Web development and design has gone through some big changes over the past few years. The changes stem from new technologies being available, new platforms becoming viable, and social media opening up their APIs to the public. Taking advantages of these trends can only make web development and design easier to develop and manage. It also gives you more ways connect with their audience.

Trend #1: Using Content Management Systems to Build Sites and eCommerce Stores

More web design firms are ditching the outdated HTML site builders and moving on to content management systems (CMS). A CMS has many advantages including easy management of content, quicker updates, increased flexibility, and more options for web design companies. Some of the more popular platforms that are used include WordPress, Joomla, Magento and Drupal.

For example, WordPress platform design is incredibly easy because there are an abundant number of themes available from the community. Any WordPress site owner can simply find a theme that matches the look and feel of what he’s going for and fit in his content into the design. There are also an unlimited number of community and third party plugins that be used to add new features and functionalities to the site.

Companies that run more complicated sites eCommerce sites can go with Magento eCommerce site design. This is an open source platform where you can change the front end as well as the back end. This allows for flexibility and customization you can’t find in third party services and scripts. There is also a community backing the platform and a large number of expert developers.

Trend #2: Dynamic Sites that Deliver the Ideal User Experience

Because CMS systems do not use HTML, your web design firm can come up with dynamic sites that deliver the best possible user experience. With a combination of CSS, PHP, Ajax and MySQL, almost anything is possible. Web coders and developers can let their imagination loose and brainstorm ideas for creating a unique experience.

For example, one version of a site can be shown to visitors from specific traffic sources or IP addresses, while another version of a site is shown to another group. Interactive elements can be used such as embedded maps, advanced search functionalities, applications, and more. CMS platforms make all this possible through the use of what’s called plugins or extensions which can be installed and set up within minutes.

Trend #3: Social Media APIs that Help Increase Engagement

Web developers can take advantage of social media by integrating APIs that are offered by social media platforms into their web design. Many sites are now allowing Facebook users to login to their site to add comments, share content and vote for content. It’s a great way to get users to interact with your site rather than be a bystander.

Other examples of social media APIs include Yelp’s business information/reviews API and Twitter’s recent tweets API. They can be used in many different ways to engage visitors, influence them to share content, and also create relationships with the audience.