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Web Development Trends 2018: Your Ultimate Top 10

Web Design & Dev
Allison Reed 25 December, 2017
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That’s not a secret, how quickly things change in web development industry. If you’re into it, you’ve seen the rise and fall of numerous technologies and web development trends 2018. However, the rising technologies are the ones that have the potential to make you the best in the game. So, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and your ears open.

Web Development Trends 2018

Overview of Web Development Trends 2018

Today, we bring you the list of top 10 web development trends 2018. These are the new web development trends that already got traction and have the largest potential for growth. Incorporate some of them into your website, and you’ll welcome a popularity surge that takes you to new heights.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Recently, the hegemony of native mobile apps got swayed. Blame the new-gen Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) that take the best from the web and marry it into the best of mobile apps. PWAs saw their inception back in 2015. It took two years for the pioneers to transform PWAs into one of the major web programming trends.

Progressive Web Apps web developmet trend 2018

PWAs are web-based applications that have the feel and UX similar to mobile apps. They utilize the latest web technologies to bring users app-like experience in a browser tab. To better grasp the essence of a Progressive Web App, go through the list of its features:

  • Firstly, PWAs require no install. Users can open a PWA in a browser by simply entering the URL.
  • Secondly, PWAs match the latest standards of responsiveness and cross-browser compatibility.
  • Thanks to the work of service workers, PWAs don’t depend on network state. With pre-caching, PWAs are available to users even offline.
  • Most importantly, PWAs bring users an app-like experience, ensuring that users spend more time on your website.
  • Moreover, HTTPS protocol serves PWAs, ensuring secure data transfer.
  • Last but not least, users can pin PWAs to their Home screens.

So, PWAs are the happy medium between casual websites and mobile apps. They take the best from the two and bring you the dual benefits.

Similarly to websites, PWAs have URLs for every page for trouble-free linking. You can access them in every modern browser without installation. Next, Search engines index PWAs’ content. Moreover, PWAs deliver top-lever full-screen experiences regardless the viewport.

Similarly to mobile apps, PWAs load when the network connection is bad or absent. Next, PWAs are identifiable as apps, so that more users can discover them. Then, users can add the PWAs’ shortcuts to their Home screens to keep coming back in one tap. Furthermore, the progressive web apps are capable of sending users push notifications and re-engaging them. Last but not least, PWAs are fast, reliable and engaging thanks to the UI and UX borrowed from mobile apps.

This being said, PWAs bring their owners sizeable benefits, such as increased engagement, higher conversion rates, and improved reliability. For example, with its PWA, AliExpress doubled conversion across all browsers. eXtra Electronics increased user engagement by 4X. If you want to check put the best PWA examples, check out this list of PWAs.

Currently, PWAs have not entered the mainstream. This predetermines high PWA development cost and a lot of effort that goes into its creation. If you want to get the basic idea of how you can power a PWA, check the Your First Progressive Web App tutorial by Pete LePage.

All in all, going for a PWA is worth it. Few web solutions give you a similar conversion and engagement boost. So, in 2018 expect to see the hype around this one of web development trends, its active development, and incorporation into the mainstream. Or simply go for it and experience the boost you never dreamt of!

Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

Currently, Artificial Intelligence has left the realm of sci-fi and ventured into top 10 web development trends 2018. The big cheeses, such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon, saw the prospects of investment into AI development and galvanized the effort that goes into it. They predict that chatbots will ‘fundamentally revolutionize how computing is experienced by everybody’ and invest heavily in development and popularization of chatbots.

Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence web development trends

Let’s first figure out what a chatbot is and how it’s used commercially. A chatbot is a computer program based on the advances of machine learning and natural language processing that assists people in completing some tasks. The typical tasks that bots can help with are shopping, finding some information or ordering a service. Bots provide help in Q&A form, providing for a more human-like experience.

At present, bots prevail on messengers, such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Kik, Skype, WeChat, etc. There are currently more than 100K bots in Facebook Messenger only. Some 10K businesses have their bots, including such commercial giants as H&M, Sephora, Hilfiger and others. Moreover, the incorporation of bots is considered to be the future of mobile apps. In addition to this, big players made their bot-building frameworks and tools open-source to make bot creation even more accessible. If you want to see the brilliant bots examples, drop by Slack’s bot inventory.

