Technology is evolving with new and new solutions constantly appearing on the market and reshaping the IT industry. Therefore, entrepreneurs and stakeholders need to be alert to the web development trends to sustain ever-rising competition and provide the best solution for their customers. We’ve analyzed the trends of 2021 and, in this article, we provide you with concentrated information about technology to help you stay in the know so that you can sharpen your knowledge and save time.
6 Prominent Web Development Trends To Follow In 2021
Today, the total number of launched websites tends to 2 billion, and the number of daily active Internet users is about 5 billion. This means that competition is keen and getting even tougher, while attracting and retaining users is a challenge for businesses. That forces web development to change rapidly, allowing for more user-friendly, faster, more responsive and interactive websites that meet the high demands of consumers.
Failure to keep up with new trends and emerging technology can lead to serious consequences for your site’s performance, leaving you behind your competitors and damaging your bottom line. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 6 web development trends to follow in 2021 and beyond. Let’s elaborate on each solution separately to see why it’s vital to implement them as soon as possible.
Artificial Intelligence And Bots To Streamline Operations
AI (short for Artificial Intelligence) and AI-based software are emerging technologies that reshape a lot of industries along with IT. And the technology makes much headway in 2021 and beyond. It’s predicted that the software market revenue will reach $126 billion worldwide in 2025. This influential technology also dramatically shapes the future of web development.
A lot of web development organizations have already started building AI-enabled sites, and that number is going to increase in the near future. Currently, companies apply AI in web development to learn and predict customers’ choices, buying plans, preferences and other sales-related issues to shape the overall feel and look, respectively.
AI-based solutions, such as pattern and face recognition, are used to improve productivity, reduce workload, speed up process and agility, and so on. YouTube, for example, uses NLP to automatically create subtitles from audio recordings of videos and Google Analytics uses ML (Machine Learning) to learn and understand website visitors’ behavior.
The main features of the AI technology are the following:
- Personalized content;
- Enhanced user experience and loyalty;
- Deep learning;
- Facial recognition;
- Quantum and cloud computing;
- Voice search optimization.
One of the most popular AI domains is the various bots and assistants. Significant advances in Artificial Intelligence and ML technologies have led to a demand for the development of virtual assistants. And it’s not just about problem-solving algorithms and/or visual experience, but also about useful sound design. Thus, by 2022, it is expected that:
- 70% of white-collar workers will engage with chatbots daily;
- 75-90% of requests will be handled by AI-based chatbots.
Today there are dozens of AI assistants (Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc.), voice, and chatbots that are widely used in e-commerce, healthcare, education, and other fields to make our lives simpler, improve customer experience, increase productivity, generate customer insights, and so on.
What makes AI-powered chatbots and assistants special is that they are a blended solution of cognitive intelligence and voice/speech recognition technique. Today, they are widely used to replace human support on websites. AI-powered chatbots can learn, solve complicated tasks and issues, collect data, memorize conversations and even recognize voices to provide personalized customer experience for engaging and upgrading human interaction.
The main features and advantages of AI chatbots and assistants are:
- 24/7 problem-solving potential;
- Human-like experience through the natural language processing (NLP) used;
- In-depth analytics of consumer behavior;
- Ability to be integrated into both PWA and regular websites, household/professional equipment, and so on.
Internet Of Things To Engage With Users As Fast As Possible
The Internet of Things or IoT means connecting various devices (appliances, wearables, home/office equipment, etc.) to the Internet. Some operations and useful results require little or no user action. Thus, you access your devices through your phone and can even control them with just your voice.
The IoT is designed to make everyday human life easier or more convenient by automating some routine tasks. IoT is one of the most powerful technology trends in 2021. Statista predicts that there will be about 38.6 billion IoT-connected devices worldwide by 2025.
And yet, why is this one of the most powerful web development trends? This is due to the fact that all IoT devices create a constant flow of data. All the data gathered can be used to make web architecture and UX design more creative and interactive. Thus, there is expected to be some demand for technologies and solutions to improve the security of automated IoT interactions.
Nowadays, the IoT is also actively helping to establish a close link between operational models and website design layouts. In 2021, web development will be vital for analyzing data from various IoT devices. By applying IoT, even serverless computing will be done more efficiently.
Herewith, IoT as a web development trend offers the following benefits:
- Data sensing and gathering;
- Interaction with multiple user interfaces;
- Predictive design to forecast the future behavior;
- Secure transmission of private/sensitive data regardless of its volume;
- Accurate and immediate results;
- Powerful security solutions that help protect both business and user data.
Single Page Application (SPA) To Reach The Target Audience More Easily
Popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Gmail are some of the biggest platforms built with SPA. More and more e-commerce projects also start to use the technology to reach their target audiences more effectively.
