The rate of change in web technology

I’m writing an article on changing web technology. Can anyone refer me to some factual information on the rate of change such that folks have to keep up with to keep their websites current?

:lol: I started my first public website in AOL Hometown back in 1999 and I haven’t been able to “keep up” yet. I run, but the finish line keeps moving.

So I guess I’d say the “rate of change” is continuos. If anyone thinks they’re going to learn HTML, CSS, Javascript and a server-side language and be done with it, I’m afraid they’re in store for a rude awakening.

The web is simply constantly evolving and has been doing so for about 30 years. There is no standard “rate of change”. It changes too much to even begin to measure how much it changes. As a physicist would say, you change it just by looking at it.

I enjoy listening to podcast interviews with people who’ve been on the web a long time, as they often reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed. I’m thinking podcasts such as The Web Ahead (and their subseries, The Web Behind) and Zeldman’s Big Web Show as well.

Maybe something by way of example, like the number of times Google has changed its algorithm as a total divided by the number of years.

I think web changes depends according to time and situation of requirement, there have never being projected change I guess.

The web has existed longer than Google has. Google was only founded in 1998.

I’d say by gut feeling that the rate of change has been reasonably continuous except for the brief period (that felt like it lasted forever) when IE was realistically the only browser worth targeting for a lot of projects. At the time it felt nice that things were “settling down”, looking back it was a hideous time when innovation was largely stifled.

Here’s a cool resource that plots the history of web tech. It may help you spot a trend:

In university (computer science) we were taught as a rule of thumb (accurate or not) that the half life of computing knowledge is 5 years; i.e. in 5 years only half of the stuff you know now will be relevant. If we’re talking pure html / css I’d doubt that’s true of the web. Throw in CMS’s, webapps, JS frameworks etc. and it probably is a lot closer to true.


When I started hanging out on Sitepoint regularly, I knew quite a lot. Over the years, I have read a lot, and I have learned a lot. And yet it seems that (as a proportion of what there is to know about the web) my knowledge is shrinking faster than an iceberg in the Sahara :frowning:

Here is resource that has some very interesting factual information on the growing changes that effect Web Design & Marketing. Great stuff to reference for your article

In web technologies, only thing that is constant is change!
It is really difficult to state the rate of change in web technologies in this competitive world where new advancements take place every now and then…