So now that the New Year has come and passed, it's interesting to evaluate some common design trends for WordPress themes that are likely to dominate this year's theme design. As we all know, design trends often determine the way WordPress themes will look. Popular features and design solutions are often repeated on many occasions, thus creating a web trend.
Design trends can be both good and bad: sometimes, a useless feature or a design choice becomes popular out of nowhere, so many designers copy it, thus creating a useless trend people can't wait to get rid of.
Most of the time, however, trends in WordPress themes are rooted either in clever design solutions intended to improve website's functionality and user experience or are demanded by website owners because of effectiveness and ability to attract visitors.
There are some already popular design trends that are likely to stay in 2014. Each of these things proves to be useful and to enhance website's usability and user experience, so it's not surprising that web designers wish to keep them for WordPress themes in 2014.
Here are some of the design trends for 2014 we are likely to see used many times in premium WordPress themes:
Focus on Mobile and Retina
These themes offer the best user experience for all visitors because they can adapt to any screen resolution. They look great on desktop monitors as well as hand-held devices. These themes are ideal for people using mobile devices or tablets. At the same time, this type of themes are fully customized and provide the best experience for all visitors, regardless of the device they use to access a website. This is why they are so popular with designers as well as website owners and visitors themselves.
With more and more people using mobile devices to surf the Internet, it's important to have a functional site that looks great regardless of a screen resolution.
Retina displays are used in many Apple devices, from iPhone4, iPad and Macbook pro laptops. These displays have a high pixel density. A website optimized for retina displays allows for a better user experience and better looking images on webpages.
Satellite7 is a flat design WordPress theme for many types of websites. Includes WooCommerce, interactive elements, responsive & retina-ready, LayerSlider, 6 post formats.
Enfold is a responsive & retina ready WordPress theme for business websites. It has WooCommerce support, 2D & 3D layerslider, 6 post formats & 18 skins.
ExploraSky is a responsive one-page retina WordPress theme ideal for many types of websites. Includes revolution slider, parallax modules, gallery & video projects, shortcodes.
Lungo is a WordPress theme for design agencies & freelancers. It is fully responsive & retina-ready and includes touch swipe support, portfolio management, page templates, shortcodes.
Flat Design and Simple Colors
This trend was huge in 2013 and it's likely to stay or even become more popular in 2014. This is probably one of the most hyped recent design trends and more and more designers choose to experiment with it. It's very likely that we'll see many flat design WP themes in 2014.
Metro style themes might still be there. These themes resemble Windows 8 aesthetics and offer unique visuals, especially for Microsoft fans. People who have Windows 8 installed appreciate familiarity these WP themes bring, which can be an advantage for a website owner who wishes to promote a website.
Chariot is a portfolio theme for creative agencies with responsive & retina-ready layout. Includes 5 post formats, portfolio layouts, full-width, blog (classic & masonry), page builder.
Krative is a flat WordPress theme for designers & agencies. Includes responsive design, header slider, 9 page templates, 10 custom widgets, hidden sidebar, filterable portfolio.
MediCenter is a responsive medical WordPress theme with a wide slider and 6 different homepage layouts. 20+ page templates: about, team, departments, timetable, gallery, etc.
One Page and Parallax Scrolling
These themes come with one big advantage: everything important is included on one page, so visitors can quickly and easily find the information they need. Time is money so less and less people want to click numerous links on your website to find what they need. If you want to send a straightforward message, it's best to use a single page WP theme.
Parallax scrolling is visually stunning and it can be used to create numerous effects. This feature is visually very impressive so it will likely to stay popular in 2014.
Bravo is a professional bold one-page WordPress theme with responsive & retina-ready design. Supports 6 post formats, portfolio layouts and audio playlists, full width parallax slider.
Appz WordPress theme is a beautiful and free landing page theme to show off your new iPhone app. Market your iPhone app and achieve long-term goals.
Brooklyn Indie Band
Brooklyn Indie Band is a responsive WordPress band template. Includes band info, song player, shopping section, 8 color actions for photographs.
Dry is a clean one-page WordPress theme for photographers and designers. The theme includes 9 different sections and an unlimited touch-ready image gallery.
Large Intro Areas
Large intro areas on website home pages with manipulated imagery or unique artwork together with some bold text in the middle. They are quickly replacing sliders as the new attention-grabbers, and they are becoming increasingly creative.
