As web and digital architects, our arsenal of development tools has considerably widened since the invention of the internet. Moving forward, lightning-fast web speeds, first-party data capture and enhanced security will forge new possibilities for all members of the online ecosystem. In this article, we’ll touch on a few website trends in terms of speed and Web3 to help emphasize the importance of future-proofing your digital footprint.
Near-instant loading web pages will continue to be a critical factor in online business success. As attention spans shrink and users expect more immediate results, websites that take too long to load risk losing visitors and potential customers.
Slow-loading websites lead to sales losses of up to $2.6 billion annually.
Website design industry stats for 2022 reveal that 53% of mobile users leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
With advances in edge computing, we should see instant load times as the norm in 2025. The increased use of technologies, like the use of single-page applications (SPAs) and progressive web apps (PWAs), will continue to accelerate speed and page delivery by minimizing the need for page reloads and providing offline functionality.
Internet speeds are currently around 224 Mbps for download speeds and 86 Mbps for upload speeds as of May 2022, according to the Ookla Speed Index. However, as streaming is intensely reliant on broadband width, experts could see a speed of 500 Mbps download in the next 10 years, despite advances in video compression.
Helping to accelerate both a web page's load time and a digital product's go-to-market launch, headless CMS, or headline architecture, enables greater flexibility, faster build and more scalability by decoupling front-end and back-end systems.
With a separate front-end site, you can develop faster and offer more performant user experiences within your ecosystem. Headless CMS helps save developers time by reducing the inconveniences of proprietary platforms. That means they aren’t required to learn or be limited by the restrictions of a proprietary platform, which in turn can accelerate overall speed-to-market. With an API-driven platform, developers can easily use any programming language or technology they’re comfortable with to develop their front-end and presentation layer.
In many senses, headless CMS allows you to future-proof your site by separating your data and logic layer from your presentation. In other words, you don't have to be concerned about your content working correctly on a new device. Your content is always available for distribution on any app, platform or device with an API. It integrates easily with new technologies and innovations, allowing for more secure third-party integrations. As a result, APIs are used to distribute content across different platforms, including websites, TV, social apps, smartwatches, and so on. In terms of performance, creating a website using headless CMS accelerates load times because there is less code on the website.
Because there's little talk of "future" and "websites" without inviting artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into the conversation, we expect all to be well-integrated in the next 2 years. Leveraging intelligence and machine learning algorithms to perform maintenance tasks, such as recommending content based on context, alert WCAG problems quicker, fixing broken links and user flow friction, improves the website's overall quality and saves a business precious time.
By freeing up valuable time using AI and ML, businesses can focus on more strategic initiatives, such as expanding their online presence, fostering deeper customer engagement and increasing sales. Ultimately, using AI and machine learning in website maintenance can help businesses stay competitive and achieve their goals faster in tomorrow's fast-paced digital landscape.
Also known as the decentralized web or Web 3.0, Web3 is the next generation of the web that will innovate our relationship with the digital world in a place that can only be compared to the world wide web being made public 32 years ago. Web3 encompasses a range of decentralized technologies that aim to create a more open, secure and wildly immersive internet experience.
In just a few short years, we could see a completely decentralized internet; one that is more secure and efficient than ever before. As an evolution of the current web (Web2), Web3 is based on the principles of decentralization, cryptography and peer-to-peer networking. By 2025, Web3 will enter beyond decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). More users will adopt Web3 technologies like blockchain, which employs a theoretically immutable ledger of transactions and activity helps to verify authenticity and build trust among blockchain participants. We could move into a new era where our data is decentralized across thousands of servers, rendering it practically hack resistant. Therefore, businesses can provide a level of security and transparency that passwords and two-factor authentication can’t even provide.
Image source: TechTarget, What is Web 3.0 (Web3)? Definition, guide and history
As more businesses and technologies adopt Web3, we'll no doubt soon see a shift in how websites are designed and developed, opening a world of streamlined capabilities. Opportunities will center around exploiting a new ability to tailor web products and services to individuals without relying on tech giants like Google, Amazon and Meta or their gated mass of customer data.
As user privacy concerns continue to grow, a cookie-free world, where websites rely on alternative methods to personalize user experiences, is fast approaching.
As many browsers are blocking cookies as companies rush to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, the world's largest search engine will abandon third-party cookies in 2024.
In a cookie-free digital ecosystem, websites will have to rely more on first-person data to personalize user experiences and target ads effectively. First-person data is consent-based information provided directly by users, such as their name, email address and preferences. Websites must gather this information through various means, such as user registrations, surveys and other forms of consent-based data collection.
Overall, the shift towards first-person data presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses as they strive to restructure platforms to balance personalization with privacy in the cookie-free digital ecosystem. But the plus side of first-person data is that it is more reliable, providing a more accurate base on from which to base marketing strategies.
While many businesses’ digital transformation accelerated during 2020's COVID-19 pandemic, optimizing the user experience is a continuous process.
We live in a world where consumers connect the most with the brands that can provide instant and seamless content-powered experiences — no matter the time of day or the device. Content is essential to just about every part of your customer's experience, from the marketing funnel to customer support messaging. But publishing new content at the speed customers demand can be near impossible when your team is dragged down by yesterday’s content management solutions.
As a digitally-led Customer Experience agency, it's our business to keep your business up to speed. We develop custom systems using emerging technology to create a more personalized and engaging experience for your customers, so you're in a position of success in 2025. Contact us to learn how we can future-proof your business.