2018 is just around the corner, and with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at five of the top trends we expect to dominate the web development scene next year.

When you next come to upgrade or rebuild your site, these are five areas which could really give your site an edge over your competitors with features and functionality your customers will come to expect.

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Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants have evolved massively in the past few years, from chatbots answering a few stock questions to AI-powered platforms providing a 24 hour concierge service for browsing the internet using nothing more than your voice. With the likes of Alexa and Siri making consumers far more comfortable with the idea of using voice as a medium for navigating online, expect to see more and more brands add virtual assistants to their websites.

Single-Page Sites

Whilst not the best method for search engine optimization (SEO) the single-page website is sleek, stylish, and simple to use. Consisting of all your content on one, scrollable page, single page websites have been growing in their popularity thanks to their minimal look and ease of use. An added bonus that has definitely helped their growth is that single-page websites are very easy to make mobile-friendly - ensuring your visitors have a great user experience no matter what device they’re using. Whilst we don’t always recommend a single page website when you have a lot of content to house, or many services to shout about, as a holding page or landing page for a one-off campaign, they can be really effective.

Website Push Notifications

As mentioned above, push notifications via mobile apps give brands the ability to reach out to mobile users directly with promotions and incentives. Once a user enables notifications for a certain website, that company can send them direct updates and information to their device - allowing them to send recommendations as they browse, and special offers as they shop. 

Website push notifications don’t have to end there – with capabilities to add them into other functionality such as when new news or blog content has been published, the ability to keep your audience updated and engaged is now more simple than ever.

To give your business a head start for the new year, consider beginning to implement a few of the above trends into your online strategy now. Above all, the future most certainly appears to be mobile, and you would be wise to keep this in mind when developing anything for your website!

Mobile First Design

Responsive web design that can cater for both desktop and mobile devices has been a major trend for several years. With over 80% of internet users now owning a smartphone, it’s safe to say that mobile has grown bigger with each passing year, gradually overtaking desktop as the priority when building a website. In 2018, mobile-first optimisation will be a major trend as developers design for mobile browsing experiences first and foremost over desktop.

Web Apps

Likewise, more and more businesses are expected to look into app development for mobile users as an alternative to web browsers. A study by Smart Insights found that web apps currently account for over 89% of total media time, so moving towards app-based software looks like an essential move in 2018 if you want to maintain engagement.

Not only are web apps already highly popular with many target audiences, they also have the added bonuses of allowing offline use, almost instant load time, and the ability to send push notifications directly to a smartphone - a big plus for brands looking to reach their users directly with promotions and offers.

Written by Stefan Crowe December of 2017