Web development trends have significantly evolved over the past decade. While the last ten years have been focused on such issues as increasing the security of web pages, the rise of cloud-based solutions, accessibility and the advancement of mobile apps, the current decade is shifting towards continuous innovations, as well as technological flexibility and interconnectivity.
Emerging new technologies and the evolving needs of users both contribute to these fast changes. That brings new opportunities for business growth. But it’s not enough to throw yourself into the world of web development, e-commerce, and headless CMS.
To stay on top, you need to know what’s happening. Let’s see what’s changing in the vast world of web development, and what the latest web development trends are.
Why Is Knowing Web Development Trends Important?
There’s one simple reason why you should know the latest web development trends – to stay in the loop. Changing tendencies make it possible for innovation and continuous improvement.
Being familiar with web development trends gives you more opportunities for business growth, knowledge of the latest technologies and how to respond to them, but also for learning what obstacles, issues, and problems your dev team may come across and how to avoid them.
As a result, it allows you to create a perfect end-product. With a product people will love, a website they’ll enjoy visiting, and you’ll be able to build a database of loyal customers.
Whether you’re a CTO, a web developer with an advanced skill set, or a beginner, here’s everything you need to know about web development trends for 2022.
1. Jamstack/Headless Approach (non-monolithic web development)
One of the most important development trends for 2022 that is continually growing is moving from fixed HTML pages to interactive websites. In other words, Jamstack and the headless approach are slowly taking over the web world.
What is Jamstack? Jamstack is a robust, cloud-native web development architecture that lets web developers deploy websites and apps with the best practices by using technology that provides a flexible environment for website and app development. This non-monolithic web development approach gives full flexibility in how you want the end product to look.
Jamstack is gaining popularity for several reasons:
- Easier and quicker scaling – you don’t have to scale the entire website up because there is no need to redeploy the entire architecture when working on a specific functionality.
- Better developer experience – Jamstack and the headless approach provide a modern, coherent, and unified environment for easy web deployment with all the necessary and favorite tools and methods.
- A growing community that allows developers to share and discuss ideas, find solutions to problems, and broaden their knowledge.
- Websites built on Jamstack are high-performing and scalable.
- High security – there aren’t connections to web applications and database servers, which prevents security breaches and threats.
- It’s cheaper, as Jamstack uses fewer resources (depending on a project scope and needs).
- Rich possibilities by using APIs and microservices.
- Jamstack is SEO-friendly – which brings more marketing opportunities and increases the chances for your product or brand to reach a wider audience via SEO-focused efforts, ad campaigns, or content optimization.
More and more companies shift to Jamstack and it’s a popular trend that the world of web development will continue to observe. So, if you want to stay on top, shift to Jamstack.
2. Serverless Architecture
Serverless architecture means your dev team uses open-source, cloud-based environments for coding without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure for servers, their administration, and security. Not having to handle your own servers makes it easier to deploy a website.
Serverless architecture is part of the Jamstack methodology and headless approach as it’s more efficient and convenient in web development. Since Jamstack and headless are on the rise, so is serverless architecture.
The current market analysis indicates that the global serverless architecture market size is projected to grow from $7.6 billion in 2020 to $21.1 billion by 2025. More and more companies will follow this trend and use serverless functions.
3. Headless CMS
Another important web development trend for 2022 is the shift from traditional, monolithic CMS to headless CMS. Traditional CMS is like one body where the head is attached (coupled), with no possibility to remove or adjust it.
This monolithic web development approach imposes timely and technical limitations. Developers have lots of code to dig in, it’s hard to make changes, and that causes delayed innovation. WordPress is one of the most popular traditional CMS and if you’ve had a chance to work with it, you may know that it’s heavy, hard-to-use, and takes more effort to move around.
Alternatively, in a headless CMS, you can remove (decouple) the head, add as many new ones as you want, combine, and experiment with ease. With headless, your web developers can use different technology for the front-end and back-end to build a strong platform and deliver a better user experience.
On top of that, one of the biggest advantages of a headless CMS is the ability to display the same content on various devices in high resolution (laptops, smartphones, advertising e-stands in shopping malls, or screens in transportation). It’s much easier, cheaper, and less resource-intensive.
4. eCommerce Personalization
eCommerce personalization is one of the main ways to drive business growth. It helps to boost sales, increase conversion rates, and attract the attention of new prospects. No wonder it is being seen as one of the most important development trends of the near future.
eCommerce personalization is the process of delivering customized experiences to people visiting a website. These include product recommendations, specific offers based on personal data, push notifications, special offers, email campaigns, post-purchase actions, and more.
