Website development companies in Sri Lanka are an established area of technology outsourcing expertise for the global outsourcing market – and for good reason. As companies in the island nation cater to local and international clientele in a rapidly evolving technology landscape, many have now built long-term trust and loyalty thanks to adopting trending advancements in the world of web design and development.
Many trends continue to be evergreen, such as responsive web design and cloud-based website development. However, emerging technologies are now being adopted by versatile website development companies that aim to make their clientele stand apart from all the noise and clutter of online platforms – especially as they battle it out in a highly competitive business landscape. On the other hand, certain trends have sparked much debate as to whether they should be adopted in the first place.
For example, with the rise of applications such as ChatGPT, both online search and content are two areas that have undergone significant disruption. While opinions are divided between whether ChatGPT and other content rewriting applications should be adopted for mass use, it remains to be seen as to whether machine generated content may be penalised, especially in terms of SEO and search rankings.
In this article, we at EFutures focus on both established and emerging website development trends, so businesses can understand what’s out there, and what can be adopted to meet unique requirements. Whether you plan to build a brand new website or mobile app, or are looking to update your existing platforms, these trends shall help provide a better understanding of what you could possibly adopt for your own business needs in order to distinguish yourself from competitors – while being scalable enough to invite any other trends that may emerge in the future.
With AI and machine learning dominating technology trends in general, it’s no surprise that website development solutions have also embraced the same. AI is now being adopted in multiple ways, which range from simple workflow automation, to more complex sentimental analysis. As AI and ML algorithms detect patterns among customer behaviours, intelligent recommendations can be offered to automate tasks that are otherwise repetitive, so customers can interact with your website/mobile app without having to enter the same information more than once.
However, AI is being used more extensively for sentiment analysis, when it comes to website development. By utilising subset technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), websites and mobile apps can gauge customer preferences, patterns and even moods to determine the best product recommendations both while on and off your website. Subsequently, big data that is collected can serve a greater purpose for marketing outreach efforts, as customer personas can be refined to precisely determine what each individual prefers, and have products or services suggested to them accordingly; be it on-site, or across other communication channels such as email and social media.
Tying in closely with AI, conversation intelligence is a combination of technologies that map and analyse language to understand customer desires, motives and moods so that issues can be resolved by suggesting the right solutions or products. Also known as Conversational AI, this technology is now being applied across myriad areas that are connected to the tech space, in addition to website development. Conversation Intelligence is of particular interest to sales teams, as calls can be recorded and analysed to gain a deeper understanding of prospective customers, and thereby increase the likelihood of conversions.
On the website development front, however, web design companies are now incorporating Conversation Intelligence into new websites from the beginning, as pressure continues to rise for their clientele operating in a fiercely competitive marketplace. Chatbots and virtual assistants are an entry point, as these components are integrated with Conversation Intelligence technologies to serve customers round-the-clock, while ‘reading between the lines’ as inquiries and complaints are made. All observations can be filed into a centralised customer profile, so sales and service teams alike have context before they approach said customer.
Other than that, further analysing communications made via chatbots and virtual assistants can further pave the way for website owners to determine potential audiences of interest, while understanding how others can be better accommodated in the interest of better sales as well as retention.
As cybercrimes continue to increase, no business is immune to a possible breach. While cybercrimes span a multitude of areas and vulnerabilities, which in turn requires an assortment of cybersecurity tools for mitigation, there are some best practices which can be adopted irrespective of security status, business volume or industry. Multi-Factor Authentication is one such cybersecurity best practice that can significantly help reduce unauthorised access, and therefore possible cyber breaches.
Using multiple verification methods before access is granted to a user, MFA ensures only authorised users are granted access. In fact, MFA is now highly recommended in general, as usernames and passwords alone could be easily stolen and misused by hackers. MFA adds an extra layer or two of security by having a user adopt extra verification methods such as email or SMS, where One Time Passwords (OTPs) with limited validity are shared for entry, before access is granted to an account. This ensures that only the rightful owner of the account is granted access, so that cyber breaches are significantly mitigated, if not completely alleviated.
Websites are no exception to MFAs, especially online shopping cart platforms, social networks and financial applications such as digital banking portals. With customers sharing vast amounts of data daily, companies are now mounted with pressure to keep confidential information secure – both in the interest of preventing theft, as well as maintaining the trust that their customers have placed on them. Regulatory bodies have also made policies stricter, so that companies undertake greater responsibility to keep stakeholder data secure, while undergoing regular audits to verify whether compliance is being prioritised or not.
