glasses looking at web development project

What is Web Development?

Web development describes the front-end and back-end work that goes into creating a website or application. From writing code or markup to applying that code to a site or app, web development employs a variety of methodologies and applications to make a website function and look nice. 

What is Front End Web Development?

Front-end web development affects the part of a website that users interact with. When front-end developers code design elements, they take a designer’s ideas and translate them into code via HTML, CSS, and/or JavaScript, which then become functional, visual elements on a site.  

What is Back-End Web Development?

Back-end web development occurs behind the scenes; the parts of a website that users do not interact with but those that power the front-end elements. Simply put, back-end developers write and manipulate code to make the website work.  

From building the functionality of contact forms to maintaining the database from which your website pulls information to display to users, back-end developers are there to ensure the site runs smoothly for its users. They are also great at identifying and fixing bugs and putting safeguards in place, so websites run well and suffer little downtime.

Web Development & Ecommerce

Some website platforms offer customization opportunities out of the box or with easy-to-add plugins or extensions, while others require custom development from a developer partner. Here are 8 ways you can work with your developer to optimize your ecommerce website:  

1. Mobile-First Web Design

Google indexes a site based on its mobile experience first, so utilizing a responsive or adaptive website design is an important piece of web development. Your developers should advise on the best way to achieve this for your site. 

2. SSL

Making sure your website is secure with an up-to-date SSL certificate is of utmost importance for an ecommerce site so customers will trust the site enough to purchase from it. Your dev team can make sure your security certificates are up to date.

3. Cookies

Cookies on a website allow users to take certain actions when other conditions are met. Often Cookies also allow site owners to track a user’s behavior on a website; however, privacy laws are changing and therefore, cookies are changing, too. Work with your developers to understand your state/country cookie banner options and limitations, as well as how your website can display them based on its platform. 

4. Core Web Vitals (CWV)

Designing and developing a website with Google’s Core Web Vitals in mind is paramount for SEO. Passing the three primary CWVs will ensure your website loads quickly and provides a good user experience, both for potential customers and Googlebot.

The three Core Web Vitals include:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – How quickly the main element of the page loads

Interaction to Next Paint (INP) – How responsive a page is to the elements on the page (button clicks, taps, etc.)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – The amount of unexpected movement on a page

Work with your dev team to make changes to your website so each page template passes each of these three Core Web Vitals assessments.

5. Main Navigation

Create a main navigation that is concise enough to keep users from getting overwhelmed but useful enough to allow them to quickly navigate to categories or collections and browse products. If your main navigation is hard coded and not easily editable in your backend, your developer can make changes for you.

6. Add to Cart & Checkout

On an ecommerce site, providing a seamless add-to-cart and check-out experience is one of the most important design and development pieces. Be sure to thoroughly test the process and ask your dev team to make changes, as needed, to ensure a great user experience.

7. Canonicals & Redirects

Two extremely helpful pieces of back-end work for ecommerce sites are the ability to add canonical tags and redirects.

301-redirects are most used when a product or category is discontinued and will not be coming back. They send users to a similar product or category page, which typically keeps them on the site instead of bouncing.

Canonical tags allow multiple (typically very similar) products to exist, but signal to Googlebot that any SEO value should be pushed to the primary, or self-canonical, page. Canonicals are especially helpful when a site has multiple pages with identical or nearly identical copy, but each variation of the page needs to exist for users to find on the site.

Redirects are used when each variation does not need to exist on the site and, instead, everything can forward to one primary page.

Some CMSs allow you to put in redirects and specify canonical tags easily, while others require theme file edits, which may be more suitable for your developer to handle.

8. Accessibility & ADA Compliance

Making sure your website is visible and functional for all users, regardless of device type, and ensuring that users with disabilities can navigate through your site to complete their goals (request information, sign up for something, add to cart and check out, etc.) is an important piece of web development. Additionally, it can help you avoid legal battles down the road. Review your website’s accessibility with your developers to ensure it complies with federal laws and regulations.

Replatforming with a Trusted Developer

If your company is considering a replatform or domain migration, we strongly recommend looking for a trusted web development partner who understands the new platform you plan to move to.  

This partner should keep your best interests in mind and help you avoid any negative repercussions to your paid media channels or SEO. Not sure where to start? We can help

Thank a Developer!

If you have a website that looks nice, functions well, and employs the elements above, be sure to thank your front-end and back-end developers!  

And, if you don’t, let’s talk about what you need! ROI Revolution has a combined 50+ years of experience in web development. We also work with knowledgeable partners who can help you build a beautiful, functional, and modern ecommerce website.

Additional Web Development & Replatforming Resources