The Next Big Thing On Web Development

Post By

Tasfia Quader

Category

Web Development

Date

06 Jun 2021

Innovation to me is having to live a science-fiction movie for real. We have seen Back to The Future and we all know how most of the technologies featured are now the reality. It is sometimes very exciting or equally thrilling to know that some of the sci-fi movies or tv series that we watch now can soon turn into reality. 

People around the world are working day and night to catapult towards the livelier future with advanced technologies being created as I write this blog. It can be the development of a new programming language, a framework, tool or software. Alternatively, it can just be a new system that people might use. These all lead to innovation. 

Innovation allows us to do things quicker and with more flair and we can observe only a few fields that have featured this innovation as much as web development. 

Web Development in Bangladesh and all over the world has progressed beyond simple text-based web pages to incorporate a wide range of appealing audio and visual features. 

In Bangladesh, websites are today more than simply a source of information for the companies; they represent a company's personality, with animations and typography, and eye-catching designs. 

As the internet becomes more accessible and users spend more time on it for nearly everything, website development in Bangladesh is shifting to a more user-friendly design. It must be more interesting, responsive and above all, it must be able to build a connection with humans more easily. This transition is becoming more noticeable as both large and small businesses in Bangladesh are rebuilding their websites to make them more user-friendly.

Web Development in Bangladesh has grown in a considerable amount over the last ten years. Bangladesh has already surpassed India as the second-largest supply of online labour, according to the Oxford Internet Institute (OII). 

About 500,000 active freelancers out of 650,000 registered freelancers in the country work regularly, earning a combined total of $100 million per year. 

(Source: Dhaka Tribune

This has attracted many international companies to invest in local companies or talents to perform freelance web development tasks for them.

For many busy companies and web developers in Bangladesh, it can be difficult to spare time to keep up with the latest evolutions in the web development platform. Thus, I am writing this blog to outline the major trends as seen globally and are relevant for 2021 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence incorporated in technology allows the machine to "act" as a human. It involves teaching the machines/bots to do tasks that typically a human can do. Examples include Virtual Assistants, chatbots, AI-enabled machines such as drones or robots etc. 

cumulative number of AI acquisitions made by leading tech companies

Source: CBInsights

Industry giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook Messenger, and Skype influence the power of Artificial Intelligence in many ways. Also, B2C (Business to customer) companies have already started using chatbots in their websites to answer customer enquiries replacing support managers and saving the company a lot of money

Thirty-eight per cent of consumers believe artificial intelligence will improve customer service.

(Source: Pega)

 

Chatbots

 

The most significant benefits of AI-based bots are their ability to solve problems around the clock, their human-like experience and thus their deep consumer behaviour analytics.

A few years ago, chatbots could only give rigorously preprogrammed interactions that solved a limited set of problems, nowadays, speaking with a bot is practically indistinguishable from interacting with a human customer service representative.

 

Optimized Voice Search

 

People are keen to gather information faster and more efficiently as internet browsing becomes more user-friendly. Voice search, which is already popular among young users, is only going to be better in the future. Voice-activated search is a common occurrence in the e-commerce business. Virtual shopping assistants are increasingly filtering search results based on the user's query, making online buying more convenient. Optimized voice search will soon be needed in virtual shopping setups because it helps customers personally.

AI is becoming a crucial component of web app development strategies by allowing continuous speech dialogue between websites and their clients. AI assists site development by integrating solutions with optimized search alternatives, whether Cortana, Siri, Alexa, or Deep Learning-based voice search solutions. The ability to integrate voice-search into website development solutions will become one of the most sought-after capabilities from a website developer in no time.

 

Automation

 

The artificial intelligence methods save time spent by web developers by doing various design errands. AI has automated everything from site design to web development, product suggestions, search engine results, image creation, and content development. This frees up the developers to concentrate on other aspects of the site's personalization. 

Furthermore, global industry giants such as Facebook and Google have released AI toolkits that make incorporating AI into online apps simple. By making AI integration into web deployment simpler, these toolkits give a tremendous advantage to web developers in their career.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and its benefits

Source: MDN Web Docs

The average conversion rate for progressive web apps was 36 percent greater than that of native mobile apps, according to a survey done by the TOP 30 PWAs report.

(Source: TOP 30 PWAs report)

A progressive web application (PWA) combines the best of online and mobile apps by utilizing cutting-edge technologies. It is like a website created with web technologies that also functions and feels like an app. 

PWAs are web apps that use a combination of web and native app technologies and patterns to take advantage of both web and native app features. Web applications, for example, are more discoverable than native apps; visiting a website is easier and faster than installing an app, and web apps can easily be shared by forwarding a link.

