Internet addicts may have noticed that the fashion in web design changes once every few years. As technology becomes more advanced, new techniques appear. A handful of high traffic websites making the shift is enough for everybody else to follow. Thanks to social networking, such news can spread like fire in the bush in a hot summer day.
One of the modern trends of the last two years is infinite scrolling. You may have noticed some websites seem to fit the screen 100%, but as you play with the scroll wheel on your mouse, you have the surprise to see the page extending in its bottom part and in a second, a new whole screen, with fresh information, is right in front of your eyes. This trend is excellent for presentation websites. It is less used for magazine-style sites, maybe because their readers like to see as many information on the first page as possible.
Another trend that caught winds is responsive web design. This means websites are sensitive to the device they are viewed on and show the user a version customized specifically for that device. With more and more users accessing the web from smartphones and tablets, we can see this is definitely a trend everybody will follow sooner or later.
HTML5 and CSS3 are becoming popular, with modern browsers making improvements to accommodate the cool features these technologies allow. One can easily make rounded corners, shadows or emboss and letterpress effects by using CSS3, the main benefits being that sites are 100% scalable and the loading time is reduced, as less images are used for such design elements.
There are even ready-made platforms based on HTML5 one can use as a great starting point for a website. One example is this respect is Twitter Bootstrap. Another popular one is HTML5 Boilerplate, the platform that saves as base for the websites of NASA and Barack Obama.
Blogs are also on the wave these days. As search engines take into account the freshness factor when ranking websites, the easiest way to stay fresh and add new content every day is to maintain a blog. Setting it up is very easy. Most hosting providers offer the one-click install option for WordPress, so one doesn't need more than five minutes to have the blog up and running.
A website that wants to maintain its fresh look and modern elements should go through a complete redesign every two or three years. If this is too expensive, partial redesigns can also work. All you need is to keep an eye on trends and be among the first to integrate them once you see they start to gain momentum.
SEO is another aspect of the benefits of keeping a site up to date with current technologies. New code is better optimized, therefore sites that are based on it may have an advantage in search engines, because it's easier for the robots to decide what topic a page is relevant for and rank it accordingly. It's not just fashion, modern web design is a must-have, if you want to be the best.