WordPress is one of the world’s most popular blogging website creation tools. Most people know it because it is incredibly user-friendly and because it is very powerful. Due to its popularity, you may have considered using WordPress yourself. However, if you are completely new to it, you may find yourself slightly confused by the jargon. Hopefully, the following information will help you to get started.
Blog is the word we use for the articles you place on your WordPress site. It is actually short for “web log” and basically refers to an online journal. Then, there is the CMS or Content Management System, which is basically your WordPress dashboard, where you can add and change your content, including images, text, video and more. A WordPress website can be either self-hosted or hosted. If you self-host, you have greater versatility options than if you allow WordPress to host it. You can let WordPress host your blog for free. On the other hand, if you host through WordPress, you will not be able to advertise or sell on your blog. Then, there is the server, which refers to the physical computer that houses your website. This particular computer is always online and you connect to it through the WordPress control panel. Your control panel is the tool you use to actually go online and access the internet. You can use it to set up various features and other elements that the dashboard does not allow you to manipulate. The dashboard is basically your control panel. It gives you all sorts of information on how your blog is performing and it also allows you to manipulate the features of your blog, such as the theme and what plugins you want to use. Your theme is the way your WordPress site looks to visitors. You have a lot of choice here, with various free and paid for themes being offered to you. You can also design your own theme if you have the skills to do so. Plugins are extra tools that allow you to turn your WordPress site into something that is just for you. They can add features, make your site smarter, simplify things, track elements and more.
The final term you will come across is “blogger”. This refers to you! As soon as you start to upload things to your WordPress site, you will be a true blogger, ready to take on your place in the world wide web and to make your mark on society. WordPress truly offers it all. Whether you want to keep things simple and simply share your opinion on things with the world, or whether you want to build a huge website with a variety of different features, it is possible through WordPress.
Responsive menus are used in responsive design and they are incredibly important tools. Basically, they are menus that act differently depending on the mobile device that sees them and the screen size of that device. In order to use these menus properly, you will need to know a bit about CSS (cascading style sheets) and various programming languages, particularly PHP. Responsive menus have been designed in order to make sure mobile devices can navigate smoothly. Additionally, as all menus, they are there to increase functionality and entry points for different web pages. It is very important to use this type of design because of the huge drive towards mobile web design. Different people use different devices, and all of these should be able to access, view and use websites easily. The menu buttons are, basically, the entry point to the site itself. This means that, if you get them right, you will increase the enjoyment of the user experience.
There are clear benefits to using responsive menus, but the biggest one has to be the simplicity of the design. We know that good menus allow for navigation to be streamlined properly. No longer will you have to place links all over your website in the hopes of someone spotting them. Instead, you can use menus so that the design looks great and the overall appearance is improved. Navigational flow is also improved. Using responsive menus is much more ergonomic, and it allows people to use it with just one thumb and one eye. Thirdly, it is all about delivering an excellent user experience. With it, people will no longer have to scroll through information they are not interested in. Additionally, it ensures the entire page looks more streamlined and minimalistic, which is a huge design trend at present. Basically, navigation is streamlined, creating an unbeatable user experience.
Do make sure, however, that your menus are presented as buttons. This makes it easier to see them, and it is also easier to tap them. Users only need to use their finger tip in order to view what is actually behind the menu itself. In doing so, you also save on the amount of screen space you require, making your overall site look less cluttered. As a result, your website will run much quicker as well, something that users are also looking for. Basically, by using responsive menus, your website design will be massively improved in terms of overall visibility and user experience. As a result, you need to ensure this is one of your major considerations when you are designing a responsive website, next to the content and images you want to place on the site. Remember that mobile internet is becoming one of the most important elements of design today.
With the new year almost upon us, many of us are already wondering what we can expect in the world of web design. Some are suggesting that we may have started to become too complacent. The internet, after all, has now been around for 25 years and this is generally the point at which people start to get set in their ways.
