Trends in web development are moving faster than ever before, and many companies are hesitant to invest in web development because of that. Smart businesses are capitalizing on the latest technologies, however, and gaining a distinct advantage over the competition as a result. There’s no question that ignoring the latest web development technologies means potentially getting left behind as competitors invest in custom software and optimize their online presence for the next generation.
The pace of evolution might be overwhelming sometimes, but the latest web development technologies (and the most popular ones) are being adopted so quickly and used so frequently specifically because they have proven business benefits. In this post, we demystify some of the latest web development technologies and the most popular web development technologies and concepts so companies can better understand how and why the industry is changing for the better.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
More than half of all internet traffic comes from handheld devices, and companies that want to attract and keep more customers need to meet people where they are. There are three ways to do this. First, build an app. Second, creative a responsive website. And third, create a progressive web application (PWA). Not every business needs an app, but a responsive website may no longer be sufficient because many people now expect websites to perform like apps.
PWAs bridge the gap between sites and app because they work like native apps. Like responsive websites, PWAs adapt to a user’s browser, screen size, and device spec, but they also have user experience (UX) design similar to apps, don’t take up much storage space, run offline, support push notifications, load faster than an app reducing server load, and are very secure. PWAs are also user-friendly and tend to have higher engagement and conversions than traditional responsive sites.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
This tech isn’t exactly new but it is one of the most popular web development technologies. Accelerated Mobile Pages are the result of a Google project that launched two years ago, but is only now gaining real momentum. AMP is a framework for creating mobile web pages. It strips websites down to their most basic elements (by removing clunky scripts) so they can load incredibly quickly, improving the user experience and potentially boosting the visibility of a website in search results. Experienced web developers can achieve the same degree of speed boost without AMP with intensive performance optimizations, but given that AMP is a Google creation, it’s worth looking into because building on the AMP framework may give businesses an advantage when it comes to search, now or in the future.
Single Page Applications (SPA)
Traditional text-based search technology still dominates, but voice search technology is evolving rapidly. More and more search users are turning not to Google.com for answers to their questions, but to virtual assistant apps on their phones and tablets, and companies are starting to sit up and take notice. This is one of the latest web development technologies that will ultimately have a big impact on how people create websites because if Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana can’t find a website, it may as well not exist. Optimizing websites for voice search will become increasingly important as time marches on, because visibility matters and because customers want fast answers to their queries.
People have short attention spans, which means businesses need to look for innovative ways to keep customers on their sites. Motion UI increases engagement on websites and in web applications by capturing and then holding users’ attention. An expressive moving user interface can tell a story, add excitement to an otherwise boring login or onboarding process, prompt reluctant users to take action, or guide a site visitor from one section to the next. There are whole libraries of dynamic graphics available (e.g., lines, shapes, illustrations, video) but there are also web developers creating custom examples of this type of interface that people are coming to expect as part of a good online experience.
It should be noted that as the latest web development technologies go, this one is a bit of a misnomer. Serverless computing (or serverless architecture) still involves servers, but those servers are virtually invisible to end users, and developers no longer have to develop web products with run time, management, and scaling in mind. This potentially makes web development less costly and faster as the serverless architecture will manage everything required to run, manage, and scale the application. Whereas once serverless computing was the exclusive domain of third-party providers like AWS, IMB, and Google, there are now more companies than ever before providing this service.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
You’ll see AI called the future of web development in many publications, so it’s no surprise that artificial intelligence is becoming an important part of modern digital transformation strategy. What AI is doing when it comes to web development is actually automating elements of the web development process so developers can spend less time on basic tasks (which can be time-consuming) and more time on creating amazing user experiences, beautiful designs, and applications with complex functionality. AI is literally changing the online landscape for the better.
The development of Bitcoin is not only impacting the financial sphere; it’s also changing web development. Blockchain has quickly become one of the most popular web development technologies because it can lower costs for businesses that need to securely process large and frequent transactions or keep large amounts of frequently moving data safe. It is, at its core, a digital, decentralized record of transactions that takes the form of blocks secured by cryptography. Despite Blockchain’s reputation for being “open,” all transactions can be encrypted and it’s nearly impossible for one single attacker to corrupt an entire system.
Responsive Front-End Frameworks
Frameworks exist to make developing common features easier and more efficient by eliminating the need to spend time on the more tedious elements of development. They are essentially packages of standardized code that let web developers build flexible sites and apps on a strong base. The latest iteration of this popular web development technology is all about optimizing the user experience. Web projects built with these frameworks are responsive and mobile-friendly from the start.
Low Code Development Platforms (LCDP)
This anti-trend in web development is all about streamlining the process. Low code development platforms are software environments that let programmers create applications through graphical user interfaces instead of hand coding applications in the traditional way. Proponents of low code development platforms say that it lets developers create sites and applications more quickly and more reliably because they don’t have to spend a lot of time or mental energy on infrastructure development or re-implementation of patterns. Instead, developers can focus their attention on the 10-15% of an application that is unique. You can build entire applications visually using a drag-and-drop interface.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality & Mixed Reality
Still relatively rare on business websites, these technologies may end up changing how people interact with websites. Right now, big players in the tech world like Google, Microsoft, and Samsung are investing a ton into the development of AR, VR, and MR, and the immersive virtual experiences that are coming out of those companies will ultimately shape what people do online. For instance, someday customers who are looking for new furniture might be able to walk through Ikea – and shop – without ever leaving their living rooms (VR) or see how a particular table will look in their own living room (AR).
Does every company need to invest in every one of these web development technologies? Absolutely not. Every company will have different needs when it comes to online presence and functionality. That said, businesses should strive to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world of website and application development. What you learn about the latest innovations may inspire you to create something amazing for your business.
As a software development company, Bitbean realizes that all organizations, regardless of size or industry, have common goals and have to stay competitive to be profitable. We leverage some of the most popular web development technologies to enhance not only the look and functionality of our clients’ websites, but also to optimize the end-user experience for maximum engagement and ROI.
Our Shifting Perspectives® method looks at your current systems, processes, objectives, and goals at all angles to reveal the best path and software to get you there. Are you ready to use the latest web development technologies to change your business’ online presence for the better?
Contact Bitbean for a free consultation. We’ll build the right software solution to meet your company’s needs both now and in the future.