30 years website: Development of web applications for the future

  • September 23, 2022
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This is part two of a four-part blog post series celebrating the 30th anniversary of the website phenomenon. We also look at how web infrastructure and user experiences might evolve over the next 30 years.

When Tim Berners-Lee launched the world’s first website in 1991, few people could have imagined how society would be transformed by this new, acronym-ridden world of WWW, HTTP, and URL. Shaz Tech is a well-known web app development company in Dubai offering all-inclusive web services to industries across various domains. Surely few could have imagined that 30 years later, we would be using it to pay bills, shop for almost everything, and interact with friends and strangers. 

Although we currently use websites in a way that makes them more like applications than websites in the traditional sense, we don’t consistently build them as such. Web development, therefore, requires a more dynamic way of thinking that also considers the tools required for this. 

Modern websites are basically applications.

Websites used to consist of static images and objects, but the web has become much more dynamic, interactive and functional in the last decade. Today the web is more defined by streaming video and user-generated content than by static pages and slow loading times. In fact, many websites today are applications. And that’s precisely how we should build them.

However, as we use the Internet has evolved, creating exciting and sophisticated websites has become more complex. Developers must meet the needs of different form factors and browsers, but they need more reliable standards and powerful tools.  

Growing expectations require an improved approach. 

More intelligent design requires increased speed, performance, and scalability. To build a robust and innovative web for the future, developers need an architecture and tools that offer more control, customization, flexibility, and transparency with built-in security. We can no longer rely on ineffective traditional tools but must instead use tools that provide the required automation and network stability. 

Static website development requires minimal tools and languages, whereas most companies use various tools to build and secure their applications. Because users don’t interact with the content of static websites, issues like authorization, privacy, and security aren’t as important here. While minor changes to a static website require updated HTML code, any change to an application requires complete recompilation and redeployment. 

Overall, applications are more expensive and complex to build because they take longer to develop, test, and deploy. To build future-ready websites, we need to say goodbye to the tools we used for more straightforward use cases in the past. We need to work faster and more efficiently without compromising performance and security. Leveraging evolving protocols like QUIC and HTTP/3 and investing in new technologies like WebAssembly are vital to modernizing the web and creating better digital experiences.  

Despite all this, we must not lose sight of the future. As we develop optimized applications and experiences for the here and now, we also need to consider what they might look like and how we can pave the way for future expectations beyond our imagination today. Because if the Internet is to meet our future requirements, continuous further development is essential. 

But there isn’t just one person responsible for these changes—everyone has a role to play. Executives must view development and security tools as essential investments and not settle for what just “isn’t broken.” Developers and programmers should commit to their needs to make their jobs easier, faster, and more secure. The industry needs to adopt a new mindset that encourages forward-thinking. 

While we don’t know what the future holds, we do know that technology is constantly advancing and becoming more integrated into our lives. Companies must prepare for this today.

Break the cycle

Today’s youngest generations are familiar with the Internet from birth. They don’t see a website as a closed system in which to scroll and read. Any experience that isn’t engaging, seamless, and real-time is perceived as disjointed.

Developers must push forward to meet user expectations and break out of the endless cycle of “refactoring” that forces them to start over as soon as they’re done. Because humans will always be fallible, and users and developers will always make mistakes, we must develop with this in mind and rely on tools that provide the necessary flexibility and retrievability. That means creating a safe framework where mistakes are allowed, so one wrong step doesn’t lead to disaster.

So if we’re forward-thinking and dare to fail before we succeed, nothing is standing in the way of a new web that’s as groundbreaking in the next three decades as it was in the past three decades.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll delve deeper into how the web of the future needs to be designed and what we need to do. In the third part of our series, we’ll discuss how we need to approach security to create a more resilient web.

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