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Top 21 Common Mistakes Web Developers Make

Top 21 Common Mistakes Web Developers Make

Web development is one of the most sought after, and well-paid, careers in recent years. Everyone wants to know more about development, and how to make a good living from it.

However, there are a lot of mistakes that developers make, especially beginners. That’s why we have decided to ask our team of experienced developers to share their knowledge and precious advice on the topic.

Top 21 Common Mistakes Web Developers Make

Top 21 Common Mistakes Web Developers Make-1

  1. Forgetting device compatibility.
  2. Not reusing code when possible.
  3. Bad code structure.
  4. Failing to meet coding standards.
  5. Forgetting to clear browser cache.
  6. Work directly on staging.
  7. Uploading unoptimized images.
  8. Relying on plugins too much.
  9. Skipping code comments.
  10. Ignoring code documentation.
  11. Writing working code, without optimizing it.
  12. Expecting users to do what you intended.
  13. Lack of planning before starting to write code.
  14. Overworking.
  15. Not using version control.
  16. Neglecting backups.
  17. Being afraid of change.
  18. Not having fun.
  19. Doing only what is required.
  20. Not keeping UX in mind.
  21. Blindly following the newest practices.

1. Forgetting Device Compatibility

When writing code, a lot of developers only take into account the desktop view, and completely forget about mobile and tablet views, which have different dimensions. Therefore, both the mobile and tablet versions of the website are not optimized and look bad.

Don’t make these mistakes, and remember to always code and test device compatibility, until you’re certain everything is working properly across all devices.

Readers Also Enjoy: Responsive Vs. Mobile-Friendly Vs. Mobile-Optimized Design: How Are They Different? — DevriX

2. Not Reusing Code When Possible

One of the most common mistakes developers make is not reusing code where possible.

There are often reusable blocks of code that you can use, so you don’t waste your time and energy. It’s not “stealing”, it’s just optimizing your developer workflow.

3. Bad Code Structure

When you’re writing code, it’s essential to structure it properly, since if another developer is reading your code, and it’s not well-structured, it will be hard for them to understand everything quickly.

This leads to an unnecessary waste of time, which can easily be avoided, if you just apply proper code structure, which it’s easy for everyone to understand.

4. Failing to Meet Coding Standards

Again, in terms of formatting and structure, different programming languages require a different approach. For example, the spacing would be different for Java, CSS, HTML, PHP, C++, and so on.

Another coding standard staple is using IDE (Integrated Development Environment). In all cases, keep in mind that one day someone else might inherit your code. Also, you might need to work on it, or even worse, you might have to continue working on something that you last touched a long time ago.

Spare everyone the headache, and follow the coding standards.

5. Forgetting to Clear Browser Cache

One of the most common mistakes web developers can make is forgetting to clear browser cache. By not doing this you can spend a lot of time looking for an error that doesn’t actually exist, or if it does, it’s on an older version of the website.

Remember to always clear your cache, so you don’t end up wasting time.

6. Work Directly on Staging

It may be faster and easier to work directly on staging, instead of locally. You see, if something breaks while you’re working on staging, you’ll need to load a backup version of the site, and that will take up more of your precious time.

7. Uploading Unoptimized Images

When you upload big, unoptimized image files to a website, you will inevitably cause the site to load slower. This is also one of the challenges in web development that can easily be fixed.

It’s simple: always make sure to optimize the images you’re using, following the best practices. Since a slow-loading site will be bad for business.

8. Relying on Plugins Too Much

Plugins are an essential part of WordPress. However, your job as a developer is to use them only when it makes sense, and when it optimizes the entire website experience.

Everyone, including people with zero technical experience, can install plugins. However, it’s your job to take care of the backend or front-end part of a website.

A common misconception is that installing plugins will make everything easier and simpler. To a certain extent, that is true, although in the long run, you’ll need to update, and maintain those plugins. And we know that too many plugins can slow down or even break a website, so use them wisely.

9. Skipping Code Comments

A lot of developers admit that they often skip leaving code comments, and that’s a big mistake. Code comments are equally important for other developers that will read your code, as they are for yourself.

Use comments to notify, warn, and update other developers about the importance of your code, and what its core functions are.

10. Ignoring Code Documentation

Code comments and code documentation are different, and both are essential to have. The same principles apply as with comments – developers commonly don’t like writing documentation.