According to research conducted by Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
So, make customers want to come back to your store. Study their needs, ask for opinions, check statistics and the analytics for your eCommerce platform, and conduct deep research for personas.
Additionally, don’t forget that eCommerce personalization requires the right technical background. That means your website needs to be responsive and user-friendly. You will also probably need a team of experienced and dedicated web developers.
5. Observability In DevOps
Although web development is more advanced and convenient, especially thanks to the headless approach, there’s still an emphasis on performance improvement. According to Google, “Observability is based on exploring properties and patterns not defined in advance.”
Observability has three pillars:
- Metrics: measurements that show the state of your website and its properties; these are values derived from the performance that can help developers in detecting malfunctions.
- Logs: a record of the event that happened on your website or in your software; logs help to troubleshoot and spot errors.
- Traces: these let you see what’s happened and find the events that caused the final effect; in other words, you can check how one thing led to another.
In general, observability in DevOps can be brought down to one main aspect – how your team can improve the performance of specific actions of software, website, or an app to quickly deploy changes and improve the site’s quality.
Observability vs Monitoring – What’s the Difference?
There’s also monitoring that is correlated and often confused with observability. Monitoring is a systematic procedure for gathering, analyzing, and using the information to manage processes for performance improvement. It’ll inform you whether the system or a website is working as planned, or whether there are some atypical activities.
However, monitoring is applied inconsistently within the environment. Different approaches are used for infrastructure, cloud, network or application monitoring. Monitoring may not be sufficient for distributed microservices, the isolated tracking of which will simply be too time consuming.
Observability is a step further – it assumes consistent metrics across all elements of the environment. It’s more of a characteristic or feature of IT architecture, more specifically its capability for holistic and more nuanced automation of tracking the internal state of the system.
It’s the latest trend in web development because it allows DevOps for efficient debugging, code compression, and pushing speed to the limits. Cloud, serverless, static site generators and a combination of these technologies make systems more complicated and distributed, so it may be challenging at times to spot failures and inefficiencies.
With observability, your web development teams are more productive, structured, and deliver better platforms with a coherent production cycle.
6. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
People visit many sites from mobile devices and buy from many stores. But having a dedicated app for each installed on a smartphone is not necessarily convenient. For this reason, users need quick and convenient access to their favorite platforms.
Instead of building native mobile apps, go for Progressive Web Apps. Not only are they easier to develop, launch, and distribute, they are also easier to maintain, are scalable, and work offline. What’s more, PWAs are also easier for eCommerce personalization. That can help increase conversion rates and bring profits to your businesses.
7. API-first Development
API (Application Programming Interface) is an important part of headless and modern web development. APIs connect different applications with each other and provide a smooth flow of data.
In 2022, the API-first development approach will become more prevalent because it allows the creation of an end-product that seamlessly interacts with different types of applications, works across devices, and provides an experience tailored to users’ needs.
The API-first approach assumes that developers create apps that are reusable, modular, and extensible. In practice, that means focusing web development efforts around APIs as a priority, while the rest of the project is secondary.
It’s a helpful strategy that enables dev teams to create interactive sites and apps.
8. Single Page Application (SPA)
In SPAs, everything is displayed on one page so there’s no need to wait for the content to load. Instead, customers get unlimited scrolling and can swiftly go through the store’s inventory and view the full offer at once.
A single page application gives faster loading time and is cost-efficient in terms of sending and receiving information by servers – it optimizes the data flow. Additionally, the decoupling in SPA allows web developers to flexibly build various front-ends, experiment, and quickly deploy changes. This makes it one of the most brilliant development trends to watch.
Single page applications are also good for a responsive design for mobile devices. That, as a result, improves the UX.
9. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) have started gaining more interest in the web development world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online retailers had to diversify and spice up the user experience to meet the high needs of consumers and increased demands for products.
Take beauty brands like L’Oreal – it uses VR to help customers buy the right product tailored perfectly to their needs. It’s especially useful if it’s not possible to visit the store and test the goods on your own. In that case, people can try products before buying, get a better user experience while purchasing, and feel a sense of realness to the online shopping experience.
The ultimate goal of AR, VR, and MR is to eliminate keyboards and make the UX as mobile and digital as possible.
Reports say that the Global Mixed Reality Market has recorded $1,054.3 million in 2017 and it is estimated to surpass $9,982.8 million by 2023. Thus, 2022 will bring a steady rise and fast development of virtually enhanced websites.
