Today, there are over 1.13 billion websites on the internet–and the way we use it has drastically changed over the years. The world-wide-web has come a long way from static websites to mobile-friendly apps, and it’s still evolving. All the changes may make people wonder is web development dying. It isn’t a simple question to answer. Many factors come into play and the outlook isn’t cut and dried.
First, you have to look at whether there is still a need for developers. Many people are saving on costs and turning to DIY platforms to build their own websites. Advances in computers and the ways they work and process information also impacts how many developers companies need to get the job done. So, let’s find out if web development is dying or not.
How Can You Know If Web Development Is Dying?
Web development is nothing new. It’s been around for years and is always changing. Changes such as advances in artificial intelligence (AI) may concern developers that their jobs will be replaced. The AI market is currently $142.3 billion globally, but continues to grow. The ways online creators generate new material continue shifting and changing and newer workers may worry their jobs will eventually become obsolete.
Whether or not web development is dying depends on how you define web development. If you specify the term as coding, then absolutely not. Web developers will be here for quite a while, working behind the scenes and even developing new AI technologies. Web development is still an excellent career to chase, even though technology is rapidly changing.
People will always need someone who can adapt their website or app to the latest coding and design trends. Developers may also find they work more on the creative side of things, perfecting the look of a website or digging more into the customer experience (CX) to ensure brands garner loyalty from their current buyers.
When you define web development as companies hiring outside help to build a site or business app, then you might surmise the field is slowly dying. It appears cheaper for businesses to use a DIY web design platform like Wix or Squarespace. Sites like these make the process of getting started simple and eliminate the need for developers.
Once users realize the ongoing costs of having a site on Wix, Squarespace or Shopify, however, the idea of hosting an e-commerce store or other business site on their own servers becomes much more attractive. Rather than paying hefty monthly fees, they’ll pay a small hosting fee. It’s still debatable if the field is dying, as many businesses that leave to build a site on a third-party platform eventually return to their freelance web designer to get things back on track.
Is Web Development Dying Because of the DIY Web Builder Platforms?
The need for developers is still relevant. In fact, the sector is projected to grow from 178,000 developers in 2020 to 205,000 by 2030. Although some companies decide to build their own website on web builder platforms, the themes of those platforms’ designs can be restricted. This can become very limiting to your business, of course—and without knowing how to code, you still need the help of a web developer.
So, the issue with that is people will judge the way your business website looks. If it’s not as professional-looking, customers might negatively perceive your brand. A professional image is one of the many foundations of gaining trust with your audience.
If your website looks like it was made by someone who didn’t know what they were doing, they could think the business was a scam. A professional developer will work with you to ensure your site is unique but follows certain standards consumers expect.
Furthermore, website-building platforms don’t provide all the tools you need for website development. A custom website is more SEO-friendly (Search Engine Optimization). Too many website owners miss out on organic search because they have a theme and lots of plugins—making it nearly impossible to load.
In the end, a DIY platform doesn’t support long-term goals for your business. Although, it ultimately comes down to what you look for in a service provider. Are you in search of something that takes less time and money? Or do you want a website that will support the growth of your business?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of a website builder platform.
Pros of a DIY Website Builder
There are many web development companies. So, the options are endless for building your own website. They’re user-friendly, cost-effective for setup and there are no coding skills required.
You can also add other features such as social media or Shopify integration without having any technical knowledge. The themes are aesthetically pleasing and can be easily customized by uploading your own images. You also need little to no experience with web design to get up and running.
Cons of a DIY Website Builder
Website builders like Wix or Weebly make it simple for anyone to build their own website. Many people think that web development is dying because of this. Although these platforms make it easy to build a website, the cons seem to outweigh the benefits.
For instance, web-building platforms are great for one-time projects. However, there are setbacks to how many pages you can create and how much control you have over the design.
The other downside, as noted previously, is that these platforms do not support SEO ranking on Google. It’s also worth mentioning that most of these sites offer free trials–which means they can take it down if you do not pay the monthly fee. Aside from that, you don’t fully own your website.
Squarespace could decide to shut down one day, and your website would magically disappear. Even if you want to save your site or move it elsewhere, you won’t be able to take anything but the elements you added, such as images or text, because the site builders own the themes. Your site would have to be rebuilt.
The ongoing fees for the platforms also add up over time. There is no guarantee they won’t raise prices over the years, making it even more expensive to be on their platform. You’ll pay extra for a private domain name, features that integrate with other providers and often for support.
Web Developers Are Here to Stay
The internet is going to keep changing. With the web continuously shifting, businesses will need web developers more than ever to navigate new methods and technology.
E-commerce and online businesses will always require new websites, apps and platforms. People knowledgeable in how the online world works are an essential part of society, and we’ll always need them.
Even if bots take over some of the grunt work of web development, the detailed tasks still require the human touch. Don’t be afraid to become a developer for a career path. Just make sure you stay up-to-date on the latest technology. Use new AI tools and other advances to make your work more efficient and better.