Web development trends for 2021

The software development industry is constantly shifting and developing new technologies. Keeping up with the latest web development trends is the key to any successful web project. So, what do you need to keep in mind when developing your next website or web app? In this article, we’ll focus on what 2021 has brought along or revived and which long-lasting trends are still keeping strong.

1. Single-page applications (SPAs)

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Single-page applications were already a big hit in 2020, and 2021 seems to be no different. These JavaScript-based apps work inside a web browser and do not require reloading. They are fast, include simplified and streamlined development, as well as increased performance, and are easy to debug. The fact they do not require page reloading makes SPAs easier to navigate and reduces the bounce rate. Single-page applications are also great for creating responsive websites and have a low development and hosting cost. This is why SPAs are still high on the list of top web development trends for 2021.

2. Progressive web apps (PWAs)

A progressive web app is a regular website that can behave just like a native mobile application. These apps combine the benefits of modern browsers with the features of mobile apps.

Although they are not a new development, PWAs popularity is definitely on the rise. This is a result of the fact that the web is the largest platform worldwide and people use mobile devices more frequently than desktop computers. Moreover, in addition to being reliable, fast, and engaging, PWAs are also cheaper to build, quicker to launch and easier to distribute. Added to the fact that studies show progressive web apps have a 36% higher conversion rate, it’s no surprise they are one of the top web development trends for 2021.

You can learn more about progressive web apps in this article and see some examples of excellent ones here

3. AI-powered chatbots

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With the advances made in artificial intelligence (AI), the use of chatbots—digital applications that simulate the way humans talk—has been on the rise, particularly in websites and web apps. This is one of the top web development trends for 2021 for many reasons: they offer an interactive conversation experience, most users prefer them when looking for answers to simple questions, and they are becoming the driving force behind business communications. Chatbots and virtual assistants can learn, collect data and resolve users’ issues without the need for 24/7 human assistance. Moreover, through training and data collection, bots have become more reliable and can provide better solutions. This makes them a must for current web development.

4. Motion UI

We’ve discussed the importance of user experience in the past and, although UX and UI are not to be confused, they are still inextricably linked. Therefore, focusing on user interface when designing your website is essential. One of the key web development trends for 2021 when it comes to user interface design is motion UI. This technology has been around since 2018 but has just recently become more easily available. Motion UI involves animation integration, modular scrolling, pop-ups, pull-down menus and CSS transitions to help give your website a unique style. This design feature helps you capture your users’ attention quickly, it makes products more intuitive, and it increases session length. It is worth mentioning that motion UI should be something you consider at the UX/UI design stage.

5. Voice search and navigation

Users prefer to spend less time typing commands which is why they are currently leaning more and more towards voice search and navigation. With the rise of voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, it is not shocking to hear that, by 2020, 55% of homes are expected to have voice-enabled smart speakers. This means that voice search optimization is a must for websites as well. The benefits are clear: it’s convenient and easy to use, it allows freehand interaction, it provides a great user experience, and it makes task execution faster. Moreover, voice search grants businesses an excellent look into user behavior analytics. All of these reasons make voice search and navigation one of the up-and-coming web development trends of the year. 

6. Serverless architecture

Serverless architecture or computing was born out of the need to avoid data loss, system overloading or costly development. According to the AWS website, it “is a way to build and run applications and services without having to manage infrastructure.” This cloud-computing execution model replaces regular servers with clouds, which over 98% of organizations have already done. Serverless architecture helps reduce costs, provides more flexibility, and makes the internet environment more sustainable so it should come as no surprise that it is one of the most popular web development trends of the year. In fact, experts predict that this type of technology will be used for chatbots, IoT apps and APIs in 2021. Other benefits of serverless architecture include better scalability, easier deployment, cost-effectiveness and faster time to market.

7. Mobile-first websites

We know that websites are traditionally thought to be accessed through desktop browsers and, for this reason, they are usually developed with these in mind first. However, considering the significant rise in the use of smartphones and the surge in mobile web traffic over the last few years, we can say this is definitely no longer the case. If your target audience is more likely to use your website through their mobile device, a mobile-first strategy might be more adequate and successful. This means that the mobile version of your site is designed first and adapted to other screen sizes after this. Doing so gives priority to a simpler design and saves you the trouble of having to adapt various complex features to achieve a responsive site.

Although prioritizing the mobile version of your website is not a recent development, it is still coming out strong as one of the top web development trends for 2021. If you have questions about the differences between mobile-friendly, mobile-first and responsive websites, you can take a look at this article.

Final thoughts on Web development trends for 2021

There are many trends to look out for when delving into web development in 2021. Technology is constantly changing and keeping up with the latest web development trends is essential if you wish to succeed. We hope this article has given you some insights into what 2021 will look like for websites and web apps.