Building a website or app and making it available for the world is a complex business. A number of factors must come together to ensure the final product is successful. That means attracting and keeping visitors, meeting business goals, and minimizing problems. You can deliver a better product with the help of web development checklists.
As in everyday life, checklists can be a great organizational tool. They keep web development teams on track. They also ensure important tasks aren’t overlooked in the rush to complete a project.
We searched the web for the most useful web development checklists. They cover everything from front-end and performance to SEO and marketing.
A practical checklist that includes:
- design elements to look out for before launch
- cross-browser testing
- SEO and content editing
This is a nice checklist tool built by Glasgow developer Fraser Boag.
This tools lets you:
- check items as you complete each task
- grey out an item if it’s not applicable
- reset the checklist to get it ready for the next project.
Changes will be saved using cookies, so you can easily use the checklist throughout the duration of your project.
The checklist covers content, benchmarks and performance, compatibility, accessibility, analytics, and more. Items in the list include, among other things:
- content editing
- navigation usability
- links testing
- GDPR compliance
- HTML and CSS validity
- styles and scripts minification
Ben Cheng presents “… a simple launch checklist for web and mobile apps … for product managers to quickly test performance of their apps.”
Not only does the author include important tasks to complete before launching, he also explains the why behind his choices.
The list presents items belonging to the following areas:
- broken links
- nice to haves, such as a 404 page, print stylesheets, and more.
Back-end (Database and Server) and Security
For data persistence, you most likely need a database. The smooth running and integrity of the database are crucial to a fast and secure website or app. In this checklist, you’ll find items relating to:
- database integrity
- stored procedures
- field validation
- transactions and more.
These are stack-agnostic guidelines for best practices that encompass various back-end architectures. It’s comprehensive, including best practices on:
- data storage solutions
- server environments
- application monitoring, and much more.
Towards the end of the document, you’ll find a responsibility checklist to organize your team’s work. You’ll also find a release checklist for the launch of your website or app.
If you code landing pages, Fred Rocha’s deployment checklist is what you need. It’s succinct and to the point. It includes technical front-end items such as:
- checking performance
- validating the markup
It describes itself as “perfect for modern websites and meticulous developers”. This is an online interactive tool that allows you to enter the project’s URL and get a complete report on the following areas:
The check is thorough and reveals which items in the various areas deserve high, medium or low priority.
React App Deployment and Performance
This is a list of tasks you need to complete before your React app is ready for production.
This is a six-item checklist with fun and clear explanations of how to go about implementing each of the tasks on the list for a blazing fast React app.
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Deeksha Agarwal offers a top-notch checklist to ensure your website or app works and looks as intended in all browsers and platforms on your local dev environment before the launch. Among the items you’ll find in this list are:
- element alignment, and other HTML and CSS cross-browser issues
- font rendering
- API connections, and much more.
Rajkumar offers this handy checklist where he mentions all the items you need to test on multiple operating systems and browsers.
This W3C checklist includes all the items you need to consider so that more people can access and use your site. The items are grouped according to a priority number from one to three.
- providing text for non-text elements
- organizing documents so they can be read without stylesheets
- color contrast
- appropriate structure and elements for HTML documents
- expanding acronyms and abbreviations the first time they appear
- logical tab navigation, and more.
This checklist presents WebAIM’s (Web Accessibility in Mind) accessibility recommendations for those seeking WCAG conformance.
This A11Y Project checklist organizes items under the following headings:
- global code
- color contrast
This checklist is presented in a great, user-friendly table where items are grouped on the basis of their accessibility priority level in accordance with WCAG 2.0 guidelines:
- Level A makes your website or app accessible to some users
- Level AA makes it available to almost all users
- Level AAA makes it available to all users.
There’s hardly anything that puts users off more than a slow website or app. Here’s another great checklist by David Dias. He labels his checklist “The only front-end performance checklist that runs faster than the others”. For each rule, you’ll have an explanation of why it’s important and how you can fix that specific issue. Also, items in this checklist have priority indicators. There are three levels of priority: low, medium and high. Finally, David also lists a number of useful tools that you can use to test or monitor your website or app’s performance.
Vitaly Friedman offers “an updated overview of the issues you might need to consider to ensure that your response times are fast, user interaction is smooth and your sites don’t drain user’s bandwidth”. Items in this thorough checklist are under the following headings:
- Getting ready: planning and metrics
- Setting realistic goals
- Defining the environment
- Assets optimizations
- Build optimizations
- Delivery optimizations
- Testing and monitoring
- Quick wins. These are 15 issues that you can quickly resolve if you have just one hour to gain significant performance results.
Ben Halpern recommends Addy Osmani’s performance checklist, taken from one of Addy’s AMAs. Among the suggestions you’ll find in this list are:
- lazy loading non-critical resources
- file compression
- caching, and much more.
There are different reasons why you would want to migrate your website. You may have changed from HTTP to HTTPS, changed domain names, or opted for a new framework or CMS. SEMRush offers a free online interactive checklist for managing this process. You can also download it in PDF format.
The main sections under which items are grouped in this checklist are:
SEO concerns take center stage in this checklist. It covers reviewing analytics data, gathering key metrics and trends, monitoring top pages, and so on.
This is a comprehensive website migration checklist which groups its items under a
- pre-launch roadmap
- launch day
- post-launch phase
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
This is a super comprehensive SEO checklist by Backlinko that includes multiple checklists. In particular, you’ll find:
- an SEO basics checklist
- a keyword research checklist
- an on-page SEO checklist
- a technical SEO checklist
- a content checklist
- a link building checklist
As a bonus, you’ll also get some advanced SEO tips and tactics and some case studies and examples.
ClickMinded’s Tony Griffith lists a “step-by-step SEO checklist that you can use immediately. It’s a very direct, straightforward process that will drive more traffic and more customers to your website as quickly as possible.”
With great visuals and clear explanations, this checklist covers the tasks involved in:
- basic SEO
- keyword research
- technical SEO
- content SEO, and more.
This is a massive but extremely user-friendly, 66-point checklist that focuses on optimizing a website for Google in 2020.
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing a single page on your website, which is very important for getting a great Google ranking. Nathan Gotch of GotchSEO shows his step-by-step, on-page SEO checklist, which takes into account:
- SEO performance
- crawling and indexing
- user experience (UX) and design and user interface (UI)
- ranking your page in the local pack
- structured data
- and more
Here’s a practical checklist to ensure your digital marketing supports your business. A brand-centered, responsive, and Google-friendly website is first up on the list, of course.
Here’s an 8-point 2020 digital marketing checklist by Clear Blue Sky Digital. It walks through:
- the look, feel, and security of your website
- its SEO and SEM (search engine marketing) strategies
- your social media marketing approach.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
GDPR compliance is a must for most businesses inside the European Union or dealing with countries in the European Union. Its rationale is to give EU citizens more control and transparency over their data. This checklist covers GDPR requirements and what your business needs to do to ensure compliance.
GDPR regulations are not a walk in the park for big businesses, let alone medium to small ones. If you’re struggling, here’s a checklist that can help your business fulfill its requirements.
As you can see, some lists include items from different categories. Items under the Performance heading are present under the SEO heading. This is so because page load speed is a key component in achieving top search engine rankings. All aspects of a web presence must work together to achieve the desired end result. With these checklists, that kind of coordination is much easier.
Maria Antonietta Perna is co-Editor of the HTML/CSS Channel at SitePoint and a front-end web developer. She enjoys tinkering with cool CSS standards and is curious about teaching approaches to front-end code. When not coding for the web or not writing for the web, she enjoys philosophy books, long walks and good food.
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