Even though the technology is extremely advanced these days and allows users to safely surf the net, cybersecurity is still an issue. Cyber attacks and data breaches are common phenomena and, in 2022, businesses and eCommerce need to take care of clients’ safety even more.
People care about the security of their personal data and are very sensitive to even the slightest threats. Nobody wants their personal information to circulate in the aether.
How can you ensure such high security? There are several ways:
- Two-way or multi-factor authentication like Google Authenticator
- Have a security operation center (SOC) to manage security issues and data safety
- Use session recordings to spot suspected activity on your website
- Require employees to use VPNs
- Limit access to specific areas of your platform with roles and permissions
- Use anti-virus (AV) protection software and firewalls
- Require strong passwords both from your web development team and customers
According to IBM, in 2021, the average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million globally (10% bigger in just one year), and $9.05 million in the United States (5% bigger in just one year). Make sure to follow the cybersecurity trend of 2022 vigorously because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
11. Motion UI
According to CareerFoundry, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. Here’s where Motion UI comes into action.
Motion UI’s main assumption is to provide users with a flawless, smooth experience when visiting a website. It’s about the fluidity and speed of websites and web apps, focusing on how particular elements interact with each other. This includes animations, the transition between components, speed and various other effects.
Motion UI is a library that enables the creation of a design-driven, fully-responsive website with visuals and interfaces that make it user-friendly with a fluid experience.
Focusing your efforts on Motion UI will help keep current customers and attract new ones. It’s a good idea to do in-depth research on how people behave on your site, what their preferences are, and what catches their attention. If you have an online store, Motion UI along with eCommerce personalization can improve your chances for success, high profit, and brand expansion.
Use the Motion UI library to create smooth CSS transitions and animations.
12. Voice Search Optimization
PWC estimates that 72% of consumers who were familiar with voice assistance, have used it. The usage is systematically growing.
People search for and buy products online with the use of voice assistants, such as Alexa, Cortana, or Siri with dedicated search speakers. And this trend will be more common in 2022.
Voice search optimization is also good for localization, especially if you’re targeting global markets. It helps to tailor search results to the needs of consumers from different places. Hence, local voice search boosts the brand’s global engagement.
According to the research report by MarketsandMarkets, the voice assistant application market is going to be worth $11.2 billion by 2026. 2022 is already seeing steady growth, so web developers and the eCommerce industry need to adapt web development practices to not fall out of the loop.
13. Minimalistic Design
Web design is one of the core aspects of customer experience. For eCommerce, less is better. People find it difficult to move around a website that is overfilled with all kinds of elements. It causes confusion and overstimulation.
Simple visual effects and emphasizing functionality is more popular because it allows consumers to quickly see what’s happening and where to go next. Glassmorphism, expressive typography, and plain content are becoming commonly used in web design.
The way content is displayed on a website also plays an important factor in user engagement. Can customers easily access all information? Do they have to go through large blocks of text and small, hard-to-read font? Is the architecture easily accessible on mobile devices?
Ensure clearly visible icons, buttons, plain navigation menus, search bar, relevant imagery and photographs. That includes mobile and web apps, since the use of mobile devices is on the rise. A good UI/UX designer can make miracles for your site and app, so don’t be afraid to hire the right people.
14. No Code/Low-Code Development
No code/low-code is a popular web development trend since such applications make it possible to lower the budget, save money, and optimize the work of web developers. That’s because, in LC/NC development, there’s no need to write code from scratch. Marketers and developers can use what’s already available.
You can easily add all kinds of content including images, icons, links, videos, maps, buttons, and more, without any knowledge of HTML or CSS. It’s like a wardrobe full of clothes where you can choose whatever you want, then mix, combine and change just the way you like.
However, you need to be aware of how LC/NC development apps work and interact, and be careful with the website to ensure you don’t make a mess and complicate the UX. No code/low-code platforms may be a great resource for experienced developers as they provide convenient infrastructure for work.
15. Headless eCommerce
Headless eCommerce is already one of the most popular development trends and isn’t going anywhere. It’s the kind of architecture where the front-end is decoupled from the back-end – you remove the main database from the presentation layer (things visible to the customer, such as theme, layout, images, etc.).
That allows you to flexibly create a website tailored to your business needs. At the same time, you can provide users with intuitive interfaces, easy navigation, and a user-friendly environment.
Because customers are becoming more demanding, headless eCommerce gives businesses a great chance to deliver personalized content. As a result, it’s easier to gain new customers, keep loyal clients, and expand your business to new markets.
17. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Smart suggestions, recommendations, AI-powered chats with bots that automate and optimize the sales funnel, or virtual assistants are just a few of the examples of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) used in eCommerce and web development.