While intuitive UI/UX and mindful user journeys are indispensable components for determining a website’s compatibility in terms of SEO, it isn’t always enough to have your website rank on the first page of search engines. An organised sitemap is one of the stepping stones for good SEO, with taxonomies that are consistent and understandable by a search engine crawler. Link structures are another crucial area of consideration, as the accuracy of links can determine how well your website’s pages are crawled by search engines.
While an organised sitemap shall help crawlers understand what needs to be indexed, it is also important to do some internal cleanup, especially if your website has been around for a while and numerous webpages have been dismantled, leading to 404 errors. Such pages can spike bounce rates and give search engines a negative perception of your website, thereby ranking it lower than it should across search results. These are best redirected to a different yet relevant webpage, so crawlers are able to detect useful content depending on what was searched by the user.
Conversely, your website could have many pages that, while being relevant for your website, may not need following by a search engine crawler. Instilling nofollows to such pages is a good way of letting search engine crawlers know that these need not be followed or ranked across search results. This way, crawlers need not spread their efforts thin, and will therefore only focus on webpages that matter most to you and your users across search engines.
Similar to organised link structures, page speed and performance are of immense importance to websites that need to be ranked high on search engine results. Responsive web design ties in closely here, as websites that aren’t compatible across smaller screens such as smartphones and tablets may incur lower rankings across search engine results. Additionally, ensuring that text, images and other components load fast enough is crucial for maintaining a good experience for users, with tardy page loads increasing wait times (and disappointment), as a result.
As long page load times reduce the quality of experience for users, search engines also rank such webpages lower across search results. By analysing the metrics that comprise page load times with your website development team, you can determine where lags have been occurring, as well as the steps you can take to fix them in the interest of having pages that load smoothly yet quickly enough to retain user engagement.
While focus fixates primarily on features that meet customer and business demands, website development teams may end up in a time and possibly a resource crunch as well. As website features are scaled to enable businesses to stay on top of market pressures, technical debt may accrue intentionally or unintentionally, as a result. From suboptimal code to frameworks that lack all the features you need, website development teams shall have to pick up the pieces in the distant future (if not a near one). Sooner or later, technical debt needs to be cleared, else it could surmount to the point where no progress can be made for your website or mobile app, thereby making it an impediment.
If you already have a website up and running, chances are that you already have accrued some technical debt. At this point, it is a good idea to discuss the same with your website development team, so they can offer insights as to where these debts lie, and how much time will be required to address it. Making this a regular practice is highly recommended, so technical debt is alleviated – even if it is in small, incremental amounts, as little will make a difference, compared to none at all. By shifting some time over from enhancing your website every now and then, you and your website development team stand to maintain cleaner code, while saving money and time in the long run.
Being an evergreen trend for website and mobile app development, cloud computing constitutes one of the trends on this list as it is an imperative component for most website development endeavours today. By utilising cloud computing services such as AWS and Azure, website development companies need not worry about maintaining servers; all infrastructure is now hosted on the cloud, and used on an ad-hoc basis. Charges are also incurred the same way, thereby making virtual resources a more cost-effective option than buying and maintaining servers on-site.
Cloud service capabilities extend beyond virtual infrastructure, however. Leading cloud service providers offer a vast array of capabilities all under one roof, so developers need not look elsewhere for resources. From machine learning training to blockchain, myriad services are on offer, so that developers can take advantage of easy integrations. Nonetheless, third-party apps can still be integrated via APIs, so your website can run on an application stack that is best suited to the unique needs of your business.
Website development is a process that every business big or small needs to now commit itself to, else risk losing out to an entire market for possible sales, and brand positioning. As the world of technology rapidly advances day in and day out, website development trends subsequently also evolve in the interest of building digital platforms that are more engaging yet faster than their predecessors.
With AI dominating the tech landscape, website development and design has also been influenced by the same. By using subset technologies such as deep learning, intelligent task recommendations can be made to establish smart workflow automation. On the other hand, NLP is a valuable tool for analysing customer communication, so companies are able to understand customer likes and dislikes better, in the interest of smarter product development and recommendations.
Website development isn’t complete without SEO, and the right combination of strategies shall help webpages rank better across search engine results, for relevant keywords. Whether it’s organised link structures, redirecting 404s or improving page load times, these practices are evergreen yet foundational for positioning a website that is within reach across search engines.