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Why Python Is Best for Machine Learning

Today, most companies are using Python for AI and Machine Learning. With predictive analytics and pattern recognition becoming more popular than ever, Python development services are a priority for high-scale enterprises and startups. Python developers are in high-demand — mostly because of what can be achieved with the language. AI programming languages need to be powerful, scalable, and readable. Python code delivers on all three.

While there are other technology stacks available for AI-based projects, Python has turned out to be the best programming language for this purpose. It offers great libraries and frameworks for AI and Machine Learning (ML), as well as computational capabilities, statistical calculations, scientific computing, and much more. 

Source de l’article sur DZONE

12 Tips to Improve Your Web Design Skills in 2021

There are many reasons you might be wanting to improve your design skills this year. Perhaps you have extra time on your hands and want to put it to good use. Or maybe you’re new to web design and finding that there’s a lot you still don’t know how to do. It could also be that you recognize that the web is changing, and your skills could use some refreshing to keep up.

Whatever the reason, there are many ways to level up your web design skills in 2021. Here are 12 ideas to get you started:

Tip 1: Niche Down If You Haven’t Already

Jack-of-all-trades designers might be able to say “yes” to everyone. However, they’re going to be stretched very thin as they attempt to strengthen every skill needed to keep up with demand.

It’s much easier to become a trusted designer and to improve your skills if you have a smaller and more specific skill set to develop.

Just keep in mind that niching down doesn’t necessarily mean focusing on a particular industry. For instance, you might choose to be a UX designer instead of a web designer. Or you might specialize in designing ecommerce websites instead of monetized blogs. Just find something that you’re passionate about and will be good at doing, and zero-in on the skills needed for it.

Tip 2: Play Around in the Sandbox

Local development environments are useful for staging websites, doing redesigns, and testing updates safely away from live sites. But you can also use them for experimenting with new design techniques, trends, templates, plugins, and more.

Local by Flywheel is the one I prefer to use:

Here’s a good exercise to start with:

Take a website you like — something you’ve looked at in awe and couldn’t imagine ever building on your own. Then, put yourself to the test. See if you can recreate it in your sandbox.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t figure it out right away. Consult your resources and give yourself time to make sense of what’s going on and implement it with the available skills and tools.

Tip 3: Redesign One of Your First Projects

There’s always a clear evolution in a designer’s skill set, from the day they begin designing to the present day. And that’s a good thing. If your work doesn’t improve or change with time, then you’re going to have a lot of catching up to do when the stagnation begins to hurt your business.

Want to see how much progress you’ve made so far? Revisit one of your first projects and look at it with fresh eyes. I bet you’ll see a big change in how you design today from how you designed that site then.

Now, ask yourself what you would do differently. And then, go to your sandbox and do the redesign.

Tip 4: Work on a Passion Project

A friend of mine is taking a UX design course and needed some users to run through a prototype he created for the class. He could create anything he wanted, so he designed an app related to his other love: Music.

While he could’ve easily thrown together some carbon copy of Spotify or SoundCloud, he came up with a completely new concept. And it was really impressive, to the point where I urged him to put it into production and see if he could list it in the app stores.

I think it’s when we’re really passionate about something that we’re willing to push past our limits. So, carve out some time to tackle that passion project you’ve been toying around with and see where it takes you.

Tip 5: Share Your Designs on Dribbble and Ask for Feedback

One of the reasons UX designers do user testing is how valuable users’ raw input is. While it would be nice to think that design is a completely subjective matter, that isn’t really the case when usability becomes compromised due to design choices.

Understanding what users like and dislike is an important part of taking your design skills to the next level. And a good way to do that is to share your designs on Dribbble.

Here’s an example of UI8 asking for feedback:

Tip 6: Create a Design Toolbox

I’m a huge fan of automation and shortcuts powering things behind the scenes in business.

After all, one of the reasons you become a web designer is so you can design, right? When you’re bogged down with administrative and logistical tasks, that’s time spent away from doing what you enjoy.

One way in which you can streamline your backend processes is by putting together a design toolbox. Your preferred CMS. Flexible templates or apps you use from project to project. Website testing tools. And so on.

