Web Development Trends and the Latest Web Technology Stacks in 2020

Feb 7, 2020·16 min read

Ready to innovate with your web app in 2020? We have researched the industry and know exactly how you can become the pioneer in your niche. Here are the trends in web development definitely worth following!

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Alex Alexieiev
Business Analyst
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Standards in web development sometimes change faster than they can be implemented. To stay one step ahead, it is important to focus on trends, techniques, and approaches that are gaining popularity.

We have analyzed tendencies across industries to create this ultimate list of web development trends in 2020. As a bonus, you’ll read about the top web technology stacks worth your attention in the coming year. No matter what your current interests are — marketplace development, startup innovations, or IoT inventions — you should be aware of these trends.

Hottest Web Tech Trends to Adopt in 2020

“Figuring out what the next big trend is, tells us what we should focus on.”

Mark Zuckerberg

Even if the billionaires with a decade of experience heading the industry recommend us to do so, what can we do but agree? To simplify your search, save your time, and help your business to grow in a new decade, here we have collected some of the top trends you need to be aware of while growing a web business:

1. Voice search

We are currently experiencing the beginning of the voice search era. Every smartphone is already equipped with a digital voice assistant (Siri for iPhones, Google Assistant for Android-based phones). Moreover, smart speakers empowered with AI are gaining popularity.

Popularity of voice assistants

What is the reason behind this shift toward voice interfaces?

  • Ease of use

Communication is something we don’t have to learn. Therefore, children and elders can interact with voice interfaces without any learning curve.

  • Affordability

Digital voice assistants are a common smartphone feature already. Smart speakers are not that common yet, but a price tag starting at $50 is a great prerequisite for expansion.

The report says that “voice assistant use reaches critical mass.” And by 2021, it is expected that almost 123 million US citizens, or 37% of the entire population, will use voice assistants.

Voice assistants popularity keeps rising

Use it for your business

Voice search is one of the main trends in e-commerce. However, it is also applicable to all businesses across the web. If you want your web app to be found, optimize it for voice search as soon as possible.

Also, consider developing your own application for smart speakers. This will give you one more channel for building a loyal audience and generating sales.

2. WebAssembly

When building a web app, performance is usually compromised. JavaScript limitations make heavy calculations slow, and that significantly affects user experience. This is why most of the popular games and powerful applications are only available as a native desktop app.

WebAssembly is here to change the game. This new format aims for native-like performance among web apps. With WebAssembly, the code in any programming language can be compiled into bytecode that runs in a browser.

Webassembly allows using any programming language for web development

WebAssembly code is executed faster than JavaScript. As a result, you can write the performance-critical parts of the app with the most suitable language (C/C++/C#/Rust/Kotlin, etc). WebAssembly will then take care of execution in the browser. Native apps can be run in the browser right away. That means access to more users while offering comparable performance on the web without additional development expenses!

More and more major web and desktop browsers including Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, Opera Mobile, etc. make it possible to take UX sky-high with this trendy tool.

Use it for your business

Web apps are becoming more powerful with WebAssembly. This technology is definitely worth trying out if you plan to build an online image or video editor, web game, P2P platform, music app, interactive educational and training apps, 3D mapping apps, etc.

3. Content personalization through machine learning

Artificial intelligence, including machine learning, affects our everyday activities on the internet without us even recognizing it. This is the main point of ML — providing improved experiences natively.

Machine learning is the ability of software to improve performance without direct input from developers. Basically, the software analyzes incoming data, detects patterns, makes decisions, and improves its work.

Personalization of online experience

Airbnb, for example, employed machine learning to customize search results for guests to increase the chances of host acceptance of their request. A machine-learning algorithm analyzes the request acceptance decisions of each host. Depending on it, the search results in listings that are more likely to be accepted rank higher. A/B testing has shown a 3.75% increase in conversion. As a result, all Airbnb users are now treated according to this algorithm, which improves customer satisfaction and increases revenue.

Netflix engineers have gone even beyond that. To employ a predictive content personalization approach, they use more advanced ML-based algorithms to meet users’ needs in a better way. Unlike targeting the whole segment of users, each of the users is identified particularly. The algorithms provide content and search results based on users’ intentions instead of previous queries.

Great examples, but there’s so much more! Enabling natural language and image recognition can improve user experience. Machine perception allows the computer to interpret data and make grounded decisions. Machine learning is being used in web apps in different industries, such as healthcare, finance, education, agriculture, etc. This technology offers significant improvements that would be difficult to achieve without AI.

