of other decorative and script fonts used in WordPress templates especially in headlines, where they have an eye grabbing function.

CMS & Blog Art and Photography WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Hotel WordPress Theme

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Image Gallery Slideshows

Here we can make a bow to the JavaScript once again, image gallery sliders created with JS are not only impressive but are super easy to configure. The variety of scripts available today makes the eyes diverge. Most popular today are NivoSlider, liJQuery Image Slider, vSlider, WP Slideshow Gallery the list goes on and on…

CMS & Blog Web Design WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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Multilingual Themes

Some time ago WordPress did not support a bilingual or multilingual blog out-of-the-box. There were developed numerous Plugins by the WordPress community which will allow creating a multilingual blog easily. Now multilingualism problem is almost solved the themes are already produced with several language options all you just have to do is to extract the text from the theme with a specific function and then replace it in the language file. The whole thing takes up to 10 minutes.

Below you can find several examples of multilingual WordPress themes produced by Template Monster:

CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Cars WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Web Design WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Web Design WordPress Theme

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Black and White

Everything started form black and white: cinema, photography except for the fine art those guys always had “RGB weapon”. While we are familiar with websites presenting us bright and attractive colors the “black & white” effect can impress us in a totally different manner. It gives an unusual, unique look and style to the site and we love to visit the site that gives us something different.

Black and white sometimes is considered as a boring and unadventurous palette, but as the following examples show, that this is not boring this is “classy”. Many designers find the simplicity liberating and it lets them experiment with design without using too much color. Here are some wonderful examples of B&W websites, from graceful, well-organised layouts to high-impact, maximum contrast designs.

CMS & Blog Industrial WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Fashion WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Computers WordPress Theme

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Minimalistic WP

Minimalism in website design provides visitor with relaxing and simply-light colors, and a preference for visual silence. Minimal web designs have something in common with B&W ones – they do not overload user with numerous colors and hues, what sometimes makes the content look like a mad clown. Minimal websites make user’s eyes relax when browsing through the pages, this is much better than killing user’s eyes with an awful contrast between the font and the background. Below you can rest your eyes on the minimal WordPress themes produced by TemplateMonster.

CMS & Blog Real Estate WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Law WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Food and Drink WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Business WordPress Theme

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Large Background Photos, Big Headers…Huge Footers

Background

One more interesting thing that can be pointed out, a great amount of WordPress themes have huge background photos or images, no matter what category of business this website represents you will see a huge picture of something on the background.

CMS & Blog Agriculture WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Wedding WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Landscape WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Fashion WordPress Theme

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Header

Headers and footers have always been a useful space within the website for purpose such as enhancing the user’s visual experience and brand remembrance. But now these elements are OVERSIZED. This tendency can be resembled not only in WordPress but in all other kinds of websites. Sometimes header can cover more than half of the screen giving the compelling message to visitors that they’ve entered the right website.

CMS & Blog Exterior Design WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Web Design WordPress Theme

Footer

CMS & Blog Exterior Design WordPress Theme

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CMS & Blog Interior and Furniture WordPress Theme

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These ideas are only some of the most popular trends in WordPress themes development. Great web design is always about focusing and keeping user intentions as top priority. It’s likely that these trends will stay popular for couple more years, soon there will appear some more useful and great trends. You definitely have something to say about this specific topic, don’t be silent, let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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