What you need to understand, though, is that documentation can spare a lot of unnecessary work and browsing through the code to understand something.

11. Writing Working Code, Without Optimizing It

A lot of developers are guilty of doing this – in their desire to deliver a working code, as fast as possible.

Code optimization is the process of improving code quality and efficiency. It’s not just a “beauty process”, it’s actually quite important, in order to consume less energy, make the app/program run faster, and perform fewer unnecessary operations.

12. Expecting Users to Do What You Intended

A general rule of thumb is to never trust that users will use features they way you’ve intended them to use them. And if something is not working for users, be certain that they will blame the site, and respectively the developers, for it.

So, always consider possible edge cases and try to imagine the site from the perspective of users. In other words, think of uncommon ways a person can interact with your website – where they could click, what they could break, and so on.

13. Lack of Planning Before Starting to Write Code

Before writing even a single line of code, you should identify your goals and what you want to accomplish. Respectively, think about any potential problems, ways to resolve them, and any additional features you would like to incorporate into your code.

Good planning is half the battle, as the saying goes, and you should really follow that principle. A lack of, or bad, planning can double the work you have to do.

On top of that, you can end up in a situation where everything you’ve done is in vain because you didn’t invest the time to familiarize yourself with the project’s goals.

14. Overworking

Whether you’re writing code, articles, or whatever else, the same physiological principles apply: don’t overwork yourself. When you’re writing for extensive periods of time, your vision starts to blur, your concentration becomes lower, and your brain just gets tired.

Overworking yourself is not productive. Rome wasn’t built in a day. However motivated you might be to finish your code, it’s much better to take a break and restart with a fresh mind. Don’t push yourself – the only thing that will happen will be a headache, fatigue, and further “unpleasant” consequences.

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15. Not Using Version Control

It’s important to keep track of version control, and make sure that each team member is working on the right version. It’s a good idea to use version control software for all files, codes, and assets.

What’s more, you don’t want to just track and manage files. Such software should help you to accelerate product delivery, improve visibility, and help your team collaborate wherever they may be.

16. Neglecting Backups

Another common mistake web developers make is to completely forget about making backups. A backup can save you from the pain of completely breaking a website, and not being able to fix it on your own.

Not only that. Anything can happen, and the last thing you want to do is lose your progress and have to start all over again. Do daily backups, and you can rest your mind knowing that you’re covered whatever happens.

Neglecting Backups

17. Being Afraid of Change

Changes are scary, that’s a fact. Still, no changes means no progress. The digital world is rapidly evolving, and you should embrace new technologies, especially being a developer.

Here’s the thing: both new and experienced developers are often hesitant about stepping outside their comfort zone – they often stick to the methodologies and programming languages they already know. But that’s not always the best approach for the project you’re working on.

There might be a much simpler way to do something, and one that’s a hundred times faster and more efficient. You’ll never know, unless you take a moment to look for it.

18. Not Having Fun

The work of a developer is challenging, even frustrating at times, and often a downright grind. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun, and enjoy the little things that made you decide to become a developer.

After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

19. Doing Only What Is Required

When you start a new project, you usually have a set of requirements. A common mistake developers make, especially newbies, is to only do what is needed of them. More often than not, they just want to finish their tasks as quickly as possible, and pay little attention to what else could be done.

Instead, be proactive. Look around for ways to improve the website, even if no one has asked for a particular functionality. If you deliver an excellent solution, everyone will be happy – your clients will be thankful, and you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction.

20. Not Having UX in Mind

You might be a developer, but that doesn’t mean that you should only care about code. After all, a website is a combination of code, design, functionality, etc.

The ultimate goal is to deliver a smooth user experience, and make sure that the users are completely satisfied with their session on the site.

21. Blindly Following the Newest Practices

Some web developers insist on using the latest methodologies and practices. However, you should be cautious about that, since:

  • Not all versions of a browser support the latest CSS techniques, etc.
  • You’ll make the work of other devs harder. It’s good to follow the naming convention and project architecture.

Blindly Following the Newest Practices

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There you have it! Some of the most common mistakes web developers make. Whether you’re just starting in development or you have years of experience under your belt, check out our list, and make sure you haven’t made the same mistakes.

Know of any other common dev mistakes? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.