Implementation Strategies to Future-Proof your Web Site

Site Development is the step of turning plans into action.

Some suggestions for the development process are:

  • Use an appropriate, adequate code editor
  • Stick to your Development Plan, then build a template framework
  • Keep it Simple, Sweetheart
  • Don't reinvent or pioneer, appropriate and integrate
  • Document everything

Adequate Code Editor

An appropriate code editor can save time. And many good ones are available free.

The code editor provides “code highlights,” i.e., it colors the code. This makes the code easy to follow, a useful feature when you need to debug your work.

If the code editor doesn't support code highlighting, then it is not suitable for the coding development stage of Web design.

The second advantage of a code editor is the ability to perform search and replace operations.

The advanced search and replace can work with hundreds of files across a site, and make changes to code without your having to open each file.

Even a nominally priced code editor with advanced Search and Replace features can pay for itself in use if you need to replace a few snippets of code in a large site. And, there are may Open Source and Free editors.

An advanced code editor is also found as a component in the high-end DreamWeaver™ product.

Template Framework

Plan your work so that you can rework your site components.

This prevents you from having to create everything on each new page from scratch.

And, rather than seeming uncreative to your site's visitors; your visitors will appreciate the consistency, and think that you are smart.

The components do not have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler, the better.

So, try to re-use as much of your code as possible.

Keep it Simple, Sweetheart

You will have to troubleshoot many issues as you develop your site. And, you will devise many solutions.

The best way to choose a solution is to determine which solution is simpler and easier.

Sometimes it is easier to start over than to keep on working with a complicated solution. If you have to “patch the patch” to make your code work, it might be time to start over.

While it might save time to continue on with the complicated superstructure, in the long run, the site will stand the test of time, i.e., be more future-proof, if your code is simpler.

Keep all code as short and simple as possible. If things become long, break them up into blocks. This holds true for code, and this holds true for the pages themselves.

Rewriting and simplifying now, will make your site future-proof, and save time in the long run.

Appropriate and Integrate

The Web is a helpful medium. Many answers can be found so that you can learn what to do just from seeing how someone else did it.

This will save you a significant amount of time, which means you can focus your time on other tasks.

Document Everything

Documenting code takes a long time, but unless you have a photographic memory and lots of time to unravel what you did with cold code, i.e., code that you worked on more than a week ago, you should document.

The one area where documentation would not be appropriate would be where lots of documentation added appreciable file size to the code, and large numbers of visitors were creating excessive bandwidth charges. Of course, this is a problem that every Web designer would like to have.