The web development market is gaining momentum every year. The interest of entrepreneurs in websites and applications is growing, and with it the demand for the services of programmers. Professionals who want to make good money and stand out from competitors should monitor the changes in the niche.
In this article, we will analyze the current trends in web development for 2021. We will tell you what changes should be paid attention to and why they should not be ignored. Some of the items in this collection may be familiar to experienced developers, while others will be the first to know.
10 years ago, few people thought about the need to adapt the content of the site to the screens of mobile applications. The developers added scrolling or automatically created the so-called mobile version. It was a copy of the desktop structure with modified fonts.
At that time, users preferred to interact with content via computers in order to find information faster and use built-in tools in a convenient format. In recent years, the situation has completely changed, with the priority shifted in favor of mobile devices.
This is not to say that the mobile-first trend is new, but its importance has greatly increased lately . Search engines switched to mobile indexing a long time ago, and site owners began to pay more attention to mobile development.
It’s still more convenient to interact with complex tools from computers, but you can’t do without a mobile version. If users see that the platform’s capabilities are severely limited from the phone, they can abandon the product. And then the owner will lose loyal customers.
For business card websites, corporate portals, landing pages and other commercial projects, you can start developing from the mobile version. It should be as convenient as possible, because the share of smartphones and tablets on some sites reaches 90%.
For a developer, moving to mobile-first means changing the way they work. The programmer needs to focus on adaptability, performance, and usability. For example, if there is a lot of animation in the prototype, it should be transferred to the project without sacrificing the loading speed.
Don’t forget about cross-browser compatibility. The share of Google Chrome is more than 60%, but the remaining 40% is shared by other tools. Content should display correctly in Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari and other browsers.
2. Integration with messengers
It is not necessary for a web developer to learn how to create complex tools with a branched architecture, but getting a basic knowledge of integration with popular messengers is definitely worth it. This is especially true for programmers who specialize in commercial projects.
For example, Telegram is actively catching up with competitors and becoming a clear market leader. It has an open API with which developers can transfer data from the site to the messenger and vice versa.
If a customer asks to register on the website via Telegram and bind data to a profile, it will not work without knowledge of the API. It is realistic to understand the documentation in a few hours, but experience is needed to create a full-fledged project.
Integration with messengers not only increases the complexity of the site implementation, but also increases its cost. This task must be assessed separately, and if integration acts as the “core” of the project, add at least 20-30% from the top to the budget.
The API is constantly changing, new methods appear that allow you to solve problems much faster. If you follow the updates and tell customers about their benefits, you will be able to generate a stream of requests for revision and temporarily abandon the active search for customers.
In the article on website support, we talked about what services can be provided on an ongoing basis. Health support for components written on the basis of public APIs is included in this list.
If you want to take the site under your wing, coordinate it with the customer before starting work. Tell us why it is worth entrusting the task to you and what benefits the website owner will receive. With the right approach, the entrepreneur will agree to your terms.
3. Protection of personal data
Users hate it when sites collect their personal information without permission. They want to know exactly how their name, phone number and other information will be used after submitting the application. No one will read pages with dozens of paragraphs, so it makes no sense to describe the conditions in complex legal terms.
If programmers think that this problem does not concern them, they are mistaken. For example, customers often ask to make checkboxes active by default. To prevent users from having to perform an additional action.
When the checkbox is activated automatically, this is a gross violation. Website visitors may not notice it and will send their personal data without familiarizing themselves with the method of their processing and storage.
If a client asks to implement such checkboxes on all pages where there are forms, try to convey to him that this should not be done. Many users may notice a flaw and refuse to buy goods or services in favor of competitors who are more responsible for the collection of confidential information.
Automatically marked checkboxes are associated with small print in loan agreements. When a person inadvertently agrees to conditions that may turn out to be unprofitable. There will be no way back, because from the moment of signing the contract comes into force.
Personal data protection should be of concern to all developers, because they are responsible for projects that do not just “gather dust on the shelf”, but benefit the target audience. If the programmer can give the customer useful advice on creating the right mechanism for collecting personal data, the partner’s loyalty will increase.
4. Development based on frameworks
The terms of reference often indicate a rigid binding to a specific framework and it will not be possible to bypass it, because the plan has already been laid out in steps. The client consulted with a specialist, drew up an implementation strategy and now he needs the idea to turn into a “living” product.
It makes no sense to convince the client that it is better to use not React, but Vue. Although, if you can back up your proposal with facts, it is better to express it. So that later it does not turn out that the project needs to be completely redone, because the chosen architecture makes it too bad for permanent use.
It will be useful for beginners to read the article on frameworks , in which we talk about exactly how they speed up development and compare the popularity of different tools. Read the material if you have not encountered frameworks before , but you want to understand the specifics of their work.
Developers use different tools, but there is no point in arguing which one is better. In the matter of choice, it is necessary to build on the features of the project and experience in working with the framework.
5. Project documentation
Many developers believe that their responsibility ends when the project is delivered. We completed all the points of the technical task, received the money and proceeded to the next task. In fact, it is important not only to make a cool project, but also to train the customer to use it.
Imagine that the driver moved from the Zhiguli to a new Tesla. He sees the familiar steering wheel and other elements, but the approach to driving is very different. There is an autopilot, an on-board computer and other chips.
He can figure out the tools on his own, but it is better to tell him about the main features and shorten the learning curve. If the programmer does not abandon customers after the implementation of the front-end and back-end, he increases their loyalty and builds trust.