Native apps, on the other hand, are more tightly connected with the operating system and so provide a smoother experience for users. Users prefer selecting their icons to quickly access their favourite apps rather than navigating to them through a browser since native apps work offline. 

Gmail is a good example of a progressive web app. Log into your Gmail account using the browser on your smartphone, and you'll see an app-like interface that lets you choose emails individually, label them, move them between folders, and so on. In addition, you'll be able to view fresh emails that arrive in your inbox in real-time.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) use modern APIs to provide greater functionality, dependability, and installability while reaching anybody, anytime, on any device with a single codebase.

Functionality

There are certain characteristics of a PWA that define its functionality. They are:

 

Progressiveness: 

 

A progressive web app, by definition, must function on any device and improve over time, utilizing any features available on the user's device and browser.

The app is usable on a basic level on older versions of browsers but can be functioned fully on the latest versions.

While some functions remain outside the reach of the web, current and upcoming APIs are aiming to change that by adding features like file system access, media controls, app badging, and complete clipboard support to the mix. All of these features are made possible by the web's safe, user-centric authorization model, which ensures that visiting a website is never a frightening experience for visitors.

 

Discoverability 

 

PWAs are viewed as web pages by search engines, and they are completely indexed. Native apps, on the other hand, are not indexed and do not affect your search engine results page (SERP). 

Furthermore, because PWAs are simply websites, users may share the link, which, when combined with an efficient backlinking strategy, can improve the SEO rankings of a company in a manner that native applications cannot.

 

Linkability

 

Other than its advantages on SEO rankings, other characteristics of a PWA is linkability which allows a well-designed website to employ the URI that indicates the present state of the application. 

When the user bookmarks or shares the app's URL, the web app will be able to retain or reload its state.

 

Re-engageable

 

Users of mobile apps are more inclined to repeat the use of their apps, and progressive web apps are designed to achieve the same purposes through features such as push notifications. This allows the PWA to send notifications whenever there is new content available.

Moving to a PWA can significantly enhance conversion rates for eCommerce shops. With its new PWA, AliExpress, for example, raised its conversion rate for new customers by 104%.

Along with improved engagement, PWAs can provide a more streamlined user experience and checkout process, which efficiently pushes users down the sales funnel.

There is no doubt that PWAs improve customer engagement. Because PWAs have caching and offline capabilities, consumers may explore the eCommerce store at any time and will not abandon the web app due to excessive loading times. 

Push notifications and location tracking enable advertisers to deliver relevant content to mobile users anytime and wherever they want. 

Retail e-commerce in Bangladesh is increasing at a rate of 72% each month and by the end of 2021, the e-commerce market is anticipated to be worth Tk 70 billion. 

(Source: The Financial Express Bangladesh)

Esteemed web development company in Bangladesh, Dcastalia is taking the advantage of PWA to stay ahead in the industry and is continuously developing the mobile version of websites for its prominent clients.

Dependability

There are certain characteristics of a PWA that define its dependability. They are:

 

Network-independence 

 

One of the most popular characteristics of a PWA is its ability to work in areas of low connectivity or even offline.

Caching decreases the app's data transmission requirements. Fewer API queries mean less server capacity and bandwidth required to support the application. While using the web app, clients will use less of their mobile data plan. 

Furthermore, because PWAs often take up less storage space than native apps, consumers are more likely to download them.

 

Faster

 

PWAs load quickly on mobile devices, even when connectivity is weak, thanks to pre-caching. Because many consumers would quit a website that takes more than a few seconds to load, speed is critical for any organization. Faster loading also correlates to improved indexing by search engines, therefore PWAs have significant SEO benefits.

 

Responsiveness

 

PWAs can be used on any device with a screen and a browser—phones, tablets, laptops, TVs and even smart refrigerators and so on.

PWAs are both responsive and forward-thinking. PWAs are created with the web development concept of progressive upgrades in mind. This means that they prioritize basic information and features first, and then if the user's browser and internet connection fulfil the requirements, more complex capabilities become available. These two tenets ensure that all users have a better digital experience.

 

Installable

 

A progressive web app can be installed on the device's home screen to make it easily accessible.

PWAs are installed and run in a separate window rather than a browser tab. They can be launched from the user's home screen, dock or taskbar among other places. It is possible to look for them on a device and move between them using the app switcher, making them feel like they are a part of the device.

After a PWA is installed, new features become available. Keyboard shortcuts that were previously reserved for use in the browser are now available. In this way, the apps can be set up to accept material from other apps or to be the default app for handling various file formats.

