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Is This the End for Web Development?

According to willrobotstakemyjob.com, web developers have a 21% chance of being taken over by robots in the future. As a comparison, bus drivers sit at 89%, accountants at 94% and poor old telemarketers at 98%,

Before the days of drag and drop builders you basically had two options if you wanted to make a website. You either hired a web designer or you grabbed a book on HTML from your local library and gave it a go yourself.

As the web space exploded in the 90s, sites like Geocities sprang up along with tools like Dreamweaver to help people set up a website without too much technical knowledge. This was a clear reaction to the large demand for websites which couldn’t be fulfilled by the small number of professional web development teams working at the time.

Fast forward to today and things aren’t too much different. The demand for websites is even higher with every business needing to create an online presence to ensure that they don’t lose out to their competitors.

The vast demand for websites led to a massive growth in page builders and WYSIWYG editor such as Wix and Squarespace (along with WordPress themes), which promised to allow anyone to create a website without any technical knowledge.

These kind of builders have been embraced by individuals and small businesses (such as photographers, bloggers, local stores) as they now have a fast and cost-effective solution to getting their business online and it’s caused many people to ask the question ‘is web design dead?’.

Working in this industry and being involved in the community I can certainly say that this doesn’t seem to be the case. While the demand for small portfolio sites does seem to be decreasing, medium and large business are still looking for custom built solutions which are designed to meet the needs of their company.

For these types of companies, it’s now more important than ever that a website is developed by professionals who can create something which will meet their needs and deliver results. A drag-and-drop builder or off-the-shelf theme is no substitute for a team of professionals.

As we move into the future I’m sure this trend will continue. The work we do will become more personalised for each client and there will be less demand for small and simple brochure-style sites. They’ll be a greater emphasis on creative design, data analysis and bespoke functionality. The kind of work that robots can’t really do – well at least for the foreseeable future anyway!