In 1983, the Internet was born. Now, there’s more than 1.58 billion websites and approximately 5 billion daily active users on the Internet.

Over the decades, website development has evolved and continues to shift rapidly. As a website owner, it’s imperative that you are aware of changing website development trends.

Failing to keep up with new trends can result in serious consequences for your website performance. You may fall behind your competitors and lose traffic to websites offering better user experiences.

Developing and maintaining your website according to ongoing trends is the best way to remain competitive in your business niche. Let’s take a closer look at the top trends in website development you can expect in 2021.

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You will find that many of these trends already exist on the web — but they are expected to become even more widespread in 2021. Let’s take a look at this year’s most popular web-dev trends.

1. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Though not a new trend of 2021, progressive web apps (PWAs) in their latest iteration are going to replace web apps for good. PWAs help websites to load in no time and can also work offline in apps like Google Maps. Companies like Starbucks, Uber, Pinterest, and Twitter have already been using PWAs for a better user experience.

Starbucks progressive web app ushered in trend of PWAs

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According to a study by Statista, 65% of online shopping orders in 2019 were made on smartphones. With the increased usage of mobile devices to perform various online tasks, it is essential to revamp web applications into PWAs. In addition to providing an unmatched user experience, PWAs offer other benefits, including reduced development costs and seamless maintenance for the provider.

In the year 2021, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, or Angular will be used to write PWAs.

2. Artificial Intelligence Chatbots

In 2021, AI chatbots are expected to become even more sophisticated in meeting the needs of and matching the behavior of users by leveraging machine learning, natural language processing, and information retrieval techniques.

Besides assisting companies in performing faster operations using voice or text chats, AI-enabled chatbots also help improve the customer experience. They can collect data, answer frequently asked questions, and solve other issues, thereby providing customers with seamless digital experiences with a company.

HubSpot embraces the website development trend AI chatbot

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Many prominent B2C companies already serve their customers with AI chatbots functioning within Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Skype, instead of standard chatbots. We can expect more companies to embrace AI chatbots in 2021.

3. Accelerated Mobile Page

First launched by Google in 2015, accelerated mobile page — or AMP — was designed to provide mobile users with lightning fast digital experiences. In addition to providing seamless user experiences and decreasing bounce rate, Google’s AMP can help improve core business metrics, such as the number of conversions on web pages.

Accelerate mobile page loading on smartphone is a website development trend in 2021

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Although its usage is trending down according to data from BuiltWith, AMP remains the most popular mobile technology used worldwide.  

4. Single-Page Applications

Considered one of the most significant recent trends in web development, single-page applications (SPAs) are JavaScript-based web applications that load a single HTML page in a visitor’s browser and dynamically update content as needed without refreshing the entire page. Since Google, Facebook, and Twitter all leverage SPAs, they have been widely adopted by the development community.

Besides being cost-effective and easy to create according to developers, this type of application consumes less space on servers and provides information to users efficiently on a single page. As a result, SPAs are a win-win for both developers and site visitors.

As online consumers expect faster and simpler app experiences, we can expect the SPA trend to continue into 2021.

5. Optimized Voice Search

Voice search icon on Google homepage

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First introduced by Google in 2011, voice search is rapidly rising in popularity. Intelligent virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri showed unprecedented market growth in 2019 and are forecasted to continue to grow rapidly, according to an analysis by rand View Research.

More tech giants are entering the market or creating new products, like Google Home and Apple HomePod, to meet consumer demand. Data by Juniper Research predicts that as many as 55% of all households in the world will have voice assistants by 2022.

Consumers are not just using smart speakers — they’re also using their smartphones and IoT devices for voice search. As a result, voice search results will start ranking higher, and more frequently, on search engine results pages. So companies will be working on optimizing their products — as well as their content strategy — for voice search in 2021.

6. Motion UI

Today, consumers not only expect faster and mobile-friendly digital experiences — they also expect richer and more interactive experiences.

That’s one reason MotionUI has become so popular. MotionUI is a frontend framework that enables developers to build fully responsive websites and mobile applications and to use predefined motions within a native app setting. Using this framework, you can make an element slide, spin, bounce, and more.

landing page of Motion UI, a website development trend in 2021

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Because it’s compatible with all web technologies and can be added anywhere on a website, like the header, footer, and menus, MotionUI has been widely used since 2018. However, it has become more accessible thanks to the SASS libraries’ technology, making it one of the leading web development trends in 2021.

7. Serverless Architecture

There has been an ongoing search for technology that helps to reduce system overloading, data loss, and development costs. This search has resulted in serverless technology.

Serverless architecture runs on cloud technology, so that users can run code for virtually any type of application or backend service with zero administration — no provisioning, managing, or upgrading servers is necessary. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are the leading examples of companies using and providing serverless architecture.

AWS Lambda serverless architecture homepage

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The global serverless architecture market is predicted to be worth $19.84 billion by 2025, according to data from Grand View Research. That means we can expect more companies to enter this market in 2021 and beyond.

We’ll also see more products — including chatbots, IoT apps, and APIs — using serverless functions to perform tasks like downloading file backups, delivering notifications, and exporting objects.

8. Mobile-friendly Development

According to Statista, mobile devices accounted for over 54 percent of web page views worldwide in March 2021. Now that mobile devices are making up the majority of traffic, taking a mobile-first approach to web development has become essential.

Many developers have taken this approach for years. But being “mobile-friendly” is constantly fluctuating. In 2021, it means using geolocation data to deliver highly personalized experiences to users, offering one-click ordering on ecommerce apps, and incorporating bio-metric authentication like fingerprint scanning or voice recognition, among other trends.

9. Dark Mode Standardization

In recent years, dark and low-light websites have gained popularity. 2021 will see a surge in websites and apps offering dark mode user interfaces (UIs).

Facebook and Twitter have already implemented this feature. These apps provide an easy option to toggle between the two modes, depending on the reader’s preference.

Facebook offers toggle button for dark mode, which will be a huge website development trend in 2021

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As more web developers provide a similar built-in feature to switch between light and dark modes, this will become the standard in 2021 and beyond.

10. Improved Native Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity — or the practice of securing data, networks, and computers from misuse — is one of the most critical concerns of 2021. Every company, no matter its size, is vulnerable to attacks. For example, in October 2020, Software AG, Germany's second-largest software vendor, was hacked, and hackers demanded a ransom payment of $20 million.

According to Cloudflare, the number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) has nearly doubled each quarter in 2020. Hours of downtime and loss of revenue are just two effects of DDoS attacks.

With such an alarming increase in cyberattacks, website development has shifted to make it easier to protect company and customer data. There’s already been a shift toward application-based MFA like Google Authenticator, patch management, and Security Operation Centers (SOC).

Trending in Web Development

Web development is constantly changing to meet the needs and expectations of online consumers. Many of the trends in 2021 are focused on optimizing the user experience on mobile — others in the future might be focused on optimizing UX for smart wearables or devices we haven’t seen yet. Staying on top of web development trends can help you ensure your website is consistently attracting and delighting your visitors.

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Originally published Apr 26, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated April 29 2021


Website Development