23 Jan Web Design and Web Dev Trends for 2021
2020 taught us many things, but one key lesson was that website design and web development are more important than ever before. Consumers around the world are spending more time online in order to connect with the world from the safety of their homes, and websites need to be able to keep up. A new year brings new opportunities for change and growth — including for website owners.
So, what are the expected web design and web dev trends for 2021 that you should pay attention to? Let’s find out!
What’s Hot in Web Design
A modern-looking website design will keep visitors interested and can lead to better conversion rates. That website you’ve had for 10 years is likely in need of a little facelift. Web design trends will be critical to pay attention to in 2021.
- Online experiences will be more immersive — Lockdowns aren’t going away anytime soon this year, which means consumers will be looking online for more immersive experiences rather than in person. Web designers and digital creatives will be moving toward making the digital feel more natural. Real-world elements will be blended with interactive and vibrant digital elements, especially when it comes to on-page animation.
- Customization will reach new levels — Consumers are looking for personalization more and more. Web designers will incorporate more customization options into their user interfaces, or UI. This can be in terms of accessibility through color contrast or text font options, or it can be simply for aesthetic purposes. Dark mode color themes and blue light filter options have also seen a huge trend spike recently as more people spend time on electronic devices, thus requiring screens to be easier on the eyes.
- Healthcare and mental health will take priority — Web designers are expected to lean into the growing cultural emphasis on healthcare and prioritizing mental health through their work. Soft and comforting design elements will become more popular than straightforward and minimalistic designs, along with brighter colors in place of neutrals.
- Optimism will be everywhere — Consumers and businesses alike have faced hard times in the past year. Similar to the previous trend of mental health, website design elements will focus on optimism going forward. Expect playful designs and images that encourage hope and growth, particularly through designs inspired by nature.
Keeping Up With Google
Websites in 2021 don’t only need to keep up with consumers — they have to keep up with Google, too. This is essential for search engine optimization, or SEO. Google’s new ranking algorithm is expected to affect websites across the internet. Not preparing for these changes can mean big losses for your website in terms of search ranking, website traffic, ROI and overall conversion rates. Google’s algorithm priority continues to be evaluating page experience for a better World Wide Web.
To help keep up with Google in 2021, here is what you need to focus on to improve your user experience and climb the page rankings:
Post relevant, quality content — Your website should offer content that is relevant to your target audience and high-quality, while also focusing on the right keywords for your audience and size of your online presence. Blogs and videos are two great ways to keep posting relevant content to your website. Be sure to include ongoing keyword analysis as part of your content strategy for best results.
Embrace responsive design — Responsive and mobile-friendly website designs are now a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Your website should automatically adapt and function properly on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. This is both for the usability of your website and for your search engine ranking.
Focus on user interaction — Beyond just interactive web design elements, your content should be interactive, too. Encourage users to interact with and spend more time on your website (good signals for Google) by including content like videos, surveys, infographics and more.
Cut down on loading speed — To deliver a good user experience, your website needs to be fast, or else your bounce rates will be high and your page ranking will be low. Try to reduce file sizes and remove features that slow your website down.
Avoid pop-ups — While they may appear helpful for gaining conversions, pop-ups are generally a distraction from users who are likely to leave your website after encountering one. Make your content more engaging to make up for ditching the pop-ups.
Don’t Forget About Security
Finally, website security is also going to be even more important in 2021. Improving the security of your website is beneficial for your business, your website visitors and for your SEO.
These are the website security practices you need to put in place this year, if you haven’t done so already:
- Use HTTPS protocols — HTTPS protocols improve the base-level security standards of your website, and they have become the new standard across the internet. Without HTTPS protocols in place, your website will be marked by web browsers as not secure. This will not only negatively affect your website traffic, but also your SEO and search engine rankings. You should also put a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate in place for your website to encrypt information between the server and website visitors for improved security.
- Update software regularly — The software tools you use to run your website — such as a CMS and website plugins — should be regularly and frequently updated. Outdated software is more susceptible to cybersecurity breaches, while updates provide fixes to glitches and the most recent security patches.
- Focus on password management — You need to use a secure password manager to protect your website log-ins from hackers. Be sure to still also update your passwords often and use special characters. Additionally, only choose a web hosting provider that offers two-factor or multi-factor authentication for extra security of your passwords and log-in credentials.
- Ensure personal device security — Personal computers and mobile devices can be security risks for your website. Make sure that your personal devices used to access the back-end of your website are protected with antivirus and anti-malware products on both devices and memory devices — such as USB drives.
- Put access control measures in place — Access control refers to who can access your website and the different user permissions they have. Minimize as much as possible who can access the back-end of your website to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and security breaches.
- Change the default security settings — It’s common for businesses to forget about default settings. However, hackers are known to design bots that can scan websites for vulnerabilities, which can often come from default settings. Settings you might want to change include user controls, information visibility, file permissions and comment section settings.
- Back up your website often — Regular and frequent website backups ensure that you are able to keep and restore all important site data in the event of your website being hacked and potentially taken down. Your backup should include web design themes, website plugins, databases and all essential files.
- Monitor your website — Always monitoring your website increases your chances of being able to identify and stop malware in its tracks. Look out for sudden website modifications, deleted files, crashes and freezes, sudden unexplained changes in website traffic, or drastic changes in search engine results. Automated monitoring processes can help keep track of all these changes and alert you when there could potentially be an issue.
- Set up firewalls — Firewalls guard your website against malicious connections that could threaten your website’s security. Network firewalls protect the server connection of your website, while web application firewalls protect a specific website. Both are useful and important for security.
- Develop a web security blueprint — Moving forward, your business needs a clearly defined web security plan that will continuously be maintained. With a plan in place, you can make sure your website is always protected and up to the latest standards of website security.
Your UK Web Design Agency
Your website is your most important asset for your online presence and the modern world of business. If you’re looking for a reliable web design company with years of experience, Virtual Stacks Systems UK is here for you. We develop custom websites for businesses of all sizes, employing both the latest design trends and the most up-to-date security measures. We also provide SEO services to help your website be more accessible to your target audience on search engines like Google! Contact us today to discuss your website design needs.