Top 7 Trending Web Development Technologies to Learn in 2018

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Are you considering a serious career move into web development, or you are already an experienced developer looking to up your skillset?

Being a web developer in 2018 requires more than just the passion to build websites and applications and put it in the hands of people…

…it requires you to be quick to adapt and to learn new web development technologies as they come.

Business dynamics are constantly evolving and so are customer requirements and user needs.

This has seen the incubation of new web development technologies every other day while others disappear into the blues out of lack of use or need.

In this post today I will highlight some of the trending website development technologies to keep track of – or better said learn – in 2018.

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But before I dive right into my little checklist, you might be asking yourself…

Why should you really care about learning new web development technologies in 2018?

Who really cares?

The good ol’ internet still runs on HTML, right?

So what could it possibly become?

Here are four reasons why as a professional website developer in 2018 you should seek to learn the trending web development technologies.

i) To keep up with the job market

As I already mentioned previously, the business environment today is constantly changing and so are client and user needs.

This means that companies and software developers have to up their game and be able to deliver cutting edge solutions to their clients.

Companies will therefore hire web developers who are conversant and competent in the latest technologies that will pitch them ahead of their competition and drive greater client satisfaction.

So if you learn the latest web development technologies your skills will be in high demand… that is to say it’ll be easier for you to land a web developer job.

ii) To get a raise

Yes, who never wants a salary bump?

Apart from simply landing a new job, learning the latest web development technologies will make you more resourceful at your current job.

If your company was say, in need of upgrading one of your client’s web applications to a new technology, they would not need to hire or bring in a new developer.

Your ability to take on the new responsibilities and get the job done will potentially get you a salary raise just for your additional skills.

iii) To be able to develop more efficient applications

Why would we need to invent new web technologies?

Computers are becoming more powerful, processors faster, bigger and bigger memories…

…so we should just sit back and relax and watch our applications load in half the time, right?

Well, not quite.

Current customer needs in terms of user experience and data processing require more efficient technologies, not just the hardware, to make it happen.

Latest web development technologies will always be more efficient, easier to learn and more robust.

With the skills in these technologies you will be a top notch web developer being able to build high speed & efficient applications than your elder brother.

iv)  Just to be cool, right?

Hey, who doesn’t want to hang out with the cool boys?

What wants to be left out when everyone in the room is talking Motion UI and Artificial Intelligence?

Taking a couple Udemy courses on web development, will enable you learn the latest web development technologies which will equip you with something to talk about when you meet with peers at tech meetups and support groups.

This will boost your self-esteem as a professional web developer by giving you a sense of belonging… instead of feeling left out – in a dark lonely tunnel.

Good.

Now that you are in and can’t wait to get started getting your hands dirty learning the latest technologies…

…here is my list of the top 7 trending web development technologies to learn in 2018.

My list is in no particular order and doesn’t cover every technology your boss told you about at the interview… just the ones I find interesting.

But wait, what are web development technologies really?

Are they just some cool programming language or just some jargon to scare you off?

Web development technologies are the technologies that are used to build websites to enable data exchange and communication between the web browser(client) and the server…

…and in this article I will mention the technologies that come in handy both for front end development(client side) and back end development(server side).

1. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is one of the latest and top trending technologies in web development in 2018.

With skills in AI you’ll be able to create a better user experience that will lead to quicker business conversions by decoding buyer intent.

So how exactly can you put your AI skills into use?

a) To maximize sales per buyer

Let’s take an example of the e-commerce giant Amazon.

With the help of artificial intelligence Amazon is able to track your search results and then provide you with a combination of products that are related or better alternatives to what you were looking for.

So Amazon is able to provide you with suggestions for similar products through AI which leads to an increase in sales… which enhances their revenue.

b) To enhance customer support

A great way through which artificial intelligence is used in 2018 is via automated chat bots.

With chat bots you are able to offer online customer support to your users in a manner that emulates a real human interaction.

Chat bots, powered by AI, will become an essential tool for most websites ranging from sites that sell books, software products or even gym memberships.

Here are three reasons why you will want to incorporate the use of chat bots technology on your client’s website for customer service.

  1. Customer service chat bots are able to give the feeling of a real human interaction
  2. Chat bots will easily answer frequently asked questions and direct customers to required pages.
  3. Chat bots, through AI, are able work day and night, unlike a human who must take some time off.

According to a study done by Gardner, 85% of customer interactions will soon be managed without humans before the year 2020.

TechEmergence says that within the next five or so years chatbots will be expected to be the primary customer support application of artificial intelligence… even the more reason to master this skill as a web developer today.

2. Motion UI

Motion UI is a SASS library developed by Zurb which lets you create CSS transitions and animations quickly.

The package includes a CSS file that has a bunch of ready-made transitions and animations along with their source SASS file which lets you build your own.

Users today are moving away from crazy GIF’s and flashy animations and are now leaning towards simple websites that have modern design elements.

Due to the shift in web design trends, classy transitions and motions are gaining more popularity in 2018.

With skills in CSS animations, you can enable and add more style to your website thus letting you create a distinct site.

A few ways you could consider using Motion UI is

  • On page header transitions,
  • Infographics animations,
  • Background animations.

Therefore implementing Motion UI animations on your website will give your users a more fun user experience.