Lumen is a unique full screen WordPress theme with minimalist style. Includes different gallery templates, thumbnail galleries, 12 custom backgrounds, portfolio pages.
Suburbs is an agency WordPress theme. Features responsive & retina-ready design, 9 custom post formats, Revolution Slider, portfolios, 5 portfolio templates, 12 custom widgets.
Vintage and Blurred Backgrounds
In 2014, we will see more themes that have things such as blurred images, extraordinary filters and color overlays. Huge backgrounds are perfect for portfolio sites so they will sure remain popular for a while.
Flatsome is a mobile ready WooCommerce theme for online stores. Includes responsive design, Pinterest-style shortcode, sliders, wishlist/like feature, built-in view feature.
CloudHost is a WordPress theme for hosting provider websites. Includes: responsive design, extended price table, comparison table, comments, news show pro, custom typography.
Steam is a review magazine WordPress theme with responsive and retina-ready layout. Includes: featured carousel with Slider Revolution, trending, reviews, shortcodes.
One of the prevailing trends of 2014 should be unique and more experimental typography. Designers are starting to experiment with different types of fonts than the usual ones and they don't shy away from including several fonts on the same page. This trend can create unique styles and striking visuals for text, so it's not surprising that more and more designers decide to experiment with it.
Braxton is a fashion & lifestyle WordPress magazine theme. Includes post slider, 4 ad units (including wallpaper add), responsive & retina-ready design, 8 custom widgets.
The Retailer is an online store WordPres theme with Slider Revolution, catalog mode, coupon codes, user accounts. Fully responsive, retina-ready & WooCommerce ready.
Baylie is a full screen parallax WordPress theme with a slideshow, custom post type for testimonials, custom widgets, portfolio & full-width pages, shortcodes.
Video Backgrounds and Intros
Video backgrounds are becoming more and more popular, so it's not surprising that designers want to use them. HTML5 provides a useful video tag, so it's very easy to include a self-hosted video to any page. Using a video as a website background adds both interactivity and special style to any website. For this reason, video backgrounds will sure become even more popular and widely used in 2014.
Fuse is a big slider WordPress agency theme. Fully responsive and retina ready. Homepage with slider with parallax animations, portfolio, dynamic grid gallery, blog, team page.
Hot Pixels is a responsive WordPress theme with 3 video backgrounds and matching poster images. Includes a supersized full screen portfolio.
Fuji is a modern HTML5 WordPress theme. It's multi-purpose, responsive and retina-ready. Supports 9 page types and 5 post formats. Includes grid content & tabs shortcodes.
Minimalism is not a new thing in website design, and it's likely to stay in 2014. People like simple, well-organized websites, especially when they are searching for information. By keeping your layout clean, simple and without excess details, it's easy for your visitors to find what they need. These type of themes put your content into focus so it's one of the reasons why they are here to stay.
Classique is a minimal WordPress template with lots of white spaces. It uses homepage slider and it includes blog and portfolio sessions, widgets and theme customizer.
Incentive is a powerful all-purpose wordpress theme with responsive & retina-ready design, Slider Revolution, 7 post formats, audio player, sortable portfolio, drag & drop composer.
Portrait is a WordPress theme for photography websites. Features minimalist design, plenty of screen space for photographs, sidebar navigation. Fully responsive and retina-ready.
While niche themes specially designed for one type of a website are sure popular, multipurpose WordPress themes are likely to become even more popular in 2014 due to their adaptability. Multi-purpose themes are good not only for handling any type of content: they can also help you run multiple sites.
With one of these themes, you can easily have a master theme for all of your sites. This can help you save time and money. More and more people use multiple websites and blogs so it's a great thing to have a multipurpose master theme to handle them all. Also, multipurpose themes tend to be more adaptable and easily customizable, so you can fully adjust them to your needs.
Forte is a responsive e-Commerce ready WordPress theme. Includes WooCommerce plugin support, fullscreen slideshow, filterable portfolio galleries, pricing tables.
District is a multi-purpose theme for business websites. It has responsive design and touch/swipe sliders for showcasing content. Includes a sortable portfolio.
Marble is a highly flexible WordPress Portfolio theme for graphic designers. 6 Completely different homepage layouts, drag & drop page builder and more.