In our day and age of ever-changing and evolving technology, it is important to stay on top of trends, successful internet tools, and new web technologies and development strategies.  Every year brand new technologies are introduced to the market, as well as new trends and site expectations.  Going into 2018, here are 5 essential web technologies and trends you are going to want to have integrated into your website.

1. Progressive Web Applications

Progressive Web Applications are web applications or plugins that make a website appear and function as a mobile app.  They combine the user-friendly experience an app delivers while still being able to take advantage of its web’s browser features.  While mobile applications generally have to forward you to an internet app to utilize internet features, Progressive Web Apps create an integrated system for the user.  Advantages of this technology include easier building and maintaining of the featured site, faster loading times, push notifications, the ability to navigate the website offline, and most importantly a website design the User is very familiar with.

2. Chatbots

Online customer support has never been so important as it is today.  Being able to effectively communicate with your users and customers is extremely important.  Chatbots are plugins that allow your site to have 24/7 customer support.  Today’s chatbot plugins are able to answer users’ questions, help them place an order, and even direct them to different pages on a site.  Recently chatbots have even been able to communicate with users via text.

3. Photos, Photos, Photos

Having photos and different media content on websites has always been important on websites.  However having quality, engaging, and unique photos have become incredibly important for having a successful website.  The saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer for website development and structure.  The photos you put on your site tell a story, and you want that story to engage and make the user desire to dig deeper into your site’s narrative.  Having professional and also meaningful product images, hero images, and blog post images will be the key to inspiring users and customers in 2018.

4. Goodbye Flash, Hello HTML5

While Flash has been an incredible tool for creating lively websites in recent years, it is now becoming out-dated and is being phased out.  The biggest reason for ditching Flash is that its software is has become incompatible with most mobile devices.  Adobe has also announced that Flash will be discontinued after the year 2020.  You should begin replacing Flash with HTML5, as it is becoming the new standard of the Internet, just as Flash used to be.  HTML5 optimizes a website’s mobile integration and manages its web traffic.  HTML5 is the new and better Flash, and you are definitely going to want to switch over soon.

5. Single Page Websites

Is your website all on a single page?  Probably not, but you should consider it.  Single page websites have become an internet trend as of recent, and have become a user favorite for its simplicity and mobile-friendly layout.  Single page websites are quickly becoming the standard model for how a modern website should look.  Single page websites consist of one long webpage that the user can scroll down as well as jump to different parts of via navigational buttons.  This style of website formatting became popular due to its looking and feeling like an app for a mobile device.  Definitly consider wether you can convert your site to a single page format.