Just ten years ago, the Internet and technologies were quite different from what they are now. Technology was still "an increasing market" and "the future." At the same time, today is more present than ever, and the Internet is something accessible from your computer and truly understandable only to a few geeks. In contrast, today, we carry "the Web" in our pockets every day with our mobile devices.
As a consequence, web development and the work of web designers have changed a lot in recent years. In this article, we're discussing the evolution of web development; what are the major changes? And why is this important to your business?
Web development evolution: why you should be aware of it
As we're about to discuss how web development has changed during these last years, it's worth taking some time to reflect on why you should reflect on that as a business owner or manager.
Keeping up with the changes in the web design market is important for two main reasons:
- Technology and software have improved many processes of business management. Using software and web development tools, you make your business and workflow more efficient, lowering costs, increasing productivity, and, last but not least, your profit.
- Websites, web apps and mobile applications can open new possibilities for businesses and entrepreneurs. If you don't keep up with the evolution in this sector, you can miss many opportunities.
Evolution of web development in the last 10 years: main changes
Let's now analyze, one by one, the main changes that occurred in web design and web development in the last 10 years.
The adoption of web standards has increased
Ten years ago, our web experience on websites and the few web applications that were out there were limited in some ways:
- We were using obsolete browsers, like Internet Explorer, and older infrastructure that made our browsing slower and less responsive.
- Web design, user experience (UX), and interfaces were not even closer to the ones we have now.
- Above all, they were not 100% secure. Security was actually one of the main concerns: we could never be 100$ sure that we weren't being spied on online, and we didn't feel safe making online money transactions.
With time, web standards have been redacted: they were a way through which web designers and the development community, in general, tried to find standards that could improve the user experience and, above all, security. HTML5 and CSS3, for example, made websites far easier to build, flawless, and more and more user-friendly. SSL certificates have made the web and its applications more secure for all users. These standards are more and more utilized in web development today.
The no-code development method is one of the main factors that is determining what is being called a "democratization of coding." These days, web development and programming, in general, are becoming more and more available for more and more people. Not only do more people have access to programming education, but the required education itself is becoming easier to achieve.
No code is one factor that determines this because it makes responsive web development, mobile application programming, and web design easier. As the word suggests, the no-code development method does not require coding, that is, writing lines of code in one or more programming languages.
People with less knowledge and experience can now develop the web apps they need for their business, and the development costs, in general, are decreasing because both the time and knowledge required for the job are reduced.
It doesn't mean, however, that code and programming languages are disappearing. The no-code application utilized for this development method - among which AppMaster is known as one of the best - generates source code automatically. With AppMaster, in particular, you can access and check the code any time you like. AppMaster goes even beyond that by allowing its users to export the code if they like: this is, other than a possibility of customizing details of a project by using programming languages, a warranty that you have full control and property over the development project you are working on with AppMaster.
Growth of Social Media Integrations
In the last ten years, we've witnessed the growing importance and presence of social media in our lives. Because social media are so ever-present, entrepreneurs have started exploiting them to reach their customers and run their businesses. As a consequence, web designers had to find ways of integrating the users' experience on their websites and mobile and web apps with social media.
One example of social media integration we're all familiar with is the possibility of registering to a platform, a service, or a newsletter with your Facebook or Google account. It is also important for web designers to provide ways to the customers to share the content of their websites or an experience in your mobile or web application on their social media with a simple click.
Websites are more and more responsive
In the last ten years, we've also witnessed an increasing level of performance of websites all over the Internet. Today, we have dynamic websites with automated videos and animations that are loaded in a few seconds.
Users are no longer used to waiting for a website page to load; they want it immediately. If the page doesn't load in a second or two, they are likely to move on to another website. The performance of a business website is perceived as a sign of the quality of the business itself.
What was called Responsive Web Design in 2009 (the adaptation of websites to various screen sizes) is now taken for granted. Users access websites from any type of browser and device (including their mobile), and websites need to be dynamic enough to be capable of adapting to these types of changes. And on any device and any screen size, the user experience must be the same level of excellency.
We've already spoken about how the adoption of standards, and security standards, has increased during the last ten years, and it's still increasing. One of the reasons behind this is that the number of cyberattacks has also increased. It seems that while the potential of the Internet was becoming bigger, not only entrepreneurs and common people started exploiting it, but attackers also saw that as an opportunity.
Security is one of the developers' major issues today. Other than SSL, two-factor authentication is also being implemented on websites and mobile applications. When it comes to no code, pre-built security patches, and two-factor authentication integration must be available on your no-code app of choice. This is one more reason to build your mobile or web app with AppMaster.
A lot of changes in the web development sector have been determined by the spread of mobile devices that - in turn - has determined that the majority of people browse the Internet from a screen as big as the palm of their hands.
While ten years ago, the majority of websites consisted of many pages linked together through a hierarchical structure, today, the approach is changing. It needs to be because web pages load slower on a mobile device, and you can't have too many. Browsing a complex website on mobile can become frustrating: if the user needs to wait for the page to load, it needs to wait only once, and not every time that they tap on some item.
The Single Page Application (SPA) approach is the most widely used today among web designers. Why? Because it is more mobile-friendly and because, while developing a website, you can simulate the functioning of a mobile application improving the user experience. SPA is also ideal from the perspective of responsive web design: the page is loaded only once, enhancing the user experience (UX) and providing a faster web app.
The way we use the Internet
Last but not least, we need to pay attention to one fact: the way we all use the Internet has changed. The majority of websites, ten years ago, were meant as resources of knowledge and information of any kind: users would consult them, browsing through the web pages, mainly from a computer, when they had time.
Today, we access the Internet on the run to check if the place we want to buy coffee is still open at this hour; we don't expect to only consult a website; we interact with it. Websites are becoming platforms, applications at the disposal of users. Web development has therefore changed in a direction that is less focused on the browser and more focused on the user experience and engagement without ever overlooking performance and speed.