The 5 Biggest Pains in Website Maintenance
As the web has evolved over time, website complexity has trended upward. Why? Technology has allowed us to do more than ever. Between content management systems (CMS), code frameworks and other technological advancements, high-end functionality is at our fingertips. This has raised the bar in not only what we can achieve, but what our clients expect of us as well. While this evolution has brought a lot of positives, it has also made website maintenance all the more difficult. It’s the result of so many disparate pieces being brought together. In some ways, it’s also the price of taking advantage of the latest and greatest techniques. With that, let’s take a look at (in no particular order) five of the more painful maintenance-related issues that many modern websites face. The Web Designer Toolbox Unlimited Downloads: 1,000,000 Web Templates, Themes, Plugins, Design Assets, and much more! Ever-Changing APIs A lot of websites depend on third-party APIs these days. They enable us to connect with providers such as Google Maps, Mailchimp and virtually every social media network out there. Each API is different and, as you might expect, have their own unique quirks. And they also release new versions that one might view as a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s great to see a particular API evolve and add new features. There is a downside, though. Sometimes these changes require us to update our own implementations. Failure to do so can lead to a broken feature. As an example, several years ago Twitter made an API change that resulted in a lot of issues for third-party providers. More recently, Instagram’s updated API meant users had to reauthenticate their apps in order to display feeds on their website. It can be a major pain to keep up with all of these changes for even one website. If you manage multiple websites that use various APIs, you may not find out about a change until it’s too late. ” width=”900″ Abandoned or Poorly-Maintained Plugins A healthy variety of plugins is part of what makes an open-source CMS thrive. If developers are out there creating new functionality for a platform such as WordPress, it becomes more attractive to new users. But variety itself does not guarantee quality or even a lengthy existence. Because anyone can publish a plugin, that means living with a lot of uncertainty. As platforms evolve, a particular plugin may not come along for the ride. For web designers and their clients, this results in occasionally having to reinvent the wheel a bit. If a plugin we’ve chosen is buggy, no longer maintained by its author or both, a replacement must be found. The more complex the plugin, the more painful it is to replace. It’s not just finding a new plugin, however. Any customizations made around the previous one will have to be refactored. The whole process could become expensive and time-consuming. ” width=”900″ Web Hosting Nightmares We depend so much on web hosts. How much? Think of it this way: no matter how well-built a website is, it can’t overcome substandard hosting. And, when hosts don’t hold up their end of the bargain, things can quickly become a nightmare. Frequent outages, security holes or lackluster support make our jobs that much harder. Especially so, considering that web designers are often caught in the middle. » Read More
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