When a Progressive Web App transitions from a tab to a standalone app window, it changes how users see it and interact with it.

Last but not the least, a PWA creates a safe environment for the user and it is much safer than mobile apps. This is because any third parties attempting to get access to sensitive data are prevented from connecting to the user, the app, and the server via browser-specific security protocols.

Single Page Application (SPA)

Single Page Application (SPA) and its characteristics

Source: Pexel

Web servers operate by utilizing the classic client-server paradigm in which a web browser (the client) sends a request to a web host for a certain page (the server). The web browser receives HTML from the server. This HTML contains structured text as well as links to other files like images, CSS, JavaScript, and so on. The web browser can produce a relevant web page for the user by combining HTML and these other files. More details on how a web server works can be found on my other blog: Re-learning the fundamentals of web development in 2021

After understanding the classic-client server paradigm, when we look at how a Single Page Application (SPA) works, we will therefore appreciate why it is so popular nowadays.  

In an SPA, the web browser sends the initial request and receives some HTML in return. However, the server's response is an empty HTML document with no substantial content. This HTML is general on its own, and it doesn't indicate anything special about the website.

Instead, it includes a few placeholder items as well as links to JavaScript files. The SPA’s main ingredients are these JavaScript files. They send queries to the server to fetch content once they have been loaded, and then dynamically change the HTML in the web browser to create a meaningful web page.

Only important information updates as you move around the app. When you scroll down on Facebook, for example, only the stories feed changes. All other components, such as notifications and messages, stay in their original location.

Characteristics of a Single Page Application

Speed

 

The speed of single-page applications is their primary benefit. The majority of the resources that an SPA requires (HTML + CSS + Scripts) are loaded when the app is first launched and do not need to be reloaded throughout use.

The data that is transmitted to and from the server is the only thing that changes. As a result, the program responds quickly to user requests and does not require constant client-server communication.

When there is a group of developers working together, single-page applications are ideal. It allows backend developers to concentrate on the API, while frontend developers may focus on providing the greatest user experience possible using the backend API and developing a beautiful user interface.

 

Caching

 

The caching process of an SPA is efficient as the application merely sends one request, saves all transmitted data, and can use it later. This is especially crucial when the user's connection is bad; because the program is synced with the server, the user can still use it when the internet connection is poor. 

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have already been mentioned above which allow similar capabilities and thus SPAs can easily be converted to PWAs. As a result, developers can provide local caching and give clients and users an offline experience.

 

Debugging capability

 

Most SPAs are built using popular frameworks (React, Vue.js, AngularJS) that provide their debugging tools based on Google Chrome, such as Vue.js dev tools. 

This allows users to keep an eye on network activities, analyze individual page elements, and look through the data associated with each one.

There is more about several types of frameworks and browser capabilities in my other blog: Modern Tools for Web Development

Each of the frameworks, whichever is used, have their documentations in their websites which can be easily accessed for debugging an SPA code base. 

Dcastalia, a top website development company in Bangladesh is incorporating the development of SPA for their web development projects such as that of Shanta Securities, a single page application website for one of the ventures of a prominent  Conglomerate in Bangladesh. 

Other than that, there are technical consultants on the team who can assist in defining and comprehending the client project's technical requirements and discuss with the client the best solution for them to provide a tailored experience. 

Dcastalia specializes in constructing scalable, effective, and high-quality websites to help organizations in Bangladesh establish a strong online presence. With over a decade of expertise, they have been established as a major web development company in the country.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the most widely used AI technologies?

Natural language development, speech recognition, virtual assistants, machine learning systems, AI integrated devices, decision management, deep learning systems, biometrics data management, robotics automation, text analysis, cyber-security, content creation, language processing and image processing, are all examples of AI applications.

Is Google's search engine an artificial intelligence (AI) application?

Google has been using RankBrain, an algorithm learning AI system, since 2015. It aids in the processing of search results and provides more relevant results to users.

Are Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) supported by all browsers?

Yes. The technologies required to develop the PWA, as well as the app itself, are supported by all modern mobile and desktop internet browsers (including Microsoft Edge). However, PWAs full functionality and additional support can be utilized in Google Chrome.

What are the similarities and differences between PWAs and native mobile apps?

A PWA, like a native mobile app, might have features that request access to a user's phone's camera, geolocation, and other smart devices.

Is Multiple Page Application (MPA) better than SPA? 

Both MPA and SPA have their pros and cons. It all matters on what the client’s project requires.

SPA outperforms MPA in terms of speed and code reusability, which may be used to construct the mobile app, but it falls short in SEO optimization. 

Using an MPA will help rank higher on Google and is more scalable than SPAs, but it is a lot slower.

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