It’s a new year, a new decade, and if you’re still staring at your same old, stale website, you may want to add a new resolution; update your website. Before looking for new web design in the Philadelphia area, you may want to review trends in web design, and to consider some predictions about what will last so that you can invest without spending a fortune over and over again.

Of course web design is somewhat like fashion, trendy and beautiful in the eyes of the designer. However there are a few classic design trends that I believe will continue throughout 2010 and beyond.

Content Management Systems ““ these types of websites can actually save you money on maintenance. Open source CMS systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal have matured into wonderful website template architectures with purely customizable themes. You no longer have to make a trade off between boxy, ridged design versus the ability to edit and create your own pages if you don’tknow a program language. These architectures also make use of CSS (cascading style sheets) and very search engine friendly structures, which is an added bonus. Many developers prefer using these CMS systems because it makes programming quicker and easier.

Social Applications - I don’tthink the social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are going to go away, so websites will have to begin interacting more with them, and include more social aspects like events, comments, ratings, forums, and interactivity. This means that developers will be using more 3rd party libraries which use AJAX like mootools, jquery and prototype for interactive buttons, and frameworks like zend, cakephp, and symfony to handle the complex interactivity between applications.

Mobile phones ““ make sure your website works well on most mobile devices, especially the iPhone and Blackberry. Also make sure your website and blog are connected to your Facebook and LinkedIn pages. There are about 22.4 million internet phone users searching the web for news and information. According to ComScore the number of users has doubled from last year. ComScore also says that more than 9 million users are accessing social sites from their mobile devices ““ this includes blogs and social networks. While you are designing that new website for 2010, make sure you consider that your visitors may be searching for you and researching you while they are on the move, not just when they are in front of their office or home computers.

The “Look“ of the website ““ a website is sort of like a car or a kitchen. You can almost tell what year it was designed by the colors, fonts, and general layout. The trends for 2010 include design aspects borrowed from print. This includes a design grid type style with lots of white space, large type (for increasingly aging users), mixing illustrations and textures with actual photos and videos, colorful designs, and a clear navigation path. Less seems to be more in website design this year. Greens and earth tones also seem to be popular as people seek more ecological and organic looking websites. Even logos seem to be trending away from glossy designs to textured, organic designs.

Fonts using sIFR - Scalable Inman Flash Replacement has been around for a couple of years, but designers are just starting to really make use of it by creating customized titles using JavaScript, Flash, and CSS. Instead of creating cool looking fonts for titles with images, sIFR can dynamically create text using whatever font you want. The search engines and visitors with non-Flash browsers can also still read the text (but of course it won’tlook beautiful to them).

Photo and Video ““ A trend with faster internet connections is the ability to show video and photos of real people, rather than scaled down graphics which load faster. In 2009 video was a big part of many sites, and I see this trend continuing and increasing as the technology becomes easier and easier to use.

Short pages ““ Google Caffeine will probably shape the design trends in 2010 as developers quickly try to make sure that their sites continue to rank in the new search algorithm. Some things we already know about Caffeine are that website pages should be shorter and focused on a single topic, and that current pages with fast load times will rank higher in search results.

Web design in Philadelphia for 2010 will be a continuation of the trends that started last year, with an emphasis on usability and interaction. Since US web design jobs are predicted to grow by about 10% through 2016, and web development jobs are going to grow by about 30% in that same time period, the trend toward more web design in Philadelphia seems justified.

Bio: Sue McCrossin owns Boomtown Internet Group, a specialist in Web Design in Philadelphia area. Boomtown Internet Group is a web design company in Philadelphia whose services include Web Development & Internet Marketing.

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