Whilst working on client projects we often find useful bits of information out. Where possible we blog about that information to pass on our knowledge. Below are some of our most recent entries.
Some all too common front-end mistakes
You might be writing the most amazing back-end code, but if your front-end isn't up to scratch it may be the difference between an ok app and an amazing app.
We have recently watched a number of new websites being launched, most notably the new ASP.Net website from Microsoft. Now you'd think this would be an opportunity for the Microsoft team to show off the power of ASP.Net, but unfortunately the front-end aspect of the site is very poor and suffering from a number of issues. Unfortunately this isn't an uncommon situation with web developers. Whilst developers are constantly thinking of ways to improve their back-end code and trying to write the most beautiful code they can, when it comes to front-end aspects they really let their standards slip.
Why is the front-end so important?
The front-end aspect of a website (HTML, CSS, JS and Images) is the area of web development where you can really improve the performance of an app. Sure, there are performance improvements you can make to the back-end systems such as reducing the number of calls to the database, caching, and keeping code simple, however the front-end is where the big performance improvements can really be made. It is for this reason that developers really need to take more care with what they are doing when it comes to creating great websites / web applications.
We haven't even mentioned here the importance of a well designed user interface. After all, clients are always going to want websites that are fast and easy to use. A poorly designed UI is only going to hamper and frustrate users.
Common front-end issues
Some of the most common issues we have seen in front-end coding include:
- Table based layouts - yes there really are plenty of developers out there still using tables for non-tabular information
- Divitis and Classitis
- Poorly optimised images
- Lack of gzip compression
- Too many HTTP requests
- Inline CSS and JS
Why are the basics being ignored?
The big question is why, when back-end techniques are being refined more and more by developers, are they ignoring the importance of good practices for front-end development? Is it because developers just think HTML etc are easy, and don't put much thought, or care into them? Maybe the days of a web developer understanding all aspects of web development are now past and front-end development is becoming more and more specialist. From job adverts we've seen recently, this would certainly seem the case, with companies specifically advertising for "front-end developers".
We often see developers classing themselves as web developers, but then often looking at both their front-end and back-end coding unfortunately one often lets the other down. To be a good web developer, and to class yourself as a web developer, you need to be able to write both good front-end and back-end code.Tweet