Keeping up to speed with the ever-changing world that is web development is no mean feat. Evolving Google algorithms impact search visibility regularly, plugins and cms’ need regular maintenance - not to mention all the new tools and site optimisations your competitors are using!
But don’t worry. We’re here to keep you ahead of the curve and give you tips on how you could be utilising the latest features in web development, enabling you to provide a better customer experience and ultimately, drive a greater return on investment for your business.
Web Development Trends 2019
So what website trends do you need to know about in 2019? Here’s a round up of some of the most important website features your company should be considering right now.
Go ‘mobile first’ with lazy load
Since Google’s algorithm update in June, it’s clear they mean business when it comes to optimising for mobile. Following the latest update, a greater emphasis has been put on deferring offscreen images, particularly for users viewing your site on mobile. This essentially means Google wants to see you utilising a ‘lazy load feature’, so that images are loaded in as you scroll through a site, rather than being pre loaded before you get to them on the page. The penalty for not implementing this? The loss of some valuable points on the PageSpeed insights score (around 15 in some cases we’ve seen!).
Considering that Google uses PageSpeed score as an indicator in determining your site’s position in search results, not keeping your score high could put you at a disadvantage to competitors.
Google's agenda to push lazy load is also clear following their recent announcement and subsequent upgrades to Chrome. Previously, custom code had to be produced in order for lazy load to work on a Chrome browser, however Google recently updated this so that it's automatically compatible.
Use push notifications
Push notifications - which were once restricted to mobile apps - are now making their way into the desktop experience. We’ve seen an uptake in the use of these, since they’re displayed in a similar way to the notifications we’re so used to seeing on our phones - the ones we do pay attention too - such as texts and payments.
But, with great power, comes great responsibility. Don’t abuse the user by bombarding them with a stream of obtrusive notifications. This is a sure fire way to compromise the user experience and make your site visitor leave in a hurry!
Don’t neglect accessibility
Accessibility continues to be a hot topic in the world of web, not surprising considering the recent high profile cases surrounding accessibility issues. This year, Beyonce.com received a lawsuit in the US after a user couldn’t book tour tickets, due to the misuse of ALT tags on the site’s images. ALT tags are used to help visually impaired users access a site’s products or services, by coding photos with text which can be used by screen-readers.
Whilst we don’t have the same laws in the UK around accessibility as they do in the US, disability charity, Scope, cites that there are 3.7 million disabled people in work in the UK. It’s clear we need to ensure sites are accessible for all potential customers, not just the majority.
Demand attention with motion UI
A further key trend to increase in 2019 is around motion UI, due to the growing demand for interactive web design. This is where a website interacts with the user as they move through the site, showcasing dynamic graphics and animations that help tell the brand’s story. Since it’s becoming harder than ever to hold a user’s attention, motion UI can help keep visitors engaged and interested in your site.
Utilise dynamic rendering
The use of dynamic rendering to boost SEO is a relatively new practice, with many website experts still unaware of the opportunities it can bring.
Dynamic rendering (when used alongside structured data) allows you to show a slightly stripped back version of your site to Googlebots, showing them their ‘ideal’ version of a site which loads incredibly quickly. This scores you serious SEO points and still provides the actual users with the full website experience. The key here is to ensure your rendering produces similar content (and doesn’t show a completely different version of the site) otherwise you could be hit with some serious penalties by Google.