Web technologies are developing all the time, and for anyone who runs a website, it is important to keep abreast of new trends that can help keep their online business at the top of its game. In this post, we’ll look at six development trends, push notifications, progressive web apps, single page apps, chatbots, accelerated mobile pages and blockchains, that are set to make an impact in 2019.
Need to keep in touch with your readers? Most companies rely on channels like social media, emails and SMS to do this but, in 2019, it looks like all these methods are going to be overtaken by push notifications.
Why the shift? Quite simply, their prevalence on social media apps means users have grown a preference for them and now you can send them from your website, more and more people are opting for this form of communication.
If you have a WordPress site, you can set up push notifications by installing a plugin, for other types of website there are third-party platforms which you can use. Once set up, they create a dialogue box that appears at the top of your pages asking the user for permission to send notifications.
Progressive web apps
Thinking of developing an app to complement your website? Think again. 2019 will see the increasing use of a third option that brings the benefits of both. In essence, a progressive web app is a website that functions like a mobile app and which can work on the browsers of computers, tablets and mobile phones. It does this by using APIs that create an app-like experience. However, unlike websites, they don’t need to be downloaded, instead, they can be cached and stored on the user’s desktop or home screen.
Single page applications
An alternative option to a progressive web app is the single page application (SPA) – essentially a single page website. SPAs work by re-rendering an entire website into a single, long-form scrollable page. This means that when users click on navigation links, there is no need to send additional requests to the server to load the new information, the user is simply taken further down the page. There is no need to manually scroll down. This results in a much quicker and user-friendly experience and works on all devices.
Remember when live chat involved typing a response to a customer? For businesses that had thousands of customers using live chat, manning such operations 24 hours a day started to make it unaffordable.
In 2019, there’s a more modern solution, the AI chatbot. Using machine learning and natural language processing, AI chatbots offer a human-like response and are used by many websites to provide customer support and to assist visitors in finding and ordering the right products and services or helping them retrieve information.
Originally expensive to develop, the increasing number of open-source frameworks and tools to make bots means they are now affordable to a much wider range of businesses.
Accelerated mobile pages
With three-quarters of searches taking place on mobiles, the loading time of websites on mobile devices has become increasingly important for search engines over the last few years. Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) were designed specifically to improve loading times.
AMPs can load up to ten times faster than standard pages because they use AMP HTML, a less complex, lighter version of HTML. With plugins and add-ons now available, creating AMPs is relatively easy and brings several benefits, including a better user experience, lower bounce rates and higher search engine ranking.
Perhaps one of the most important security-based developments in 2019 will be the increasing use of blockchains. A blockchain is a list of cryptographically linked, time-stamped records whose resistance to data modification enables record transactions between parties to be permanently verified. They can be used for smart contracts, decentralised file storage and for the security of intellectual or private data.
In effect, blockchains are shared databases where encrypted data is scattered across millions of computers and it is this scattered nature that makes it impossible to corrupt or hack. One could only hack a blockchain by breaking into all the computers that that data is stored on.
Keeping your online operations up to date with the latest technologies and trends ensures that your site performs better, improves the user experience and keeps your site and data secure. Hopefully, the six development trends we have highlighted in this post will increase the success of your website during 2019.
If you are considering improving your hosting this year, take a look at our wide range of hosting solutions.