As you do this, it’ll force you to examine how you build websites. Are you really working as efficiently as possible? Are there newer apps or systems that’ll help you design better sites? And as you improve your design toolbox, you’ll improve your design skills.

Tip 7: Subscribe to Your Favorite Blogs

I have a hard time recommending this one, only because I’m reluctant to sign up for yet another newsletter. That said, I do see the value in subscribing to some blog newsletters as I don’t always remember to revisit their websites and check out the latest content.

What I’d suggest you do is pick one or two design blogs that have a good variety of content and publish regularly. And then pick one small business or freelance blog.

WebdesignerDepot, of course, is a good one to start with as it comes at a good frequency, recommends great reads from all around the web, and is fluff-free:

I’d also recommend signing up for one that’s focused on your niche as well as one for business.

As a freelancer, I’d vote for the Freelancers’ Union newsletter. There’s always something timely and useful in there.

Tip 8: Listen to a Podcast

I just adopted a second dog, so I’ve spent a lot more time on walks while house-training her. At first, I was stressed about it because it was time spent away from work. However, I started to fill that time with podcasts and found that it helped me work better for the rest of the day.

One reason is that I’ve been listening to work-related podcasts, which are always chock full of helpful tips. Another reason is that it gives my eyes a rest from looking at the screen so that when I come back 15 or so minutes later, I feel refreshed and ready to go.

Rebekah Carter has a good set of web design podcast recommendations to get you started.

Tip 9: Take a Free Online Design Course

There’s an overabundance of information online. If you want to brush up on CSS, there are hundreds of YouTube courses that cover it. If you want to learn how to use a new WordPress plugin, you’ll find dozens of great tutorials across various online course platforms, YouTube channels, and even people’s blogs.

There’s no need to go back to school to become a better designer. Here are five places where you’re bound to find free courses for web designers.

Tip 10: Read a Book on Design Principles or Theory

It’s easy to lose sight of design principles when your clients are clamoring for a website that will make them a lot of money, get them a lot of readers, and so on. Sure, you can design a UI and UX that works, but do you remember why the design choices you made are effective?

Choose a book — just one to start — that’ll help you reconnect with the roots of good web design. Not only will you get a good refresher on web design principles or design theory, but you might learn something brand new.

Here are some of my favorite books for web designers:

Tip 11: Find Your People

Now more than ever, finding a community of like-minded web designers, developers, or freelancers is important. It’s not just about having a group of people to vent to when clients drive you nuts (though that’s great, too).

It’s about finding a group that brings something new to the table and enriches your understanding of web design and what it means to be a web designer.

If you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, start there. There are tons of web design and freelance groups that have productive discussions every day. If you prefer to meet up with local designers and developers, check out Meetup.

You may be surprised by how many groups there are and the kinds of meetups they have planned.

Tip 12: Attend a Virtual Conference

Did any of you attend a design conference last year? I did. I virtually attended Adobe MAX — from the comfort of my home, in my pajamas, for three days.

I scheduled my assignments around the sessions I wanted to attend and didn’t have to pick one over the other (i.e., “Do I make money or do I learn something new?”).

Some of the sessions showed us how to do more with Adobe’s tools, while some of them featured design and business leaders who shared personal insights on how to work more effectively. It was a great way to shake up my normal routine and to get a ton of information about the future of web design in a short period of time.

Which of These Tips Will You Use to Improve Your Design Skills?

Like I said before, there’s a lot you can do to improve your design skills. Just be careful not to overdo it.

Pick one or two things on this list to start with. If you have more time in your schedule and you’re excited about what you’ve learned so far, add a couple more.

Just take it slowly. Your brain will only be able to absorb so much at once. Plus, the last thing you want is to burn yourself out on skills training and not have the energy to complete your work.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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The post 12 Tips to Improve Your Web Design Skills in 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

10 of the Best Chrome Extensions to Find XPath in Selenium

Are you facing problems while trying to find XPath in Selenium? Well, you are not alone! This is among the most common challenges most developers face while using Selenium for web testing. But not anymore, as we have picked 10 of the best Chrome extensions to make it easier for you to find XPath in Selenium.

