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10 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Software and Web Development

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Mistakes to Avoid in Software and Web Development

We live in a tech era that gives developers countless resources to easily develop various web applications. We have modern development environments in place that are advanced and automatically detect+fix web dev errors easily. There are countless development platforms that can transform simple static HTML pages into dynamic, highly interactive applications–but despite these incredible advancements in web app development services, some common mistakes still persist, reminding us of the complex nature of web development.

Let’s face it–the web world has truly transformed to a great length during the last few years. 

Nonetheless, advancements and common mistakes still go hand in hand; they are still prevalent in web development due to the complex nature of web applications. This blog aims to highlight common mistakes made during different stages of the web app development services– Read ahead:

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Read More- The Evolution of Software Development: Trends Shaping the Future

#1 Incomplete Input Validation

Validating user input on both client and server sides is crucial. Despite the well-known advice to “never trust user input,” validation errors frequently occur, leading to issues like SQL Injection, which remains in the OWASP Top 10 annually. Most front-end frameworks offer easy-to-use validation rules, and major back-end platforms use simple annotations to ensure data adheres to expected rules. Implementing validation should be a standard coding practice.

Validation ensures that the data submitted by users conforms to expected formats and values, which helps to prevent attacks like SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and other vulnerabilities. Client-side validation provides a quick feedback mechanism for users, improving user experience by catching errors before the data is submitted. However, server-side validation is equally crucial as client-side validation can be bypassed. Utilizing a combination of both ensures that only valid data is processed by the server, maintaining the integrity and security of the application.

#2: Not Optimizing Bandwidth Usage

Development often happens on a high-speed local network, which may hide bandwidth problems that your actual users will experience. Optimizing bandwidth through minifying JavaScript and CSS, compressing HTTP responses, and optimizing image sizes can make a huge positive impact on performance for lower speed-connected users.

Bandwidth optimization is important for a fast and responsive user experience; this becomes critical for those with low internet speeds. Other techniques incorporate the minification of JavaScript and CSS files. This trims their size by removing excess characters. Server-side HTTP compression with gzip or Brotli reduces the amount of data that needs to be transferred over a network. Another technique is image optimization, which will keep the resolution and file size as low as possible without losing quality for quick page loading.

#3: Not Ready to Scale

Oftentimes, when you hire dedicated software developers, they haste the project timelines, during which scaling gets overlooked. For instance, storing user profile pictures on a web server might work initially but fails when scaling to multiple servers. Using a shared file storage or remote storage solution from the start can prevent significant issues later.

Scalability refers to an application’s ability to handle increased load without compromising performance. It’s essential to plan for scalability from the beginning to avoid costly redesigns. For example, relying on a single server for file storage or session management can create bottlenecks as traffic grows. Instead, implementing solutions like distributed file systems, cloud storage, and load balancers can help manage increased demand efficiently. Moreover, designing the database schema and application architecture to support horizontal scaling (adding more servers) or vertical scaling (upgrading existing servers) ensures that the application can grow seamlessly with user demand.

#4: Missing or Wrong SEO

Most of the time, SEO is either not understood at all or is left until development is nearing completion. This might be the cause of many varied problems. Proper SEO encompasses much more than setting good content and tags; it encompasses eliminating duplicate content, making a site architecture crawlable, load-time optimization, and intelligent backlinking. SEO must thus be borne in mind right from the start, if expensive changes are to be avoided.

It’s the process of ensuring the visibility of your web application to the search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Most developers tend to shove SEO inside a developer pipeline, underestimating how much work goes into ensuring proper SEO within their applications. SEO deals with practices of optimizing page load times by using proper HTML tags, making a web page accessible for mobile use, and having clean, crawlable site structure. These, if not accounted for properly, can result in low or even undesirable search engine ranking, reduced traffic, and visibility. It’s best, as much as possible, to include SEO best practices upfront rather than having major revisions down the line.

#5: Long-Running or CPU-Intensive Operations in Request Handlers

Actions, such as sending emails, should not be performed directly within request handlers. For example, an online bookstore sending confirmation emails directly in a user request handler affects enormous differences that may increase delay or failure while scaling a system. Put such things in an external process to let your application always work to the best of its ability.

Specifically, anything that will significantly make a web application really slow—like sending emails, generating reports, or processing large files—ought not to be done from request handlers. Doing these tasks from request handlers can be key to timeouts and a really bad user experience. Offload such tasks to background processes or job queues to do the work better. For instance, the guarantees for the asynchronous processing of tasks can be given by media like RabbitMQ or even Celery. The web application would, in this light, attain effectiveness in terms of its responsiveness to user requests. This approach improves scalability, resulting from decoupling task processing from user interactions..

