Optimization: Prepare to Launch!
As I stated earlier, on the development, design, and optimization pages I will be using "websites" or "web application" as an illustration of building a project.
Clean up Content
Cleaing up content is probably the single best way to optimize for your users. With websites or web applications you also want to optimize for search engines. You can kill two birds with one stone with minimal effort.
Get rid of useless phrases and words. Don't beat around the bush and get to your point. It's often said to write sentences with less than 20 words and to write at a 6th grade reading level. This really should depend on your audience so build content with respect to the intellect of your users.
It's also a great idea to single out topics and write as if it were a term paper or legal document. This makes sense because organized data tells user what they need to know ALSO it gives search engines a pathway of information that is relevant and not jumping from topic to topic through paragraphs.
Again, there is a ton more that goes into optimizing content for web related projects - keywords, key pharases, phrasing strategies. If you'd like to go deeper on this topic just Contact Me
Clean up Design
Cleaning up content has a direct impact on your users experience. By cleaning up your design you are optimizing the entire project for users and for the systems (servers, browsers, app modeling etc;) that run your your work.
Image Types and Sizes
- Keep image file sizes as low as possible - Recommended size is under 100kb. Use an image optimizer to reduce size.
- PNG transparency images should be flattened then compressed with an image compression tool.
- For images created by graphics programs use .svg file types. If possible convert png's to svg's.
- For camera captured images the smallest size file type is .webp (currently). JPEG's should be converted.
The most popular content management systems do not yet recognize "svg" nor "webp" file types. Professional developers know ways around this issue.
Minimizing Style & Script Files
- Use a CSS language like SASS / Less - This dramatically reduces files sizes of CSS which can get really large.
Both of these steps are quite easy to do but often are bypassed. Doing them will decrease load times quite substantially for your site or application. The quicker you can get your uses to the data they want the better.
Cache & Compression
Almost everyone has heard the term "cache". Basically it's data stored in a way that it can be retrieved faster. The larger your app gets the more handy caching becomes. There are many different wasy to cache resources for free and on purchased space.
Compression is the same as minimizing as discussed from above but is done with the central markup of your website. It can be a hit or miss. Depending on how your code is structured it will greatly decrease load times on larger sites.
Now that you think your are finished you really aren't! Maintaining your project is a continual process. It doesn't have to be hard nor should you have to pay out an arm and leg for a service to do it.
Maintenance & Update
If you are using a program like Wordpress, Drupal or any other CMS the system itself will need updating from time to time. Most of these type programs do not auto update. Also, most devs that use these systems tend to use a ton of plugins or modules written by other devs, and those devs will update the code they wrote. Updating isn't hard to do in this respect - basically you click a button or link. The important thing is to makes sure you keep these systems up to date.
New technologies are being invented even as you finish reading this sentence! You will definitely upgrade at least some portion of your project. You may build an entirely new project based on this one!
Remember those ideas you have left over from the beginning when you started? You may want to play with the ones you didn't use and see if you can make something from them. Point is you will always upgrade and update - maintain the project. You may have new ideas surface suggested by users!
In reality - with a project that is useful and bringing you in money or solving an issue, it will always need work!
Design | Development