Benjamin Tinker Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Simple coding keeps all projects clean and manageable

Benjamin Tinker Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

When developing a site it is important to keep in mind the KISS philosophy of Keep It Simple Stupid. This applies to all types of development for simple information websites to complex multi tiered, multi platform websites. If the underlying structure is too complex then you only create a problem for future generations of developers to decipher your code and bring the project into the modern era. The biggest concept for development is scalability and extension. Before starting a new site you have to check off some common items. 

  1. Will the site be going mobile?
  2. Will the site eventually have eCommerce?
  3. How are the subscribers going to be  managed?
  4. Is the site stable to handle 3rd Party Add-Ons and API integration?


Being a developer for many long years, over 10, which is a lot for this world I'm always having to plan ahead for the possible emergence of those above items. As we develop eCommerce there is always going to be the necessity to cover all your bases which is record everything. Keeping it simple is around creating the easiest path from point A to point Confirmation Email. There should be as little beating around the proverbial code bush and save only those details that are necessary. Which in the work of eCommerce is everything. You never know when your client will ask for a report on how many customers purchased product X on date Y and sent it to a friend in state Z.

Going Mobile is also another one to be aware of from the start. Keep your code classes simple so they can be expanded upon for mobile devices. The mobile version of the site is going to be dimplier than the full desk top version. One method I have always found useful is having a core structure that applies to all instances of the site and then split it out for desktop and mobile. This way you know changes that are made for the mobile version will not hinder the desktop version and vice versa.

The possibility of building an API onto your site is also a good reason to keep your code simple. APIs do not usually require all of the nitty gritty aspects of your class library. You do not want the whole world using your API to know the intimate details of your database by reusing the main class library with simple serialization. if you maintain bare bones class libraries you can expand on them with a separate API library that will only expose the elements necessary for the API to function. This also applies to implementation of 3rd party applications.

If you keep your code simple, separate and specific you'll reap the rewards as your project evolves and make a lot of developers happier when it is their turn to plug in that Facebook API or other social media phenomenon. Keep it simple, keep it to the point and keep your self sane.