The internet world is part of an ever-changing whirlwind of technology with new trends emerging every year. In this article, we will discuss how web development has changed over the last year, and what we can expect from 2019.

From Blockchain technology to Progressive Web Applications in websites;  2018 has been a crucial year for web developers everywhere. These new trends have allowed us to achieve monumental goals and make improvements to the web world.

1) Single Page Applications

What are Single Page Applications?

Single Page Applications (SPA) allow the user to update a single HTML page dynamically whenever they interact with the application/web page. They do this by combining the powers of AJAX & HTML5 together. This combo eliminates any need to reload the page and talk to the server. Everything is processed client-side, in JavaScript.

What are the benefits of a Single Page Application?

SPAs are high-performance web pages that load quickly and are completely mobile responsive. They have a decreased development time (meaning less money spent), and serve a direct purpose.

Some examples of Single Page Applications are:

  • Google Maps
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Businesses can benefit greatly from SPAs and should be turning their focus away from Multi-Page Applications where the server is needed to render information & logic. SPAs also cater to a “Mobile First” philosophy, and any company with users on mobile should be looking into how SPAs can enhance their user experience.

SPA example featuring Google Maps

Google Maps is a wonderful example of a powerful single page application

2) Progressive Web Applications

What are Progressive Web Applications?

A Progressive Web App (PWA) provides an app-like experience to users by utilizing contemporary web capabilities. All PWAs must meet a set of requirements before they are deployed to the server. They must also be accessible by a URL and can be indexed by search engines.

Progressive Web Apps have the look and feel of a mobile app or other traditional applications, but at their core, they are just regular web pages! PWAs attempt to combine the features associated with both mobile and desktop browser applications.

With such a huge focus on mobile accessibility, PWAs have brought up one of the biggest questions concerning developers & business owners; Is this a job for a responsive website, a native mobile application, or a progressive web app?

Some of the benefits to Progressive Web Apps may help you to answer this question:

  • Built within an “Application Shell”: This allows mobile gestures and movements within the web browser on all devices.
    • Starbucks has built a PWA that helps customers browse their menu faster, add products to their cart in an easier fashion, and with the ability to do all of this in offline mode, thanks to Progressive Web Apps!
  • High focus on Mobile Accessibility
  • PWAs do not need to be downloaded: This results in low user commitment and leaves room open for more consumer acquisition
  • Brings back impulse consumer behavior that was lost with native mobile apps
  • Functions like a native app inside a web browser
  • Service Workers effectively take care of resources and allow the app to load a lightning-fast rate
  • Pre-caching features keep the PWA up-to-date at all times on all devices
  • More economical & financially friendly: it can cost an arm & a leg to develop a mobile app

Do you think your site is ready for a “Progressive” update? Pinterest saw a 40% increase in time spent on their PWA site versus their mobile version, and ad revenue rates increased by an additional 44%! The power of Progressive Web Applications is real, and at your doorstep. How will you answer?

Starbucks has taken their game to the next level with the release of their PWA

Starbucks has taken its game to the next level with the release of its Progressive Web App

3) Chatbots

What is a Chatbot?

Chatbots have been around for a long time, and have made another resurgence when Facebook announced they would be integrating chatbots into their messenger platform back in 2016. Essentially, chatbots are a software program that automates a conversation without the need for a human to assist the customer. They are based on neural networks and artificial intelligence while being comprised of deep learning techniques, pattern recognition, and machine learning.

What all this means is that… Chatbots have an increasing amount of power in 2018. They are able to process orders, schedule an appointment, and book hotel rooms for customers without any need to talk to a representative.

How can I use Chatbots to help my website?

With the growth of social media and online advertising as a whole, it can be quite daunting to take care of all of these avenues yourself. Chatbots can help make dealing with consumers across multiple platforms easier and more profitable. Look into how your business could use Facebook messenger bots or if your website could use a Chat Support window to help customers navigate your site.

The benefits of chatbots is bigger than ever before. With almost 80% of companies stating they have or are planning to integrate chatbots into their platforms… what are you waiting for!?

Facebook Messenger Chatbot Example

An example of how Facebook Messenger chatbots look

4) Low-Code Development

What is Low-Code Development?

The definition of Low-Code Development as stated by Forrester Research: “Application development platforms that enable rapid application delivery with minimal hand-coding, and quick setup and deployment.”

Low-Code development platforms allow for developers to quickly deploy their creations with minimal hand-coding straight to their server. This cuts down resource loads, development time, and gives the user a better overall experience if done right.

One of the main focuses of Low-Code development is its focus on driving innovation more rapidly. It is the future for enterprise apps that process payments, handle email marketing systems, and content management systems.

And all of this can be done with minimum programming knowledge!
University of South Florida example of low code app development

The University of South Florida has advanced students experience with the use of Low Code apps

5) Motion UI

What is Motion UI?

One of the best ways to garner attention on the web today is through tasteful use of Motion UI animation libraries. Motion UI is a stand-alone SASS library that has been designed to allow developers access to a wide range of custom UI animations and CSS transitions.

ZURB were the geniuses behind the Motion UI library, and most information concerning how to install Motion UI to your website exists here if you would like to integrate the library to your own website.

ZURB Motion UI library example

ZURB created Motion UI to help developers create seamless and uniform animations

6) Blockchains

What is a Blockchain?

Blockchains have shaken up the world of finance – giving companies the power to make transactions instantly that are secure and completely anonymous. But what is a Blockchain exactly?

The definition of a blockchain is a little wordy… typically a blockchain involves the following: A decentralized system that allows for the fast, secure, and transparent peer-to-peer transfer of digital goods (this could essentially be anything from money to houses and software programs).

The transaction will be logged in a public ledger only accessible by authorized computers (miners) to help keep all transactions authentic. This type of transparency is required to help prevent tampering and fraud.

Any company on the web can find a use for the blockchain. In 2017, two homes were sold in the UK using Bitcoin – making history for Crypto and its usage around the globe. Buyers can now buy property from outside of their respective countries almost hassle free! The transaction is near instant as well – cutting down transaction times from weeks down to minutes.

Depending on the size and functionality of your website will determine how the Blockchain can be used to enhance your online transactions. If you are still in the growing stages perhaps take a look at how a Blockchain integration could open you up to the Crypto community. Many bitcoin users are booking hotels, buying food, and even buying houses and lambos with their new found cash.

Do you think you will use the Blockchain in 2019? Let us know down below!

Infographic provided by blockchainhub.net

Infographic explaining blockchain systems

A infographic provided by Blockchainhub.net that explains how Blockchains work

8) JavaScript

What is JavaScript?

The saying “can’t teach a dog new tricks” falls short with JavaScript. Known as the “programming language of websites” JavaScript still holds a major influence on the way the web works and processes/displays information.

So what is it really? JavaScript is a pillar to engineers in the web development industry. It was created by Brendan Eich in 1995 (in just 10 days!) to help win the war between Netscape and Internet Explorer. Fast forward nearly 24 years and JavaScript has become the standard for website development with dozens of libraries and alternative languages created from the framework.

Almost every website you see on the web has some sort of JavaScript to help run the websites functionality or process animations. We will continue to see its ability to adapt to new technology, and with additions like Angular.js and React.js; I am positive we will see a major rise in JavaScript usage in 2019.

From left to right: Angular, Node JS, and React logos

From left to right: Angular, Node JS, and React logos

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