3. Materialize CSS

Materialize is a CSS framework designed by Google in 2014 based on material design for web development.

It is an open source library of code with a combination of JavaScript, CSS SASS which provides a consistent system for uniting styles, branding and interaction.

Being a framework it has a specific set of design guidelines and a library of resources and tools.

Material design is created to simplify a developer’s life. It helps in speeding up the development process and its main focus is on user experience and Google has ensured that it’s easy to work with.

The framework has customizable modular UI components with which you can create beautiful apps and I think it’s a great web technology to learn as a web developer in 2018.

4. SSL and HTTPS

According to a recent research more than 43% of users abandon a website if they see a security alert message.

In the internet today it has become crucial to secure your website by installing and using Secure Socket Layer (S.S.L) and Hypertext Transfer-Protocol Secure (HTTPS).

These are cryptographic protocols which are secured through Transfer Layer Secure (T.L.S) using three layers of protection.

The data transferred via this protocol is encrypted. This data does not get modified or corrupted without detection when being transferred.

The data exchange or communication as well is authenticated in order to prove that users are communicating with the intended website and no hacker is intercepting or hijacking the transmission.

These protocols offer security and authenticity which ensures integrity of the data you exchange between your server and the client browser.

It is also important to note that HTTPS will give you an advantage over HTTP when it comes to Google rankings and SEO in general.

In the near future, there will be a domination of HTTPS among most websites due to Google’s preference for HTTPS over HTTP.

On 8th February, The Verge reported that Google’s web browser Chrome has hinted that it will mark all HTTP sites as not secure beginning July 2018…

…therefore having knowledge of HTTPS as well as how to install SSL certificates on your client’s website would be a great skill to learn in 2018.

5. WordPress 4.9

WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world today, powering a huge number of blogs as well as personal and e-commerce sites.

Every month more than 87 million new blog posts are created just on the WordPress platform alone.

Its latest version which was released on 14 November 2017 has brought about a more user centric experience which is making it an even more popular web development technology to learn in 2018.

Here are some of the reasons I think WordPress will be huge in 2018:

  • WordPress plans to integrate a variety of plug-ins to facilitate VR and AR technologies into web design. Themes will now start gaining a minimalistic appearance, so that one can only see useful information which will create an ease of use experience for readability of content.
  • In 2018, WordPress will look at integrating micro interactions to enhance user experience. Micro interactive elements could include anything from icons that get animated on hover, to animated check marks on form submissions.
  • This developer friendly platform will now also offer a huge variety of drag-and-drop themes, which will make it very easy for developers to design websites without writing a single line of code.

6. PHP

PHP is one of the oldest and most popular scripting languages on the internet today.

PHP which stands for Hypertext Preprocessor hosts a wide variety of frameworks, each of them introducing a unique syntax which leads to a more sleek development experience.

In the recent past, Laravel has emerged as a popular framework which incorporates ideas from other non-PHP based frameworks like Django and Ruby on Rails.

Created in 2011, the latest version of Laravel 5.5 released in 2017 July comes bundled with features like

  • App development,
  • Related database accessibility,
  • Dominant manager along with modular packaging system.

It also consists of object-oriented libraries that make app development secure, easier and faster.

This framework also stands out because it fully embraces the use of Model View Controller (M.V.C) software development architecture, which helps in creating a streamlined development process by separating the business logic from the presentation.

It is supported by a huge open source developer community which gives it a vibrant life and a promising future.

Because of the strong and vibrant community behind the Laravel framework, it is updated regularly with bug fixes and new security features so that it caters to the ever-changing needs of your clients and users.

7. Push notifications

Push notifications as a web development technology was introduced by Apple in the year 2009 and then in 2010, was released by Google.

It first started out as a mobile app notifications service which seemed to be a very efficient way to generate user engagement.

Since 2016, this concept has been implemented on websites and is becoming the latest trend when it comes to notifying your site users about software updates and new site content.

The push notification workflow is very simple; when the user visits the site, he gets a pop-up to enable push notifications and any site changes such as a private message or blog post will give a pop-up notification to the user, even after he has closed the tab.

This technology is beneficial in various ways primarily because you can keep a user engaged with very little effort.

The technology works as an economical alternative to mobile apps. New information is redirected instantly.

Push notifications make the first step in user engagement and as a professional web developer in 2018 you should learn this technology and seek to incorporate it into your client’s website to generate better user engagement onsite.

Conclusion

In this article I listed some of the most popular and trending web development technologies that you should learn as a professional web developer in 2018.

Learning these technologies and understanding how to use them will always put you ahead of your competition when it comes to marketing your services as a web developer in this fast changing & dynamic career.

The best way to learn these trending web development technologies is to pick one and get started learning today.

What’s holding you back from getting started learning a new web development skill today?

What do you think is the future of web development technologies in 2018?

Is there a very major technology for developing websites that is a buzz that I missed out?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Featured Download: Are you struggling to launch a successful software career in 2018? Click here to download my 52 page eBook on How to Become a $50/Hour Software Developer in 7 Simple Steps and jump-start your software development career today.

About the Author Geoffrey Barnes

Geoffrey is an experienced software developer and open source evangelist. When not coding he writes and talks about current technology trends, small business tips and developer productivity hacks. He is no coffee addict.

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