Web technologies are constantly evolving and at some pace. Again here are the Web team’s predictions for 2017.
Speed is going to be a big focus in 2017. With Google pushing AMP there will be a number of decision makers wishing to push this technology, and designers and developers lamenting over the limitations it puts on functionality, usability and creativity. This could result in a number of websites re-focussing on speed within the traditional HTML framework in an attempt to reach the loading speeds of AMP without the constraints.
While a number of designers will still strive to break out of the mould of generic large image banner style websites this style will continue to dominate the web. I don’t foresee a great revolution in web design coming this year. As the industry has matured we’ve seen a slow down in the churn of different design styles that come and go so I don’t think we’ll see a revolution here with a spin on flat design remaining the prominant style in 2017. Technological advancements in HTML and CSS have also changed so that more recently they provide better ways to implement designs rather than opening up previously impossible techniques that revolutionise the design of websites. CSS grid layout may offer something new but while browser support is still limited and I don’t see this being fully supported by enough browsers in 2017 for it to hit the mainstream.
Google are easing the burden on servers everywhere by introducting RASIR (Rapid and Accurate Super Image Resolution) – a new image compression technology which squeezes a higher resolution into a smaller file size. This will also speed up image-heavy websites. We will see this being used over the whole web this year.
We recently saw the release of PHP versions 7 and 7.1 and we should see these being more widely adopted through 2017, with the speed and security advantages being of major significance.
A slightly vague prediction is that a new framework will become popular; we see it often where a new player comes into the marketplace and makes an immediate impact. Despite being a “big deal” at the time, whether it remains popular is another matter.
As far as web technologies go, 2017 could be the year the ARM chip manufacturers challenge Intel’s monopoly of the server chip market, with some forecasters expecting ARM chips to have 20% of the market by 2020.
ARM chips are used in smartphones and tablets but have yet to establish themselves in the server market. The benefit of ARM servers are their running costs as they produce far less heat and are more efficient in terms of powering and cooling, meaning big savings on electricity for Data Centers.