Website Development Best Practices & Trends for 2024

Knowing and implementing the best practices for website development provides numerous benefits for business owners, including enhanced user experience, improved search engine optimization, mobile responsiveness, security, faster loading speed, scalability, and competitive edge.

Investing in these practices is crucial for continued success in today’s digital world.

From choosing a reliable hosting provider to hiring experienced web development professionals and implementing robust security practices, what else do businesses need to create a compelling and future-proof website?

By adhering to website development best practices, business owners can create a strong online presence, attract more visitors, and ultimately drive business growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Investing in web development best practices is crucial for continued success in today’s digital world.
  • Successful web development and design hinge on a delicate dance between functionality and aesthetics.
  • When it comes to web development, businesses should always keep the user in mind.
  • The future of web development includes an increase in mobile-first development, voice interfaces, the integration of AI, and more low-code/no-code development.

10 Web Development Best Practices in 2024

Successful web development and design hinge on a delicate dance between functionality and aesthetics, said Shahzad Masud, chief technology officer and DevOps business unit head, Vaival Technologies LLC (IntelliCoWorks).

10 Web Development Best Practices in 2024

The following are key web development best practices and web design best practices this year:

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1. User-Centric Approach

Businesses should always keep the user in mind. Masud told Techopedia:

“An enjoyable and seamless user experience should be [the most important part] of every decision from navigation to layout.”

2. Mobile Responsiveness

With the surge in the use of mobile devices, making certain a website looks and performs perfectly on various screen sizes is non-negotiable, according to Masud.

Responsive design is the key to keeping your audience engaged across platforms.

3. Performance Optimization

Speed matters, added Masud:

“Optimizing website performance from page load times to image compression enhances the user experience and improves search engine rankings.”

4. Clear Navigation

It should be easy for website visitors to find the information they need, the expert noted.

Intuitive navigation, a well-thought-out menu structure, and clear calls to action contribute to a user-friendly experience.

5. Visual Appeal and Branding

A website that’s visually appealing creates an impression users will remember. Masud said:

“Consistent branding, aesthetically pleasing color schemes, and attention to detail in design elements contribute to a professional and trustworthy online presence.”

6. Accessibility

Ensure everyone is able to access your website regardless of disabilities.

Following web content accessibility guidelines ensures a broader audience can interact with your content, according to Masud.

7. Security Measures

When it comes to web development security best practices, it’s critical for companies to protect user data and ensure they have a secure browsing environment.

“Regular security audits, SSL certificates, and secure coding practices help safeguard both your users and your reputation,” Masud said.

8. Content Rules

To be successful, your website has to offer high-quality, relevant content.

As such, you should update and enhance your content regularly to ensure users remain engaged and informed, according to Masud.

Rick Whittington, principal, Whittington Consulting, which designs and develops websites, agreed with Masud’s assessment.

When companies redesign their website, they expect to see a return on investment. To improve ROI, it’s important to focus on creating content that is tailored to the visitor’s needs.

Whittington told Techopedia:

“In our experience creating websites for clients, we often collaborate with their sales teams to identify common questions and concerns from prospects and then develop website content that effectively addresses those issues.”

9. Avoiding Overly Trendy Designs

One of the key website design tips is to use a clean, modern design. Whittington said:

“When we create websites for our clients, we always strive to avoid overly trendy designs, as we want the website to be relevant for years.”

A design that is clean and modern and has plenty of white space not only looks good but also helps users concentrate on the content without being distracted by the design.

“We try to minimize unnecessary animations so that the website loads faster, which improves its optimization for search engines,” he says.

10. Clean and Compressed Code

In website development, clean, compressed code is the act of writing code that is easy to read, comprehend, and maintain while also minimizing its file size.

Because clean code adheres to best practices and coding standards, it’s more organized and efficient. Compressed code focuses on reducing the size of code files by eliminating unnecessary comments, spaces, and characters without affecting functionality.

Whittington concluded:

“Developers should prioritize clean, compressed code that runs quickly, aiming to optimize the load time of the website.”

Future Trends in Web Design and Development

The future trends in web development and design are expected to be influenced by a number of things, including:

Increase in Mobile-First Development

As more users access the internet via smartphones and other mobile devices, website developers will focus on mobile-first development. They’ll design and optimize websites specifically for mobile features, smaller screens, and touch interactions.

Low-Code/No-Code Development

With the developments and advancement of low-code and no-code website design technology and capabilities, companies should start their website development journeys by implementing one of these philosophies from the get-go, said Hardy Desai, founder and CEO of digital marketing agency Supple Digital.

Of course, this may not be the ideal approach for every type of business need, but it is one of the best options and trends that organizations can choose to incorporate.

Desai told Techopedia:

“Opting for a low-code or no-code website design approach will allow you to save time and resources that are best used for other important design trends and elements, such as perfecting your site’s performance, multi-device utility and responsiveness, optimizing the site’s backend structure for stability, scaling, and search success, and ensuring a smooth user experience across the board.”

Progressive Web Apps Will Become More Prevalent

Progressive web apps (PWAs) offer offline functionality and the speed of native mobile apps along with the ease of web accessibility.

PWAs will become more popular because they offer faster loading times, push notifications, as well as offline capabilities.

Increase in Voice-Based Interfaces

Additionally, there will be a surge in the adoption of voice interfaces as well as the integration of artificial intelligence tools.

Consequently, web developers will have to enhance websites for voice search capabilities.

They will also have to design conversational interfaces to take into consideration the increasing number of people using voice assistance to interact with the Internet.

Decoupled and Headless Approaches

With AI assisting content creation and search engines valuing fresh content, there is now an arms race to be fresher than sites competing for the same ranking, said David Strauss, CTO of WebOps platform Pantheon.

Site owners should consider how they can equip their content creators with tools to stay competitive.

Strauss told Techopedia:

“However, when a search engine thinks content is purely AI-generated, it is now demoted, as with other SEO tricks. Decoupled and headless approaches are increasingly popular ways to deliver great front-end accessibility and performance. Improving these can provide better visitor experiences (read: conversions) and search engine ranking.”

Increased Emphasis on Accessibility

Another important trend will be the increased focus on website accessibility. Developers will give preference to designing websites that are accessible to users with disabilities so everyone has equal access to information and services.

It’s imperative to make websites accessible to individuals with disabilities because it’s the right thing to do as well as to ensure that companies avoid legal trouble, Whittington said.

“Companies are taking into account visitors with visual impairments by considering text size, color usage, and color contrast, among other factors,” he said. “We’ve found great success in using accessibility plug-ins to allow visitors to change website interfaces, making it easier for them to read and consume content.”

Increased Adoption of Serverless Architecture

Increasingly, developers will use serverless website architecture because it lets them build and deploy websites more efficiently and more cost-effectively, allowing them to concentrate on writing code and improving the experience for their users.

The Bottom Line

The ever-evolving nature of web development means remaining adaptable and open to new trends and technologies, said Masud.

By following these best practices, you can create an optimized, secure, user-friendly website that you can maintain easily and will help your company succeed online.

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Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer and editor based in the Boston area, with expertise ranging from AI and machine learning to cybersecurity and DevOps. She has been covering IT topics since 1999 as an investigative reporter working for several newspapers in the Boston metro area. Before joining Techopedia in 2022, her articles have appeared in TechTarget, MSDynamicsworld.com, TechBeacon, IoT World Today, Computerworld, CIO magazine, and many other publications. She also writes white papers, case studies, ebooks, and blog posts for many corporate clients, interviewing key players, including CIOs, CISOs, and other C-suite execs.