With 2021 in full-swing we’re turning our attention to the ever-changing emerging trends in web development.
As a business owner, it can be an overwhelming time — how can you possibly know which trending solutions are right for you and your company?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the latest tech advancements and emerging trends, don’t you worry. We’ll break down the top 10 web development trends in 2021 and dive into the advantages and disadvantages they can have on your business.
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
AMPs are described as ‘lightweight web pages’ and are designed to load at optimal speeds. With Google rolling out their mobile-first indexing initiative this year, this trend is coming at just the right time. This update to Google’s index ranking algorithm means that information will be gathered for search results from mobile sites first. With this in mind, your mobile site must be optimized for speed and performance to gain better visibility with your target audience.
Advantages of AMPs:
• Faster loading pages
• Longer viewing times from users
• Lower bounce rates
• Increased conversions
Disadvantages of AMPs:
• External content on the page, such as images or data connections, will likely lag while loading
• AMPs have Google URLs and reside in Google’s servers, meaning they won’t directly increase traffic to your website
• You can track visitors and engagement. Beyond that, the analytical capabilities of AMPs are lacking
Serverless computing allows programmers to focus on the coding of applications rather than the infrastructure of a server. Specifically, serverless computing allows programmers to write in serverless code without needing to worry about the provision of a server, ensure its functionally, or maintain server uptime. Because of this web development trend the developers you work with won’t have to concern themselves with scalability, security, robustness, or software updates.
Advantages of Serverless Architecture:
• Saves time and costs
• Simpler deployment and maintenance
• Accessibility and flexibility
• Elimination of the need to pay for fixed amounts of bandwidth
• Ability to automatically scale with demand
Disadvantages of Serverless Architecture:
• Running workloads can be more costly
• Third-party dependency
• “Cold starts” occurring when a platform must initiate internal resources
Advantages of WebAssembly:
• There is no need for your team of developers to learn a new programming language
• High performance and small file sizes
• Supported by all of the major browser manufacturers
• C, C++ and Rust can now all be used to program web applications
Disadvantages of WebAssembly:
• Javasacript has access to more API than WebAssembly
• WebAssembly must be used in conjunction with a compiler toolchain (package of software). This makes development more complicated and costly.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Artificial Intelligence (or AI) may not be one of the most recent trends in web development. However, its implications are growing at a rapid pace. Ultimately, AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to act and think like humans. Considering that AI uses human reasoning as a guide to provide better services or create better products, it seems the possibilities are endless for businesses. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing about it being used for increased vaccine deployment, fully automated vehicles, quantum computing, specific AI chips and hardware, amongst many others.
Advantages of AI:
• Drives down the time taken to perform tasks
• Operates 24×7 without downtime
• Augments the capabilities of individuals, machinery, and processes in the workplace
• Can be deployed across most industries
• Machine learning development (a subfield of AI) can reduce time on tasks and enhance results
Disadvantages of AI:
• High implementation costs
• Lacks original creativity when compared to human beings who are highly sensitive and emotional
• Has no emotional or moral values
Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps are built using the latest web development technologies; however, they act and feel just like an app. This means users can install the app directly on their home screen, receive push notifications, and even work offline. Meanwhile, they are generally easier to deploy and maintain than traditional apps, can be built in less time, and do not need an API to be maintained with backwards-compatibility. Essentially, progressive web apps combine the best of web and mobile to deliver an optimal user experience.
Advantages of Progressive Web Apps:
• Eliminates the need to update apps manually through an app store
• As a Web Application, it is easier to have a responsive design that adapts to desktop, mobile, and tablet screen sizes.
• Behaves just as if users were inside native apps
• Can be installed without facing all the steps of traditional products in the app store
Disadvantages of Progressive Web Apps:
•.Native Apps tend to perform better in performance intensive apps such as 3D, computer vision, and object detection apps.
