Technology continues to evolve as people find new ways to innovate and do things faster and more flair than before. There are few areas where so much of this innovation exists as in web development.
Developers are always looking ahead to discover new technologies that can catapult them into a better future. For many companies, keeping up with these developments can prove to be a problem. Fortunately, we have outlined some of the key trends that will be relevant in 2021 and beyond.
1| No-code and low-code will drive application development
No-code and low-code are created in the hope of making our lives easier. Experienced developers can use these tools to streamline workflows and reduce their workload to focus on other tasks.
These tools have also made it easier for citizen developers to build useful applications without writing complicated code.
No-code tools lower the entry threshold with visual programming interfaces and drag-and-drop tools for those who have never written a line of code. But despite these advances, no code has yet to establish itself fully.
"I think no-code will be a big trend in 2021. It's something that's already grown significantly in 2020, but it's still a pretty fragmented ecosystem with no clear winner yet, and most of the promise is still ... promises." - Massimo Chieruzzi of AdEspresso
Website development trends 2021: No code, low-code
Potential market leaders in Bubble and Airtable are becoming increasingly popular, so by 2021, one or more of these tools could establish themselves as clear winners.
What to do now?
Take a look at your product development lifecycle to find time-consuming manual tasks that your IT team is currently performing.
Integrate low-code tools into your workflows to help optimize them and eliminate wasted time.
Equip your less technical team members with no-code tools to help them perform specific tasks without overwhelming the IT department.
2| Use artificial intelligence and machine learning to work faster
Artificial intelligence has been making its way into our digital lives for a few years now. Still, as more and more companies invest in technology, we see giant leaps forward in what's possible. In particular, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) have evolved from theoretical concepts to full-fledged applications.
Luis Muñoz Villarreal of Traction.ai explains some of these use cases:
"YouTube uses NLP to automatically create subtitles from the audio of a video, or how Google Analytics uses ML to better understand how a web user behaves, or Alexa uses VR and ML so we can have a full conversation with a machine."
Trends in website development 2021: AI and ML adoption will accelerate
Find other examples of the growth of artificial intelligence chatbots, recommendation engines, and SaaS tools that make employees' lives much more accessible.
What to do now?
Assess your current business workflows to determine if there is an opportunity to adopt AI/ML. Many of your existing business processes can be automated using AI, freeing human resources for other tasks.
Implement AI-driven analytics in marketing campaigns to discover new insights that can help your customers.
Use AI-powered chatbots as part of your internal operations to help answer employee questions, speed up onboarding processes and recommend resources.
3| Voice search will explode thanks to IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been promising for some time, but 2021 could be the year when we see exactly what is possible. Two areas, in particular, voice search and intelligent speakers, could be responsible for this growth.
It estimates that 8 billion digital voice assistants will be in use by 2023, and it expects that there will be 163 million smart speakers by 2021.
The growth in these two areas will affect how everyone, from developers to users, interacts with search engines, which means developers and marketers will have to change the way they work.
4| Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) will replace native mobile apps.
PWAs are certainly nothing new, but their influence should continue to grow in 2021.
PWAs offer many advantages that will increase their use. The user experience provided by PWAs is second to none, and as mobile device usage increases, brands expect to continue this trend.
PWAs allow websites to load quickly and still function offline. They recreate the in-app experience in the browser and make developers' jobs easier than building native apps for each device.
An example of a PWA can be found on Pinterest's mobile site.
What to do now
Building native mobile apps is a much longer process than building a traditional website, especially when you have to include personalization elements.
If you're considering redesigning your desktop app, it's worth optimizing it for mobile. Instead of building two apps, it's better to develop the website as a PWA to give customers a better mobile experience.
5| Smaller businesses prefer SPAs for app development
Another already established concept that continues to grow is single-page applications (SPAs). Waiting for pages to load while browsing online can be annoying for users. SPAs, which allow uninterrupted scrolling, will therefore become increasingly popular.
Google's products, from Gmail to GDrive, are excellent examples of SPA functionality.
6| The growing importance of cybersecurity
In October 2020, hackers launched a malware attack against Germany's second-largest software vendor Software AG, claiming nearly $20 million.
