As Ferris Beuller said, “Life moves really fast and if you don’t stop to look around what’s happening around, you could probably miss it out.” He said this long back, when there was no Internet or technologies and life wasn’t that fast, as it is now. This simply means, what Ferris said, should be done more often now, because nowadays life is running at a lightening speed. This also implies more or less accurately on the web development process.
Web development is a simple process indeed, just hire a good programmer, tell him your basic requirements and you are done, isn’t it? Just stop and look around, do you really think web development is that easy? Well certainly not.; then what’s the best way to get the desired results? How to built a website which is useful today tomorrow and scalable for the updates which will be coming in future. What will make your site popular and properly optimized? Its better to start correctly from the very beginning and avoiding the re-work, which is generally done by most of the developers
1. Keyword Exploration
If you haven’t done a proper research on the relevant keywords before staring your website development, then you are leaving all means to attract any customers. It simply means that you are building up a website for your personal use. Proper KW research not only gives a meaning to your website but it also provide a treasure of information to the users.
2. Wire Frames Installation
Don’t ever make the mistake of building up a website design without putting up wire frame together first. Missing this essential step will get you the designsooner than the usual but without wire framing the website design will miss essential elements or have right functions at the wrong place. The deformity can be fixed with simple steps, but it continues to distract the users with some unwanted things. It is advisable to build up wireframe for each important section of your website to ensure that everything is on the right place right now and in the future too.
3. Grayscale& Color Comp
Gray scale comps are quite popular in the printing design industry. But it is useful in the other areas as well. Many times it is seen that the client rejects the website design because they don’t like the color combinations. With Grayscale Comp a design without colors can be build just using the relevant contrasts and it can be shown to the client. There will be no worry about the likes and dislikes of the client for colors. Later on the design can be filled with colors.
It might happen that the Grayscale comp is selected and colored comp is rejected, but it nothing to bother; the colors can simply be re-arranged or changed without creating the complete design again, till the color comp gets selected.
4. Coding & Application
There are many web designers who won’t be doing coding of the website, you will probably have to find another person to do that. Well its perfectly fine and can happen quite often, that you need to hire two different persons for doing these two tasks or just one; in either ways coding is very important to accumulate the design together and have the desired functionality in your website.
5. Validated HTML5
Believe it or not some developers are still using HTML4 for development. No doubt it still works but using the old HTML will make the website obsolete sooner or later; whereas the HTML5 will not only make the site sleeker, clearer and faster it will also make it scalable for adding the most advanced functionalities in future & new media. However it is important that validation is done while using 3rd party tools with HTML5, because it is considered as an essential feature of good coding.
6. Validated CSS 3
7. Search Engine compatible Architecture
Coding a site can be a tedious job specially when additional functionality has to be added, but coding a website without keeping the search engines in mind is of no use. The web developers need to understand the fact that the website is made for the users and unless the site is search engine friendly it won’t be visible in the search results. They need to remove the architectural obstacles, which adversely affect the sites performance like bad navigation, too many internal links, readable URLs non-crawlable pages and links, slow loading of pages and similar problems.
8. Omitting Duplicate Content
Along with an architecture that is Search Engine friendly, the web developer should make sure that there is no any type of duplicate content before any search engine crawls over it. There are many tools and websites for checking up the duplicate content but it should be done at the time of the site development and not later on when the site is build. A good developer will make sure that this happen while the development process only.
9. Styling off-page
10. Media Size Optimization
A very important consideration while development of a website but often ignored. If any type of media is used for a website it should be properly optimized. Many developers failed to look onto this aspect, but the good ones keep this in mind. Every media file whether an image or a video, should be optimized for search engine compatibility and download speed. It is very easy to compress most of the media to become smaller in size and reduce the download time. There is also a keyword optimization feature in Alt tags, which can be used along with the media created. The videos can be optimized for YouTube search and images for image search.
11. ALT tag for images
It’s a common practice and mostly the developers are aware of it, but it should be done at the time when the site is building and not when the site is done. Again there is no sense in going back and re-doing the work, which could have been done at the development stage.
12. CSS image sprites
Using images sprites can reduce the time of page loading: meaning consolidating several small images into one big image. This way the stress on the server will be reduced. This is especially applicable when images are used on multiple pages. Use of CSS can be done to display appropriate portion of the images.
13. Mobile Friendly
Are you concerned about your website’s working on a mobile device? If your answer is yes, its great but if your answer is ‘No’ you should immediately work it out. Mobile devices are the first place from where branding starts so never ignore your website’s appearance on a smartphone. If the site fails to work properly on a mobile device it means it is losing out its very first chance of leaving an impression. With an increasing number of mobile searches, a website should be ready for it. If not today it willbe searched tomorrow, but certainly it will happen.
14. Accessible at various resolutions
Not Just mobile, there are other types of screens on which your website should fit perfectly, iPad, Iphone, Ipad mini etc. The site needs to work well with all screen size.
15. Optimized site speed
While there are many factors which decide the speed of the site, the speed has its own theory. Even after you have checked everything else for speed it could be possible that it is slowing down. Just look upon again, what exactly is slowing its speed. Use an appropriate plug-In if needed. Remember speed is very important factor and ignoring it means losing visitors.
16. Analytics Installation
Adding up all the best ingredients in a website and not adding analytics code is like shooting in the air. You would never know how your site is performing. Analytics code installation is an easy process and should be done while the development process only; it shouldn’t be an after work.
17. Checking Broken Links and Custom 404
It’s the duty of the developer to check for broken links in a brand new website. No matter how carefully the website has been made, before its launch, a test should run that checks all the broken links to avoid later avoid customer frustration. If by chance there is a broken link in the site, it should end up on a custom designed page and not with a 404 error page which simply says, “ Page not found”. A custom page will keep the users engaged with the website while the 404 page will distract them.
18. Exclusive testing
No matter how urgent it is the duty of the developer to test the site completely before making it live for the audiences. As each part of the site gets developed, it should undergo testing and at the end of the development it should be re-tested altogether and bugs should be removed. A site full of bugs should not be handed over to the client.
19. Favicon Branding
Another minute task, which most of the developer’s ignore!It involves adding up a small image that appears on the URL bar when the site is opened. Its known as a favicon, the size is small but impact is huge.
20. Printer Friendly
It would be great if the website is printer friendly. The pages can be printed and used for reviewing later. If the site is not printer friendly it would be difficult to read the text and blank pages will be printed causing annoyance in the users.
That was quite a long list, but believe me that’s not all. this list is not at all compressible, but yes it can be expanded further. Saving money at the initial stage of web development can cost even higher later on. Hence it is advisable to look keenly into the development process just when it starts.