Last week, we featured an interview with Kreig Durham, a developer at Soulheart. He gave us a brief introduction to what web development is and how it works.
Development can be a bit of an enigma to those outside of the coding realm. Because of this, the most difficult part about development for web developers is often explaining the process behind it! Today, we’ll consider three things that web developers wish their web clients knew.
1. It will probably take longer than you think
Developing takes time. This is because developing accounts for everything on your website. This includes images to fonts to colors to copy to links to everything else! Everything is written into the code, and hundreds and thousands of pages and pages (two billion pages, if you’re talking about Google) of code lie behind a website.
Moreover, simplicity does not mean that the coding will be simple. In fact, the appearance of the final website tells a non-developer nothing about the complexity of the code that went into it. Everything has a specific place that it has been coded for and it is specifically connected in a precise way to the rest of the code. Also, because of the precision, it’s quite finicky – if you miss a single comma, you might have to search for an hour to figure out where it should go. This is just a part of the process, but it does contribute to development often taking longer than we might otherwise anticipate.
2. All code hinges on other code
Code works like a very fragile spider web. As long as nothing in the web moves, it works just fine. However, if you change a single strand, the whole thing is coming down. Because all coding is interconnected, it is rarely possible to make even the smallest changes without having to make big adjustments throughout. To use another analogy, it all works together like a puzzle, and changing the shape of a single piece without adjusting the puzzle will always leave a hole!
Because of this, it’s absolutely crucial that the entire design is planned out before development work begins. Small changes later on in the process will take hours of work that could have been otherwise avoided.
3. Phone design > desktop design
Over half of the internet is viewed through smartphones and tablets. People will view a website from a phone just as often as from a much larger desktop. Designs that work on desktops do not always translate well to the much smaller screens of phones. However, phone-to-desktop translation is much smoother.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to begin web development and design with the mobile version of the site. This will save time and lead to the creation of a website that’s fully functional on a phone and a desktop. This will avoid the familiar problem of having a tiny phone screen deconstruct a beautiful desktop website.
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