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It's all just a little bit frightening

by  David Dwyer on  21/06/2017

Constantly develop your website to stay ahead of the competition

We’ve said before that the web moves a lot faster than real life: one real month is equal to about one web year. But actually the pace of change in technology is a lot faster than that. Exponentially faster.

The speed of computers doubles every two years

Moore’s Law says that the number of transistors that can be packed onto a circuit board doubles every two years. In effect, this means that the latest computers available now are twice as fast as those available two years ago.

As chips get smaller and smaller, some have predicted an end to Moore’s Law: at some point in the near future, it will be physically impossible to make transistors any smaller. But advances like quantum computers are already showing ways to get around this.

Technology is evolving at a phenomenal pace

The exponential rate of technological change looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Advances like smartphones and video calling have gone from being novelties to becoming ubiquitous practically overnight. It took around 30 years for the telephone to achieve an adoption rate of 40%. Smartphones achieved that same milestone in just ten years. Facebook had around 58 million users in 2007. Ten years later, it had nearly 2 billion.

In his famous book, The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil said that every decade the overall rate of human progress doubles. That means that we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000. And the web will be at the forefront of that progress.

How to keep up your website relevant

The speed of change on the web can be frightening, but there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re not left behind.

1) Keep on top of internet regulations

The regulation that governs websites is constantly evolving. The past few years have already seen web users in the European Union (EU) being given the ‘right to be forgotten’, but the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come into force in May 2018, will provide even stricter rules.

The GDPR is set to give web users unprecedented control over their personal data, and it calls for data protection to be designed into businesses’ processes. Collecting data such as names and IP addresses will be subject to strict codes.

2) Make sure your web development tools are up to date

PHP – the programming language designed for web development – is now in its seventh iteration, but the majority of websites still use PHP 5. Yet versions prior to PHP 5.6 are no longer supported with security fixes, and PHP 5.6 will cease to be supported in December 2018.

As a matter of security, as well as to take advantage of bug fixes and new tools, it’s essential to migrate to the latest version of PHP.

3) Constantly update your website for SEO

Google makes around 500 to 600 changes to its search algorithms every year. One of the biggest changes in recent years was the introduction of Google RankBrain in 2015. RankBrain is a machine-learning algorithm – essentially a kind of artificial intelligence – that learns from users’ searches and changes page rankings accordingly.

Developments such as this, along with major changes to Google’s algorithm such as the ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ updates, can mean a website with seemingly good search engine optimisation (SEO) can plunge in the page rankings overnight if it doesn’t have what Google is looking for. In the future, machine learning could also mean that pictures become more important, as search engines learn to recognise the subjects of images.

Need help with your website? Send an SOS

Inspire is working at the forefront of change, so we’re well-placed to help you take advantage of the opportunities the web revolution presents. We can also step in to help with difficult web development issues. If you have a web development crisis, send out a Developer SOS.

Additional web links to consider
The Singularity is Near
General Data Protection Regulation

Developer SOS, Frequently Asked Question's, Google Trends, Inspire Web Services, Search Engine Optimisation, The Evolving Web, Web Consultancy, Website Content, Website Support
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