The fact that bots entered the web development trends 2018 goes without saying. No doubt, you can also join it as bot building technologies are within reach. Currently, you don’t have to code a bot from the ground up. Popular bot frameworks let every developer power a custom bot in a matter of days. Among them, check out the following: Microsoft Bot Framework, api.ai, wit.ai, and bottr.me. Check out this easy to follow tutorial on creating Facebook Messenger bots.

By and large, bots secured their place in web development industry for the years to come. By 2020, AI-based web solutions are likely to incorporate voice recognition technology and revolutionize the way we see the interaction on the web. So, powering your chatbot next year is a wise step to run in front of your competitors.

Blockchains

Blockchain is a rapidly developing technology that transforms the gist of being the business owner. The idea behind it belongs to a person or a group of people under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. The technology originally underpinned the Bitcoin digital currency, but now finds multiple uses and proves to be truly revolutionary.

Blockchains web development trends 2018

The essence of blockchain technology lies in use of a shared database that is continuously reconciled. Millions of computers host the records of the database, which updates every ten minutes. As the data are scattered across so many PCs and there is no party commanding the data, it’s literally impossible to corrupt or violate the way the blockchain functions. To destroy the blockchain, you’ll have to destroy every possible PC that may store the data or cut off the Internet on the Earth.

Being invincible, the blockchain technology surpasses the conventional ones in a number of ways. First of all, blockchain cannot be controlled by a single party and destroyed by breaking a part of it. Secondly, the data of the network are public and available to everyone who needs them. Thirdly, it’s almost impossible to hack the blockchain. To do this, the hacker will have to override the data on millions of computers. Next, the blockchain is the embodiment of decentralization. There is no hierarchy inside the blockchain, which makes all the transaction parties equal.

Blockchains are bound to see their rise and become one of the governing web development trends 2018. Blockchains enable the creation of Smart Contracts, supply chain auditing, provide for failure-free decentralized file storage and enable automatic protection of intellectual property. What’s more, they open new prospects for peer-to-peer commerce and crowdfunding.

All things considered, blockchain technology got traction and will reveal more of its potential next year. Keep an eye on its growth and, probably, you’ll be among the first in your niche to benefit from it.

Motion UI

The next trend is not as far-fetched as AI and blockchains. It predicts the popularity and wide embracement of Motion UI Sass library. What this library does is lets you animate the UI of your website in a snap.

Motion UI web development trends 2018

Working with Motion UI is not rocket science. The package of the library includes a CSS file with ready-made effects, as well as the Sass files, which let you play around and create your own animations. The library lets you transition the elements of your website (such as overlays, modals, off-canvas menus, etc.) in and out. Moreover, you can use transition effects to build single CSS animations and even series of them.

The draws of Motion UI that make it one of the web design development trends are its simplicity, flexibility and universal character. First of all, the coding of Motion UI is easy to grasp if you have the basic knowledge of CSS and some JavaScript. Secondly, Motion UI gives you multiple parameters to make your modern animations behave the way you want. Next, you can apply Motion UI transitions and animations to almost every element of your website, which ensures its superiority over other libraries.

It’s easy to join in with this trend. Check out Motion UI documentation to learn more about the abundance of transition effects this library brings. Download the library and take the UI on your website up a notch. What’s more, learn about CSS image hover effects to discover more ways to make your website even more engaging.

PHP 7

PHP is employed by 82,4% of all the websites. In 2017, it saw hype around it with the release of PHP 7. Unlike PHP 6, the newest version brought up multiple changes, which make it truly revolutionary.

