Whilst it’s too early to state for sure what the most dominant web development trends in 2021 are going to be, there are some very good indications of what we can expect. With many new technologies and developments from which to choose, we’re going to focus on the five below that we feel will have the greatest impact over the course of this year.
1. Progressive Web Apps
A progressive web application (PWA) looks and behaves like a native mobile platform application but runs on a browser thread, using web technologies that are common to all modern browsers. Examples of successful PWAs include the Twitter app, which can be installed via a browser without visiting an app store. As they have a 36% higher conversion rate than native mobile apps, and the majority of web users access the Internet from mobile devices, PWAs are sure to become even more popular in 2021. The support of industry giants such as Google and Microsoft can only accelerate the adoption rate of these platform independent apps, with both companies pushing new programming technologies aimed specifically at PWA developers.
2. Voice Search
Voice search is far from new, but with Google reporting that 27% of Internet users now take advantage of it on a regular basis, it has reached a level of adoption that will drive its development at a much faster pace in the coming months and years. Improved performance from speech recognition software and greater optimisation for voice search queries by webmasters will help to support voice search adoption, and we will eventually arrive at a tipping point where text search becomes obsolete. This tipping point is not going to happen in 2021 and possibly not for some years to come, but it’s on the horizon, and everybody involved in web development needs to take notice and prepare.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is another field that can hardly be said to be new, but it has yet to make the kind of impact predicted by numerous industry insiders. The year 2021 could be when all that changes. Machine learning and natural language programming are two areas of AI that have made their presence known on the Internet over the last few years, but both technologies would benefit from a more concerted development effort. If you’ve ever used the automatically generated subtitles on YouTube, you’ve seen natural language programming in action. If you use a smart speaker like Amazon Echo at home, you’ve also had first-hand experience of machine learning technology. It’s predicted that around 75% of US households will have some type of smart speaker installed by the year 2025. With this in mind, we expect a big push this year from major industry players.
4. Data Protection
As online payment processing continues to grow at a rapid rate, security risks for both payment processors and end users are increasing too. New algorithms that are designed to protect against phishing attempts are expected to be developed in 2021, and more secure data collection methods will also be developed to ensure greater compliance with legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act in the USA. Online gaming operators such as Betway are among the organisations taking cyber security seriously, using advanced security protocols on their websites to provide customers with industry-leading protection.
5. Continued Growth Of Cloud Technology
More businesses are migrating data and applications to the cloud, and the biggest operators in cloud technology are responding to this migration by providing attractive packages to new corporate customers across the globe. It’s estimated that over 90% of companies around the world use cloud storage in some form or another, which means it’s a relatively mature market. However, many of these companies are not yet taking full advantage of the potential that cloud storage has to offer. As this changes, even more growth can be expected in this key area.
Other technologies that are worth keeping an eye on in 2021 include Mixed Reality (MR), the much-vaunted Internet of Things (IoT), and Motion UI, one of the latest trends in web design that looks set to take off this year.