Web Development Trends: What’s Real & What’s Hype?

A 2022 developer survey found some technologies that look like they are about to arrive and some tech that may not make it.

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The web development industry is famously enthusiastic about new technologies, with developers eager not to be left behind by the latest trends. But how do you know which trends are real and just hype?

The annual Jamstack Community Survey asks developers all over the world about who they are, how they work, what tools they use – and what’s often more interesting, how they feel about those tools, giving us a measure we call the “satisfaction score”: if a satisfaction score is over 1.0, developers are likely to adopt more of a technology, but under 1.0 they’re likely to move away from it.

This gives us great data about trends that are up and coming, as well as technologies that are falling off everyone’s radar. Our 2022 survey found some technologies which look like they are about to arrive, as well as some tech that may not make it.

Headless CMS: WordPress out, Sanity and Strapi in

It’s no secret that headless content management systems (CMS) have arrived: Gartner says the future of business is composable and headless CMS are a key part of a composable architecture. Our survey tracks more than two dozen popular CMS options, and the flexibility and ease of use of composable options are clearly the winners in user satisfaction.

Web stalwart WordPress is notable for its satisfaction score, but unfortunately, in a bad way: at just 0.5, developers who’d like to stop using WordPress outnumber those who want to use it more often by 2 to 1. WordPress saw a decline in user share in our survey this year. But interestingly, WordPress in headless mode has a satisfaction score of 1.0.

Relative newcomer Sanity, on the other hand, has a stellar 3.0 satisfaction score and climbing usage, up to 16% in our survey. Strapi, another of our picks from 2021, also climbed to 18% share and has a likewise excellent satisfaction score of 2.0. We think this means good news for both tools in 2023.

Web Frameworks: Great News for Remix, Bad News for Nuxt and Vue

We started tracking Remix in 2021 when it had an amazing satisfaction score but only 2% usage, unsurprising since it spent most of that year in beta. In 2022 it became fully available and developers loved it: Remix grew 5x to 10% usage share, and maintained an excellent satisfaction score of 2.3.

Nuxt and its underlying component framework Vue on the other hand, got less good news from our survey: Nuxt slipped from 25% usage share to 22%, and Vue fell from nearly 40% to 33%. The news isn’t all bad, though: while both technologies saw their satisfaction scores fall, Vue is at 3.1 and Nuxt at 2.7, so developers are still enthusiastic.

Web3: Developers Aren’t Enthusiastic

Web3 received enormous amounts of press coverage and hype in 2022, so we asked many questions to get a sense of how real developers feel about web3. Our first finding was that very few are using web3: the most popular technology under the web3 umbrella is NFTs, where 10% of developers say they had at least done a few projects, but in terms of regular sustained usage, none of the web3 technologies we asked about were used by more than 3% of developers.

That news wouldn’t necessarily be bad – web3 is still quite new, and 10% of devs trying something out is substantial – but when we calculated its satisfaction score, web3 as a whole got 0.9, suggesting a majority of people intend to limit their use of web3 technologies in 2023.

Developers Hold the Key To The Future

There’s a lot more we could say about the data in the survey, but the key takeaway is that the web is constantly evolving, and developers are moving along with it. There’s never been a more exciting time to be involved in the web.

Laurie Voss

Laurie Voss is Data Evangelist at Netlify, the platform developers love for building highly-performant and dynamic websites, e-commerce stores and web applications.

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Laurie Voss
Laurie Voss is Data Evangelist at Netlify, the platform developers love for building highly-performant and dynamic websites, e-commerce stores and web applications.