Are you a layman when it comes to web development and struggling to acquire/retain clients? You should learn the fundamentals of a good development and deployment workflow. Even though you’re a beginner, it won’t take you very long to accept the fact that website designs don’t happen just like that.
A lot of effort and dedication goes into the whole process. Your clients may not understand but any successful web designing process is the result of stress, failures, and confusion. So don’t expect that your very first attempt at web designing will be a success. Try to improve your planning and testing approaches, and everything will fall into place eventually.
We plan to create an in-depth guide here discussing the basics of development and deployment practices for web designing projects. We hope this guide will clear things out for you.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
What is a Web Development Workflow?
A web development workflow is a compilation of different processes to create a website. When we’re talking about a web development workflow, we’re taking everything into consideration starting from preparation, development, and post-development. The goal of a web-development workflow is to take account of all the processes from beginning to end, to ensure that the entire process is completed effectively.
If you can create a successful web development workflow, the results will include higher productivity, better planning, increased consistency, and faster client satisfaction. A web-development workflow can keep all the stakeholders of a project in the same loop where everyone has an update about everything.
5 Best Practices to Create a Powerful Development Workflow
Here’re a few tips to create a proper development workflow:
1. Set the right goals
Setting the appropriate goals is a must before creating a web designing workflow. If your goals are right and you’re targeting the right group of audiences, creating the workflow becomes a lot easier. Some questions that you can ask yourself to set proper goals are as follows:
- Who are the target audiences for this development project?
- What is the main goal of the project? Which problem will it solve?
- What are the approaches that our competitors are adopting?
Once you find an answer to these questions, the whole process will become a lot simpler.
2. Plan everything
Now that you’ve your goals in place, start your planning process. Jumping straight to the coding phase without an elaborate plan is not the right thing to do. If you don’t have a proper plan in place, you may end up writing the same set of codes over and over again. So, to avoid repetition of work and to save a lot of your time, start with a structured plan.
This plan should have all the details and resources that you’ll need during the web development process. Trust us, it will remove many unnecessary tasks from your workflow and populate with only the tasks that you absolutely need.
3. Execute a smart coding phase
Writing and executing longer codes is not always the solution. Instead, go for a smarter coding process that does the work and doesn’t need frequent edits. Writing codes aimlessly will only invite more bugs to your software project. Make sure that your codes are solving a problem.
Try to write shorter codes. Also, spend some time understanding the purpose of a coding snippet and its intentions. That simplifies the process to a large extent.
4. Test, test, and more tests
Software development projects don’t always go according to plan. That’s exactly why you need to test everything from start to finish before delivering a development project to the clients. In fact, in 60% of cases, broken codes are the most common bugs. So, testing has to be a major part of your development workflow. Some of the common activities of any testing phase are as follows:
- Identifying any bugs and taking actions ASAP to fix those
- Testing mobile responsiveness of the software
- Ensuring that the software is doing what it is meant to do
However, these are only a few. Your testing phase depends on the type of software you’re developing and the potential issues associated with it.
5. Launch the project and look for further improvements
When the testing is complete and you’re convinced of the quality of the project, you can launch it right away. However, a good web development workflow should have several chances of improvement. So that, when you face unexpected bugs or you plan to add new updates, the workflow permits you to do that, painlessly.
What is a Web Deployment Workflow?
Before we move on to the best practices of deployment, it is essential to understand the concept of deployment workflow. Deployment simply means implementing the changes and updates from one environment to another.
Now the question is, what do we mean by an “environment”? Any web development project generally has two different environments: live environment and development environment. Now whenever you make any changes, adjustments to the website, or run tests, you don’t want your live site to get affected in any way. That’s why there should be an alternative local environment. It is basically the staging area to make all the adjustments without causing any complexities in the live environment.
Deployment workflow is simply about making the necessary changes from the development environment to the live environment. In fact, for complex web development projects, only two deployment environments may not be enough. The number of deployment environments you’ll require is typically dependent on the project requirements.
5 Best Practices to Create an Apt Deployment Workflow
Now that you understand the concept of deployment, let’s discuss the best practices of deployment to ease your responsibilities:
1. Keep a deployment checklist Handy
Deploying a new software solution from one environment to another can be a critical task. However, maintaining a thorough checklist can streamline the process to a large extent for you. So, prepare a detailed checklist that covers the before and after requirements of deployment effectively.
Some of the common pointers to include in your deployment checklist are as follows:
- When/how often to deploy changes from local to live environment?
- Which individual/overall processes to follow during deployment?
- What are the deployment KPIs to track?
- Who is responsible for which deployment tasks?
Remember that these questions are just to give you an idea. Create a customized checklist to complete the deployment process effectively.
2. Make sure that you’re using the right set of tools
Are you using the right set of deployment tools? These tools can make or break your entire deployment process. Some of the tools that you must use to simplify your deployment process are as follows:
- A continuous integration server for software deployment
- A tool for automating the deployment codes
- A tool for maintaining the regular software updates
- A remote installation software
These are only a few tools. You may need based on the deployment project you’re handling at the moment.
3. Use Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) approaches
We always recommend opting for CI and CD approaches. A continuous integration server can consolidate the source codes of all developers and test all these in real-time. If you’re following an agile software development model, continuous integration is the core of it. It goes in line with the continuous testing principles and enables teams to take action against any problems at the earliest.
Adopting continuous delivery can also become beneficial in the long run. The purpose of continuous delivery is to prepare the codes post-integration to complete the deployment process successfully. With continuous delivery, developers can easily keep up with the several rounds of testing that take place. The whole point of adopting continuous delivery is to keep all applications ready for deployment.
4. Try to automate your deployment process
Manual deployment is no longer a feasible option. Largely because it takes a lot of time to get executed and can include several errors. So, the best way to avoid all these is automating the deployment process end-to-end. That way, you can speed up the deployment process. In fact, once automated, anyone from your team can do it.
Automating the deployment process is no longer a big deal. Use any software deployment tool that matches your requirements and get started.
5. Track your deployment KPIs to build a strategy
Don’t forget to track your deployment KPIs. That’s the only way for you to understand the deployment roadblocks and to build the rollout strategies. Some of the common KPIs that you can monitor are as follows:
- Deployment time – This KPI measures the overall time you spend on deployment once all the changes have been approved. If there’s a sudden increase in your deployment frequency, you need to investigate the reason. It may be due to increased errors.
- Lead time – This KPI measures the time it takes to successfully execute all the changes. By tracking this KPI throughout the stages of deployment, you can get critical insights into the efficiency of your deployment process.
- Deployment frequency – This KPI records how often new changes/features are launched and how frequently you need to deploy these changes. Based on your projects, you can track this KPI on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
Once you measure the KPIs and find out the sources of various roadblocks, you can build a strategy to resolve them.
We hope you now have all the information you need to create your development and deployment workflow. So, get started with it. Any issues? Let us know in the comments section. We’ll be happy to help.