Web development isn’t all about making your site look pretty, although that is part of it! It’s about understanding UX (user experience), UI (user interface), and technical SEO in order to create a fast-loading, easy-to-navigate and converting website – whether that’s contact form submissions or getting those carts to the check out. But, as we look ahead, what exactly comes to the surface of the crystal ball of web development?
Can anyone really build a website?
We ask this question because if you are looking into this topic, you’re more than likely aware of website builders out there for anyone to use, and we mean anyone. Wix to a web developer is like Canva to a graphic designer – they’re platforms for amateurs that on the surface can worry designers and developers. Because who needs a graphic designer when you’ve got tools like Canva? And who needs a web developer when you have tools like Wix? Cue a mumbling giggle.
They may get a basic job done, but at the end of the day, they won’t match what businesses need: skilled people who can build and design for very specific requirements. And, when we talk about web development, it’s not simply about building websites from scratch; it’s about redesign, fixing bugs, reacting to hacks, and helping businesses who are completely out of their depth to improve their websites for higher conversion rates. Not to mention how this relates and impacts SEO… Which we will get to shortly.
So, in case you’re wondering if web developers should be quaking in their boots because of the many website-building tools out there; they shouldn’t, and here’s why.
The growth of ecommerce
Online shopping is a huge part of our lives. With the use of social media, PPC, and SEO bringing more brands to our eyes to tickle our fancies, we can be transported to digital shops without having to step foot out the door. And from 2020, online shopping became even more of a routine, thanks to lockdowns.
Businesses all over are gaining more and more online consumers. That means websites need to handle the traffic, and they need to do it quickly. A slow-loading page, or slow call-to-action request could lead to a lost sale, but multiply that by your traffic flow number, and that’s a lot of potential business down the drain pipe; all because your site didn’t have a web dev wizard to work their magic. And, with all of the ecommerce plugins out there, web developers have got your back to navigate them for optimum ROI.
Responding to Google’s Core Web Vitals
If you’re plugged into Google like we are, you’ll know about the planned update from mid-June, where Google will be using page experience and Core Web Vitals as ranking signals for SEO. We will expect to see visual indicators on SERPs to show sites that are meeting Google’s criteria for good page experience. The Core Web Vitals are loading, interactivity, and visual stability, which those in web development are pretty familiar with. If businesses want to keep up with SEO best practices and be in Google’s good books for site health and experience, web developers can help with that. That’s why we expect to see more in-house web dev roles opening up. In fact, due to more clients coming on board with us and needing website help, we’ve recently hired and welcomed our own new Web Developer – Georgios Tsourapis! We also asked Georgios about his view on the future of web development.
Mobile site usability as a focus
Since Google’s mobile-first update (mobile-first indexing), if people didn’t already know the importance of a mobile-friendly site, they certainly do now. With more users picking up their smartphones for reading, finances, shopping, entertainment, daily news updates – basically, everything – Google thought best to give more attention to the mobile, since that’s where most people are coming across its search results. Web developers need to make sure mobile versions of sites are responsive, interactive, and still able to function just as well on desktop. But, with sites being indexed by Google on mobile first, web devs will be working and focusing more on making sites as mobile-friendly as possible.
One thing that users are craving is dark mode features to help with eye strain and reducing bright screens, especially at nighttime. A trend that is growing in web dev is UI with alternating modes to address this – so white mode and dark mode. A prime example is Github adopting this. SPA related websites which make use of APIs for most of the data will also be a lot easier to create and more user-friendly, as more and more API services become available.
Due to voice search services, such as Alexa, there will be an increasing interest in using HTML semantic elements in an efficient way to help search results. Businesses are looking into how they can make their sites optimised for voice search, since Google cleverly lets us speak into our smartphones these days to find things out. Marketers will be developing campaigns, strategies, ads, and content with voice search factored in, and that means web devs will also be working on the backend of sites to help with this.
VR is all about creating a stimulating environment, and when it comes to VR in the webosphere, users can be put into a truly unique experience. Instead of just facing a screen, VR enables users to engage and interact with the 3D world in real-time. Virtual tours have become a trend, 360-degree images have landed on Facebook, and the future of web development will see more businesses go down the VR path to allow users to experience something before buying a product or service. Web apps that excite and can allow the try-before-buy experience in the digital world will need creative developers. A lot of testing, research, implementation will be needed to try out innovations in VR technologies in web experiences, but it looks to be on the cards.
Handling websites is no easy task. Each one has its own issues and challenges. Not only do they need to work for great user experience, but if they’re not performing well, it can really impact your SEO. Don’t be left in the dark, speak to our friendly, expert team to learn more about how your website fares in the SEO realm.
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