Writing code is complicated and there are plenty of opportunities to make improvements, whether mistakes have been made before or not. Improvements can be anything from correcting errors in your code to adding new features to help make the visitor experience better. Here are six tips for improving your website’s code.
1. Employ Code Analysis
Using a code analysis tool can help you locate bugs and security vulnerabilities more quickly and easily. You can also leverage code analysis to discover patterns in your code and deviations from those patterns. You can analyse your code manually, but it tends to be more beneficial to employ a tool that can perform analysis for you. For example, a Python static analysis can be conducted more quickly, accurately and efficiently by an automated tool than it could be by human coders. Most tools are capable of conducting continuous analysis based on your established standards for your code.
2. Keep Your Framework Minimalistic
Whether you’re building your website from scratch or leveraging a web host, you want to have a minimalist framework for your code. When you’re planning your website, figure out which features the site will need and which you can do without. This will help you determine which framework will best support your needs, for example a skeleton or pure framework. A minimalistic framework will ensure that you only have space for what you need and your website’s code won’t be as likely to become bloated and lag.
3. Optimize Your Files and Images
Images, animations, videos and most other types of files can cause your website to experience series lag when it loads, which can frustrate visitors. You should always compress files, particularly large ones, to ensure your site’s content is light and loads more quickly. Images are one of the most important types of files to compress, as they can actually contain plenty of non-image information, such as dates and camera information. Instead of compressing an image file, which can reduce the image’s quality, you can utilize optimization tools to strip extraneous information out of the image file.
4. Keep the Source Code Clean
Not only should your framework be minimalistic, but the code within that framework should be as well. You don’t want to include any unnecessary lines of code, line breaks or empty characters. Too many of these can affect the loading times of individual web pages or of your entire website. One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary parts of your source code is to insert the text and format it as plain text, rather than inserting it directly from a word processor.
5. Always Comment Your Code
You should make a habit of commenting on your code. Not only can it help you ensure your code is intelligible to other developers and to yourself in the future, but it also helps you slow down and consider your code’s needs and your writing process. Comments on code can help you break down complex procedures into smaller, more easily executable steps. This way, your code will be more easily decipherable and you should be able to locate and fix bugs more quickly.
6. Utilize Caching and Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
Caching and CDN can help improve your website’s speed and overall performance. These tools ensure your website and its features work as they’re meant to no matter where a visitor is accessing the site from. Caching is a method of enabling your browser to deliver certain files to site visitors more quickly and a CDN is a type of caching. When you use a CDN, it links any static content that exists on your website to wider server networks, helping people access your site from anywhere in the world.
When you develop and maintain a website, you want it to stay ahead of the curve and make sure your site’s visitors have a consistently positive experience with it. This means you need to monitor your website and its code for issues or datedness and periodically make updates.