Don’t look now… but 2024 is already lurking around the corner. Among other more festive things, this means it’s once again time to peer into the near future and see what the upcoming year may bring to the world of web development. There are so many cool things going on in the “dev” world these days that it’s hard to encapsulate it all into the kind of singular, broad summary that initiates many of these posts. 

If there is a connecting string, it’s that more parts of the user experience are becoming automated than ever before. Providing greater control over the editing experience not only saves creators time, but also allows both creators and developers to focus on key issues like accessibility, performance, and security.

Here are a few specific development trends to look out for in 2024:

More machine learning and web personalization

Machine learning will continue to gain traction in the personalized web space, thanks to its ability to analyze massive volumes of data on user behaviors and surface recommendations and experiences that suit users best.

More AI

With the buzz around artificial intelligence in 2023, we’ll likely see more use cases and integration with the web. AI models and systems will continue to be woven into personalization and the content editing experience.

For example, the ChatBot ChatGPT for WordPress plugin can build a complex understanding of your site content to engage with end users, providing relevant responses that are specific to your content, and the user experience. 

(One note here: the key word here is ‘relevant’, by which I’m referring to technical relevance. For a discussion about AI’s capabilities compared to human writing, check our companion post: Top trends in content and design for 2024.)

On the Drupal front, projects like the ChatGPT and the OpenAI modules provide in-site help to editors for content generation, translation, assistance for SEO, and image generation.

More modular layouts

The rise of drag-and-drop editing in web development will continue to make life easier for editors. 

  • Tools like WordPress Block Editor (a.k.a. Gutenberg blocks) and block patterns (a collection of blocks) continue to become more editor-friendly.
  • Content editing will continue becoming modular thanks to predefined blocks, blocks built for their site, and reusable blocks.
  • Drupal has put the power of flexibility into the editor’s hands with Drupal Paragraphs, Layout builder, and a suite of additional modules and hooks that allow developers to create a drag-and-drop editing experience.

More security — and continued privacy concerns

2024 will finally see Google officially move to block all third-party cookies within the Chrome browser. Stronger data protection measures like Google’s will inevitably lead to more enhanced, conscious cookie mechanisms and management.

Overall, we’ll see the web itself continue to adapt to become compliant with evolving data protection regulations, such as adhering to personal identity information (PII) policies. This includes publicly accountable organizations like educational institutions and government agencies (and their private contractors and suppliers) taking more steps to ensure their data remains in the country.

More mobile devices and better overall performance

Did you know that more people these days have access to a mobile phone than a computer? It’s true — and this number continues to grow. As more users in low-bandwidth areas require access to information, making sites fast and efficient across devices is more critical than ever. Mobile-first design will keep growing in 2024, as will content-first design and development — i.e. prioritizing meaningful content over flash and glitter.

More accessibility 

In 2024, accessibility requirements across industries will continue to be in the spotlight. More industries than ever are realizing that being accessible to all audiences is incredibly important. For example, meeting your industry’s accessibility’s compliance levels and having clear on-site policies can mitigate potential liability.

Did you know that Shane is our very first Kanopi employee, ever? If you’ve enjoyed reading his post, please check out his other great works in our blogosphere, such as: Four Simple Steps to Migrate from Drupal to WordPress