The landscape of frontend technologies in 2023 was dynamic and innovative. It embraced trends like Static Site Generation (SSG), Server Components, React, TypeScript, WebAssembly, and Progressive Web Apps (PWA). It also showed us the rise of efficient state management libraries that allowed developers to create remarkable web applications.
But, what may have been a cutting-edge a year ago, today is just common practice. In this article, we will take a look at 7 trends in frontend technologies, that we believe will become prominent in 2024. Read on to find out what frameworks, tools, and solutions your business should be paying more attention to in the coming months.
Micro frontends will rank among the most flexible and scalable frontend technologies
In 2023, micro frontends evolved with more streamlined and standardized approaches, support for ECMAScript Modules (ESM), and enhanced capabilities of modern bundling tools. Gradually, they become default practices in next-gen frameworks and tools. We believe that next year, micro frontends will build upon current trends, focusing on increasing scalability and flexibility. This will happen through 7 key areas:
- Framework Agnosticism: One of the biggest trends is the move towards framework-agnostic micro frontends. This approach allows different teams to choose their preferred frameworks for their specific microapp, leading to a more flexible and scalable architecture.
- Improved tooling and platforms: As micro frontends become more popular, we expect an evolution of their tooling and supporting platforms. This includes enhanced build tools, testing frameworks, and deployment platforms that work well with the complexities of micro frontend architectures.
- Edge Computing Integration: With the rise of edge computing, micro frontends are being deployed in environments closer to the users. This reduces latency and improves user experience, especially for applications that require real-time data processing.
- Design System Integration: As organizations adopt micro frontends, there’s a growing trend toward integrating design systems. This ensures consistency in UI/UX across different microapps, despite them being developed independently.
- Server-Side Rendering (SSR): It’s becoming more common to implement SSR in micro frontends to improve a website’s visibility in search engines and initial load performance. This trend addresses one of the main challenges of micro frontends—maintaining performance and SEO efficiency.
- Micro Frontend Orchestration: Tools and patterns for better orchestration of microfrontends will continue to evolve. This includes improved routing, state management, and communication patterns between microapps.
- Focus on Performance Optimisation: As micro frontends can potentially increase resource usage, there’s a growing emphasis on performance optimization strategies. It is to prevent the split of the monolithic app from having a negative impact on the end-user experience.
Micro frontends will move towards optimizing performance, orchestrating operations more efficiently, improving initial load speed, reducing latency, and enhancing overall user experience. As a frontend technology in general they will become more flexible and scalable.
Next.js will continue to be a trendsetter in a world of frontend technologies
During the past year, Next.js introduced many solutions that will impact how this framework will be used in 2024 and beyond. Below, we have listed innovations in frontend technologies that in our opinion are worthy of paying attention to this year:
We are already seeing the emergence of new types of packages that are designed to be executed only on the backend side. These packages often include pre-configured components that can easily be customized by adding just one line to the .env file.
This contrasts the traditional Single Page Application (SPA) approach. Developers had to handle data fetching, mutation, and usage of library components, along with solving other problems. So far, Next.js is the only one implementing the RSC concept. Other frameworks, like Remix, were investigating it, but without producing anything stable.
Many of these features came as a fruit of the tight partnership between Next.js and the React team. Before that, Next.js was struggling to deliver any of these frontend technologies by themselves.
- Streaming: Next.js is enhancing its streaming capabilities by allowing web content to be sent in segments from server to client. This incremental delivery improves user experience, especially for content-heavy pages.
- Partial Prerendering: The Next.js framework is exploring partial prerendering. It’s an approach that combines static generation with server-side rendering. It can lead to faster page loads while maintaining dynamic functionality.
Next.js’s exploration of React Server Components and their close cooperation with the React team, streaming, and partial prerendering positions it as a notable framework in the evolving landscape of frontend technologies. These innovations are drawing significant interest from the developer community, marking Next.js as one of the key frontend technologies to monitor.
In 2024 headless CMS will be one of the leading frontend technologies thanks to Strapi and similar systems
In 2024, the adoption of headless CMS like Strapi is set to escalate, revolutionizing how developers manage and deliver content. Unlike traditional frontend technologies, headless CMSs offer scalability and independence from the presentation layer.
These systems can provide the client with the data through the API and independent of browsers or presentation layers. This detachment means the client side can evolve, be thoroughly tested, and undergo processes like A/B testing without being tied down to the CMS.
