You wouldn’t build a bridge without some serious design and structural analysis, right?
We certainly hope not.
Building a website without the proper planning obviously isn’t quite as disastrous as building a structurally unsound bridge. But a full architecture review is paramount before you start to develop a new site. Web architecture creates a design and development framework that makes a project succeed with a plan. Web Architects consider the details of how the website will function from the bare bones to the final product.
Web architecture planning incorporates a website’s business plan, interaction design, information architecture, usability, and content. Essentially, it helps a team of developers and project stakeholders design a website that smoothly incorporates many features, along with the technology that makes those features come to life. When it comes to building your website, you can never be too prepared.
Stephen Young pointed out 12 attributes of good web application architecture. Here’s how they can save you time and money in addition to building a more robust site.
1. Developer Productivity
Time is money. Increasing the productivity for developers by helping them plan more effectively will shorten the development process.
The website will work the way you want it to. Sitting down with a Web Architect to describe the functions you need and how you want those to be layered will allow them to plan the website more thoroughly. The end result will be much cleaner and more sophisticated.
Your website should be focused on usability and access. If the information about your services is not readily available on the home page or searchable through a tool, how can visitors engage with the site? Examining the locations of information and how visitors can access that is a vital part of making sure your website functions the way it should.
Architecture planning considers security from the very first stages of planning. A more intricate architecture means that engineers are factoring in security every step of the way.
More planning = Less chances to fail. Or, you’re more prepared to handle things that may go awry.
Consistency is key. You want your site to be tried and true. Repetition in action means that it’s working. Identifying where to start with building consistency will help you make sure the whole sited is executed well.
A website’s ability to grow and change with the business is vital. Considering the future and what you want your website to accomplish for your business should be discussed during the planning stage.
You won’t know what works and what doesn’t until you experiment - and then repeat that over again. Functionality and performance should be consistent and you should be able to identify what does and doesn’t work.
Make sure your website can handle the workload that other sites can.
10. Transparency and troubleshooting
Finding errors is just as important as finding solutions. Identifying the problems and seeing how they affect vital functions is the first step to solving those issues.
11. Community and Product growth
Use open source software to help your website grow. Work this goal into the planning stages and your project can turn into a successful open source project.
It’s simple: a project that takes longer to deploy will waste time for both you and your client. A plan that helps navigate the roadblocks will allow you to overcome them more quickly.
Before you start development on your project, work with your team to create a thorough architecture plan. Establish the features you want, the site structure, and your user requirements. A solid framework is the first step to building a feature rich website that meets everyone’s needs. Your website is your bridge- so build it well.