8 New Web Development Trends for 2018

web development trends

Web development is a constant learning curve. You spend just as much time learning about all the latest frameworks, platforms and languages as you do actually sitting down and coding.

We’re in one of the fastest developing industries, but thankfully it’s also one of the most open and supportive. Open source platforms, free tutorials, and forums can support your learning at every stage.

What you need to figure out is which of the things you read about are just passing trends, and which are the new skills, languages, and tech that you need to learn to stay on the very top of your game as a web developer.

Read on to find out which web development trends we think you need to dedicate some time to. Stay ahead of the curve and make sure you’ll be giving your clients what they want in 2018.

1. Javascript Is King

Javascript is hardly new in web development, but the last couple of years have solidified its place as the language you need to know. And it’s constantly being improved. Functional programming is now easier thanks to the recent ES6 and ES7 improvements, allowing for object spreading and arrow functions.

As well as the ever-popular React and Angular, new frameworks, not backed by big corporations are coming to the fore. VueJS is going from strength to strength, with huge sites like Vice and Font Awesome moving over to it.

Even for beginners, it’s clear that Javascript is the way to go. Google’s Area 120 incubator launched Grasshopper in April, an app only platform for teaching Javascript, using the code to complete puzzles as you learn.

2. The Push for Web Notifications

The unmitigated power of the email subscriber list has become one of the most important parts of any website. The resources that companies put in to crafting the perfect subject lines and analyzing open rates and click-through rates are enormous. But an alternative is rapidly sneaking into the top of your browser window.

Push notifications are a super simple way for sites to engage with their audience, breaking down every barrier of convincing a reader to give over their email address and stripping it back to a one-click opt-in for notifications.

It’s a device that’s been integral to app developers for years, and now it’s so simple to add to websites as well.

3. Mobile Leads the Way

Since 2015, when Google started rewarding responsive websites in SERPs, we’ve known that mobile web design and development was a new web technology that wasn’t going anywhere.

Over the years, smartphone use has been rocketing past desktop web browsing. So it’s no surprise that web developments trends are echoing this change.

Many sites are now being designed and developed for mobile first. The main trend to show this is the increase is one-page sites, which are set out for the scrolling mobile user, taking tips from the tried and tested sales funnel on landing pages.

4. Websites in Motion

Animation is huge at the moment, and it goes hand in hand with the latest web design trend for illustration. Motion UI covers so much more than just quirky background animations through.

We’re seeing more and more interesting page transitions and unusual scrolling animations being used. As web designers are looking for ways to “break the grid”, motion UI is coming in to play a lot more.

SVG is becoming more popular, as it works well with responsive sites and loads far faster than any previous animations files.

5. Say Goodbye to Flash

It was always going to take a long time to unpick Flash from so many sites on the internet. Way back in 2015, Google started to convert all its Flash ads to HTML5, and in the same year, YouTube switched to an HTML5 video player as well.

Since then, Flash has been slowly disappearing and we think that 2018 is going to be the year we see the last of it.

Even Adobe has added a tool to its Animate program on Creative Cloud that helps you to convert Flash to HTML5.

6. More Modular Page Builders

Of course, page builders are hardly the latest web technology, from beginners-level cookie cutter sites like Wix to intuitive modular plugins like Beaver Builder, page builders have been opening up the world of web development for years.

WordPress is often the marker for web trends. So, its own Gutenberg drag-and-drop page builder looks like yet another step forward for this technology.

People with no coding skills are being thrust into the world of web development. And though some may see this as a threat to the industry, it could equally be seen as an opportunity to see the latest technology from a different perspective.

7. Progressive Web Apps Are Booming

It’s no surprise that Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are becoming so popular, because the benefits for developers, clients and users are enormous.

PWAs work in the mobile browser, so there’s no need to figure out the code for devices using both iOS and Android. The reliance on each respective providers’ app store is also gone. There are no longer any barriers to getting users to engage with the app immediately.

PWAs load quickly and they can be used offline. It seems like an advanced step forward from Google’s AMP pages, with more possibilities to be implemented in every kind of website, from news sites (the Financial Times is already on board), e-commerce, promotions and more.

It’s yet another sign that mobile-first web design and development is the future.

8. AI Goes Mainstream with Chatbots

After years of talk about AI being the future of, well, everything, we’re finally seeing a practical implementation of it that every generation and level of web user can get on board with.

Chatbots are taking over the customer service arm of websites in a big way. Companies are putting a lot of time into making their bots smart and accessible, while also ensuring they link up seamlessly with their ‘IRL’ customer support staff.

Companies are looking for web developers with AI skills to help them with their sales funnels and user retention with this latest web development trend.

What Web Development Trends Will You Try?

This year’s web development trends are all about keeping up with the mobile-centric, time-poor, information-hungry web users of today.

Companies are doing everything they can to stay at the top of their game with innovative web development that makes a great experience for their users, take advantage of web design trends, and at the top of those all-important search engine results.

If you’re interested to see how your site ranks, try our free SEO audit tool and start making a plan to improve your site today.