According to Cloudflare, the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks will double every quarter until 2020. In a DDoS attack, hackers flood the target server with malicious Internet traffic in the form of an offensive attack wave. The result can be hours of downtime and lost revenue.
As more businesses and employees come online after the impact of 2020, companies and individuals are expected to invest even more in cybersecurity to protect themselves.
What to do now
Protecting business and customer data will be critical in 2021, primarily as cyber-attacks continue to increase. Here are some steps you can take to prepare:
| Conduct a vulnerability assessment.
Conduct a vulnerability assessment. You can start with general measures such as installing firewalls, but a security assessment can help you determine your current vulnerabilities.
| Protect your remote access
Make sure all employees are using a VPN and that all data is encrypted to prevent leaks.
| Implement roles, permissions, and multi-factor authentication.
By restricting access to certain parts of your website or digital platforms, you can improve overall security. In addition to usernames and passwords, require an additional layer of authentication for access.
Read next: best practices for website security: How we protect our customers' websites (and how you can do the same).
7| Motion UI design increases page interactivity
A website should not only contain all the information someone is looking for, but it should also be aesthetically pleasing. There is an increasing emphasis on the user interface, and the motion UI is the next stage, ripe for an explosion of development.
When a user visits a website, they don't want to have to wonder where to go. Business design is all about creating an intuitive interface that guides users, telling them what to do and where to focus on the page.
Motion UI incorporates visual cues and allows web applications to respond to users, creating a smoother and more enjoyable user experience.
What to do now
Introduce visual cues to guide your visitors through your website or app.
Also, use simple animations to improve the user experience when visitors have to wait for pages to load or get to an error page. It can keep users engaged when they encounter issues that would typically spoil the user experience.
8| Cloud computing continues to evolve
The growth of teleworking would not be possible without cloud computing, and this trend expects to continue through 2021. According to Gartner, public cloud services expect to grow to $306.9 billion by 2021, up from $242.7 billion in 2019.
Given the growth of SaaS companies in 2020 and the announcement of several high-tech companies moving to remote access, you can expect that new advances in cloud computing will be necessary to keep up.
What you should do next:
When the 2021 pandemic accelerated digital transformation, many companies moved their operations online, but they didn't have time to plan a long-term strategy. However, cloud computing is not slowing down.
As your company weighs its digital strategy for the future, consider whether it makes more sense for you to build a private cloud infrastructure or take a multi-cloud approach.
9| the next step of adapting processes begins.
Every business has its way of doing things, and since there are many options, they also have a preference for software solutions to solve specific problems. Out of this plethora of options came the best-of-breed approach to creating software stacks.
Process customization allows organizations to match the workflows of different software products to the organization's existing workflows and individual needs.
With so many tools that can do the same thing, developers need to customize solutions without disrupting the way they want to do something.
What to do next
Map your organization's current workflows to understand what works best for your business. When evaluating tools for your business processes, determine if the software fits your contemporary style or if you need to change your workflows to make it successful.
10| Businesses prefer API-first development.
As new applications and technologies emerge, so does the need to integrate these technologies. New IoT devices, web interfaces, and software tools all include APIs that allow them to connect.
In the past, many developers may have focused on the product first and then thought about connecting it to other devices as an afterthought. But now, APIs are at the forefront as companies look for ways to increase interconnectivity.
API-first development puts the user at the center. It has other benefits, such as allowing development teams to work in parallel, reducing application development costs, and speeding time to market.
Not to mention that API-first design will make new products and user interfaces potential gateways for content delivery. For example, with API-first CMS, what may have been just an app for a mobile device can now be used in kiosks, intelligent cars, and more.
What to do next
Build all custom apps with API-first design and include proper API documentation, so developers understand how to connect to the app.
Where do we go from here?
Given the rapid advances in 2021, it seems like more than a year has passed in the tech world.
But as companies have moved to remote working and developed the infrastructure to manage a distributed workforce, many have found that what was expected to take years can be done in a matter of months if necessary you can contact top web development companies in India to see if this pace continues.