PHP 7 web development trend 2018 image

The release of PHP 7 brought up new features, functions, classes, interfaces and global constants. What’s more, it introduced changes in functions and SAPI modules. Needless to say, some of the obsolete PHP features are now deprecated. Without getting bogged down in specifics of the new version, let’s see what the advantages that PHP 7 offers are:

  • Firstly, PHP 7 surprised the world with significantly improved performance. It compiles code into machine language using the lightning-fast Just In Time (JIT) engine. With this engine, it’s 2 times faster than PHP 5.6. At the same time, with PHP 7 your code base uses less memory.
  • Secondly, it embraced new type declarations. Implementation of new declarations makes code easier to read and understand.
  • Thirdly, now PHP 7 doesn’t give your users a white screen if it runs into a fatal error. Instead, it throws up an exception without stopping the whole script.
  • Moreover, PHP 7 offers you the new operators and functions.

The takeaway from this is that the hype around PHP 7 has a sound base. So, if you haven’t yet upgraded to it, go for updating your website’s PHP code and embracing faster performance that PHP 7 brings you!

SSL & HTTPS

Next year, we’ll see more padlocks next to URLs as the adoption of SSL certificate becomes one of the web development trends 2018. Let’s figure out what these padlocks actually signify and what benefits they bring you, the website owner.

SSL & HTTPS web development trends 2018

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a technology that provides for establishing an encrypted connection between browser and web server. This certificate ensures data integrity, encryption, and authentication. When your website uses the SSL technology, you’ll see an ‘S’ added to http:// in the address bar, as well as a padlock. Some SSL certificates also display your company’s name in green for better recognition.

Adopting an SSL certificate for your website brings the following benefits:

  • First of all, it protects users’ sensitive information and lets them complete transactions without any risk of data loss. Therefore it increases user’s trust and confidence and helps you generate max revenue.
  • Secondly, it lets you eliminate browser warnings and alerts that tell users that their data is not secure on your website.
  • Thirdly, SSL increases the reputation of your business over the Internet.
  • Moreover, Google also gives ranking benefits for HTTPS websites.
  • Next, SSL eliminates the risk of phishing and other cyber attacks.

So, in 2018, it makes sense to go for an SSL certificate even if your website doesn’t handle sensitive client data. With HTTPS, you’re more secure and rank higher for target keywords than HTTP websites. What’s more, if you want to accelerate your mobile pages with Google AMP (see the next trend), you have to go for the SSL certificate first.

Google AMP

For a couple of years, every single article on web design development trends is screaming about responsiveness and its importance. It was Google who made responsiveness a must. Google’s next step was the creation of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project. AMP was developed by the collaborative effort of leading IT experts from all over the world and is currently adopted by more than 1.5B web pages.

Google AMP web development trends 2018

At present, building an AMP version of your website is the way to ensure its lightning-fast performance on mobile devices. Accelerated Mobile Pages have simplified coding and load up to 10 times quicker on smartphones. Thus, the employment of AMP makes cutting down page loading time on mobile to less than 1 second possible.

The implications of this are numerous. First of all, such an impressive loading speed of AMP-ed pages literally tanks bounce rate. Next, AMP-optimized pages and ads look and feel more natural on small screens, creating a smoother and more engaging user experience. Thirdly, AMP positively influences you ranking on Google SERPs. Currently, AMP is an indirect ranking factor that boosts your results by improving mobile user experience and decreasing the bounce rate. What’s more, AMP is hardly a fad as Google, Bing and some other search engines, as well as social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. already link to and present AMP content.

If you follow web programming trends, take Google AMP Project seriously and create the AMP versions of the pages of your website. For this, you’ll have to do 3 major adjustments. Firstly, you have to convert HTML into AMP HTML, i.e. the simplified HTML that recognizes AMP commands. Next, you should go for AMP JavaScript, which loads external resources simultaneously. Finally, you power AMP CDN which provides for new-gen caching for instantaneous delivery. To get your first hands-on experience with AMP, fork some GitHub AMP HTML samples.

All things considered, Accelerated Mobile Pages are not only a trendy technology to follow. In fact, it’s a window of opportunity for websites with high mobile traffic. If you want to welcome users on the go with lightning-fast performance, going for AMP should be on your list of upcoming goals.

