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Web Development Trends 2021 - What's Happening Next? (And What to Do)

The one thing that has been constant with technology over the last several decades, is change. Evolution is a constant process and web developers are at the core of this persistent transformation. Web development includes all processes responsible to build, manage and optimize both intranet and internet assets. These assets may range from simple static pages to complex web-based applications, electronic businesses, or social network services.

The last decade alone has seen tremendous acceptance of technological changes among business leaders. Unfortunately, this is more prominent with giants such as Google, Amazon, and Apple. The common thought still is that technology and innovation is for large businesses. The Coronavirus Pandemic, however, has changed the way mid-market companies approach these technological advancements. It has made businesses understand the vitality of agile web development assets like Progressive Web Applications for them and their customers.

According to PWC’s US CFO Pulse Survey, 63% of CFOs plan changes to products and services post-COVID. This makes web development vital as it forms the backbone of all digital initiatives.

The best way to approach this is to analyze tendencies across industries and accept changes that technology brings to web development.

Top Web Development Trends to Dominate 2021

2020 was a year dominated by disruptive technology changes. Most businesses were caught off guard in the first quarter due to unprecedented lockdowns and other quarantine measures. So, the mission was to empower a human-machine collaboration in the second quarter. There were changes in technology, operational procedures, and customer expectations.

While it was overwhelming, the major web development trends for 2020 started turning out to be true. Artificial intelligence and machine learning which have been dominating annual trends over the last few years, became the cornerstone for 2020.

Internet of Things is another web development trend that proved to be true for 2020. This, however, was not common among mid-market companies. It was seen primarily among large companies such as Google or Amazon.

2020 helped mid-market businesses aware about the vitality of web development. So, 2021 is a good year to use technology to optimize business opportunities. However, 2021 is not going to be easier with the competition rapidly increasing. The top 6 web development trends for 2021 have been listed below to kickstart the web development strategy. 

Trend #1 - No-code and low-code to drive web development in 2021 and beyond

2020 has seen affinity towards simpler technology. Businesses prefer tools and software that are easy to use while building applications even for citizen developers. This has made no-code and low-code, a trend that is here to stay. Low-code has already been accepted across industries in 2020. It is constantly growing with businesses and developers both moving toward simplified processing.

Businesses prefer no-code and low-code web development due to simple visual programming interfaces and easy drag-drop tools. For experienced developers, it becomes easier to streamline workflows and focus on priority tasks with these tools while building useful applications.

No-code will dominate web development in 2021. Low-code grew a lot in 2020, but no-code is expected to transform web development for the future.

Our Recommendation:

No-code and low-code are best for tedious technology tasks in the product development lifecycle. This way the IT team can devote time to more important tasks rather than performing repetitive tasks. When integrated with workflows, no-code and low-code can help optimize workflows and save time. Even better, they can be run by the least technical person on your team swiftly. 

Trend #2 - Progressive Web Applications

Progressive web applications (PWAs) have been one of the biggest web development trends in 2020. Their influence is expected to grow even more in 2021 with capabilities like offline accessibility, push notifications and faster processing. Not only this, PWAs are also preferred by big brands such as Pinterest, Forbes, and Starbucks due to their responsive strength.

The development cycle for PWAs is also easier and faster when compared to native applications. This makes them a great web development choice for developers who avoid multiple codebases. In simpler terms, businesses do not need an app store license to work. They can run on any browser even without the internet.

Our Recommendation:

PWAs are the most predictable trend of 2021. An organic steroid for marketers and customer experience, PWAs can help businesses increase conversions and develop new markets. They supersede traditional websites on most parameters. When compared with native applications, PWAs are easier to manage across all devices as they run on a single codebase. This implies that while updating, developers do not need to individually update different OS versions of the same application. Instead, it all happens in a single space instantly with PWAs.

Trend #3 Single-page Websites and Applications

A trend that seems to grow among large companies rapidly is single-page websites and applications. Global companies such as Facebook, Google and Uber have already switched to single-page websites and applications. From Gmail to Google Drive, Google’s suite of products is a prime example of the influence of SPAs in 2021.

A single-page website, as the name suggests contains a single page. This page is equipped with links that redirect users to their desired destinations. Single-page applications (SPA) are a modern version of traditional web applications page that do not require reloading while in use. So, whenever a user needs access to information, the content changes but not the page.

