Top 8 Web Development Best Practices: 2021 Edition
Did you know? Slow-loading websites cost retailers £1.73 billion ($2.6 billion) in lost sales each year. Well they wouldn't have if they had followed the web development best practices!
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Table of Contents
Your website represents your storefront – hence it is very crucial to leave a good first impression on your web visitors through visually appealing designs, user-friendliness, and accessibility. The overall design, look and feel should not bore your customers with bland color schemes and meaningless visuals. Instead, make them take pride in knowing you. So if you want to launch a kick-ass website unlike any other in the market, you have to make sure your site aligns with the top web development best practices of 2021.
Because most of the time things don’t go according to plan, therefore, following the web development standards can always come in handy – the secret is to implement the trends from day one i.e. from your initial project kick-off to get the optimal results. But what are those trends or best practices that I am stressing upon?
In this blog, I will discuss some of the most impactful web development best practices to ensure your business success moving forward in 2021.
1. Always have a plan
Some companies jump right into developing without having a plan – which can be very disadvantageous and time-consuming. If you do not have a plan, you may have to work your way around developing a feature over and over again. Therefore one of the most important web development best practices is to plan before you code.
Most importantly, your goals and objectives should be clearly defined because they will highlight the important steps you need to take to develop a feature or functionality. Plus, it just makes you and your team more organized and focused.
2. Offer user-centric designs
Suppose you have a winning design, you know it’s good enough to be featured on awwwards – but if it does not meet your customer’s requirements, or does not even come close to what your customers need – then we have a problem. Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about designing or developing websites that meet industry standards but instead it’s about developing winning sites that equate with your users, hence user-centered.
Some important points to keep in mind:
- Identify and engage with your target audience to understand their problems and pain points – get to know them by putting yourself in their shoes. You should be able to know what excites or frustrates your users. Get inspired!
- Brainstorm on ideas to solve their problems
- Build an MVP for initial testing – float the beta version of your product to the market for feedback
- Fix your product based on the feedback and implement again – it doesn’t stop here remember improving is a continuous process – customer demands are always changing and so should your designs.
3. Follow the web development standards
Web development standards are a set of rules that every web developer should follow to align the final product with visitors’ expectations. Web standards do not necessarily mean that they can limit web creativity or innovation – not at all – but instead, these standards enhance clarity, accessibility, and usability altogether.
- Log placement on the top corner
- Clear CTA on the top right corner such as sign up or contact us button
- Main website navigation on the top – preferably sticky-uber bar
- Featured image or a slideshow on the top of the website that tells users about the product or the services and the problem it solves – basically it defines the value proposition accompanied with a CTA
- Search functionality in the header
- Clear CTA’s at the bottom of the page
- Social media icons and contact information
- Copyright and year of development
- High responsiveness
4. Clean and simple code
Your code should be meaningful, not too complicated to edit, or hard to understand. Simplicity and clarity of the code are important if you’re working within a team because most likely your team lead can ask your fellow developer to review or edit your code – so try not to make it a living hell for him unless you really have to. Jokes apart.
5. Websites should have multi-device compatibility
There is no denying that users access websites through different devices and browsers, right? According to studies by Statista, an estimated half of the website traffic around the world comes from mobile phones.
In the first half of 2021, mobile devices generated approximately 54.8% of global website traffic. Now you know why multi-device compatibility is important and is considered one of the most significant web development practices in 2021. Moreover, since mobile devices have varying screen sizes, to ensure a high customer experience your website should have an adaptive design.
6. Follow accessibility guidelines
Every website should offer the same sets of features and functionalities for people with impairments as it does for people without. Because everyone should have the same access to features as the rest to promote inclusivity. Do you need to customize your design according to accessibility design guidelines to make your web more accessible, so be it? Do exactly that.
Moreover, to make it easier for you, there are so many AI-enabled solutions available in the market that can automate your processes – meaning they can scan your websites within 24 hours and deliver sections of elements on your sites that should be made accessible.
7. Web speed and SEO optimization
Cannot stress enough the importance of a highly optimized website, both in terms of SEO and speed. Website speed is not only a part of web development but also defines the overall user experience. Because most likely slow websites tend to frustrate users. You don’t wanna know how quickly I scram when the site isn’t loading.
So, yes – if your web speed doesn’t load in less than 5 seconds – your potential customers will abandon you and may never come back. Speaking of, site speed and SEO are closely related to google ranking – meaning if your website is not optimized, it might affect the google search ranking – just saying.
Factors such as a lot of design features with multiple typefaces and font sizes, animations and file types, sizes, and plugins can negatively affect the speed. So if you have developed your site, make sure to compress and optimize images and check the speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to measure site performance in terms of speed.
Below are some tips for Search Engine Optimization:
- Consistent headers such as H1, H2, H3, etc.
- Strategically place keywords throughout the website – avoid keyword stuffing or other blackhat SEO practices
- Add relevant page title tags and meta descriptions
- Have properly structured web URLs with keywords
- Sitemaps and rich snippets
8. Online security
Website security is very important for keeping sensitive customer data secure. There are hundreds of thousands of customers that visit your site every day. They input their data to make a purchase or to even log in. Therefore without proper security protocols, bad actors can exploit the system.
They can leverage your weak web entry points to steal valuable information, which in return can have massive financial losses, reputational damages, and declining search engine ranking. Now, you don’t want that right?
So here’s what you can do.
- Have a defense strategy in place
- Keep your website up-to-date
- Keep an eye out for SQL injection
- Strengthen your passwords
- Validate both the client and the server-side
- Protect against XSS through content security policy
Other important web development best practices
- Pro-tip is to test your code while you are building it to save time
- Use semantic HTML to make your web pages more meaningful such as to highlight headings and other design elements
- Implement CSS resets to avoid browser inconsistencies
- Don’t depend too much on libraries or third-party components
- Focus on minimalist designs and mobile-friendliness
- Do not test the working website
- Social media integration is a must
- Build progressive web apps
Build with us
Do you want to familiarize people with your brand and increase your online presence – an intuitive website is what you need. Outsource InvoZone – because we can help fulfil all your web development needs because there’s one thing we are never likely to run short of and that is our experience. Using advanced and best web development best practices, we can facilitate your company to reach newer heights of success and growth.
Have I been able to convince you about how cool we are? Then why not contact us, because we know what we are doing and it’s awesome work!!