User Behavior Tracking

At present, guesswork is not the strategy businesses adopt. With modern web solutions, you’ve got a chance to track which content appeals to the users of your website and which fails. The more you know about your customers and the way they act on your website, the better you can optimize it for conversions. At this point, User Behavior Tracking comes in and lets you see the actual behavior of users on your website.

User Behavior Tracking trends in web development image

Modern User Behavior Tracking tools let you get a number of invaluable insights. Firstly, you can track user clicks, mouse movement, and scrolls, as well as record their activity to get the idea of how a common user interacts with your website. Secondly, such web development trends as heatmaps let you grasp the amount of attention that each of your website blocks gets. Combined with A/B testing this is the most effective way to see what works and what doesn’t. Thirdly, funnels let you see the user’s journey on your website and determine where users leak out. Finally, you can monitor the way users interact with forms on your website. By this, you can identify the forms that hurt conversions.

Fortunately, joining on this trend is not rocket science. The web provides multiple free and paid solutions for User Behavior Tracking. No doubt, Google Analytics is the most popular solution among them. Moreover, many User Behavior Tracking tools support integration with CMS and e-commerce engines. So, feel free to test a couple of them to find the one that best works for you.

All things considered, User Behavior Tracking is one of the must-have web development trends 2018. Hurry up to get the valuable insights it provides and get more conversions next year.

VR and AR

It’s been two years since Virtual Reality market was officially launched. It definitely evolves and uncovers new opportunities for VR and AR implementation. In 2018, the VR/AR market likely to influence the web design development space even more palpable, as the technologies behind VR and AR are becoming more accessible to average users.

VR and AR web development trends

We’ll not go into detail, explaining what Virtual and Augmented Reality are. In broad terms, VR creates independent digital worlds, while AR adds digital content to our reality. These technologies already proved to be the undeniable user engagement boosters. They trigger very strong emotional engagement, which can be used for more authentic connection with the audience. Moreover, VR and AR create jaw-dropping possibilities in terms of visualization. For instance, Alibaba already launched VR tours for its buyers, allowing them to see and manipulate the digital 3D replicas of their products. What’s more, the interest that these technologies elicit is very high. So, using these web development trends and technologies for your business, you’ll skyrocket the shares on social networks and increase your audience manifold.

AR virtual technologies image

So, in 2018, the hype around Virtual and Augmented Realities will grow. Their implementation will become more accessible and their presence on the web more palpable. With the new ways to incorporate VR and AR emerging, look for unique opportunities to make great strides using them.

WordPress 4.9

The most popular website engine in the world, WordPress, released its new 4.9 version on November 16. WordPress 4.9 ‘Tipton’ quickly gained the status of a milestone in website design development and is predicted to become one of the major web development trends 2018. Let’s see what features and improvements it harbors.

WordPress 4.9 web development trend 2018

First of all, WordPress 4.9 improves your workflow inside the Customizer. Now, you can schedule the time when certain design customizations go live, send preview links to your colleagues, secure design drafts by locking them and never lose your progress with prompts. Secondly, WordPress ‘Tipton’ highlights your code syntax and checks it for errors. If you’re about to save the code with a syntax error, it will kindly warn you not to do so. Thirdly, the upgraded WordPress comes with a state-of-the-art Gallery Widget. What’s more, WordPress 4.9 delivers better menu customization UX, theme previewing within Customizer and improved theme switching.

These are just the major improvements. To discover the new features of WordPress 4.9 in full blossom, simply go for it in your WordPress website dashboard. Just don’t forget to backup your website before the upgrade.

Wrapping Up

That’s it for today. Now, you know what the major web development trends 2018 are. Which of them have the highest potential to propel your business to new heights? Think carefully. Then, choose a couple to go for and be in for the ride of your life with them. Best wishes for the challenging and successful 2018!

Are there any other web development trends that you foresee to be popular in 2018? Speak Up in Comments. Stay tuned!

Tags: AI artificial inteligence design trends trends web developer news web development web development news
Author: Allison Reed
Allison is a professional content marketer and an inspired author. Marketing manager by day and a writer by night, she is creating many articles on business, marketing, design and web development. She loves working with website builders and CMS, and sharing her experience with the readers. Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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