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What important technical details should a programmer consider before making the website live?

March 14th, 2014

As a web developer or programmer, you need to concentrate on some vital technical information before making your website live. The foremost thing that you need to concentrate on is using an appropriate platform for your web development.

You need to make sure that the platform you’re going to use for developing the website must be stable, secure, high-performing and scalable. Also, it must meet all kinds of business goals such as less cost, quick development time, high Google ranking, and so on.

Next, you need to be more specific about using web standards for your website development. As a professional web developer, you need to have specific consideration on HTML, JavaScript and CSS over HTTP.

Before using any web standards, ensure that which web standards you are going to use, and also ensure that in what circumstances and why you are going to use those standards.

So, what important technical details you should consider before make your website live?

  • Make sure that your website works reasonably well across all major browsers, because sometimes browsers implement standards inconsistently. Also, consider how browsers render your website in various operating systems, and how people might use the website other than from major browsers.
  • Ensure that you deploy updates on the websites without affecting the users. Have staging environments(one or more tests) available to implement changes on the websites, such as modifying architecture, adding content, changing code, etc., and ensure that they are deployed carefully without affecting anything else in the website. So, always have an automated way of deploying changes to the live website.
  • Never display unfriendly errors straight away to the users of the website. Also, never provide the user’s email ID in plain text as it may get spammed to death.
  • Learn how doing progressive enhancement, which helps you to deliver the best possible experience to the users.
  • Always REDIRECT after a POST if it was done successfully. This helps you to prevent a refresh from submitting again.
  • Make sure that you take accessibility into account without fail. Because, in certain situation, it is a legal requirement.
  • Aware about Injections like SQL injection, and learn how to prevent them. You have to use hash passwords to prevent rainbow attacks.
  • Use SSL/HTTPS for pages like login pages or the pages where sensitive data is entered.
  • Avoid cross site scripting (XSS) and cross site request forgeries (CSRF). Also, prevent session hijacking and Clickjacking.
  • Implement caching if necessary. To do this, you have to use HTTP caching and HTML5 Manifest properly.
  • Learn how to deflate content and optimize images in the website.
  • To reduce the number of browser connections, try to compress duplications among files by improving gzip ability.
  • For performance profiling, use Google page speed with browser extension. This helps to optimize images in the website. You can use CSS Image Sprites for small related images like toolbars.
  •  Reduce the number of HTTP requests that are required for a browser to render the web page.
  • Always remember that SEO or Search Engine Optimization plays a greater role in generating traffic to your website. So, make sure that you use search engine friendly URLs in your website.
  • Make sure that you install Google analytics tool or an open source analysis tool right at the start. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools to get a detailed report about the visibility of your web pages on Google and Bing.
  • Never forget to have an XML sitemap in the website. This helps you to tell Google about pages on your website.
  • Use XHTML/HTML and CSS according to the W3C specifications and also ensure that they authenticate.
  • Learn how JavaScript is processed in the browser. If you use iframes, then learn how the JavaScript sandbox works. Also, consider using JavaScript frameworks that hide the browser differences when using JavaScript for DOM manipulation.
  • To load frameworks, consider using a service like Google Libraries API. This makes a browser to use a copy of the framework it has already cached instead of downloading a duplicate copy from your website.
  • Always set up a better error reporting solution, and document how the application works. Also, make frequent backups and make sure that the backups are functional.
  • Use a version control system that helps you to store your files. Also, never forget to do your acceptance testing.
  • Ensure that you have enough logging in place using frameworks. When logging, make sure that you capture both handled exceptions as well as unhandled exceptions. And analyze the log output regularly to find out the key issues in your website.

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