7 Web App Development Trends to Watch in 2021

We are starting a new year after enduring one of the most volatile in world history. 2020 saw a global pandemic sweep the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a series of events that have fundamentally changed the way we live and work in 2021. It forced people to work from home and to shop online. This new reality has exponentially increased the importance of web applications for business.

As we begin 2021, there is no question that web applications are a key to success in the new year. What we don't know yet is what web app development will look like by the end of the year. Web app development is constantly changing and evolving. New trends emerge and old ones fall by the wayside.   

Which app development trends will come to define 2021? While no one can be certain, there are trends that emerge when we both look at the past year and look ahead to the needs and opportunities that should come this year. Here are seven web app development trends to watch in 2021. 

1. Customization is Key

Companies are using web apps more than ever for an incredible variety of functions within their businesses. They are using them both internally and externally to help support their goals and make their processes more efficient. The scope of uses for web apps these days is quickly making one-size-fits-all solutions obsolete.

Businesses don't want web app solutions that offer them some or even most of the functionality they need in 2021. They want it all. That is why custom web applications are becoming more popular. Clients want a specific app for their specific needs and are accepting generic solutions less and less.

2. Security Is More Important Than Ever

As Liventus discusses here, high-profile data theft has rocked many major companies in the last decade. In 2020, as people were forced to live the majority of their lives online thanks to stay-at-home orders in countries around the world, cyberattacks increased exponentially. This makes security more important than ever across the IT landscape but is especially vital in web app development.

Web apps are becoming one of the most important ways that companies communicate and share information. More than ever, they are also how customers pay for goods and services. This makes them prime targets for cybercriminals and the reason that security will be a top priority for web app developers in 2021.

3. Apps will be compatible with IoT technology

The internet of things (IoT) is the world of interconnected, web-enabled objects that use the internet to “communicate” with other devices. As IoT technology becomes a bigger part of everyday life in 2021 and beyond, there is a bigger demand for web apps that interact with this technology.

Many companies are integrating IoT technology into their products and are offering web apps as the primary method of interacting with these products, Other businesses are using IoT technology on-premise and use web apps to allow consumers to interact with these products while on-site. 

4. Voice search will become more widespread

Closely related to IoT technology is voice search. The rise of IoT-enabled virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Hey, Google is making voice search a much more common way for consumers to search out companies. This will change the way web apps interact with search engines.

For web app developers, voice search will increase the importance of Schema Markup and Structured Data. These development pieces help search engines understand what your business is and what it does for consumers. With the rise of voice search, they will become two of the more important aspects of web app development.

5. AI will enhance the user experience and development

2021 will see continued integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into many products. Web apps are no exception. AI and ML are allowing web apps to give users the experience of dealing with a real human being while giving companies the benefit of interacting with customers digitally.

As AI and ML continue to improve and become less expensive to integrate into web apps, the best apps will increase their use of these technologies to provide a fully modern user experience. On the development side, AI and ML can be used to automate certain labor-intensive processes.  

6. Cloud computing will continue to gain importance 

Cloud computing has long been an important part of web app development. It allows people to access technology remotely and use complex computing programs without needing the large-scale server capacity to house these programs onsite. Cloud computing experienced an even bigger boom in 2020 due to the pandemic.

In 2021, there is no end in sight to the importance of cloud computing in web apps. As many companies look to the future where working from home is much more common, they are planning or currently building in-house cloud-computing networks to accommodate this. Developing web apps that work with these systems will be a big push this year.

7. Developers will put API first 

Web apps are just one area where technology is being integrated into business processes. Many types of other systems and tools are being used by businesses in 2021 to help them be more efficient and profitable. To make sure that web apps can connect with all this technology, developers will increasingly put application programming interfaces (API) first.

Focusing on API will allow teams of developers to work together developing different technologies that can be interconnected. This can save money and speed up the development of several technologies at once. And products will be more user-friendly as more and more of them employ an API-first design.


The events of 2020 had a massive impact on us all. 2021 will bring us the consequences of many of last year's events–and, perhaps, some sense of perspective as well. In the world of web development, the changes forced on us all helped to make web apps more important and supercharged the need to implement the latest technology. This is why customization, security, IoT, voice search, AI, cloud computing, and API will all be trends to watch in 2021.

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