However, internet developers, including the big ones like Google, always bring in new talent, new ideas and new changes. Hence, those of us who have been around for a while, the internet veterans if you like, need to make sure that we are able to keep up. So what should we look out for and prepare ourselves for this coming year?
1 – Larger Images
The first thing you are likely to see are larger pictures that have been properly formatted.
“To properly pull it off, the image should stop at the break, in terms of resolutions and pixels, of the screen. Once the user begins to navigate, they should not continue to see the image, but instead see the content below it.”
This is a direct result of more and more people moving over to Windows 8 and 8.1. The feature that web designers now have to work with when it comes to inserting images is known as “flat design.” This fits in perfectly with the modern user interface. Naturally, the images must also be of very high visual quality and they have to load quickly.
2 – Better Typography
One thing that many people miss from the old days before the internet is working with fancy type fonts. We used to create the most beautiful documents and presentations with various fonts and sizes. Now, we seem pretty focused on Calibri and some of the sans serif fonts. But it seems that a new trend is going to be around better typography, much to the pleasure of those who love beautiful fonts.
“Type kits are becoming more affordable (or free in the case of Google Fonts) and that means there is more freedom for designers working with a smaller budget to bring their typography skills to the web design table.”
In the past, only those with huge budgets were able to purchase fancy typography kits. Fortunately, they are now much more affordable. This allows for the creation of more interesting themes on WordPress blogs, for instance. Type-centric design is now in anyone’s reach and some believe that the internet will now become one giant and beautiful work of art.
3 – Less Web Coding
Another very positive development for everyday people is that there is going to be much less web coding required. Web coding is a hugely complicated field of work, which has left much of the internet unattainable for regular people who do not have experience in this field. Now, it is believed that the required web coding is being reduced significantly, making it far more accessible to people.
“Today, designers can create websites without touching a single line of code, taking advantage of the same powerful features of their graphic design software and outputting W3C validated, clean code.”
This is a massive shift in how work has been done before. With streamlined options where codes are developed automatically as a website grows. This does not mean that web coders will soon be out of a job. There will always be a need for them. However, their role will be less front end and more behind the scenes.
4 – Reduced Importance of Websites Overall
One particular development could be a huge game changer, and that is the decline in the need for websites in general. Once upon a time, if you wanted to compare information, you would have to visit various websites individually, comparing the information in a spreadsheet of your own design. This changed when we saw a rise in comparison websites, which are still very popular today. However, even these are having to take a backseat now, with applications such as Siri giving you all the information you need. In places like China, people almost don’t use websites at all anymore. They simply give Siri or a similar app a voice command and are given all the information they need. As such, content and design are being set free.
“Instead we are sharing content via APIs between applications and sites. Sometimes business owners are choosing to put their content on Facebook, Yelp or Foursquare. They are abandoning the idea of having their own site.”
5 – Webgraphics
Although there are multiple learning styles that people use to absorb information, we are all highly visual as a species. This means that if information is presented in a graph, we are better able to internalize it. This is where infographics came from. In a single infographic, a designer is able to present a great deal of information very quickly. Additionally, people who see the graph are better able to remember the information.
Although infographics are still popular, webgraphics are the next step up. Again, these are graphs designed to provide a lot of information in one go. However, what makes them different is that the user is able to actually interact with the information that has been provided. Furthermore, a webgraphic looks better than an infographic and retention of the information is even higher.
Interactive webgraphics are a huge trend that many clients will be asking for. It delivers a truly personalized design that attracts traffic to their website and allows people to remember what they actually saw and read. As a result, modern web design in 2015 must include webgraphics.
Watch for These Developments
These are the main web design trends for 2015. Some of them will really change the face of the internet and how web designers perform their jobs. It is very important to remain current with this type of information, so that you don’t get stuck in a rut or get complacent. Keep your eye on these developments and start to think about how you can incorporate them into your own web design work.