Single-page websites and applications are comprehensive, fast, clean and drives customer attention to the right assets. Even better, these are easy to build and less time-consuming to optimize than multi-page websites. The most prominent about single-page websites and applications is their UX that drives customer decisions because of its simplicity.

Our Recommendation:

Single-page websites and applications are valuable digital assets for all businesses. Easy to build, economical, faster, and user-friendly, they are gold mines for mid-market companies and startups. Single-page digital assets also enable offline caching that allows users to use them even when there is no internet connection. 

Trend #4 - Artificial Intelligence with a Focus on Voice Search Optimization

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been a dominant force in web development over the last few years. They can process substantial amounts of data and drive personalization with that data in real time. This, however, is just one of the many powerful features of AI and ML. With voice search optimization gaining traction in 2020, AI and ML has become more important than ever.

AI and ML collects and simplifies complex data into understandable customer insights for better targeting and conversions. When a customer returns to the same page, AI platforms collect more data about individual customers. This gets more precise with every visit and helps deliver personalized virtual experiences. One of the most impressive AI and ML features on the front end currently is voice search optimization.

Gartner predicted that over 30% of web browsing sessions will include voice search and other audio-centric technologies by 2020. Users prefer these as they do not have to press buttons or type to find what they are looking for. Even better, voice integrated websites are predicted to rank higher than those not using voice technology in 2021.

Our Recommendation:

Chatbots, Advanced Digital Intelligence, and voice-based interactions are AI trends expected to gain traction in 2021. Artificial intelligence, Natural language processing and machine learning are predicted to dominate the present and future of web development. The first step is to assess current business workflows and identify processes that can be automated. AI-driven analytics help marketers execute strategies and streamline client onboarding processes. So, businesses looking to dominate 2021 need AI/ML in their tech stack to generate optimized returns.

Trend #5 - Internet of Things

According to Statista, there will be more than 75 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices in use by 2025. The rise was predicted to be threefold after 2019. The potency of this prediction has already been proven with around 31 billion IoT devices running in 2020. IoT deals with large data sets collected from various sources on cloud making the process intelligent, fast, and secure.

IoT uses the collected data to provide relevant results and build an interactive UI experience. Common IoT implementations in web development include chatbots, personal assistants, smart watches, and predictive support on mobile platform. IoT is in every phase of our life and interconnecting devices makes the customer experience seamless.

Our Recommendation:

Even though IoT is a safe bet for businesses, it is essential to understand the needs of your customers before implementation. Taking note of the devices used is not enough as connectivity is the key with IoT devices. When a business knows what their customers expect and deliver it in a natural way, a good customer experience is inevitable. So, it is always better to analyze customer behavior on different platforms across different devices to make a head start. 

Trend #6 - Serverless Architecture

Serverless cloud-powered applications like AWS have seen a tremendous rise in the last 2 years. Serverless architect is standardized, tested, reliable and fast to implement. It can be used to build agile web applications to avoid overload and loss of data while reducing costs. Even the time involved in web development is reduced with serverless architecture.

The flexible serverless architecture provides strength to app architecture and makes downloading backup files and exporting objects easier. It is simple to use and pivoted on scaling and performance.

Businesses that are doubtful of the third-party dependency of serverless architecture should not worry. Serverless architecture is independent of managing server procedures and hosts and has no additional costs for unused servers or capacity.

Our Recommendation:  

2020 helped businesses learn the importance of flexibility and helped businesses adapt to the sudden change in customer expectations. They can be useful at micro-levels too and are ideal for data processing, encoding, real-time analytics and IoT apps. It also serves a great purpose for companies focused on growth, scalability, and auto-provisioning.

Embrace the Change with Top Web Development Trends in 2021

2020 was a challenging year for all industries. If you were not able to turn those challenges into opportunities yet, the time to excel is 2021. The web development trends listed above are not just predictions for 2021. These are techniques that businesses around the globe are aggressively adopting to stay ahead in their industry.

Other notable trends for web development in 2021 are Accelerated Mobile Pages which were a dominating trend in 2020 as well. The mobile-first approach is a terrific way to start the change for most businesses. The basics are still the same. The parameters have just become more stringent with the increasing competition.

Faster page speeds, accessibility, simplicity, and a uniform experience across all digital channels is still the first thing. Achieving it before anyone else is what makes a business stand out.



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