The one constant in the world of IT is that nothing stays the same for long. 2013 will see the dawn of new trends in how Internet sites are created, packaged and delivered to Web users. At the same time, changes which are already occurring will continue at a hastening pace. Here’s a look at some of the ways the online world will evolve over the next 11 months.
1. Responsive web design (RWD) will become both more crucial and increasingly complex. Until now, the emphasis has been on making content fit on ever-smaller screens, such as those on tablets and smartphones. But with the continuing integration of television and the Internet, Web design professionals will need to create sites that look and work great on larger displays as well. Will this require a major revamp of CMS platforms such as WordPress and Bootstrap? Will the current RWD provisions in CSS 3 be up to the challenge? Look for this issue to heat up as the year goes on.
2. Maintaining the quality of online graphics will be an ever-increasing challenge for Web developers and administrators. Apple raised the bar for everyone with the release of the iPad 3 and its retina display. Problem is, many illustrations which look just fine on older devices appear grainy and out of balance when viewed on higher-resolution screens. For those whose virtual lives are firmly ensconced in the world of Apple, this isn’t a huge problem. But the Internet as a whole is nowhere near as orderly as Mac-land is. Ensuring a seamless, high-quality browsing experience across multiple sites will keep plenty of Web specialists up at night over the next year.
3. Quality will remain king in the world of Google rankings. The search engine giant turned the SEO industry upside down with its release of Panda in 2011. Overnight, sites that consistently appeared in the top listings were banished to the nether regions of SERP results. The message Google was sending came through loud and clear. Sites that churn out keyword-littered junk will be penalized, while those that provide unique, useful content will see their rankings climb. This change coincided with a shift away from “in your face” tactics like banner and pop-up ads. To attract today’s Internet audience, advertisers must engage site visitors with material that informs them while proving useful in tangible ways. Look for this emphasis on premium content to continue for the foreseeable future.
4. The traditional employer/employee relationship is being replaced by an army of independent contractors, who are expanding their knowledge base to include a variety of cross-disciplinary skills. Graphic designers are learning HTML and CSS, while copywriters are getting acquainted with WordPress and other CMS platforms. This move to a work structure dominated by freelancing multitaskers will accelerate in coming months.
As stated before, the only constant in the world of IT is that things are constantly changing. This fact will create a host of new challenges for those who design, develop and administer Web pages as they adapt quickly to an ever-evolving landscape. For those with the ability to constantly retool, however, the coming years will offer endless possibilities.
About the Author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing on technology and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.