How can your web app benefit from content personalization?

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Use it for your business

Machine learning is becoming a significant part of any web service. It’s important to integrate it into your services as well! Analyze your website visitor behavior and adjust the content they are shown. Your visitors won’t ever find out that you’re using an algorithm, but their satisfaction will result in an increase in engagement and conversion!

Machine learning can be your secret weapon to outplaying your competitors!

4. Data security

The more data that a web app processes, the more attractive it looks to cybercriminals. They aim to spoil your services and steal your users' data or internal company information. This can cause great harm to your reputation and cost you a lot.

Data security is extremely important in 2020

Your web service security should become a top priority. So, to keep user data safe in 2020, follow these 4 tips:

  1. Never neglect security testing

Security testing can be conducted during the development stage and can prevent data leakage. Each change in your web app should be explicitly tested.

  1. Use website-monitoring tools

An algorithm can constantly monitor all requests, as well as detect and qualify suspicious activity. A timely notification enables your team to instantly react and protect the web app.

  1. Carefully choose third-party services

SaaS software is becoming more popular as it makes app development easier and faster. However, you have to make sure that the service provider you choose to work with is trustworthy.

  1. Encrypt sensitive data

Even if the offender gets to your database, they won’t be able to extract any use from the sensitive data stored there.

Along with these tips, we’ve prepared some of the latest 2020 web trends to keep your app and data safe. Here, 2 crucial components must be highlighted:

  • AI for Cybersecurity

Machines are getting more intelligent. Although this fact has both positive and negative sides, in our report, we will pay attention to the advantages it brings.

In 2020, we expect AI technologies to become even more helpful in terms of data security. We already have an opportunity to watch after the most recent improvements: AI-powered biometric logins that scan fingerprints or retinas are not just the elements of science fiction. Web systems of many powerful companies demonstrate these functions.

80% of telecom companies’ founders say they rely on AI for cybersecurity.

Threats and malicious activity are easier to detect with AI-powered security software. As the variety of malware grows, it becomes stronger and more dangerous. So large companies now train their AI systems to analyze behavior patterns within a network and react to any suspicious activity immediately.

“Artificial intelligence becomes an adviser; like a trusted adviser that you can ask questions…artificial intelligence will learn more and more; cognitive systems will begin to learn more as we teach it but it will be there and it won't forget what's being taught so you can tap into that knowledge and help you make a more accurate decision as you're looking at what's going on in terms of the (security) threat,” says Kevin Skapinetz, IBM Security Vice President, describing how AI can impact the security system and save an enterprise from potential threats.

  • Blockchain for Cybersecurity

For several years, bitcoin and other blockchain-related topics have occupied their top places in tech blogs and reports. In 2020, we would recommend taking a closer look at it as a tool for web solution security.

NASA implemented blockchain technology to protect data and prevent cyber attacks on their services. That’s a good point to start with: if powerful leaders use this trend to protect their entities, why would you ignore this principle?

  • Database safety

Once you store all your data in one place, you make it perfectly convenient for hackers to steal it. Blockchain is a decentralized database, which means that there is no single authority or location to store data. Every user is responsible for data verification, and none of the changes can be made unless everyone approves it.

  • Protected DNS

Large companies suffer from DDoS attacks. But there’s a cure: complete DNS decentralization. When content is distributed to a myriad of nodes, it becomes nearly impossible for an attacker to find and use sensitive points as well as attack your domain.

Data encryption is a must in 2020

Use it for your business

No matter what web app you plan to launch, its security is the #1 thing you must focus on. Keep an eye on the most effective approaches and make sure your development team has proficiency in security questions and is skilled enough to keep important data safe.

7. Progressive web apps (PWA) and accelerated mobile pages (AMP)

Google prioritizes web apps that load quickly on mobile devices. This is why you should consider implementing PWA or AMP, which are unique technologies that reduce web page load time.

A progressive web app (PWA) is a web page that replicates a native mobile experience. It is fast, can work online or with a poor internet connection, and is relatively low cost. A PWA supports interactions, allowing users to enjoy a high-end experience without ever realizing that they are still using the browser. E-commerce web apps are a common use case for this technology.

An accelerated mobile page (AMP) works for static content only, but they load faster than regular HTML. An AMP omits all fancy elements and displays only the essential information — text, images, etc. This approach works perfectly for blogs and news publishers.

Whether you should adopt PWA or AMP depends on your specific case. However, you should start considering these technologies right now. Along with delivering a high-end experience, you have a chance to dramatically improve your search result rankings.