A special feature of SPA is that it’s made in such a way that there is no page refresh. It interacts with the browser by dynamically rewriting the current page content with new data from the server, instead of loading entire new HTML-pages. This makes users feel like they are viewing one page for all their needs.
The main SPAs advantages and benefits are:
- Offline mode;
- Increased performance;
- Streamlined development process;
- Simplified maintenance;
- Easier and faster debugging;
- Cross-platform (most devices support the technology).
That said, SPAs hold users’ attention much better as they seem to be fast operating, providing instant feedback instead of the white screens before the complete page load. Such sites can run without any server-side code at all (API technology) and consume fewer data.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) To Deliver A Native App-like Experience Through Web
Mobile devices have become an integral part of everyday life, turning into essential tools for communication, information, shopping, entertainment, etc. In 2020, the number of unique mobile Internet users reached 4.32 billion.
Besides, according to statistics, in 2019, 65% of all orders in online stores were made via mobile devices (smartphones), and this trend will continue in the future. All this makes PWA a web development trend in 2021. Alibaba, Starbucks, Forbes, Twitter, Uber, and Pinterest are a few of the brands that have already created PWA and are taking advantage of it for business.
The main features and advantages of the PWA are the following:
- Operations and features similar to native applications (e.g. push notifications, hardware access, etc.);
- Cutting-edge functionality that supports interactive mode;
- Enhanced mobile user experience;
- Increased reliability and availability;
- Easy to update and access;
- Faster page loading and better performance;
- Can be used offline thanks to cached content;
- No installation needed;
- Low data consumption;
- Reduced development costs.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) To Speed Up Page Performance
The mobile-first approach is another powerful domain of web development. According to research, businesses have less than 15 seconds to engage users and make them stay on their site. If it takes longer to load a page, the business will lose users, which will increase the bounce rate and decrease the conversion rate. This is where AMP technology is to be applied.
Being introduced by Google in 2015, today this solution gains momentum becoming one of the web development trends thanks to its main feature — speeding up page performance. AMP is a bit similar to PWA technology, the difference is that with AMP the pages are accelerated due to an open-source plugin that was recently designed by Google and Twitter.
AMP is intended to help web developers in building mobile-optimized sites that load instantaneously on all mobile gadgets. The best part of the technology implemented is that it offers excellent results without complicated coding required due to the fact that AMP is an open-source project.
Comparison of AMP and regular landing page performance (Image Source: Google Ads Blog)
Companies such as CNBC, BMW and others are already leveraging the potential of AMP. Here are the main benefits of the technology to be applied to your project:
- Faster page loading, taking about 2 seconds, which saves users time and keeps/attracts traffic to the site;
- User-friendly with a high conversion rate;
- Increased core business metrics;
- Easily accessible;
- Seamless integration with third-party elements;
- Great for SEO goals (increases the site’s visibility, contributes to higher SERP positions);
- Simplified and convenient design of AMP makes the content always readable;
- UX cost savings;
- Allows companies to reach users with any Internet speed.
Voice Search Optimization
Voice search and navigation is one of the most exciting web development trends to track and apply. More and more users use different devices, from smartphones to IoT, for voice search. Hence, it’s crucial for businesses to optimize their products and websites for voice search to stay competitive and keep their sites visible.
Virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Google Home and others have demonstrated unprecedented market growth in 2019, and according to Grand View Research, they are expected to continue to grow rapidly. It’s estimated:
- By the end of 2021, there will be 163 million smart speakers;
- By 2022, 55% of all households in the world will have voice assistants;
- By 2023, there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use.
However, it is not confined only to virtual home assistants; it will change the way users and developers interact with search engines. Thus, companies need to adapt their products to voice search and commands to meet consumer demand. Giant MNCs like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Nike, and others are using this technology to expand their business more effectively and rapidly.
Voice search optimization brings many benefits both for users and businesses. The main features and advantages of using this technology include:
- Hassle-free user experience;
- Quick access to website information;
- Increased customer loyalty;
- Multi-tasking facilitates;
- High client engagement;
- Access to consumer insights and customer behavior analytics;
- Improved conversion rates and other core metrics.
Here are a few tips on how to optimize the website for voice search:
- Use natural language and provide direct answers to specific questions.
- Optimize the site content (delete duplicate pages, update information, facts, figures, etc.).
- Use rich snippets and schema markup for better indexing by search engines.
- Use the Web Speech API that facilitates the integration of speech recognition.
The web development trends described in the article are just a few among the other technologies to be applied or at least to be on the eye in 2021. All the ever-changing trends prove that the basis of every website is a high-quality user experience. And it’s crucial to develop and maintain the website according to these trends so that you stay competitive in your business niche and meet the customer demands.