Where traditional systems might expose vulnerabilities across the board, headless CMS contains them locally. Also, they can integrate into larger ecosystems. They allow for enriching data and typically are more suited for smaller, but scalable, applications.
Advantages of Strapi over other frontend technologies
Strapi saves developers from having to build entire monolithic structures upfront. It offers greater API replication and localized security. Updating Strapi can be done without any changes to the presentation layer, making it more efficient.
For instance, creating a rapid site with Next.js can be achieved in a few days: from data modeling and input to building a Next.js application. This speed and efficiency are the reasons why headless CMSs like Strapi are becoming trending frontend technologies in 2024.
Learn how VirtusLab created a Strapi custom multi-domain plugin for facile.it to handle all its brands within a unified framework.
The “Signals Approach” will gain popularity in the world of frontend technologies
Angular underwent a major update that brought about a few notable changes, including a revamp of its documentation. This new format offers similar benefits to new documentation styles of React and Next.js, which shows us that there is a growing trend towards making documentation more user-friendly and comprehensive. One of the key highlights of Angular’s latest update is the ‘Signals Approach’.
What are the “Signals” in frontend technology?
Think of “Signals” as messengers that carry information and alert anyone interested when that information changes. In Angular, “Signals” serve as wrappers around values.
To access the value stored within a signal, you don’t directly retrieve it; instead, you use a getter function provided by Angular. This getter function is a way for Angular to keep track of where and when the signal’s value is being used in the application.
Signals come in two varieties: writable and read-only. Writable signals allow modification of the value they contain, while read-only signals restrict any changes to their stored value. This distinction enables developers to manage data access and modification according to the specific needs of their application.
Why is the “Signals Approach” trending as frontend technology?
“Signals Approach” is a development strategy, detailed on Angular’s official site. It emphasizes reactive programming principles. It’s designed to streamline state management and improve application responsiveness, making Angular applications more efficient and easier to maintain.
Angular’s move to update its documentation and incorporate the “Signals Approach” demonstrates its commitment to evolving with the latest trends in frontend technology. For developers and industry experts, this signifies Angular’s ongoing relevance and adaptability in a rapidly changing tech environment.
AI-driven design will be among the leading trends in frontend technology
AI-driven design is reshaping the landscape of web development. It offers solutions that cater to both aesthetic and functional needs. It gives developers access to rapid prototyping, intelligent automation, and tools for analyzing user behavior data. This, in turn, leads to better insights, improved design decisions, and personalized UI. It’s a big step towards a future where AI plays a pivotal role in the creative process.
To demonstrate how AI can enrich existing frontend technologies, we will take a closer look at two promising examples, namely: Builder.io and Vercel’s v0. Here’s how these two different tools can help to deliver an AI-driven design:
Builder.io’s AI-Driven Approach
Builder.io seamlessly integrates with a range of frontend technologies, frameworks, and headless CMSs. This enables streamlined design and development processes. It offers 3 key features:
- AI Section Generation: Users provide prompts and styles for AI to generate website sections quickly.
- AI Edits: AI assists in editing content, streamlining layout adjustments, and language translations.
- AI Mini-App Generation: AI can create and modify mini-applications based on user prompts.
Vercel’s v0 Generative UI
Vercel’s v0 helps developers rapidly prototype their products. Its feasibility was demonstrated by successful use cases like Ingo’s Resume Builder and Braintrust’s AI platform. This frontend technology offers:
- Simplifying Web Creation: Vercel introduced v0 to make website creation as straightforward as describing ideas. This Generative UI merges best practices of frontend engineering with generative AI.
- Rapid Adoption: v0 garnered immense interest, with 100,000 people joining the waitlist within weeks, leading to its transition from Alpha to Beta.
- Functionality: v0 allows developers to describe the interface they want. It then produces code using open-source tools like React, Tailwind CSS, and Shadcn UI. Users can select, edit, and integrate this code directly into their applications.
Future of AI in design
While AI is revolutionizing existing frontend technologies, it comes with tradeoffs. For example, in design and development, it could affect generation time and add limitations of beta features. Both platforms that we presented signify a shift towards AI-driven solutions that bridge the gap between imagination and digital reality.