Before we begin, we think it’s a good idea to point out what XPath in Selenium is.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Java Code Quality Tools Recommended by Developers

The best way to protect your Java code from avoidable bugs is to use static code analysis tools that can help you find and fix problematic code before it reaches production. Let’s look at some popular static code analysis tools that can be used to test code from a number of different angles.

DeepSource

DeepSource delivers what is probably the best static code analysis you can find for Java. The DeepSource Java analyzer detects 190+ code quality issues, including performance bugs, security risks, bug risks, and anti-patterns. Currently, It supports Gradle Java projects, and in the future, DeepSource will add support for Maven and Android too. DeepSource is also working on bringing Autofix support to the Java analyzer, which will let developers fix issues without writing a single code line.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Shared Microservice Configurations Using Spring Cloud Config

The microservice architecture pattern, which is used widely across tech companies large and small, enables businesses to distribute functionality between many small applications, instead of larger monolithic portions. Each piece has a specifically defined task, along with communications and other services, usually via a REST API channel. The benefits of utilizing a microservice architecture include, but are not limited to: 

  • Simple development and maintenance of applications: developers and teams are able to focus on one application rather than multiple, with the benefit of faster development, and fewer hitches (such as bug and easy to miss errors) in the larger project. 

    Source de l’article sur DZONE

6 Best Ecommerce Solutions for 2021

It’s never been easier to set up an ecommerce store and start selling. There are a dizzying array of ecommerce solutions available in 2021, and most are feature-rich and competitively priced.

Ecommerce sites are notoriously difficult to migrate from platform to platform, so more often than not, you’ll be committed to your chosen solution for years. The key when choosing an ecommerce solution to maximize your return on investment, is to consider not just what your business needs today but what it will need tomorrow.

There are two basic approaches to ecommerce. The first is a dedicated platform that handles everything. The second is a plugin that adds ecommerce features to an existing CMS. Both approaches have benefits and drawbacks.

1. Shopify: Best for Almost Everyone

Shopify is a well-known, well-liked, and reliable dedicated ecommerce platform. As a system for getting a business off the ground and selling fast, it is peerless.

Shopify jealously guards developer access, with templates and plugins pre-vetted. Unlike some marketplaces, you can be confident that there are no hidden surprises in your shiny new store.

And because Shopify has passed the point of market saturation, it’s worthwhile for big players to provide their own plugins; credit services like Klarna and shipping companies like netParcel can be integrated with a few clicks.

The admin panel is a touch complex, as Shopify is designed to allow a single account to be linked to multiple stores. But once you’re set up and familiar with where to find everything, it’s a slick, streamlined business management system.

Whenever a client says, “we want to start selling online.” My first thought is, “Shopify.” And for 90% of clients, it’s the right choice.

And that’s where this roundup should end…except there’s still that 10% because Shopify isn’t perfect.

For a start, an all-in-one platform doesn’t suit everyone. If you already have a website you’re happy with, you’ll either need to migrate or lease a dedicated domain for your store.

Shopify’s platform is very secure, which inspires confidence in buyers, but the price of that security is a lack of flexibility in the design.

Then there’s the infamous variant limit. Shopify allows 100 variants on a product. Almost every client runs into that wall at some point. Let’s say you’re selling a T-shirt: male and female cuts are two variants; now add long or short sleeves, that’s four variants; now add seven sizes from XXS to XXL, that’s 28 variants; if you have more than three color options, you’ve passed the 100 variant limit. There are plugins that will allow you to side-step this issue, but they’re a messy hack that hampers UX for both customer and business.

Shopify should certainly be on every new store owner’s shortlist, but there are other options.

2. WooCommerce: Best for WordPress Users

If you’re one of the millions of businesses with a pre-existing site built on WordPress, then adapting it with a plugin is the fastest way to get up and running with ecommerce.

WooCommerce is regularly recommended as “Best for WordPress Users,” which is a back-handed compliment that belies the fact that WooCommerce reportedly powers 30% of all ecommerce stores. If running with the crowd appeals to you — and if you’re using WordPress, it presumably does — then you’re in the right place.

