Web development is pretty hard work, but everything pays off in the end, when you create something you can be proud of and that is useful for other people. Every Web Developer and Web Designer has his own way of work, and most of the times the techniques and tools used to achieve the same result differ by a quite large degree.
It is impossible to tell a web developer how to do his job, and it’s best if an employer just discusses what he wants to achieve and have in the end, and let the developer worry and choose the tools, code, programming language, techniques and other things that influence the process itself.
But there are a few guidelines that a developer can use to achieve the best result. These are best for novices who do not yet have an established way of doing things and are always looking for new tips and tricks that will help them improve their results and their work process. Here are a few key things that any developer must do, regardless of how he does it:
Original image by Zzaj
Establish a Starting Point
Before starting work on a website or online application, you’ll definitely need something to compare your results with. It can be the current version of the site (which happens most of the times), the site of the competitor, or even a desired plan (this happens mostly when the product is new and unique, when nobody else has done what you’re doing). This starting point will help you demonstrate (to your employer and yourself) that you have indeed made things better, and not only recreated what was already done.
You will want to take screenshots of the site, the Search Engine rankings and the code itself so you can clearly demonstrate that you have really improved things. You can also perform some usability testing by employing everyone you know; from your family and relatives to your work colleagues to test the site and tell you their opinions about it and its user experience level (you can record it, audio or even video).
If your work includes optimizing the site for SEO purposes and increasing the conversion and click through rates, you’ll definitely have to also perform some tests and record the data using some web analytics tool like Google Analytics. You’ll need to see how the site is ranking and how the visitors are behaving (whether they like the content, ads or products, click through fast or stay for a long time, do they come back, etc.) and think up ways of how you can improve these things.