15 Trends That Dominate 2015 WordPress Web Design (Cool Site Examples + Themes)

New Year brings big hopes. Every January 1st, millions of people all around the world make a sacred wish to experience new sensations and simply bring some positive changes into their lives. When it comes to web design, the situation is almost the same.

We ended 2014 with a number of predictions regarding the possible changes in web design and new trends that are supposed to breathe fresh air into the way our sites look. Now, as we have stepped into 2015, let’s see what particular trends are being implemented by web designers worldwide.

This is not the traditional chart of the top 15 web design trends for 2015. Today, we will focus your attention on the main techniques adopted by WordPress-powered websites. We will illustrate each trend from this list with an example of an already existing site where the former has been implemented, as well as provide you with suggestions of free and premium WordPress themes that can help you create a trendy design for your own business, quickly and easily.

Mobile First

This trend is not new. However, with mobile usage higher than ever before, there is a growing demand for creating fully responsive websites.This is all about making your site look great on devices of different screen sizes and resolutions, which relieves you from the necessity of creating a mobile version of your website.

In addition, this provides for better SEO and makes your life easier when you need to apply any changes to the design on the go.

Adaptable

adaptable

Free Responsive WordPress Restaurant Theme

Free Responsive WordPress Restaurant Theme

Demo | Download

Minimalism

Mobile Internet usage surpassed PC Internet usage in early 2014, and that had a certain impact on the way websites were designed. Since handheld devices have smaller screen sizes than desktops, mobile-oriented websites feature a more minimalist and elegant look, with lots of whitespace, simple colors, little or no shadows and gradients – these are some of the key elements that make such websites stand out.

The technique also plays with desktop versions of modern websites, so when designing for the modern web please keep this in mind.
Yes

Yes

Unite – Free Minimalist WordPress Wedding Theme

Unite

Demo | Download

Flat elements

Though this web design trend is also not new, it has become very popular over the last three years. When Microsoft first introduced the updated version of its OS – Windows 8 back in 2012, people were impressed with its flat design.

Since then, the online community started popularizing the trend, adopting it in website designs, especially such elements as icons, menus and illustrations. It’s worth noting that flat web design is not always as flat as we might expect. Sometimes developers incorporate photos, subtle gradients and textures in order to “wow” the audience.
Muzli

muzli

Melissa – Free Flat WordPress Theme

Melissa

Demo | Download

Cards or tiles

Tiles are simply another cool way to structure content on your website. Earlier, we would rarely see these integrated into web design, however, with the popularization of flat design and growing popularity of Windows 8, tiles perfectly fit mobile and desktop oriented web designs. Additionally, such a technique is also touch-friendly, which provides for seamless navigation.

Organizing content with the help of tiles, you make the layout look well-structured and balanced. These can work perfectly together with other 2015 leading web design trends. For instance, these can easily adjust to any screen size. Scrolling and minimalist websites can benefit from tiles as well.
Inventid

inventid

Kappe – Full Screen Portfolio & Blog WP Theme

kappe

Demo | More info

Parallax

Over the past few years the parallax scrolling effect has remained trendy, but the way in which the technique is being implemented in web design has evolved. However, different variations of parallax scrolling sites have one thing in common –designers use mouse movement or page scrolling to achieve a three-dimensional effect.

The technique is especially popular among single-page websites, that want to impress the audience with captivating storytelling. Parallax scrolling will make both corporate web pages and personal blogs more eye-catching. Just cast a glance at the example of parallax website below.

To implement the technique into your website, you will need to have certain coding skills. However, the good news is that there is a rich selection of ready-made themes available from trusted providers (like TemplateMonster, WooThemes, ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, and more). For those of you not willing to create a separate mobile version of your site, there are many beautifully-designed responsive WP templates available as well.
Giacomorelli

giacomorelli

Active Sports WordPress Theme

extreme-sport

Demo | More info

Extraordinary navigation

Navigation has always been one of the favorite web designers’ playgrounds. Of course, now it is not as rich as in Flash-based designs. Nevertheless, there are still many cool and effective tricks worth implementing into your websites.

For instance, sticky menu is one of the most popular elements. It helps significantly to facilitate navigation and provides users with quick access to other pages on your site. Another wide-spread trick that we can find in modern web designs is the fly-out menu.

There is a growing tendency to create minimalist designs, and a fly-out menu can help you to save on space. Navicon (or hamburger menu), mega drop down menu and full-screen navigation are likely to dominate in 2015.
Bluecadet

bluecadet

Hemlock – a responsive WordPress Blog Theme

hemlock

Demo | More info

Big and Bold Typography

Historically the print media has put special emphasis on typography. However, the trend has been slowly migrating onto the web and now we can find loads of beautifully designed websites using really amazing fonts, with attention to detail. Using a specialized font you can easily integrate media and written content within your site, which results in a more harmonized and balanced look.

Mcgarry’n’sons

mcgarrynsons

Lefty Premium WordPress Theme

Lefty Premium WordPress Theme

Demo | More info

Lazy loading

The Lazy loading effect not only adds to the visual appeal of WordPress sites, but also provides for faster load speeds. Like many other elements, the trend is not new. However, taking into consideration the continued growth of mobile web, lazy loading will only increase in demand.