WordPress has a gargantuan plugin range. As such, there are other plugins that will allow you to sell through a WordPress site. The principle benefit of WooCommerce is that as the largest provider, most other plugins and themes are thoroughly tested with it for compatibility issues; most professional WordPress add-ons will tell you if they’re compatible with WooCommerce. If your business is benefitting from leveraging WordPress’ unrivaled ecosystem, it can continue to do so with WooCommerce.

The downside to WooCommerce is that you’re working in the same dashboard as the CMS that runs your content. That can quickly become unmanageable.

WooCommerce also struggles as inventories grow — every product added will slow things a little — it’s ideally suited to small stores selling a few items for supplementary income.

3. BigCommerce: Best for Growth

BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform similar to Shopify, but whereas Shopify is geared towards newer stores, BigCommerce caters to established businesses with larger turnovers.

The same pros and cons of a dedicated ecommerce solution that applied to Shopify also apply to BigCommerce. One of the considerable downsides is that you have less control over your front-end code. This means that you’re swapping short-term convenience for long-term performance. Templates, themes, and plugins — regardless of the platform they’re tied to — typically take 18 months to catch up with best practices, leaving you trailing behind competitors.

BigCommerce addresses this shortcoming with something Shopify does not: a headless option. A headless ecommerce platform is effectively a dedicated API for your own store.

Enabling a headless approach means that BigCommerce can be integrated anywhere, on any technology stack you prefer. And yes, that includes WordPress. What’s more, being headless means you can easily migrate your frontend without rebuilding your backend.

BigCommerce also provides BigCommerce Essentials, which is aimed at entry-level stores. It’s a good way to get your feet wet, but it’s not BigCommerce’s real strength.

If you have the anticipated turnover to justify BigCommerce, it’s a flexible and robust choice that you won’t have to reconsider for years.

4. Magento: Best for Burning Budgets

If you have a development team at your disposal and a healthy budget to throw at your new store, then Magento could be the option for you.

You can do almost anything with a Magento store; it excels at custom solutions.

Magento’s main offering is its enterprise-level solution. You’ll have to approach a sales rep for a quote — yep, if you have to ask the price, you probably can’t afford it. Magento has the track-record and the client list to appeal to boards of directors for whom a 15-strong development team is a footnote in their budget.

That’s not to say that a Magento store has to be expensive; Magento even offers a free open source option. But if you’re not heavily investing in a custom solution, you’re not leveraging the platform’s key strengths.

5. Craft Commerce: Best for Custom Solutions

If you’re in the market for a custom solution, and you don’t have the budget for something like Magento, then Craft Commerce is ideally positioned.

Like WooCommerce for WordPress, Craft Commerce is a plugin for Craft CMS that transforms it into an ecommerce store.

Unlike WordPress, Craft CMS doesn’t have a theme feature. Every Craft Commerce store is custom built using a simple templating language called Twig. The main benefit of the approach is that bespoke solutions are fast and relatively cheap to produce, with none of the code bloat of platforms or WordPress.

Because your site is custom coded, you have complete control over your frontend, allowing you to iterate UX and SEO.

You will need a Craft developer to set up Craft Commerce because the learning curve is steeper than a CMS like WordPress. However, once you’re setup, Craft sites are among the simplest to own and manage.

6. Stripe: Best for Outliers

Ecommerce solutions market themselves on different strengths, but the nature of design patterns means they almost all follow a similar customer journey: search for an item, add the item to a cart, review the cart, checkout. Like any business, they want to maximize their market share, which means delivering a solution that caters to the most common business models.

Occasionally a project happens along that doesn’t fit that business model. Perhaps you’re selling a product that’s uniquely priced for each customer. Perhaps you’re selling by auction. Perhaps you don’t want to bill the customer until a certain point in the future.

Whatever your reason, the greatest customization level — breaking out of the standard ecommerce journey — can be managed with direct integration with Stripe.

Stripe is a powerful payment processor that handles the actual financial transaction for numerous ecommerce solutions. Developers love Stripe; its API is excellent, it’s documentation is a joy, it’s a powerful system rendered usable by relentless iteration.

However, this approach is not for the faint-hearted. This is a completely custom build. Nothing is provided except for the financial transaction itself. Every aspect of your site will need to be built from scratch, which means hefty development costs before seeing any return on investment.