Use it for your business

There are so many great PWAs we use on a daily basis without even mentioning it! Some of them like Twitter have more than 330 million active users monthly; others are on their way to striking success. So if you plan to build a simple web game, a lifestyle or sports app, an entertainment app, or a news website, you should consider the PWA approach.

AMP would be a splendid idea if:

  • most of your web app users access it via mobile devices;
  • page load speed is so low that users abandon it easily;
  • SEO and app promotion are important to you.

8. Multi-experience

The app development story started from smartphones, tablets, and laptops, which are now so widespread we cannot even imagine our day without them. These days, other smart devices, vehicles, smartwatches, and components of IoT systems are gaining their striking popularity. Mobile-friendly apps are a must; however, the fresh and crispy trend for app development emerges. Welcome multi-experience – the way to let users use your app wherever they want to: on a tablet, on smartwatches, in a car, etc. The point is to make an app that looks good, works well, and brings value on any device, in the same engaging and useful way.

Prepare for multiexperience

2020’s trend is the adaptation of web applications for any sort of screen. This is called multi-experience, and that’s one of the top technology trends according to Gartner. The traditional idea of a person interacting with a software application using a laptop or a smartphone drifts towards a multisensory, multitouch, multiscreen, multi-device experience. Customers expect to use apps powered with exceptional intelligent chat bots, voice assistants, AR/VR modules, etc. on any type of device. For web business that wants to succeed in 2020, it is time to implement this multi-channel human-machine interaction approach in the web app.

"This ability to communicate with users across many human senses will provide a richer environment for delivering nuanced information,” says Brian Burke, Research Vice President at Gartner.

5G technologies and edge computing stimulate multi-experience trend development. A new generation of wireless technology provides a greater speed of transmissions and wider opportunities to deliver excellent AR/VR experience. We come to the term of fit-for-purpose apps: IT companies worldwide get ready to provide seamless experience all over mobile and web extensions, as well as wearables and conversational devices.

Use it for your business

“…by 2023, more than 25% of the mobile apps, progressive web apps and conversational apps at large enterprises will be built and/or run through a multi-experience development platform,” says the Gartner report.

This decade, a web app you plan to produce should go beyond the limits and run seamlessly on any device and any screen possible. It should be able to connect to sensors and provide advanced experience to the people of the IoT age. Focusing on user multi-experience via single web app, you gain an opportunity to become one of the best businesses in your niche.

9. Motion UI

Motion design is one of the main web design trends of the coming year. Minimalistic design coupled with sophisticated interactions look good and draw user attention.

Think of page header transitions, nice hovers, animated charts, background animations, and modular scrolling. These and many other elements will help you display your unique style and entertain the user, improving behavioral factors and helping your web app rank higher in search results.

Use it for your business

To increase the engagement and provide better UI/UX to your web app’s users, try to upgrade it with motion UI techniques.

  • Guide users through your app with animations demonstrating which step to take next;
  • React to users’ gestures with catchy animations;
  • Demonstrate the relations between different components of an app, etc.

10. Micro frontends

Recently, microservices architecture has won the preference of software developers worldwide: unlike the heavy, monolithic old-fashioned backends, this development style gives more flexibility and scalability. However, there are still complications with frontends, and both enterprise and startup developers need to deal with monolithic codebases building user interface.

A monolithic frontend isn’t just hard to support. It also may affect the overall project’s quality and become the obstacle on your way to success. Fortunately, one of the trends for 2020 shows us how to avoid a potential headache.

We are happy to announce that the opportunity to cut monolithic frontend into small simple pieces, and to test and deploy them separately, has appeared. Multiple teams can work on numerous frontend components and then bring them together in one great web app. This technology is now called micro frontends.

Microfrontends in a new trend in web development

With its help, code refactoring and app upgrade get easier. An engineer can re-write any component of the frontend independently, without harming functionality and the overall UI. This also creates an opportunity to work with several autonomous teams in order to build app faster: each engineering group has its own scope of work and deploys components independently.

Use it for your business

Your engineering team should consider this trend and implement it in your new app no matter what industry you build it for. This would be a contribution to the overall development flow, teamwork, code refactoring, and support, and, as a result, a stronger web application.

Technology stack for web application development

What technologies are still on the top in 2020? Let’s see what tools are the best to work with:

Angular and MEAN stack

Angular in 2020

We first heard about AngularJS in 2010. Six years later, in 2016, a complete rewrite of the framework called Angular 2 appeared. The latest stable version was released in spring 2019: it’s Angular 8.