As the possibilities for desktop devices become more complex, web resources become rather heavy in content, featuring high-resolution video, rich graphics, ads, and more. As the name implies, the techniques allow loading images above the fold, while the rest of the site content lazy loads.

TheKorner

thekorner

Extreme Sports Club WordPress Theme

Extreme Sports Club WordPress Theme

Demo | More info

Full-width layout

Instead of being confined to the standard 960px page width, full-width layouts fill up the screen, giving WordPress-based sites an ultra-modern look. A full-width layout can add to your website that sense of openness with less restrictions that many other pages might be lacking.

Trinity SF

trinitysf

Shore – Creative MultiPurpose WordPress Theme

Shore

Demo | More info

Dynamic backgrounds

Background videos can create a specific atmosphere on your site. These can be implemented in the header for catching the users’ attention, as blocks for separating different content blocks or simply for delivering your story to the target audience. Modern users are more obsessed with images and especially videos rather than written data. So, by refreshing your website with quality background videos, you will always win.

Portfolio of Anders Hede

andershede

Swell WordPress Theme

swell

Demo | More info

Storytelling

Having good content to share on your site is a must. However, a captivating storytelling is just what modern users are looking for. Storytelling can be a powerful tool in establishing an emotional connection between your audience and your brand. A captivating storytelling can be achieved with the help of images, videos, backgrounds, illustrations, mascots, parallax scrolling, social media, and of course, words.

Efneo

efneo

Proof – A customizable, retina ready, “one-page” auto scrolling theme

proof

Demo | More info

Ghost buttons

Ghost buttons are a nice addition to clean and minimalist layouts. These can be seen in the header, on banners, sliders, in content blocks, etc. Ghost buttons pair well with large hero areas, full-width photo and video backgrounds, adding a touch of elegance to the design. What’s the purpose of adding ghost buttons to a website? The answer is simple – this is just another great way of catching the users’ attention in a subtle way.

Urban influence

urban influence

Hotel Business WordPress Theme

hotel

Demo | More info

Scrolling over clicking

This is one more web design trend that has been created mainly because of the growth of mobile web. Modern users have got so accustomed to scrolling through pages on their mobile devices that clicking is no longer trendy. People want to preview the content on your website right on the main page. That is why, in 2015 we will see lots of long pages that provide a more interactive and dynamic scrolling experience.

Fantasy posters

fantasy posters

SimpleKey – One Page Portfolio WordPress Theme

simplekey

Demo | More info

Micro-interactions

Adding micro-interactions to your site is a proven way of enhancing the UX. These are small interactions that motivate or help to accomplish a simple task, like changing settings, posting a status, rating a song, etc. Many websites feature an email sign-up form that pops up when a user visits a web page. This adds to the site’s interactivity thus increasing user engagement.

Santa Stories

santastories

Ninja Popups for WordPress

Ninja Popups for WordPress

Demo | More info

Infographics

When reaching a website, users need to understand its message without looking through tons of written information. To help sites convey their message effectively, marketers came up with the idea of infographics that deliver messages in a fun and engaging way. In addition, infographics are comprehensive, user-friendly and creative. Isn’t that exactly what you need to boost users’ engagement?

Zeis Excelsa

zeisexcelsa

Corpress – Business and Infographics WP Theme

Corpress

Demo | More info

All the aforementioned 15 web design trends of 2015 are not necessarily revolutionary. However, when implemented into your website design they can do wonders. Experiment with different forms of presenting information online and promote an improved user engagement with your brand.

Katherine Crayon

About Katherine Crayon

Katherine is a copywriter reporting on tech news and all aspects of the web design industry. Anyone looking for a magic kicker to get your own online business started meet her in person on and .

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7 Responses

  1. Riyad Arefin
    Riyad Arefin March 11, 2015 at 11:21 | | Reply

    Hi Katherine, Great list and really awesome designs 🙂

  2. Katherine Crayon
    Katherine Crayon March 11, 2015 at 16:23 | | Reply

    Thanks for your feedback!!! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  3. Robin
    Robin March 19, 2015 at 04:11 | | Reply

    Good Images are quiet critical aspect of web design at the moment.
    Photography and Image Manipulation Techniques have never been an integral part of design than before.
    With CDNs and good quality hosting, unlike in past, images had been so widely used now.

  4. Tom Golden
    Tom Golden April 9, 2015 at 17:24 | | Reply

    Very helpful article Ms Crayon. Many thanks. Gave so many ideas about the latest themes and their bells and whistles. Just what I needed!

  5. BilqeesKenchi
    BilqeesKenchi September 21, 2015 at 04:42 | | Reply

    I researched and downloaded several of these themes. There were a few winners, but I have to say that several were disappointing if not outright poorly coded AND annoying in their tactics for gathering info or leading you to other software downloads – always a scary proposition. Please check all theme list once again.

  6. Emily Johns
    Emily Johns February 8, 2016 at 23:28 | | Reply

    There are some good trends and some that aren’t really that practical for most websites other designers or programmers websites. definitely getting better a whole though I think. As internet speed and computers aren’t really a limiting factor anymore for the most part it gives
    everyone a lot of freedom. All of these website design trends are very informative for any website developers who need to design their website best.

  7. Sridhar
    Sridhar March 5, 2016 at 18:35 | | Reply

    It’s a well researched article and informative one. Must for WordPress users.

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