The Best eCommerce Solution in 2021

The best ecommerce solution is defined by three factors: the size of your store, the anticipated growth, and the degree of custom design and features you want or need.

Shopify is the choice of most successful small stores because you can be selling inside a day. For businesses with an existing presence and a smaller turnover, those on WordPress will be happy with WooCommerce. For larger stores planning long-term growth, BigCommerce’s headless option is ideal. Craft Commerce is a solid performer that marries low costs with flexibility for businesses that need a custom approach.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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The Value of Internal APIs

Internal APIs are designed primarily to streamline software development and simplify systems and operational processes. These currently represent the vast majority of use cases.

Internal APIs are often overlooked since they are aimed at in-house developers. These types of APIs generally work with proprietary data specific to a company and its departments. Although this data must be protected, it must also be accessible to those who work with it. Internal APIs allow for exactly this kind of secure access, creating more efficient development cycles for their products.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

My Picks for Shifting Left: ‘21


Here at ShiftLeft, we are gearing up for Shifting Left: ’21, a one-day application security conference for developers and security practitioners on Jan 28, 2021. I’ve been a huge fan of security conferences ever since I attended my first security conference, NorthSec in Montreal. This time, I am excited to be on the organizer’s side and present this conference to you.

Shifting Left: ‘21 is entirely online and free to register here. Now let’s get into it! Here are the sessions that I am most excited about and that you should attend if you like machine learning, developing secure applications, or hacking into applications.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Exciting New Tools for Designers, January 2021

The new year is often packed with resolutions. Make the most of those goals and resolve to design better, faster, and more efficiently with some of these new tools and resources.

Here’s what new for designers this month.

Radix UI

Radix UI is an open-source UI component library for building high-quality, accessible design systems and web apps. It includes examples and guidelines for all kinds of user interface elements that provide guidance and really make you think about accessible website design. (And everything is usable!)

Froala Charts

Froala Charts is made to help you create data visualizations for web or mobile apps. Build any chart you can imagine – bar, line, area, heat map, sankey, radar, time series, and more. Plus, you can customize anything and everything, so it all matches your brand. This premium tool is enterprise-level and comes with a one-time license fee.

CSSfox

CSSfox is a collection of designs that you can use for inspiration. The curated community project includes posts, reviews, and award nominees and winners.

Pattern Generator

Pattern Generator is a tool to create seamless and royalty-free patterns that you can use in projects. Almost every element of the pattern design is customizable, and you can “shuffle” to get new style inspiration. Design a pattern you like and export it for use as a JPG, PNG, SVG, or CSS.

Type Scale Clamp Generator

Type Style Clamp Generator helps you create a visualize a typographic scale for web projects. Pick a font and determine a few other settings and see the scale right on the screen. You can even put in your own words to see how they would look. Then, flip to see how sizes appear on different devices. Find a scale you like and snag the code with a click.

Flowdash

Flowdash is a premium app that helps you build custom tools, data sets and streamline your business operations with one tool. Manage data and processes without code. The tool combines a spreadsheet’s familiarity with a visual workflow builder, plus built-in integrations to automate repetitive tasks so your team can focus on what matters.

Scale

Scale is a website that provides new and open-source illustrations that you can use for projects. Maybe the illustration generator’s neatest part is that you can change the color with just a click to match your brand. Then download the image as an SVG or PNG.

Pe•ple

Pe•ple is a tool that adds a “customizable community” to any website to help grow your fanbase and provide a boost to SEO. It allows you to integrate chat, commenting, emojis, and passwordless login, among other things.

K!sbag: Free Minimal Portfolio Template

K!sbag is a free minimal website template that’s made for portfolio sites. (Did you resolve to update yours in 2021?) It includes 6 pages in a ready-made HTML format and PSD.

Merico Build

Merico Build is like a fitness tracker for code. It uses contribution analytics to empower developers with insight dashboards and badges focused on self-improvement and career growth. Sign up with tools you already use – Github or Gitlab.

