In order to improve the functionality, accessibility and usability of your website with these web development best practice tips.
The role of ‘web developer’ and ‘web designer’ may be blurred in some design agencies and the terms may be interchangeable. To provide some clarity for you a web developer works on the functional aspects of a website and the web designer focuses on the aesthetics. The two roles work together to create a website that not only looks good but is easy to use for visitors. Today, we focus on five web development best practice tips for developers.
Tip #1: Easy to use navigation
Web developers need to strike a balance with web designers between usability and visual appeal when developing a website. Well developed website architecture is critical to a user having a favourable experience on your website. You can maximise usability and accessibility by including features such as tab navigation, vertical drop down menus, having no more than three levels of navigation needed to find information and implementing visitor site maps.
Tip #2: Cross Browser Compatibility
Internet users have a wider choice of browsers when it comes to surfing the net such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari. It is the web developer’s responsibility to ensure that the website renders (or displays) correctly in different browsers (looks and feels the same in all different browsers and versions). You want to create the same experience for users regardless of what browser they choose to use.
Tip #3: Optimising site speed
Optimising page speed (how quickly a website responds to web requests) on a website is not only critical to the usability of the website but it is also included as a signal in Google’s search ranking algorithms. Their findings show that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. The Search Engine says that web development best practice for page load optimisation is grouped into six categories that cover different aspects:
- Optimising caching — keeping your application’s data and logic off the network altogether
- Minimising round-trip times — reducing the number of serial request-response cycles
- Minimising request overhead — reducing upload size
- Minimising payload size — reducing the size of responses, downloads, and cached pages
- Optimising browser rendering — improving the browser’s layout of a page
- Optimising for mobile — tuning a site for the characteristics of mobile networks and mobile devices
Tip #4: Search Engine Optimisation
A critical part of a website developer’s role is to work with a Search Engine Optimisation company to assist in making a website Search Engine-friendly. The web pages should be visible not only to human beings but also to the bots/crawlers of major Search engines such as Google and Bing. Web development best practice for optimising websites and boosting Search Engine visibility includes the following:
creating the website on a Search Engine-friendly platform
installing Search Engine-friendly content management systems
installing Google Analytics to enable you to track results
adding a robots.txt file (this tells a Search Engine which pages you do and don’t want them to visit)
creating keyword-rich folder structures
optimising site speed
managing day-to-day site issues such as broken links and redirects.
Tip #5: Compatibility with portable devices
As more people with portable devices become internet savvy and surf the net, it is becoming critical for web developers to develop a mobile-friendly version of your site. This takes a different approach to page design than for desktop devices but web development best practice usability guidelines still apply. The factors that developers need to consider include simplified navigation, optimal site speed for mobile devices, minimal use of images and mobile SEO.
The role of a web developer is to improve the function of the website and this involves basic web principles that are applied to every website regardless of size, scope or industry. At ediaro.com, we have a team of talented web developers and designers available to assist you. Visit our webcentre to find out more web development best practice tips or call us on 08060644044, 08090644044, email: info@ ediaro.com to find out more about our professional web design packages and services.