Tools To Make Your Web Development More Efficient

Are you a developer who is sick and tired of having to do everything manually? Does sifting through your code to hunt down tiny mistakes make you want to scream? Then perhaps some of these web development tools will come in handy for making your work more efficient.

CSS Grid Builder

This is a framework that was developed by Yahoo! that enables a web programmmer to create a CSS-based and web standards compliant page in minutes. It comes with over 1000 page layout combinations – once the developer has found the one they want, they simply press ‘show code’ and the HTML is automatically generated for them.

Clean AJAX

This tool has been designed to speed up AJAX development, which is just not possible when done manually. It does this by cutting down the amount of code that a web programmer has to write (and, ultimately, rewrite), as well as giving them access to some of the common design patterns that are used in various AJAX applications, making the whole process much faster.

CSS Sprite Generator

This tool has been designed to reduce the number of HTTP requests are needed for rendering images in web browsers. A web developer will upload all the required images to the generator, which combines them into a single ‘Sprite’. The program can also automatically generate the CSS for them, making it highly useful for any developer.

Firebug

This is an extension created by Mozilla Firefox that gives a developer a wide range of web development tools and features that they otherwise may not have had access to. The extension comes with an in-built JavaScript debugger, which allows web developers to ‘step through’ their script and perform benchmarks to pinpoint the causes of slow running script. Doing this manually can take hours.

CSSTidy

This tool is an open source application that aims to reduce file size through analyzing text, fixing and optimizing the CSS code. It also enables a web developer to standardize CSS code formatting automatically, which can save a lot of time. The tool also has the ability to find and remove styles and properties that are no longer in use.

If you are a developer who would love to have more time on their hands for your work, the above tools are perfect for you. They have been designed to make the web development process more efficient and productive, leaving more time for the other important things.

Tug of War: Freelancer Vs Web Development Company

The scenario of web development has transformed over the past few years. Today, web design and development tasks are counted amongst the top outsourced jobs by enterprises across globe. This is because of a key shift in the approach towards website development. From being a meager job that required least attention, it has become a trend that is much-hyped about. Developing a website is more about developing an online presence aimed at expanding a company’s market outreach. Hiring the right entity is often the biggest challenge that you face while outsourcing development tasks.

Web development is often catered to by two major entities- an established website development company and a freelancer or individual developer. Enterprises usually prefer working with established development firms. Smaller businesses, however, give preference to freelancers or independent developers.

If you are finding it hard to determine to whom you must assign your next development venture, then it is best to look at the pros and cons of hiring both the entities. Then, as per your requisites, you can outsource your task to either a freelancer or an organization.
Let’s analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both the entities.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Web Development Company

Website development companies are established entities with pre-decided workflows, so their service fee is obviously high. But they give you all reasons to rejoice. These companies employ specialized programmers who are well-versed with various programming languages such as HTML, PHP, CSS, jQuery and Dreamweaver. This enables them to provide you with highly efficient web services and customization options.

Development firms also take lesser time to complete an assigned job because they have more resources to work dedicatedly on it. Some companies extend web development packages as a part of their service portfolio, which involve almost every element that is essential for developing and maintaining a website. Web content management, social media marketing, web hosting and support and maintenance services are some of the services that are included in a web development package.

Problems Encountered While Hiring a Web Development Company

Besides elevated pricing, there are certain other issues that one might face while outsourcing job to web development companies. At times, there might be conflicts between the clients and the company regarding transactions and optimization services. Some development firms try to inculcate their own ideas into a project rather than comprehending customer’s needs and delivering results accordingly.

On other hand, some companies simply over-do a web pages or websites with plug-ins and functions. Adding unnecessary widgets and design functionalities can decrease the load speed of a website, thus adversely impacting its performance. If you look at customer retention, loading speed is an essential aspect. The average loading time while a person switches from one page to another is of two seconds. Thus, companies should try to achieve a timeframe of near about 2 seconds.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Freelancer

Small businesses and start ups often prefer to hire freelancers for their development projects. This is because their fee is less as compared to that of an established software firm. Furthermore, some freelancers render amazing output that outruns the quality offered by professional web design companies, especially in terms of layout, functionality and usability.

However, hiring freelancers can be risky as well. Past experienced reveal that some freelancers are unable to complete deliverables within defined timeframe and the quality of results is not up to the expectation mark. The reasons behind this can be numerous- fall in level of interest while working on a project, lack of required expertise and deadline pressure.

As only a single person is working on the project, you can expect delay and longer time consumed in wrapping up the project.

Problems Encountered While Hiring Freelancers

You may not encounter behavior issues with every freelance web developer you come across, but it is surely the case with most of them. Another issue encountered with a freelancer is the lack of innovation and second opinion, especially when he’s uncertain about his programming ideas and concepts. At times, they might even leave the project in middle without completing it. This may be because they found better paying projects or other opportunities to make quick money.

The Winner Is…

A website development company definitely has a hand above freelancers. They have more experience and the risk involved is less. The turnaround time is also less. Some companies commit to deliver an entirely new website within a timeframe of just a week.

Web development companies have emerged as winners but at the end of the day everything depends on your requisites. Keep your requisites in mind and then decide upon to whom do you wish to outsource.

The Basics Of Web Development

For the business owners and marketing heads finding an experienced web developer, one that can bring your vision to life, can be an extremely difficult task; particularly if you have no knowledge of what web development is and what it involves.

Understanding web development is no easy task but often, it is OK to skip the details and instead come to grips with just the basics. Web developers take years to develop their talent (no pun intended) and you, yourself may never quite get there so instead don’t set the bar too high; just focus on the basics because a little can go a long way.

To put it simply, web development has one main focus; to make a website do the stuff that it is supposed to do. Whether it is for the internet or a private intranet network; for a one page website or a large site offering a multitude of applications and services it is your chosen web developer who will be in charge of the construction of your website. Often working with a team of in-house designers, a developer will provide the functions and features that are expected; rather like an architect bringing a scale model to life, with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of coding.

Coding is a complex subject that even I will not claim to have full knowledge off but to put it simply (which is probably the best that I can do) it is the way in which developers describe the functionalities of a website to the browsers. Coding is a language so to speak, that tells a browser what each part of the website is supposed to do.

With years of programming skills and an understanding of coding tools such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS; web developers can describe the content and design of your website to ensure that it is correctly interpreted. So whether you are after a simple website that offers a little of your company information or an e-commerce website that offers users a great shopping experience that can even be ‘tweeted’ about; your web developers will lie at the very root of your success.

In many cases, developers will have skills in graphic design and possibly even SEO but more often than not, they will work with a qualified designer and a team of other online marketing specialists to ensure that whatever it is you want from your website, whatever experience you wish to provide your customers and the results you wish to achieve; you can easily do so.

When searching for a web site development team or a single web developer, it is not vital to have any in-depth knowledge. By simply ensuring you are aware of the basics and the results you desire; finding the perfect person to work alongside your business, needn’t be such a frightening thought again.