You can use AI and ML to improve customer experience and help people make smarter buying decisions. Chatbots are the best example here. They quickly answer questions, are specific, available 24/7, and easily accessible.
And automated machine learning (AutoML) supports beginners in machine learning and non-machine learning experts in getting into the world of ML intricacies and better understanding how things work.
Including AI and ML in web development not only advances processes but also helps to cut operational costs.
18. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects humans with devices and ensures a seamless experience. The interconnection of tech and electronic gadgets such as laptops, smart TVs, household appliances, wearables, or smart speakers gives limitless options to design households.
It’s also a great opportunity for web development. For customers, that means products and offers perfectly tailored to their needs and, for the web development world, more digital websites and UI. Additionally, IoT enables creating more effective marketing strategies with attention to detailed client persona and a customized buyer’s journey. This goes also with industry, where IoT-related software is getting more and more relevance.
What’s more, IoT will allow for creating multi-experience platforms where users can choose how they want to buy or order a product (touch, gesture, voice). There’s one app or site, but many touchpoints.
Microservices are extremely helpful in delivering fast, scalable websites and apps. They’re part of the headless and non-monolithic approach yet are often forgotten or confused with APIs and serverless.
Microservices are non-related systems split into many parts and can be used along with serverless or APIs for modularity. This modularity enables building apps and websites as small, independent services. And because of the lack of dependency, it’s possible to write them in different programming languages and use distinct data storage techniques.
So whenever there’s an error, developers can easily fix the problems independently. There’s no need to interfere with the whole architecture. Microservices also allow web development teams to use different programming languages or frameworks for flexible workflow.
Microservices increase efficiency and scalability. It’s like a booster that speeds and improves the page.
The use of microservices is a common practice and, with the rise of customer demands, needs, and changing preferences in 2022, it will help in creating modern, more versatile apps and websites.
20. Standardization of Dark Mode
Switching between dark and light mode is another latest web development trend that is on the rise. It’s becoming more and more popular, especially among tech-savvy people.
Dark mode has several advantages:
- It can save battery life but only on devices with an OLED display (LED lights need the same amount of energy for light and dark mode)
- It may lower eye strain at night when it’s dark
- Many users find it more attractive and visually pleasing
Just remember that dark mode is not suitable for everyone; some people simply find it difficult to read content on a black layout, while others have medical conditions that make it difficult to comprehend this type of mode. So make sure you offer different versions of modes including standard light, light-dark, and classical dark.
21. Website Performance Ongoing Improvement
Although developing a website is much easier and automated than it used to be, it’s also more demanding in terms of performance and smooth user experience. Google Core Web Vitals are measurable SEO performance metrics that help to understand how users experience your website.
The Core Web Vitals gives you reports that are based on three metrics:
- LCP (largest contentful paint): this tells you how much time it takes for the largest elements (e.g., images, videos, large blocks of text) to render in the user’s current viewport (current screen). The optimal LCP is 2.5 seconds.
- FID (first input delay): the time from the user’s first interaction on the page to the response time of the browser (interactive elements include buttons, links, clickable elements, etc.). The optimal FID is 100 ms.
- CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): this is used to measure the score for each unexpected layout shift to prevent content from jumping. The optimal CLS is 0.1
Tracking and tackling Core Web Vitals, along with other performance metrics, will improve user experience. Here, Jamstack gives great opportunities since it’s extremely SEO-friendly, scalable and reliable.
22. Outsourcing Web Development Teams
Despite all the technologies available on the market, developing a website is not an easy endeavor. You need to take care of many aspects, including front-end development, back-end development, knowledge of microservices, and product design with UI and UX, but also technical standards, common requirements, or even changing trends.
For this reason, outsourcing web and app development may be a much better idea than building a platform on your own. Especially now, since there are almost limitless possibilities of developing websites, you may have thousands of questions and hesitations.
There are numerous agencies with highly-skilled, professional web development teams that can create wonders with no effort, listen to your needs, and ensure a smooth user experience.
And since web development is becoming even more popular among IT people, in 2022, it’ll be easier to outsource the right people. What’s more, web developers are still in high demand so, if you’re looking to change your career path, don’t hesitate
Looking for Jamstack web and app developers? We’ve got your back! Reach out to us at Naturaily and we’ll create a perfect platform tailored to your needs.
Wrapping It Up
The latest development trends may be demanding but they also bring many opportunities to deliver a perfect end-product and provide users with an optimized, personalized, and smooth experience.
Following these practices will help you stay on top of the industry and have a website or app that people will love.