Automatic Social Share Images

Automatic Social Share Images solves a common website problem: Missing or broken images when posts or pages are shared on social media. This tutorial walks you through the code needed to create the right meta tags so that popular social media channels pick up the image you want for posts. The best part is this code helps you create a dynamic preview image, so you don’t have to make something special every single time.

Animated SVG Links

Animated SVG Links can add a little something special to your design. This pen is from Adam Kuhn and includes three different link styles.

Blush

Blush helps you create illustrations. With collections made by artists across the globe, there’s something for everyone and every project. All art is customizable, so you can play with variations to create something unique.

Palms

Palms is a set of 43 sets of hands to help illustrate projects. Each illustration is in a vector format and ready to use.

Tabbied

Tabbied allows you to create and customize patterns or artwork in a minimal style for various projects or backgrounds. Tinker with your artwork and patterns and then download a free, high-resolution version.

How to Create Animated Cards

How to Create Animated Cards is a great little tutorial by Johnny Simpson that uses WebGL and Three.js to create a style like those on Apple Music. The result is a stylish modern card style that you can follow along with the CodePen demo.

Bandero

Bandero is a fun slab with a rough texture and interesting letterforms. The character set is a little limited and is best-suited for display use.

Magilla

Magilla is a stunning modern serif with great lines and strokes. The premium typeface family has six styles, including an outline option.

Roadhouse

Roadhouse is one of those slab fonts that almost screams branding design. The type designer must have had this in mind, too, with stripe, bevel, inline, half fill, outline, drop extrude, and script options included. (This family is quite robust, or you can snag just one style.)

Street Art

Street Art is for those times when a graffiti style is all that will do. What’s nice about this option – free for personal use – is that the characters are highly readable.

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4 Predictions for the Web in 2021

The start of the year is always a good time to reassess priorities and consider new approaches, but 2021 is more of a reset than we expected this time last year. 2020 is unlikely to go down in anyone’s autobiography as the best year of their life, but it has done something positive: it’s prepared the ground for rapid change in the next 12 months.

More than any other year in our lifetimes, 2021 is set to be revolutionary, with emerging trends that will last well into the new decade. Here’s what we think you can look forward to around the next corner.

1. The End of Minimalism

Minimalism has been the de facto approach to web design for the last decade because it works.

But design reflects the zeitgeist. Where minimalism once felt clean and fresh, it’s starting to feel dull and uninspired. There have been a few false-starts breaking out of the long-term trend, but thanks to the pandemic, 2021 will be the year minimalism finally folds — at least for a while.

Prior to coronavirus-mandated lockdowns worldwide, there were already signs of a more vibrant, more decorative, more joyful approach to design. Simple typefaces have been replaced with more decorative examples — faces that use ink-traps to fake 3D effects are surprisingly popular.

trends are cyclical, and the wheel always turns

One of the biggest aspects of this blossoming trend is the move away from Material Design-style flat color not just to gradients but to multi-color gradients and even animated gradients. Even Apple, the last bastion of the clean white-box approach, jumped on the gradient bandwagon with its Big Sur branding.

One of the few things COVID-19 hasn’t slowed is the adoption of new web technology, and CSS, in particular, has had some major developments in the last year. CSS Grid is now a practical technology, and our ability to code standards-compliant designs that aren’t dependent on hierarchical boxes is greatly enhanced.

After more than a year of pretty grim news for most people, much of the world will be vaccinated over the next twelve months, and life will rapidly return to normal. The last global crisis on this scale was the 1918 influenza pandemic, and it led directly to the decade known as the Roaring Twenties.

Minimalism was already dipping in popularity — trends are cyclical, and the wheel always turns — but lockdown, or perhaps more precisely the end of lockdown, is the catalyst for significant change.

2. The Decline of WordPress

In Autumn 2020, something entirely unexpected happened: The W3C announced the platform its new web presence would be built on, and WordPress — the previous choice of the web’s steering committee — didn’t even make the list of finalists.

Due to accessibility concerns, the W3C development team opted to migrate away from WordPress to Craft CMS. The decision was met with a mixture of glee and outrage. But whether you agree with the decision or not, it’s hard to see it as anything other than yet another symptom of WordPress’ decline.

