postheadericon Web Design Evolution: Expanding Horizons

As a company with years of experience in designing and developing websites, we have seen the trends change as the years go by.  Just as the fashion industry has a tendency to reinvent itself every couple of years, website design seemingly overhauls itself every so often.  Light colors become dark colors.  Animated buttons become drop down menus.  Now we are seeing a focused shift towards using the whole screen as a design canvas.  Interestingly enough, this is nothing new, in fact the design idea is old enough to be considered “retro” at this point.

In the Beginning

Mankind created the internet.  However, without html attributes, css, or other modern day niceties, there was no way of limiting how the data was spaced horizontally.  Vertically, you started at the top and went to the bottom.  Horizontally, you started at the left and went to the right.  There was no real middle.  This made for cluttered and often unorganized websites that were difficult to look at and even more difficult to navigate.

Then, there was the css revolution.  Wrapping div’s were created to center content inside a nice, pretty box.  Sites became advertising art pieces like other advertising media had long before.  Now there was a background, to be mostly ignored, and the parts that marketers wanted you to look at.  For non-business websites, this also provided a canvas by which artists could express their creativity.  With javascript, we saw animation added and websites started moving, but they still stayed towards the center of the screen, where it was safe to play.

And Now…

We are seeing a radical shift back to the days of full-width pages…somewhat.  There is still a focus put on the middle of the page.  This is where the important images and text is going.  However, there is also a focus on blurring the lines between the content and the background.  Elements like headers will expand the length of the screen.

Take for example what I believe is a very interesting theme developed for WordPress.  This particular theme was purchased from ElegantThemes and a demo can be found on our site at  Notice that the background images expand to the whole width of the screen, while the text and focus of the website is right in the middle where it has always been.  This, I believe, is where the next generation of websites is heading.  More and more, this style of website is becoming more popular.  While not the most appropriate for perhaps a corporate setting, for marketing themed websites, it fits the bill of having a wow factor to it.

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