Web design and development has come a long way in the last few years. Technology has evolved at a fast rate, user consumption has changed, and users are responding differently to websites. Designers have also found certain styles that work better than others and have updated design standards for the best results. Here are some of the trends you need to be aware of to keep up with what’s going on in the industry and adapt this knowledge to your own website.

Using HTML5‘s Unique Features

HTML5 is a designer’s dream because of all the capabilities you can take advantage of. It comes with many benefits from a cleaner code, better multimedia support, improved mobile device support, to cross browser compatibility. It also comes with better APIs that allow you to deliver an amazing user experience such as being able to drag and drop. To top it off, web apps run smoother than the previous version of HTML which opens the doors for site owners to allow more features to be used by their visitors.

Larger Fonts and Custom Fonts

One of the more common changes that is observable is the use of larger and custom fonts. Many websites are ditching the standard arial and using fonts that are more readable, especially if they’re going more design heavy. Designers are also using custom fonts for headlines to draw attention to content and ads. Some are going with text displayed as images as it looks smoother and more attractive to the eye.

Responsive Websites

By now most people are aware of what responsive websites do. However, only a small percentage of site owners have made the jump to this format. This may be due to the fact that redoing an entire website into a responsive one is difficult and costly. That said, responsive is getting more affordable and designers are becoming more adept at making sure that their web development projects are also optimized for conversion, UI and UX.

Retro Style Design

Old school designs are making a comeback. It’s all about putting complexity to bed, then bringing out a simple and refereshing look. One type of design that’s being used is flat design, which drops shadows and gradients to create a sleek look. Another is minimalist design which strips away all the unnecessary aspects of design to create contrast that makes the eyes focus on the most important parts of a website. Finally, there are the large hero boards which uses a headline followed by a large image and minimal text right below it to create an eye catching effect.

Back to Javascript

Rather than developing apps in PHP or MySQL, more developers are using javascript. HTML5 has made javascript more user friendly and the addition of client side javascript will open the doors to many more possibilities. Many industry experts think that other programming languages will become less popular as being able to develop on Javascript takes away the technical challenges of development (requiring knowledge of multiple programming languages) and allows developers to focus more on the creativity aspect of development.

Heavy CMS Web Design and Web Development

More and more websites are being built on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Magento. Using a CMS is now the standard but more site owners are serious about getting custom work done for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Magento (the most popular CMS platforms). Free templates and themes are great for beginners but site owners are realizing that they need to hire a professional designer and developer if they want a unique site that accomplishes everything they’ve set their sights on.