WordPress faces a triple threat: there are web builders that do an adequate job for low-end web projects; there are newer rivals like Craft that outperform WordPress as a CMS; there’s a growing interest in alternate approaches, like Jamstack.

So will it all be over for WordPress in 2021? Not even close. There are myriad reasons WordPress will continue to be the choice of designers and developers for years to come. Tens of thousands of professionals worldwide have invested their whole careers in WordPress; there are millions of themes, plugins, templates, and build processes that are tightly woven into the WordPress ecosystem. What’s more, there are millions of sites with substantial content archives powered by WordPress [WebDesignerDepot is one such site].

WordPress reportedly powers approximately 37% of the web, and it will still be the dominant CMS in 2022. But it’s unlikely to grow beyond that 37%, and by 2030 its market share will be in rapid contraction.

2020 was the high-tide mark for WordPress

But for all its faults — and it’s undeniable that WordPress is full of faults — WordPress is the best of the web; it has given a voice to millions of people, launched countless careers, and empowered entrepreneurship worldwide.

2020 was the high-tide mark for WordPress, but it’s not an extinction-level event — even the much-maligned Flash, which was killed dead in a matter of months by the first generation iPhone, limped on until a few weeks ago.

WordPress will have to find a niche and accept a smaller market share; in doing so, it will address the single biggest complaint that anyone has about WordPress: that it’s trying to do too much.

WordPress is one of the great success stories of the web. In a decade, it may have to settle for powering just 10% of the web — a level of failure most of its rivals can only dream of.

3. The Digital Currency Explosion

2021 is undoubtedly the year that cryptocurrency goes mainstream. In 2020 Bitcoin grew by almost 400%; currently valued at around $35k, conservative predictions for a December 2021 valuation are $100k, with five-year predictions as high as $1m. And Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency; the value of developer-friendly Ether has jumped by more than 50% in the first few weeks of 2021.

In the US, the incoming Biden administration is preparing a multi-trillion dollar relief package, which many believe young Americans will invest in cryptocurrency. Perhaps more importantly, large investment banks are now pumping hundreds of millions in digital currencies. PayPal and Visa are both in the advanced stages of adopting blockchain technology.

The biggest threat to the new digital economy is the volatility of cryptocurrency. You cannot price services in XRP if XRP’s dollar price could crash at any time — as it did a few weeks ago.

And so there are two routes in which this trend will unfold for ecommerce. Either pricing will remain in dollars, and the equivalent price in various cryptocurrencies will be calculated in real-time. Or, transactions will make use of stablecoins like Tether that are tied to the value of the US dollar.

Cryptocurrency is the latest gold-rush, and whether you think it’s the chance of a lifetime or yet another Ponzi scheme, it will become increasingly high-profile in ecommerce throughout 2021.

4. No More Video Calls and also More Video Calls

2020 was the year of Zoom. Its growth from bit-player to overtaking Skype is a material lesson for entrepreneurs that every obstacle is an opportunity.

every obstacle is an opportunity

Over the last year, we’ve discovered two things: meetings are more creative in person, and office costs are significantly reduced when staff work remotely.

There’s going to be a shift in the business landscape this year. Remote working will continue to be normal for years to come as businesses enjoy rent savings. Video calls will still be common for quick update meetings. But expect to travel to physical meeting places periodically for in-depth strategic planning.

Expect to see major cities with deserted office buildings and a rapid expansion of co-working spaces, especially those with meeting spaces — if WeWork can hold on a little longer, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

As a web professional, you’re in a unique position to thrive in the new business world, even more so if you’re a freelancer. Remember, if you’re working onsite, be mindful of your physical health, and if you’re working remotely, be mindful of your mental health.

What Do You Think?

No one saw 2020 coming. Sometimes world events are outwith our control, and we have to hang on and hope it gets better. It’s been a tough 12 months, and the truth is we’re not through it yet.

But the 2020 coronavirus pandemic is the first pandemic in human history that we’ve had the technology to shorten.

2021 offers the opportunity for enormous change. Will designers look for new, more decorative approaches? Will we replace our technology stack? Will you be billing clients in Ether this year? Will you suffer the misery of a packed evening commute ever again?

 

 

Featured image via Unsplash

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