Ways to Increase your Productivity as a Web Developer

Ways to Increase your Productivity as a Web Developer

polypane.app polypane.app3 months ago in #Dev Love19

Making websites takes time. There are a lot of parts you have to think about if you want to create a good, solid website and sometimes it might feel like there just isn’t a way to go through the work faster. Whether you work alone or with a team of designers and back-end developers, there are a lot of way to be more productive. A mistake many people and many companies make is that they set out to standardize their product. They only build based on a single WordPress theme, or all their sites have the same features. If you want to work with bigger clients they almost never want standard work though. They instead want something custom-fit to their needs and requirements. That’s more interesting work, more challenging and pays more. But it also means you you can’t standardize your product. You can’t (and don’t want to) standardize your product, but what you can do is standardize your process. As a lead front-end developer with over 15 years of experience, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to optimally configure this process. If you’re intentional about it you can get some impressive productivity gains in all areas of the process. Here’s 8 ways to do that, from the beginning of the project through to the end: Start from a solid base Agree on design shortcuts Use handoff tools Use a CSS framework Re-use your components Use Emmet Use Polypane Set up automated quality checking Start from a solid base If you start from scratch every single time, you can be sure you’re never going to be faster than the last time. By creating or using a solid base for your website, you can save time on the things you’re doing every time. Backend developers already know this. Many will create their own starter project based on a language and framework of their choice, rather than a CMS. Where a CMS usually has a set number of functionality that you can only used in the way the CMS intended, a framework is more like a big box of building blocks that you can combine in ways that work best for your current project. This concept can be extended to your front-end too. Take the last few projects and see which HTML is similar. Every website is going to have roughly the same elements: There’s always a with a title, favicon, opengraph info an links to your CSS and JS. 99% of the time a website will have a header with a logo and some form of navigation, and a footer with a copyright rule and some additional links, and most pages will have a content area for your CMS. Making that part of your “starter” or “base” HTML will save you a lot of time. Additionally, though most of us love checking out new JavaScript frameworks, for your starter base you can probably get away with a few little JavaScript snippets. Cross-platform JavaScript is much easier than it was a few years ago, and most things can be solved with small “vanilla” scripts. Agree on design shortcuts Design tools give designers access to all widths, all colors and all font sizes. But in reality your websites will only use a few of each. You can save time during design and during implementation not by cutting corners, but by laying down some ground rules. This can be super expansive,  » Read More

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