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30 Web Development Checklists Every Team Should Keep Handy

By Maria Antonietta Perna

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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.

Launch (Pre-launch/Post-launch)

1. The Essential Pre-launch Checklist for Your Website

A practical checklist that includes:

  • design elements to look out for before launch
  • functionality
  • cross-browser testing
  • SEO and content editing

2. Website Launch Checklist

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

3. The Essential Launch Checklist for Web Apps and Mobile Apps

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:

  • performance
  • security
  • broken links
  • compatibility
  • SEO/social
  • nice to haves, such as a 404 page, print stylesheets, and more.

Back-end (Database and Server) and Security

4. Database Testing Checklist

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
  • constraints
  • security
  • transactions and more.

5. Back-end Best Practices

These are stack-agnostic guidelines for best practices that encompass various back-end architectures. It’s comprehensive, including best practices on:

  • data storage solutions
  • security
  • 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.

Front-end

6. A Front-end Deployment Checklist

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
  • checking the console for JavaScript errors, and more.

7. The Front-end Checklist by David Dias

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:

  • head
  • HTML
  • webfonts
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • images
  • accessibility
  • performance
  • SEO

The check is thorough and reveals which items in the various areas deserve high, medium or low priority.

React App Deployment and Performance

8. Live Readiness Checklist of a React App

This is a list of tasks you need to complete before your React app is ready for production.

9. Death by a Thousand Cuts: A Checklist for Eliminating Common React Performance Issues

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.

Cross-browser Testing

10. Cross-browser Testing Checklist Before Going Live

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.

11. Cross-browser Testing Checklist

Rajkumar offers this handy checklist where he mentions all the items you need to test on multiple operating systems and browsers.

Accessibility

12. Checklist of Checkpoints for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

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.

It covers:

  • 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.

13. WebAIM’s WCAG 2 Checklist

This checklist presents WebAIM’s (Web Accessibility in Mind) accessibility recommendations for those seeking WCAG conformance.

14. The A11Y Project Checklist

This A11Y Project checklist organizes items under the following headings:

  • content
  • global code
  • keyboard
  • images
  • headings
  • lists
  • controls
  • tables
  • forms
  • media
  • appearance
  • animation
  • color contrast
  • mobile/touch.

15. The Definitive Website Accessibility Checklist

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.

Performance

16. Front-end Performance Checklist

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.

17. Front-end Performance Checklist 2020

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
  • HTTP/2
  • 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.

18. Addy Osmani’s 18-Point Web Performance Checklist

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:

  • code-splitting
  • lazy loading non-critical resources
  • file compression
  • caching, and much more.

Site Migration

19. The SEMRush Website Migration Checklist

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.

20. The Ultimate Website Migration Checklist

The main sections under which items are grouped in this checklist are:

  • Pre-migration
  • Post-migration

SEO concerns take center stage in this checklist. It covers reviewing analytics data, gathering key metrics and trends, monitoring top pages, and so on.

21. The Website Migration Checklist

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)

22. The Complete SEO Checklist for 2020

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.

23. The Complete 51-Point SEO Checklist for 2020

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.”

24. Your 9-Point SEO Checklist for 2020

With great visuals and clear explanations, this checklist covers the tasks involved in:

  • basic SEO
  • keyword research
  • technical SEO
  • content SEO, and more.

25. The Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2020

This is a massive but extremely user-friendly, 66-point checklist that focuses on optimizing a website for Google in 2020.

26. On-page SEO Checklist for 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
  • keywords
  • content
  • images
  • video
  • links
  • user experience (UX) and design and user interface (UI)
  • ranking your page in the local pack
  • structured data
  • and more

Digital Marketing

27. Digital Marketing Checklist for 2020

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.

28. 2020 Digital Marketing Checklist

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)

29. A GDPR Compliance Checklist for Evaluating Your Data Strategy

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.

30. The GDPR Compliance Checklist

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.

Conclusion

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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