We will see a lot more frontend technologies going serverless
With serverless computing, your application runs on servers that are managed by one of the leading cloud providers. The main benefit of this frontend technology is that it allows developers to focus on business logic rather than infrastructure management.
The serverless approach uses a “pay for value” model, reducing costs by caching micro-frontend responses and minimizing the need to scale every part of the system equally. The architecture involves using AWS services such as Amazon CloudFront, AWS Fargate, AWS Lambda, and Amazon S3, emphasizing the serverless aspect of the micro-frontend implementation.
Using AWS and its Serverless Platform, you can build and deploy digital products on cost-effective services. They provide you with built-in application availability and flexible scaling capabilities. This lets developers focus on the code instead of worrying about provisioning, configuring, and managing servers.
In 2024, styling in React will set two major trends in frontend technologies
In 2024 we will see advancements in styling practices within React. They will pave the way for 2 new trends in React-related frontend technologies, namely the dominance of Tailwind CSS and the return to CSS modules. Here’s why:
- Tailwind CSS’s dominance: Tailwind CSS, known for its utility-first approach, remains a strong choice in the React ecosystem. Its popularity is driven by its responsive design capabilities, ease of customization, and a class-based system that speeds up the development process.
- Return to CSS Modules: CSS Modules are slowly coming back to grace. This approach offers scoped styles to components, enhancing maintainability and reducing style conflicts. CSS Modules represent a more traditional, yet robust, method of managing CSS in React. They provide a balance between global styles and component-level styling. And those who have been in the frontend game long enough will know it as a “good ol’ CSS”.
Coming back to the previously mentioned trends: when working with the React Server Components, CSS modules will work right out of the box. Other libraries are either working with the RSCs support or only with the client’s components.
If you want to learn more about leveraging React, React Native, and other front-end technologies, consider exploring this success story:
The past and the future: trends in frontend technologies in 2023
The predictions of these 7 trends in frontend technologies are based on 14 years of our experience in the software development industry. As with any predictions, there is no guarantee of their accuracy. And even if they do turn out to be true, it won’t happen overnight. What we do know for sure is the state of frontend technologies right now.
We believe that in order to be prepared for future changes it’s best to be aware of the current trends. It will help you understand how rapidly the landscape of frontend technologies can evolve in the future. That is why we prepared a list of 3 key trends as of December 2023.
Developers moving from SPA to MPA—again
Astro is a server-first, content-focused, and highly adaptable meta-framework. It emerged as a frontend technology for creating landing pages, marketing websites, and small web apps. It delivered a great performance, superior to previous static site generators. However, as interactivity increased, Astro sites experienced slowdowns despite their initial speed advantage.
How developers were combining AI with frontend technologies in 2023?
We already talked about the future of AI in design, but it’s impossible to discuss the current state of frontend technologies without mentioning its usefulness and influence in the present day.
It’s easy to find developers writing code with the help of ChatGPT and similar tools. The quality of that code is a subject for a completely different conversation and leaves plenty of room for further experiments. But the community is open to trying out new things. Here are just some of the examples of how AI is used in tandem with existing frontend technologies:
- Bootstrapping and finding unit tests
- Fixing code’s syntax
- Learning new technical skills
- Generating code
The last point can be tricky though. While AIs can generate large amounts of code instantly, their understanding of that code is nowhere near the level of the average developer. Some tools claim to be able to reach that level, but it’s yet to be seen if they succeed.
In terms of frameworks, React and Node.js were named the most popular choices, with respectively 42.87% and 42.73% of professionals claiming to use them.
On a side note, it’s encouraging to see Scala gaining popularity again. This year’s 3.21% is an improvement from 2022, where 2.97% of professional developers named it as one of the frontend technologies in their toolbox.
7 top trends in frontend technologies in 2024 – a conclusion
No one can predict the future. All that we, and anyone, can do is take the available information and then use logic and our experience to make an educated guess. That being said, we have been in the software development game for so long, that we can usually tell which way the wind is blowing.
The important thing to remember is that trends are just trends. The frontend technologies that we listed are popular, and usually for a good reason, but it doesn’t make them the right solution for every business need. The best that you can do is to keep updating your knowledge with every new advancement.
By knowing the current trends you’ll be able to pick the right frontend technology for your business, regardless of what everyone else is doing. If you are interested in being on track with what new is happening with frontend technologies, we recommend browsing our blog.