Building a website can be a stressful process and sadly, a dull one. There is a lot of repetition involved, and if you’re working as part of a team a lot of head scratching. Especially if you came into a project late on and you are trying to decipher some code. The solution to keeping hair on your head is to keep as much of the design process as possible, systemized
This is as you can imagine, incorporates two elements into the build: Implementing design rules into the web design process, and using processes to speed up the repetitive tasks involved in web design, such as creating templates that can be reused.
Having a repository for code is essential and you should already be doing this. There are dedicated programs to help you do this, but even if you just have a file with the snippets of code you may need for projects. Consider these as basic essentials for your code collection.
- Contact forms projects
- User Management / login
- Payment handlers and online store scripts
- Commonly used design elements (buttons, headers, layout’s, footers e.t.c)
- Anything else you’ve built bespoke before that could be of use at a later date
This will all save time when starting from the ground up as designers will already have HTML templates, complete with doc type and stylesheets.
Code in order
Anyone that has worked as part of a design team will testify as to how messey coding can actually get. Everyone brings their own style to the design process, and this in turn means that everyone brings there own idiosyncracies to it as well. This can lead to a lot of head scratching and wondering why that div was floated to the left. By implementing a coding order can save developers a lot of time.
It does not have to be anything to drastic. For example, this could be the order for CSS properties:
Work to pre-made templates.
If you create a few templates incorporating features you use in most designs, then you could go find yourself saving plenty of time and work. It could be simple things like designing one with a CMS, and an SEO plugin, but no matter how simple it is, they will all save you time in the long run.
Before you do create a template or two, consider what elements you use the most and then code the template accordingly.
Work out the costs of pre-written scripts
Once you have the infrastructure in place and you are happily systemizing your design process, you may as well work out the pricing structure for all the templates. This way, when your client asks how much will a website cost, you’ll already have an answer and this can save you time from working out the nuts and bolts of where the pennies are going to go.
If you put all these in an FAQ, then you can save even more time.
Code that funky framework.
Designers and developers will find they have time on their hands if frameworks are introduced into the design process. If you fly solo when you build a website, then coding the framework makes it an even more invaluable tool.
Whether you need typography, CSS, or a database, your coded framework will keep things running smoothly, and keep your client happy.
The advantages of using a systemization process for developing websites is clear. Everyone wins as there is less frustration head scratching, deadlines become more achievable, and clients are happier as they see the results for their cash faster.