Development environments are today "smart" enough to track and fix numerous errors that used to give developers a nightmare back in time.
There are even several development platforms that can easily transform static HTML web pages into sublime, intuitive and highly interactive applications.
All these development platforms, patterns and practices share common grounds, and are all vulnerable to almost similar type of development issues induced by the very nature of web applications.
Despite a burgeoning advancement in web development technologies, automated platforms and bug tracking environments, web developers still tend to make several common mistakes in web development.
In this post, we've compiled a list of 5 common mistakes businesses make in web development projects.
Mistake #1: Incomplete input validation
Validating user input on client as well as server side is basically a must do! We are well familiar with the thumb rule "do not trust user input" but, nonetheless, mistakes resulting from validation keep happening all too often.
The most common result of this error is the SQL Injection which continues to find a place in OWASP Top 10 each year.
Remember that commonly used front-end development frameworks offer out-of-the-box, inventive validation rules which are extremely easy to use. In addition, most leading back-end development platforms utilize simple annotations to make sure that submitted data abides by expected rules.
Implementing validation may well be time consuming; however, it should an integral part of your standard coding practice and should never be set aside.
Mistake #2: Time or processor consuming actions in request handlers
One of the finest examples of this error is sending emails based on user actions. Web application developers often think that coding a SMTP call and sending a message straight from user request handler is the cure.
Suppose you develop an online book store, and expect to start with just a few hundred orders on a daily basis. As part of the order intake process, you send a user confirmation email every time a user creates an order.
It initially works hassle-free; however, what if you scale up your system, and suddenly get hundreds of requests sending confirmation mails?
You either get quota exceeded, SMTP connection timeouts, or your application response time takes a dip considerably as it is now processing emails rather than users.
Any processor- or time-consuming action should ideally be handled by an external process when you release HTTP requests as soon as feasible. In this case, an external mailing service comes handy in picking up orders and sending user notifications.
Mistake #3: Not optimizing bandwidth usage
Most development and testing process in a local network environment. And therefore, when you're downloading 6 background pictures, say each of 4MB or more, you may not recognize an error with 1Gbit Internet connection in a development environment.
However, when users start loading a 24MB home page over a 3G connection on their mobile devices, you should expect a trail of issues and complaints.
Optimizing bandwidth usage can offer a great performance augment, and to achieve this substantial hike, you perhaps just need a trick or two. There are certain things that even good developers do by default, such as:
- CSS minification
- Server-side HTTP compression
- Optimization of image resolution and size
Mistake #4: Not planning for portability
Assumption is a killer! When we talk about portability, the assertion gets even stronger. How often have you ran across web development issues such as database connection strings, hard coded file paths, or assuming that a specific library will be accessible on the server?
Assuming that the real production environment will be in line with local development computer is nothing but wrong.
An ideal application setup must be maintenance-free:
- Permit clear and simple configuration, perhaps in one configuration file.
- Ensure that the app can be scaled and run on a load-balanced multi server environment.
- Handle exceptions while the web-server configuration is not as anticipated.
Mistake #5: RESTful anti patterns
RESTful APIs are here and they're here to stay the distance. Almost all web applications have implemented some sort of REST services, no matter they're for internal use or for integration with an external system.
However, you can still identify broken RESTful patterns as well as services that don't abide by the predictable practices.
Two most common errors made while coding a RESTful API are:
- Writing wrong HTTP verbs. For instance, writing GET for writing data. HTTP GET is developed to be safe and idempotent, meaning that regardless of the instances where you call GET on the same resource, you must always get the same response and no changes in application state must take place.
- Not sending correct HTTP status codes. The most typical example of this issue is sending response code 200 error messages.
You must only send HTTP 200 OK in case the request hasn't generated an error. In case of an error being generated, you must send 400, 401, 500 or some other status code that's fitting the error that occurred.
The bottom line:
The most important takeaway of this post is the fact that despite advanced web development methodologies, platforms and practices, errors may occur.
As a responsible and reflexive web development company you must ensure these common mistakes are not reflected from your projects, since they not just increase project cost and timeline, they may do more damage to your business.
Category: Mobile App DevelopersCompany profile: Finoit is an IT Company providing strategic and technology consulting in the field of Web, Mobile and Software domain. We are focused on designing and developing user centered products and applications for startups to elite business groups across the globe. It is a team of individuals with diverse functional and technical expertise focused on solving business problems by developing customer centric application and e-business solutions. Finoit is a place where one learns about the professionalis ...
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