It is often said that the only thing that is constant is change. When it comes to web dev that statement is undeniably true. In today’s rapidly evolving world, web development continues to be one of the fastest growing surprising.
So what exactly is web development? In its most basic form, web development refers broadly to the development of websites on the internet. Web dev often involves the ‘behind-the-scenes’ aspects of everything from website design to website publishing and programming. Today, when we think web dev, we often associate it with the maintenance of websites. But as industry knowledge grows, websites continue to function faster, becoming more adaptable and improving the overall digital experience. Similarly, as user expectations grow, so does the world of web development.
Several changes have been influential on the web dev sphere, including some of the following:
2) Progressive Web Apps (PWAs):
Progressive Web Apps are a trend to look out for in 2018. They are essential to modern day web development and are growing quickly in popularity. PWAs take advantage of mobile app technologies but operate as true web pages; they are essentially a blend between what we imagine to be a conventional browser experience and a mobile one. Thus, PWAs can both develop a company’s digital presence and deliver an app-like user experience. In comparison to native apps, PWA technology offers many advantages. PWAs are reliable and may be accessed offline. They can also be built in minimal time and are easier to maintain. As explained in a Google article, PWAs “are useful to users from the very first visit in a browser tab, no install required. As the user progressively builds a relationship with the app one time, it becomes more and more powerful. It loads quickly, even on flaky networks, sends relevant push notifications, has an icon on the home scree, and loads as a top-level, full screen experience.” So are PWAs the apps of the future? 2018 will show the fate of these apps.
3) Single-Page Websites/Apps (SPAs):
- They operate extremely fast, as all the content is loaded within a single browser,
- The web dev required for SPAs is simple,
- They are easy to debug and monitor.
SPAs compare to Multiple-Page Applications (MPA) which operate more traditionally. When it comes to deciding between SPA and MPA, the web developer should first consider the goal of the web application. Do they desire to publish a bunch of content spanning multiple categories? Or would the published content be appropriate for a single web page?
4) Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence
Another recent development in web dev technology is the increased ease and availability of online support. As many have probably noticed, chatbots—which offer live help/solutions to users—have become more and more popular in the last few years. While at first, chatbots may seem unhelpful or only to make problems worse. The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) that they are based on is quite the opposite. AI and machine learning will undoubtedly continue to evolve. It is a digital marketing trend to look out for in 2018 and coming years.
5) Goodbye to Flash
Beginning in the 1990s, Flash was one of the most popular web development technologies adding animation and graphic effects to websites. As web developer Kayleigh Circle explains: “It allowed for animation and advanced graphic effects to be embedded on a website in place of traditional text and photos” on a number of platforms— from internet applications to mobile and desktop apps. However, with the rise of mobile web browsing now being one of the most popular ways to browse the web, web design techniques have been the target of great change.
While efforts to move away from Flash— including Apple’s refusal to back the technology in 2010 and Google’s conversion to HTML5 in 2015 that began years earlier, 2018 looks to be the year that we will begin to phase out Flash. There are a number of reasons behind its demise including, but not limited to, security issues, lack of mobile support and iOS incompatibility. While the industries that have been built around flash will continue using it for the next few years, we expect new web formats like WebAssembly and HTML5 to be at the forefront of web dev technology in the years to come.