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Read More – How Web Development Trends Are Reshaping Business Success in 2024

#6 Authentication Without Proper Authorization

Understanding authentication is critical–in simpler terms, verification of user identity, and authorization, that is, confirmation of user’s access rights, is extremely necessary. For example, if the application provides functionality to change the password, it should ensure that the requesting user has the right to execute that change. Several authentication techniques might be applied to a user, but without proper authorization checks this becomes pointless as far as safety from malicious attempts is concerned.

Authentication is the act of identifying who the user is, through credentials that could be passwords, biometric scans, or security tokens. Authentication, on the other hand, dictates what an authenticated user is permitted or authorized to do, for instance, the kind of resources they can access and the type of activities they can do. One of the common mistakes is to think that once a user is authenticated, he is authorized to perform any action. This might ignore the implementation of specified access, hence giving opportunities to unauthorized users or even leading to data breaches. Proper authorization is checking that the user who passes authentication has permissions on the intended action. Putting this into context, proper authorization means every user can only view or edit their data, or view/alter a resource if the user has permission for doing so.

#7 Not Developing for Different Screen Sizes

There is a greater need to implement responsive design these days, especially when more and more people are using smartphones and tablets. It enables, through frameworks such as Twitter Bootstrap, the development of applications that work fine on a variety of devices with a range of screen sizes, thus by any person.

This would ensure that a web application looks good and works well on most types of devices, starting from large screens on desktops to small screens of smartphones. It would adapt flexible layouts based on fluid grids and CSS media queries. Most of these frameworks, such as Twitter Bootstrap, have very solid tools for creating responsive designs: they provide pre-designed grid systems, responsive utility classes, and mobile-first elements that enable responsive design. Thus, developers support uniformity and accessibility of user experience across all devices, increasing user engagement and satisfaction.

 #8 RESTful Anti-Patterns

RESTful APIs are really very common. Sadly, mistakes are abundant too in such cases—like incorrect usage of HTTP verbs or simply failure to send status codes. For example, changing data with GET or sending HTTP 200 OK on errors will never be RESTful. Following best practice results in engineered APIs and reduces unreliability. Another common mistake is inappropriate usage of HTTP verbs—for instance, using GET for the creation or modification of resources—and failure to return appropriate HTTP status codes depending on the result of execution, usually returning HTTP 200 OK even in case of failures. 

Proper use of HTTP verbs and status codes—for example, GET for read, POST for create, PUT for update, and DELETE for delete; and 400 for bad request, 401 for unauthorized access, and 500 for internal server error—guarantees that APIs will be instinctive and compliant to Convention. Adhering to RESTful principles increases the consistency, usability, and interoperability of APIs.

#9 Not Planning for Portability

Assuming that the production environment will be similar to the development environment could put one in trouble. Let your application scale, run on multiple servers and have clearly centralized configuration to avoid maintenance headaches.

Portability describes how easily an application can be moved to, and run in, many different environments. This includes development, test, and production. The hard-coding of file paths, database connection strings, or dependencies onto specific server configurations can be highly problematic when trying to deploy an application across different environments. To enhance portability, configuration settings need to be kept in environment variables, all the dependencies need to be clearly stated and included in the project, and an application tested on environments as close to production as possible. Additionally, tools for containerization, like Docker, can be used to create consistent environments for development, staging, and production, reducing the possibility of environment-specific issues.

#10 Cross-Browser Incompatibility

Most of the times when you hire software developers they use only one browser during development and concentrate more on functionality rather than the design. It is advisable to switch browsers frequently to capture issues as early as possible in the development cycle. In addition, it’s best to avoid browser-specific code and assure cross-browser compatibility to save some effort of testing time. 

Cross-browser Compartmentalization has the web application working perfectly across different web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Because browsers may vary in the rendering of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, testing applications across multiple browsers, painfully at times, should occur during development. Otherwise, writing browser-specific code can potentially lead to inconsistencies and bugs that really are hard to fix at a later date. Automation can be achieved through tools such as BrowserStack or CrossBrowserTesting. Sticking as much to the standard of the web while preventing features that are proprietary secures broader compatibility.

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Takeaway

Today, web development and software development have become an absolute for any business to make its mark in the industry. A top notch website or software serves as the backbone of your online presence, providing a platform to showcase your market dominance, products, engage with customers, and build credibility. At such a fast pace of advancement going on in a row with technology and consumer demands and expectations, responsive, user-friendly, and visually stunning websites are pivotal. This will help you reach an even larger audience, enhance UI, and drive ROI.

At QWI, we have experts who can develop custom web solutions aligned with your business goals and be beautiful to your target audience. At the same time, our team of developers are well equipped for delivering quality and ingenuity into the making of websites that not only look top notch but are also powerfully performant. With our web application development company, you actually invest in strategic assets to maximize the online presence and help your business grow in the long run.

Let us help you in transforming your digital presence and unlocking the complete potential of your online business with our web app development services. 

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