Angular is a Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework. Three separate components enable you to write well-structured and easy-to-support code. Two-way data binding is beneficial for simple applications — any changes to the model will immediately be implemented to the view and vice versa. However, if you are working on a complex project, one-way data binding will save you time and resources.

To make the most of Angular, you will have to use Typescript. You also have to keep in mind that the framework works with regular DOM only, causing some limitations.

MEAN stack is one of the most popular ones out there. It includes:

  • MongoDB - a database
  • Express.js - a web framework
  • Angular - a frontend framework
  • Node.js - backend

The obvious advantage of this stack is that all of its components use JavaScript. As a result, hiring a team of developers (or a full-stack JavaScript developer) shouldn’t be an issue.

React

React in 2020

In the described stack, Angular is often replaced with React, a JavaScript library. The MERN stack is relatively young, but the rising popularity of React has promoted its rapid growth.

React beats Angular due to virtual DOM, which enables faster and easier implementation of changes. However, as React is a library and not a framework, which limits core functionality, developers are forced to work with third-party services.

Also, it is worth mentioning that React uses JSX, a modification of JavaScript that enables seamless component work. So, knowledge of JSX is preferable if you want to make the most of the MERN stack, and particularly React.

Vue.js

Vue.js in 2020

Vue.js is a younger JS framework, but it has shown incredible popularity growth over the last few years. This is partially due to the fact that it is a lightweight solution. When compared to a monolith like Angular, it offers basic functionality out-of-the-box. Using third-party services, this functionality is extended. As a result, there is no need to process redundant code, as you must do with Angular.

As you probably guessed, Vue.js is also used together with MongoDB, Express.js, and Node.js as a part of the MEVN stack.

Flutter for web

Flutter in 2020

Earlier, we’ve mentioned the multi-experience trend for 2020 and its potential. You may wonder how to build an app that looks great on any screen of any device. So here the hero comes: Flutter development toolkit allows building a great user interface for any screen.

In autumn 2019, Google announced that Flutter for web is available. We have waited for this since 2017, when a promising technology was announced for the very first time.

Flutter for web is a great solution for many cases. Flutter helps to transform an existing mobile web into a solution that will be able to run on a variety of devices.

We are looking forward to Google launching a new OS called Fuchsia. Its UI and apps are currently being written on Flutter. So if you launch your Flutter app, you get a chance to become one of the pioneers on Fuchsia OS horizon.

What about technologies for backend?

Usually, it is difficult to choose between custom backend development and backend-as-a-service. Both options have their pros and cons, and the choice depends on the needs of the project. We won’t go into detail right now since there is already an article comparing mBaaS and custom backend — check it out to read more on the topic. Here we’ll take a look at the most popular solutions for the custom backend.

Node.js

Node.js in 2020

Node.js is an important component of all of the above-described web development stacks. This is an application runtime environment, which is used to build server-side apps. Work with Node.js requires knowledge of JavaScript. For this reason, it is often used in stacks together with JS frontend frameworks.

Django

Django in 2020

Django is a Python web framework. It can be used with basically any frontend framework (including the ones described above). It is also a good solution for any type of website due to a number of third-party packages available. With Python’s rising popularity, it is worth considering Django for the backend of your web app.

Laravel

Laravel in 2020

PHP is a widely used backend programming language and Laravel is one of its most popular frameworks.

Laravel works excellently with Vue.js. However, Angular and React are also a good match for web app development with Laravel.

Conclusion

It can be hard to chase trends since they change so fast. But why not try?

By following the latest tendencies in web development, you can please your users with a world-class experience, improve your web app ranking, and open new markets for your services!

Over the next few years, voice search will strengthen its positions and force service providers to adapt to the new reality. By approaching it wisely, you can be among the first companies to reach your clients via voice search. Sounds good, right?

User data security has been under question for quite a long time now. This is an issue you can’t neglect if you want to be a market leader.

Providing your web app’s users with multi-experience, you increase your chances of becoming their #1 choice! At the same time, if you meet their demands in a better way using ML algorithms, you attract even more attention to the app.

Generally speaking, every 2020 web trend is worth your attention. Some of them will continue for the next decade, while some of them will become a norm in just a few months. So, don’t hesitate to start implementing them as soon as possible.

Also, take a look at the fresh trends in mobile development. You will definitely get some worthy ideas!

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