2015 in Review, New Languages, Rising Frameworks and More

    Chris Ward

    Across the mobile channel in 2015 we had over 3 million views and published just over 160 posts.

    One of the hardest tasks I’ve found all year is balancing out topics I want to cover and topics that will bring readers. Predicting trends has been nothing but challenging. On a weekly or monthly level it can be difficult to spot what is consistently peaking readers interests, so an end of the year round-up gives the opportunity to zoom out and take a big picture look at what was popular and what wasn’t.

    Top 5 Articles Published in 2015

    This top 5 list is based on page views from articles published in 2015 across the year.

    1. 10 Free UI Templates for Android Lollipop and iOS by Ada Ivanoff
    2. 5 Ionic Framework App Development Tips and Tricks by Patrick Catanzariti
    3. Material Design with the Android Design Support Library by Joyce Echessa
    4. A Beginners Guide to Mobile Development with Meteor by David Turnbull
    5. The Top 8 Plugins for Android Studio by Valdio Veliu

    As a lot of SitePoint’s traffic comes from search and this can frequently mean that our most popular posts of 2015 weren’t necessarily published in 2015. To really get an impression of the popular topics and themes I needed to dig a little further into sub-categories of the channel and tags.

    To reach these results I cut out some of the internal tags we use, combined duplicate or similar tags (For example, PhoneGap and Cordova) and balanced views verses number of posts so that a topic that just had more posts didn’t skew results.

    It’s worth noting that these are based merely on search results, not any other metrics we track, such as number of comments or the ‘thumbs up’ introduced this year, which could in theory indicate the popularity of posts and topics in different ways.

    Improving Tools

    Posts on improving your IDE and developer experience were consistently popular. It seems we are all keen to improve and streamline our XCode, Android Studio, IntelliJ and Visual Studio workflows.

    Cross Platform Frameworks

    SitePoint has always had a strong historical focus on web and cross-platform development and this reflects on the mobile channel despite not always covering these topics. Thus posts that covered cross over into these worlds proved popular such as Material Design, Meteor, Ionic, Angular, JQuery, Cordova / PhoneGap and many others.

    The Robot Wins

    Coverage of iOS has been popular, but Android far more popular. We haven’t has as much iOS coverage as I would have liked in 2015 and although I took into account the number of published posts to analyze numbers, Android is still by far the most popular. I feel this reflects that our readers are geographically diverse, also reflected in our writers. Globally, Android is more popular, but often iOS (and it’s fans) does a better job at making it seem like this isn’t true.

    UX and Design

    Proving that SitePoint readers are not just developers, topics that covered prototyping and designing apps were very popular.

    Gambles – Minority Platforms and Wearables

    Every year I like to throw some wild cards into the mix to see what may prove popular over the year and 2015 was no different. Posts on Windows Phone, Sailfish, Ubuntu and Firefox OS started the year strongly and then reduced in popularity in the second half of the year. This may have been due to large announcements from iOS and Android pushing these platforms out of the spotlight.

    Whilst everyone is talking about wearables and many companies are making wearables covering a wide variety of topics, they haven’t proved as popular as everyone might have hoped. The channel covered a variety of wearable related topics from concept to creation that discussed some fascinating ideas, but much like the market itself, these have not been as popular as I hoped.

    New Languages

    The obvious language to discuss here would be Apple’s Swift, but it wasn’t the only popular related topic of 2015 and I was pleasantly surprised to see the appetite for other languages attempting to modernize or unify mobile developer workflows such as Kotlin and Go. We will be covering more of these in 2016 and I think the recent open-sourcing of Swift will result in some interesting cross-platform opportunities that will appeal to SitePoint readers.

    Looking Forward to 2016

    2015 has been quite a year in many ways and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my writers, peer-reviewers and fellow editors. 2016 will be a big year for technology and those using technology for their ideas, projects, products and companies. Mobile will be a part of this and I look forward to making your 2016 easier by publishing content that helps you learn cutting edge techniques to make your development lives better.

    Happy Festivus, Chris Ward

    CSS Master, 3rd Edition