7 New WordPress Tools for 2016 Design Trends
Now that 2016 is underway, web designers, developers, and anyone interested in all things WordPress are on the lookout for new tendencies, strategies, techniques and tools to keep up with the latest web design trends this year.
If you take your website seriously, as I’m sure most of you do, it’s important to not only follow the new web design trends, but to also implement them right away. Your website stands to benefit from them in many ways.
I’ve been following the emerging trends and innovations in web design myself and want to introduce to you some design predictions that I think would be important to keep in mind. I’ll also offer some WordPress tools that go perfectly with the current web design trends, and will be a help to you for making these changes to your website. I hope this article will be helpful and you’ll know what aspects of your website you need to start working on.
Galleries, Slideshows, Card Layouts
Galleries, slideshows and beautiful website layouts have always been an effective way for attracting visitors. 2016 suggests providing lots of visuals to your website visitors. And it is not only photography websites that can benefit from it. It doesn’t matter what kind of content you offer on your website, just make sure to display it in a visually appealing and beautiful way.
The first thing that came to my mind when reading about future WordPress web design trends, was the WordPress Portfolio Gallery theme, which combines all the prerequisites necessary to stay on top in 2016.
The theme does a great job of showcasing your website content in a modern and visually appealing way. It has several fully customizable layouts and also offers a list of widgets for displaying your website content. You can display your website posts with their details and featured images in a lightbox and let visitors see a preview of the post before they decide to read it. Make single pages on your website unique using the pre-installed page templates for contacts page, login page, blog page, search page, etc. The theme is fully customizable to meet your every need.
Focus on Social Networks
The rise of different social networks and platforms opens up new engaging opportunities and provides an authentic way of staying on top. Social media has been a major source for content engagement and is still going to be the most effective way of spreading the word about your blog.
If you don’t want to miss out on posting on major social networks in 2016 the Simple Share Buttons Adder plugin is what you’ll need.
It is an advanced and easy to use WordPress plugin, which helps you to share your content across different social networks in a really simple way. It’s responsive and highly customizable to fit your site. The plugin provides color customization options for every aspect of the buttons with its enhanced colorpicker functionality. You can have the share buttons and icons look exactly as you like and give them your preferred design, style and color. There is a possibility to display sharing counts on the icons, and you can also track share clicks inside your WordPress dashboard. The plugin provides shortcodes to insert sharing buttons where you’d like them on your site.
I know responsiveness is not a new approach in web design and everybody is quite familiar with it. The good thing is that it is not going anywhere soon. With the rapidly growing number of mobile users on the web, it’s still in trend and provides a great way for mobile users to fully enjoy unlimited functionalities of the web. Responsiveness is an approach that almost every WordPress tool seeks to implement but not all of them always succeed. What I found interesting is that it’s somewhat hard to find a slider plugin that will function at its best on any kind of device and display your slides together with various effects. I did come across the WordPress Slider WD plugin that does do a great job at showing off your slides across any mobile device and fully meets the requirements of the responsive approach. It’s a multifunctional slider plugin, that enables you to display your website content in the most attractive way.
You can add images and videos to your slides by various means, spice them up with different transition effects, and showcase them in the tone and spirit you’d like. Slider layers will add more functionality to the slides and help you to provide more info on the particular topic or post. You can add images, text, video, hotspot and social buttons layers to your slides, as well as embed media to the slides from YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Flickr or Dailymotion using the file URL. Carrusel, Parallax and Filmstrip effects will make your slides more appealing as these effects are also like this trend this year. There are more great features you’ll find when using Slider WD plugin, which I would strongly recommend looking at.
Focus on Typography
Fonts can have a great impact on the perception of a website. In 2016 you’d better take more care while choosing the fonts and font size on your website. Due to Google font updates, we are no longer restricted to stick to some of the popular or easy to read fonts any more. Web designers suggest focusing on the fonts, which will set the tone of your website and convey your message in the most comprehensive way to your website visitors. The Easy Google fonts plugin provides an easy and simple way to integrate over 700 Google font options for your website.
The plugin is compatible with any WordPress theme and there is no need for coding skills to put it to work. It is integrated with WordPress customizer which enables you to preview the typography changes you have made in realtime. You can create your own custom font controls in the admin area which immediately become available in the customizer preview. With Easy Google Fonts you’ll be able to give your website a totally different look and tone. The current typography trends suggest using bright and bold colors.
Long scrolling or infinite scrolling is a technique which a lot of websites have implemented into their designs. The new-found popularity of long scrolling lies in the increased usage of mobile devices as well as social networks.
As more and more websites seem to be adopting this feature, a lot of WordPress tools also started to implement this design to make the content viewing more intuitive and fun.
I would like to introduce to you the newly released Instagram Feed WD plugin, which enables you to add multiple public Instagram feeds and hashtags to your website with different feed display options, including infinite scrolling. This is a great way to display popular images from Instagram with all their accompanying data on one page.
By the way, the plugin features an advanced lightbox which enables your website visitors to view the images with their metadata directly within the lightbox and even watch Instagram videos. You can set sorting for images by date, likes, and comments or display them randomly. Images, videos, captions, comments are retrieved directly from Instagram on the front end, so no need to update your galleries manually. The plugin is fast and easy to use.
Utilizing hidden menus has become very widespread. They save a lot of space, make the navigation simple, and give a cleaner look to the website. It is a great and trendy way to hide a bunch of menu items and show them whenever your website users are looking for them.
As I was looking for plugins to create hidden menus, I came across the Responsive Menu plugin, which enables you to add a three-lined mobile menu button on your website, that brings up the menu when clicked on. You can give it the exact look you want since it is fully customizable and it can be put to work without any coding skills.
For websites that sell and showcase various products, providing timely and informative support to visitors and clients is a must. Especially nowadays, customer support can have serious effects on your website’s reputation, presence, and your overall sales.
If you are looking for a plugin to stay in touch with your visitors, then the Zopim Live Chat plugin is a great choice. It enables you to have a real time chat directly with your visitors through a widget with the possibility of having several conversations at once. It’s optimized for mobile, enabling your visitors to have a chat with you from their mobile devices as well. The built-in analytics system will provide valuable information on how the visitors use your website.
Nowadays, following web design trends is a requirement. Keeping your website up to date will definitely have a positive impact on many of its aspects.
If you have any comments or questions related to the article, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Also, if you think I missed something valuable, I would really appreciate if you let me and others know about it.