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21 Things Every Web Developer Should Be Doing

 

Bueller, anyone?

Bueller, anyone?

If only Ferris knew what was ahead. That quote comes from much simpler, and slower times. With the web and all it’s related technologies, we have seen life change faster than ever. If life was fast during Ferris’ day, it’s at lightning speed now. But the faster life gets, the more we have to slow down to take stock of things. This is no less true in the ever-changing web. But let’s start at the beginning: web development.

This is usually the starting point of a business’ web presence outside of social media. Sometimes, in haste to “get going” business owners look for web developers to build their website quickly, cheaply, and…incorrectly. I think it’s time to slow web development down. To not look at how quickly it can be done, but at the process in which it is done.

What’s the best way to get the desired result? What will produce a website that’s good for today, tomorrow, and is scalable for whatever advancements come in the next few years? What will allow you to take your site and begin the optimization and marketing process without going back and re-doing what was already done, because it was done fast and cheap and wrong, instead of just doing it right from the start?

Let’s look at some web development essentials that you should be asking to be (or your web developers should be telling you are) included in your web development project.

21 Things Every Web Development Strategy Needs

Keyword Research

If you have not performed keyword research before starting on the development of your site, then you are not building a website for your customers. You might as well just look in the mirror and say, “It’s all about me! It’s all about me!” Keyword research gives you a wealth of information on how your audience searches, what phrases have meaning to them and what, specifically, they are looking for. This feeds into the architecture and navigation of the site in huge ways.

Wire Frames

Wait. You are creating a design without putting together wire frames first? Big mistake. While skipping this step may get you a completed design quicker, without wire frames, your pages may end up missing critical elements or have functions in the wrong place. It may seem like a simple fix, but the design frequently distracts us from seeing the things we should be seeing.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!, and President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading web presence optimization firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Follow him on Twitter: @StoneyD and @PolePositionMkg.
Stoney G deGeyter

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11 thoughts on “21 Things Every Web Developer Should Be Doing

  1. I agree with the most part of your post, but about the keyword research i’m not sure. For instance I took a long tail keyword with little competition and made a page about it. With this I made some backlinks to it, but even after three weeks I’m not even in the top 100. My believe is that the algorithm of google works his own way and not necessarily judge on keyword or the keyword density. But judge about the importance of the article. When google can’t find the information people are looking for, then your article is presented.

    1. Sui-Lin, the type of keyword research you are speaking of is more for online marketing than for website development. The research done during the development site is more for the short-tail “core” phrases that should be used for primary site navigation.

      But to your point, keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building isn’t the whole of web marketing. There are a lot of factors beside that as well and each need to be considered before ruling anything out. Google will rank information that is important to the query, but good keyword optimization is an important part of allowing Google to discover what your content is about.

  2. As designer/developer that values and enjoys SEO, I’d agree that SEO and Content Strategy should be considered before the design/redesign of a site for many reasons other than just optimization. However to expect a developer to be skilled in all these various areas is challenging. I think that there needs to be a better job educating and getting clients to know that quality is far better than the $300-$500 website they’ve paid and undrrstanding for thr involvement of several professionals early on in the development of their web presence. I think this article should be rewritten for the client rather than the developer and delivered to the right audience (the non-SEJ reader).

    1. “However to expect a developer to be skilled in all these various areas is challenging”

      I agree. This is why I consider web design and development to be a function of web marketing, where many developers mistakenly consider web marketing a function of development. Only when you approach development from a marketing perspective will you get it right. Is it a challenge to get developers to do these things? Absolutely. But that makes them no less necessary.

      As for the target for this article, if I was looking for web development and marketing for my site both SEJ and my article would be a great resource. I’m not speaking only to the developer here, but for the client assessing web development companies. If they don’t do these things then the business owner should pass on that development company.

  3. i totaly agree with you. This is perfect list. Nowadays a lot of website has wrong optimization. They shoud use those things..