Web development is a complex job because it involves working across multiple disciples.
You have to make sure the code works, is scalable, and will not break. You also have to manage expectations from stakeholders as the project takes shape.
To make life easier during the development process, I’ve compiled a web development checklist with ten essentials you need to consider for your next project.
1. Secure the domain and set up SSL
Acquire your domain name as soon as possible. Once the domain name you want is gone, there is a chance that it’s gone forever. With domain hoarding on the rise, your shortlist domain may be very expensive if you wait too long.
SSL certificates are also important to consider. Google has now started favoring SSL certificates as a metric for determining the rank website, so using SSL on your website gives it a much-needed boost. Additionally, most marketing websites do not yet use SSL, so it can give your site a bit of an SEO boost above competitors.
If you haven’t already, make sure that you register an SSL certificate along with your domain name.With domain hoarding on the rise, your shortlist domain may be very expensive if you wait too long. Click To Tweet
2. Set up excellent hosting and storage
Depending on the project, you will need to setup web hosting and storage options for your files and scripts. During the developmental stage, it is a standard practice to code and deploy sites offline, like a localhost or a staging site hosted on another domain.
Set up the web hosting and storage options as soon as possible. This is especially important because your web hosting plan will need to be big enough to handle your scripts and the technology that you employ. For example, if you use Node.js in your web development, you will need a hosting plan that allows you to install and run Node.js on the server.
3. Optimize for SEO
Your website will probably only be successful if it is optimized for search engines.
Be sure to take into account page speed, analytics as well as proper meta tags and other SEO considerations. Doing your research is the key here: Try to read some background on search engine optimization, and plan your web development roadmap accordingly.
4. Plan out scripts and languages
Make sure you plan your checklist with the scripts and languages that you will be using during the coding process.
5. Map out design
Web development is not an isolated process. No matter what your project is, it will involve some level of design expertise. Design considerations belong in your web development checklist.
Be sure to talk to your designers, and plan out the project accordingly. If you are coding a WordPress theme, make sure you discuss the theme’s PSD files and design with your designers, so that the entire team is on the same page.Web development is not an isolated process. No matter what your project is, it will involve some level of design expertise. Click To Tweet
6. Consider any external tools needed
There is no shortage of amazing tools and services that you can use to spice up and improve your web development workflow. For instance, if you need to send out emails to your clients or users on a regular basis, MailChimp or Mandrill are useful services.
Make a list of requirements and tasks that your web development project needs and devise a shortlist of tools and services that will work for each requirement. By incorporation external tools and services in your web development workflow, you can to reduce your workload and also save time and efforts.
7. Generate an XML sitemaps
Generating and maintaining an XML sitemap is a critical task for your SEO strategy.
Without a sitemap, your website will fail to be indexed simply because search engines will not be able to crawl it properly. Make sure you make XML Sitemaps a key point in your web development checklist so that you are able to implement them properly for the benefit of your project.
8. Create an error-handling strategy
Even the best of coders have to deal with major errors and bugs sometimes, so there is no point in being afraid of errors arising in your code.
When errors or bugs appear in your code, you should be ready to tackle them and fix your code as soon as possible, so that your project does not suffer. Web development is an ongoing process, and even if you are able to code a great tool or website today, you will need to update and maintain it in the future.
9. Create a file-handling strategy
The internet is made up of files and in your web development project is too. Certain files will need to be publicly visible while others will need to be hidden or readable only by administrators.
Make sure you take care of file permissions properly, so that you don’t have security issues. Also, ensure that you name your files properly. Images and other documents should be given readable and proper names so that search engines can index them. Additionally, don’t forget alt tags for your images.
Lastly, be sure to safeguard you code files from snooping and malicious hackers by denying access to your core files with website access rules or file permissions.
10. Optimize security settings
Security settings are critical to web development. Without proper security strategy, your website will be vulnerable to hackers and other malicious users.
Every day, millions of websites are compromised due to poor security practices — bad file access rules, out of date software, irresponsible handling of content, or even poorly coded websites. When planning your web development checklist and roadmap for your project, make sure you address all security considerations properly, so that your project is not compromised because of a security issue.
Do you have any items to add to this web development checklist? Share them in the comments below!