When entrepreneurs turn to developers to jointly create a custom service or marketplace, documentation is definitely indispensable. This item must be included in the budget and added to the terms of reference.
Detailed documentation will be useful not only for the site owner, but also for the team that will be engaged in filling and maintaining the resource. Without instructions, they will learn the tools much longer than when all the basic processes are laid out in steps.
Documentation is usually done as a final step. When the “kernel” is ready, it remains to create a visual aid on the use of different modules of the system. If the project is non-standard and has many unique features, immediately tell the customer that the task will be paid separately.
6. Development of services
Standard business card sites, landing pages, corporate portals and other common forms of projects will always be popular, but you can make good money on them only if you put the process on stream. Usually, entrepreneurs are not ready to spend 100 thousand rubles when the task arises to create a simple website.
However, service development can bring good income if you manage to build a personal brand in a niche. The creation of a service can cost several million rubles if the technical assignment contains many complex tools.
This trend intersects with the growing popularity of frameworks. Non-standard projects are rarely developed on the basis of ready-made CMS, because they contain a lot of unnecessary things. And if you take one of the powerful frameworks, you will have complete freedom of action and there will be nothing superfluous in the code.
Entrepreneurs who want to create a service for solving commercial problems rely on quality services. There is a lot of competition in this niche, so it will be difficult for single programmers to get a large order.
Even if you like to work on your own, find reliable specialists who can be involved in solving the problem. Test their skills and personality beforehand so you don’t have to solve problems yourself when invited developers quit.
7. Artificial intelligence
Along with messengers, the popularity of artificial intelligence is increasing, which quickly penetrated into everyday life. We use voice assistants to find out the weather, exchange rates or build a route to a destination.
Elements of artificial intelligence are rarely found on standard commercial sites, but everything goes to the fact that chat bots and other tools will become integral elements of Internet projects. It is still difficult to implement them, so not all businessmen want to spend money on this.
Customers can take advantage of ready-made solutions for chatbots, but sometimes it’s easier to write a unique module. For example, if the virtual assistant should simply drop a link to the material in the reference section upon request. In this case, it is unprofitable to install a third-party script and load the site.
Writing a chatbot with a small database is no more difficult than creating a website on a framework. You just need to take the time to learn the appropriate tools, get relevant experience and you can provide services on a paid basis.
8. Voice search
The trend has begun to spread actively in recent years and now its significance is fixed at a high level. Voice search has begun to appear on many sites, and sites are being designed in such a way as to optimize content for voice search as much as possible.
There are instructions online to help you get the basic experience. If a client asks to connect a voice search, it is better to honestly say that you cannot guarantee 100% performance, but you will try to solve the problem as efficiently as possible.
Voice search is the future of web development that has already arrived. Over time, interest in technology will grow, because people have less free time. It’s easier to set a search phrase with your voice than wasting time typing on the on-screen keyboard.
Before publishing a project to the public, you should make sure that voice search works on all devices. The architecture of Android and iOS is very different, so don’t forget about cross-platform . If iPhone owners are unable to use the tool, the site will lose some of its audience.
Augmented reality is popular not only in the field of computer games. In services, online stores and even on landing pages, there are sometimes elements that provide a unique user experience.
For example, online retailer Lamoda has added a virtual shoe fitting to its iOS app. The user needs to install the application, give permission to access the camera, bring their feet to the lens and select the model of sneakers. After that, the shoes will be superimposed on the foot and it will be possible to understand how it will look in lif
In the current implementation, virtual shoe fitting does not solve global problems, but helps to attract the attention of the audience. It is clear that it is impossible to create a similar tool without relevant experience . Nobody says that it is necessary to rebuild the work and shift the focus towards AR, but it is definitely worth showing interest.
Augmented reality works especially well on smartphones where sensors can be used. For example, virtual tours appeared on real estate sites for a long time, which allow you to independently study the layout of the premises.
If you connect virtual reality glasses to your smartphone, the immersion effect will become even deeper, but not all visitors to the resource have such a gadget. Therefore, when creating a website, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the target audience. The threshold for using a unique technology should be minimal.
Web AR can manifest itself in many different ways, but it aims to create a unique experience. For example, Apple at one time made concepts of phones with high details, which could be viewed from all sides. With the same success, potential customers could visit stores and see the device live, but the new feature definitely caught their attention.
10. Progressive Web Apps
The trend for mobile applications has been relevant for many years and the popularity of products for mobile operating systems is constantly increasing. Users are increasingly abandoning websites in favor of applications because they are convenient to use.
Development for Android and iOS is a promising niche with expensive orders, but immersion in the environment usually takes a long time. It will take more than a year to master mobile development to perfection. If you want to provide customers with more extensive services, you can enter from the emergency entrance.
There are progressive PWA web applications that allow programmers to earn more by expanding the technical task, and entrepreneurs save money because they only invest in the site. There is no need to separately support iOS and Android apps.
Technical details aside, PWA is a technology that allows you to install a website on a smartphone as a web application. At the time of visiting the site, the user sees an offer to place an icon on the desktop and in the future you can access the content in one click.
The peculiarity of progressive web applications is that they do not need the Internet to interact. Users can view the product catalog and other information stored in the cache. If the conditions suit them, the application can be sent when the connection is restored.
PWA development can be a competitive advantage for a developer. Progressive Web Apps fit sites without complex tools. For an auto-posting service in Telegram, it is better to create an application, but online registration in a barbershop is easy to implement using PWA.
Currently, Progressive Web Apps are supported on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and other operating systems. The only drawback is the lack of native push notifications on iOS devices.
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