• Typically consumes more battery than traditional apps
• Access to some important device features is missing, including Bluetooth, proximity sensors, ambient light, and advanced camera controls
Flutter is a free and open-source mobile UI framework released by Google in May 2017. However, the capabilities of this framework have only recently come into trend. Flutter is unique in that it has support for both Web and Desktop and aims to become the first truly cross-platform solution framework that has one codebase for all.
This framework consists of two important parts – a software development kit and a UI Library based on widgets. These two parts allow programmers to use only one programming language (Dart) and one codebase to create apps for both iOS and Android. Flutter is an ideal framework to use when creating a mobile app, as it saves small businesses and startups on both time and development costs.
• Mild learning curve for developers
• Has a nearly native UI look and feel
• Saves time and money
• Has an engaged and powerful community
• Provides noticeable increases in performance productivity
• Typically has a massive file size
• The framework can change rapidly at times, which can make it difficult to maintain code in the long run
• Lacks real multithreading — the ability to manage its use by more than one user without having multiple copies of programming. This makes the computation of intensive applications much slower
Mixed reality combines the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). This type of trending technology blends the physical and virtual worlds and is being used across many industries to interact with objects from both. This technology has been implemented primarily for gaming. However, it has also proved valuable in areas such as healthcare, film, real estate, manufacturing, virtual travel, professional sports, and more.
Mixed Reality Advantages:
• Enables the virtual recreation of storefronts to provide a seemingly physical experience anywhere from any device.
• Brings product presentation to a new level
• Helps designers create innovative products
• Provides worldwide reach
• Creates engaging, personal experiences that can be customized for each visitor
Mixed Reality Disadvantages:
• Can be expensive to implement
• Tends to have some functionality issues
• Lacks flexibility
Voice Search and Navigation
Voice search and navigation may soon replace the search bar by allowing users to browse the internet using voice alone. This has vast potential for enhanced output because talking is faster than typing. With voice search, business owners can expect to free up their time and maximize productivity.
Voice Search and Navigation Advantages:
• Boosts productivity levels
• Streamlines communication
• Provides instant access to big data
• Access information while on-the-go
Voice Search and Navigation Disadvantages:
• Lack of privacy of recorded data
• Errors and misinterpretation of words
• Users need a quiet environment or noise-canceling headsets
Used in applications such as Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Discord, WebRTC enables peer-to-peer, real time communication in web browsers and mobile applications. WebRTC empowers more than just video or audio calling. In fact, it can be used for audio or video conferences and data delivery. WebRTC can even be used for recording or screen sharing. Two of the most ideal aspects of WebRTC for small businesses are that it is open source and completely free to use.
• High browser security and stability against external attacks
• Supported by most leading browsers
• Open source code supported by peer-to-peer technology
• Will soon rival traditional telephone communication
• Has advanced voice and video quality
• Is still under development and may experience changes in the future
• Browsers cannot synchronize multiple incoming streams, requiring a video conferencing server for audio and video mixing during video conferences
Motion Design UI
Eyes follow motion, which is why Motion Design UI is one of the most recent trends in web development. Motion interactivity plays a critical role in creating pleasant and intuitive user interfaces with animations and visual effects. This can be used to guide the user experience through your digital product while conveying your brand’s message seamlessly.
Motion Design UI Advantages:
• Easily communicates where to focus during an app or web experience
• Holds user attention longer
• Reinforces your brand’s identity
• Showcases unique features
Motion Design UI Disadvantages:
• Can be time-consuming
• Slow loading speeds
• Can occasionally distract users
Putting Theory Into Practice
Keeping up to date with the latest web development trends in 2021 allows you to stay ahead of the curve and harness the power of the internet to propel your small business forward. Knowing the trends is one thing, but implementing them can be a whole different challenge. Outsourcing your work to an experienced software development services company can lighten the load and enable you to be in the know about the best software development models and future web development trends. Meanwhile, you’ll be free to focus on what you do best — running your business.