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Web development is entering a new era, driven by AI, AR, and popular frameworks. Generative AI, machine learning, and PWAs are the key trends to become popular in 2024. Let’s see how, as a business, you can leverage these technological advancements and rising trends to improve the user experience of your websites & web apps and gain a competitive advantage.

Web development has come a long way in the past year, thanks to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Recent breakthroughs in generative AI and popular frameworks like Svelte, Solid, React.js, Vue.js, and Qwik are enabling businesses to offer more responsive and enhanced experiences to users by adding advanced features to their websites and web apps.

While there is no single piece of code that can predict the future of web development, one thing is certain: the rest of 2023 and beyond will be all about generative AI, machine learning, and progressive web apps (PWAs).

Businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve need to keep up with these technological advancements and adopt the latest trends. But for that, they must be aware of what these trends are. Here is a guide that can be a starting point for you.

Emerging web development trends & technologies to watch out for in 2023 and 2024

1. Serverless architecture

Operating on cloud computing, serverless architecture is transforming web development by allowing programmers to write and execute code for any application without worrying about managing servers. As the service providers take care of the resources required for the development, businesses can save significant costs by relying on serverless architecture. Another benefit of serverless functions (edge functions) is that they deploy your application on multiple data centers around the world, instead of relying on one, so the code can be run close to the users for the best time to interactive (TTI) experience.

To cater to the tailored requirements of businesses, serverless architectures are based on three types of cloud computing models, i.e.:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Allows developers to use resources for building and managing their infrastructure.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Provides a development and deployment platform to developers with infrastructure and other functionalities to write & run the code.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Provides businesses with fully developed and managed software that can be used to host applications without the need for developers.

The scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of serverless architecture make it a prominent choice for large companies such as Coca-Cola, Netflix, Figma, and Slack. Utilizing this architecture, they are into IoT, machine learning, and responsive web app development.

2. Meta frameworks

Meta frameworks are relatively new but gaining hype due to their ability to offer a more powerful and complete development experience. They can be built on top of the existing frameworks and offer several advanced features, such as:

  • Server-side rendering (SSR): It is a new technology that allows web pages of an application to be displayed on the server before it is sent to the browser for improved performance. Unlike CSR (Client side rendering), it doesn’t use the browser to create HTML and allows search engines to see your website’s content before sending it to users.
  • Static site generation: SSGs develop static HTML pages using templates or given source code to generate website content more quickly.
  • Routing: Utilized to map the different URLs of the application to the different components.

3. WebAssembly (WASM)

WASM is a relatively new low-level binary language that can run code on any modern web browser or device (by compiling it in a suitable format) without depending on its underlying infrastructure. Initially created to complement the performance of Javascript, WebAssembly is reshaping the space of web development with its:

  • Performance: WASM is relatively faster than Javascript and thus suitable for tasks that involve pure computing performance, such as video encoding and image processing.
  • Portability: It is designed to be a portable target for compiling programming languages, making it easier to port existing code to the web.
  • Language diversity: WASM can compile a wide range of programming languages, such as C, C++, Rust, and Python, allowing developers to utilize the most suitable one for the task.

4. Progressive web apps

PWAs (progressive web apps) have been in the market for quite a long time, offering the functionalities of both native mobile apps and regular web apps. As these apps are easy to develop, cross-platform compatible, and offer features such as push notifications, device’s hardware accessibility, and offline functionality, there is no denying the fact that PWAs are going to reshape the future of web development.

5. Subgrid feature

Subgrid is a nifty CSS feature that allows developers to create grid layouts nested within other grid layouts. For instance, the main grid can be used to define the overall layout of the page (header, main content area, and footer), and then subgrids can be used to develop nested layouts for different sections of the main content area (headline, lead paragraph, body text, and images). Utilizing this feature, developers can create more dynamic and flexible grid layouts that can be adapted to different screen sizes and devices.

6. Container queries

They are one of the newest developments in CSS allowing developers to apply style elements according to the size of the container rather than the document’s or viewport size. As a result, developers can design more responsive and flexible layouts for enhanced user experience without depending on global breakpoints.

For instance, if there is a small container, developers can hide certain elements or adjust the fonts using container queries to adapt to different screen sizes. Also, container queries make it easier to reuse style components for different parts of a website/app, eliminating the need to create multiple versions. As they offer more control to developers over the user experience, they certainly are going to be a popular trend to adapt in 2024.

7. Dark mode standardization

Dark mode standardization is becoming a popular trend in web development due to several reasons, such as:

  • Increased user demand: The mode is becoming a preferable choice of users on all devices as it reduces strain on the eyes and offers a more immersive viewing experience in low-light environments.
  • Universal browser support: As all major browsers and operating systems now support dark mode, it is convenient for developers to implement and users to access.
  • Efficient battery usage: Another advantage of dark mode is its sustainability. On OLED and AMOLED devices, the pixels of dark mode consume less power than their brighter counterparts, extending the battery life.

8. Voice user interface

Voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa are making voice interactions mainstream. As a result, VUI (voice user interface) integration is on track to become a major web development trend in the near future. To give users a conversational and hands-free experience, websites need to be designed and built to respond to spoken queries.

9. Generative AI

Since its inception, Generative AI has revolutionized the web development landscape with its advanced content generation and language interpretation capabilities. GPT 4-powered chatbots are already in popular demand (proven to be considerably more capable than GPT 3.5).

In 2024, we can expect more businesses to adopt & integrate Generative AI models into their websites to interact with users in real-time, provide personalized user experience, process large amounts of data, generate code, and take assistance in other development-related tasks.

10. Micro frontend

Micro frontend is another new yet popular development architecture that allows breaking down larger components of codes into smaller ones for seamless code management. Each code (or micro frontend) can be independently managed by different teams and utilize the desired framework to develop specific UI features or elements of the app. As these smaller components are more convenient to develop, test & deploy independently, they are suitable for building more flexible, scalable, and complex applications.

Don’t neglect cybersecurity and data compliance when keeping up with web development trends

The increasing adoption of AI and cloud computing in web development demands businesses to ramp up their data security and compliance game to protect user data from cyber attacks and breaches. To be in line, GDPR compliances in the European Union have become more stringent with an increased focus on zero-trust security. It is a security model that assumes no user or device can be trusted by default. Thus, it requires businesses to implement a variety of security measures, ensuring that only authorized users can access their systems and data. Web developers need to be aware of the latest data privacy requirements of their countries along with zero-trust security principles to implement them appropriately in their applications.

Are you ready for the next wave of web development?

In the past few years, we've seen several major changes in the web development landscape, be it in terms of development frameworks, cloud computing, and data security and privacy. These trends are only going to continue in the years to come with more innovation to witness in web development. But is your business ready to keep up with these rising development trends and technologies?

If you are still not thinking about this question, it is time to step up your game. Hire web developers who are well-versed in these emerging trends to build websites and web apps that are relevant and engaging to your users.

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