Top 5 Ways to Save Time and Money on Website Maintenance
I can’t think of anything worse for a website designer than to spend a lot of unnecessary time re-engineering a website that requires the simplest maintenance. And I’m not speaking about re-engineering another website designers work, I’m talking about our own. With each website design that I produce, my workflow and process evolves naturally – but with these 5 tips – I’ve managed to work more effectively and efficiently.
1. Separate CSS for Structure and Style
When ever there’s an issue with the front-end of a website, I can quickly identify the difference between a structural issue and a style issue. By keeping my style sheets separate, I touch a lot less code and therefore fewer things can go wrong when I’m tinkering around.
2. Use Includes
For the reasons mentioned above – includes allow me to quickly identify an issue and by keeping code in tidy separate files, I’m touching a lot less code fewer times which translates into speed and efficiency.
3. Create Directories for Everything
Seriously, I create a lot of directories. I have directories inside of directories – and use them liberally to make associations with various files. For instance – my navigation requires various rollover states and jQuery scripts – each of which requires their own directory inside the navigation include directory. It’s a cleaner working space.
4. Validate Early and Often
Because I create two separate style sheets you can imagine that I have a two-step process when coding a new site. Beginning with the physical structure of the website, I code the site into various color blocks and validate – then browser check on top of that. Once I know my site looks identical on every browser – it’s time to put that structure style sheet away. Then start with the style CSS – once completed, validate and browser check. If all goes well – usually the only issue left is to hammer out those jQuery conflicts.
5. Comment Often and Frequently
I am such a huge advocate for commenting every little piece of code in my sites – it’s a huge help to not only understand how something is built – but it helps to quickly identify elements of our design and find resolution quickly.