Website Templates 2018: 15 Top Web Design Trends

Micro housing, air fryers, over-sized textured sweaters… These trends are great and all, but it’s time to make way for the most important trends in 2018 (to us anyway): new website template designs.

Last year was chock full of innovations in web design and this year is on track not to disappoint. Here are the 15 top website design trends to keep an eye out for in 2018.

1. Mobile Navigation on Bottom

While for some it is starting to lose its flavor, the hamburger menu largely remains here to stay for website templates in 2018. What has changed is its orientation.

Web Design Trends 2018  - Bottom Navigation

In mobile web design, the top right corner of the screen isn’t the most convenient place to reach your thumb to. Even so, this is right where the majority of mobile websites station their navigation menus. In 2018, expect to see sticky navbars relocated to the bottom of the screen.

2. CSS Grid Layouts

What was once complex has been made painless by CSS Grid Layouts, a strong layout system that can handle both rows and columns. No longer is complicated Javascript or Photoshop expertise required for image grid masking!

3. Knockout Text on Animated Backgrounds

The use of knockout text certainly isn’t groundbreaking, but layering it atop an animated GIF or video is the new trend. Perfect for website heros, the contrast really adds attractive emphasis to your text.

4. Phasing Out Passwords

The average user has a pile of accounts on various channels. The average user also has a difficult time remembering passwords.

For security reasons, it’s strongly advised to use unique passwords for each account and keeping track of all these passwords is job on it’s own. Not to mention the different rules each website has (“You must use 43 characters and 21 unique symbols”).

Finally, websites are beginning to come up with a solution for this ongoing headache. 2018 is the year that you can expect to see an increase in verification codes sent via text message and biometric authentications.

As futuristic as it sounds, you’ve likely used biometric authentications already. Own a cell phone? Many newer models and brands offer iris scanning, facial recognition, and fingerprint identification as a secure alternative to passwords.

5. Faux 3D

Using parallax layouts and grids, designers will create many eye-catching website templates with a 3D illusion in 2018. Shadows and gradients are being utilized like never before to create depth. This depth allows designers to add emphasis to sections that you wouldn’t want users to miss – like those crucial calls-to-action!

6. Cinemagraphs

Video too distracting? Give cinemagraphs a try. Cinemagraphs are still images with subtle, repetitive movement. These small animations are on a loop, giving the background just enough added interest without becoming a big distraction from the rest of your website template.

7. Large Headers & Hero Images

Layer short lines of punchy text and calls-to-action atop huge images and there you have it; a winning combination that’s sticking around for website templates in 2018.

Hero imagery has quite the variety – from illustrated artwork, to photographs, to videos. With the new popularity of cinemagraphs, we’ll likely being seeing more of those integrated into heros as well.

8. Abstract Shapes & Colors

If website template design fit into art eras, it would fall somewhere between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Websites have been around long enough at this point to have moved past traditional, conventional design onto more unique elements.

Expect the unexpected, like contrasting colors and abstract shapes.

9. Faster Page Load Times

Year after year, websites continue to speed up page load times. Not only does a faster website translate to better user experience and increased conversions, but it also means a higher rank in search engine results.

That’s right, search engines have added website speed as a ranking factor. Why wouldn’t they? They’re all about delivering a great experience to searchers, the last thing they want to do is connect users with frustrating load times.

Even Facebook announced in 2017 that it would be making changes to its News Feed in order to rank faster loading websites higher.

10. Custom Graphics

You know those icons that have been showing up on homepages, service pages, about pages, and pretty much every kind of page in website templates? Graphic designers are getting a little more creative with them – swapping out generic icons with hand sketched art.

Take a look at this architecture company’s website icons for example. Whether you’re a fan of their ultra simplistic website or not, you have to admit the design is unique. We hope you’ve had your fill of stock icons this past year, they’re not likely to be popular in 2018!

11. Unexpected Typography Pairings

For website templates in 2018, expect to see typography breaking away from its traditional pairings. Sure, fonts like TheSerif and TheSans were born to complement each other, but where’s the fun in predictability?

Web Design Trends 2018 - Typography

With content increasingly taking center stage in modern web design, it’s no surprise that designers are playing around with typography. Look for website templates featuring text sections that double as bold imagery.

12. Particle Backgrounds

Driven by the movement to speed up website performance, particle backgrounds are beginning to serve as a popular solution to issues caused by traditional video and animation.

In addition to a decrease in load time, particle boards are interactive. They can be designed to follow the user’s cursor and dance. Designs range from simple dots to complex images and geometric shapes.

13. Saving Time

A couple things have remained a constant each year in the design of website templates: they are consistently being optimized for an easier and faster user-experience. If you can save your users time, you will be rewarded with increased conversions.

Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Use a navigation structure that is recognizable, familiar, and predictable.
  • Conduct ongoing A/B Testing to determine which web design elements perform better.
  • Include hideaway features that are only visible when needed.
  • Keep specific conversion goals in mind, always nudging users towards that next micro conversion or macro conversion.

14. Augmented & Virtual Reality Designs

Brace yourself – it’s coming. There are already a number of applications featuring augmented reality. For example, GIPHY World is an app that brings GIFs into your everyday surroundings. There’s even an app created by Strava called Fitness AR which allows athletes to train in virtual worlds.

15. Unconventional Layouts

Say goodbye to limitations. The use of asymmetrical grid layouts is a trend introduced in 2017 that isn’t likely to go anywhere. Grid layouts are beginning to break out of the box and their traditional molds.

As a website template provider, we couldn’t be more excited about the changes and new designs we’re witnessing as we head into 2018. Want to take a look at some for yourself? Scroll through these stunning new designs.