Web development projects vary in complexity and length. Companies often hire professionals to manage the development process.
In this blog post, we will go over web development best practices.
Start web development projects with a plan
Define the Project Scope:
For starters, clearly lay out what the web application will be about. What purpose is it supposed to serve? What goals need to be met? Different projects may be focused on selling, providing information, or social exchange. For this reason, before you do anything else, you need to clearly define web app’s purpose.
Start by researching the competition. What features do they have and what do their web apps lack? Is there something users complain about? This will help you better understand the competitive market as well. More importantly, it’ll help you create a website that looks better than anything else.
Create a Sitemap:
Once you have the general idea of a web application, create a list of all pages in the web application. This way, it will be easier to create a navigation system as well.
Wireframes help you visualize what the web app is going to look like. Think of wireframes as sketches for animated films. These can be helpful to understand your website and its features.
Choose Technology Stack
Next step is to decide what technology you’ll use to accomplish the goal. Consider requirements of the project to make your decision. Make decisions on programming language, framework, and other tech stacks you’re going to use.
Develop a Timeline:
Come up with a list of web development tasks that will need to be completed. Then work with senior developers to estimate how long each task will take. In web development, something always goes wrong. Adjust your plans accordingly.
Web application is nothing without some content. Once you make important decisions about the web app, create plans for pieces of contents to fill pages. Make sure your content fits on each page. It should be compatible with web design.
Design and Development
Finalize the design. Coming up with a design is more complicated than simple drawings. You need to come up with your brand visuals to ensure consistency. Once you have the design, you can start the web development process – creating actual web pages users can interact with.
Testing is a key part of building a reliable web application. Otherwise code and overall application is going to be too unpredictable. Testing involves unit testing, finding and fixing broken links, looking at browser and device compatibility, and so on.
Launch and Maintenance
Once everything is working perfectly, it's time to launch the website. But the work doesn't stop here. Regular maintenance, such as updating content and fixing bugs, is necessary to keep the website relevant and functioning.
Modern web applications should be built for everyone – including users with disabilities. When building applications, you need to enable interactions using non-traditional inputs. This is not a nice-to-have, but an essential component of modern web applications. Here’s how to optimize apps for accessibility in React.
First of all, use appropriate HTML elements when possible. This way, assistive technologies can effectively decipher elements and content of your page and help disabled users make use of it. For instance, use <button> to perform button functionalities – respond to clicks, etc. You can use a button and onClick event handler to specify scroll position of the view. Learn more here. Do not use a simple <div> or even <span> to accomplish the same.
Focus is an important part of interacting with a website. Good web application needs to manage focus. Respond when elements get into focus, and when they are no longer in focus.
Also, use the <label> element to properly assign labels to every input element. This allows screen readers to help disabled users use forms. These elements in React are almost the same as in HTML. Except in React, we use the htmlFor instead of normal for attribute.
Finally, choose color palette that works for color-blind people and people who do not see well. It can be something simple like using green buttons for ‘positive’ and red for ‘negative’. But there are many other ways to use colors for communication.
Focus on UX
React is very popular because it makes room for modular design and efficient development process. This approach helps designers and developers collaborate and produce best results for building UIs.
Virtual DOM is React’s way of improving performance and speed. As a result, React apps naturally offer smooth, responsive, and overall user-friendly experience. React apps load immediately, users do not experience delays when using the app.
Event handlers are key for ensuring smooth user experience. For example, you can use the onSubmit to clear input fields after form is submitted.
Separation of Concerns
Angular and Vue.js approach this differently. Logic and design are separated into different files, or different sections of the same file.
Here’s how to achieve separation of concerns to achieve simple and straightforward development process.
Another way to separate logic from the layout is to create custom hooks or use utilities like classnames() function in React.
It must be noted that separation of layout and logic doesn’t always lead to shortest lines of code. Ultimately, the best way to organize your project depends on needs of your web application and what it needs to accomplish.
Every modern web application needs to be responsive to make sure it runs properly on any device, with screens large and small. That includes devices like PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or even gaming consoles. Users don’t like to scroll down, resize windows, or scroll across to see contents of the page. Responsivity ensures they don’t have to. More and more people are using smartphones to use web applications. Sometimes majority of your visitors are going to be viewing your app on a small screen. In that case, responsivity should be your N1 priority.
Responsivity can also increase search engine traffic. Google, Bing, and majority of search engines evaluate responsivity to determine which pages to show at the top. Responsive web apps tend to load faster as well, which is also a positive SEO factor.
Building responsive web applications is also more efficient than building separate apps for each device. As a result, you save a lot of money on development costs of different apps.