Knowing Your Toolbelt – Web Developer Resources

This past January I started working as a Web Developer at Wolf Creek Technology in Polk City. Work sputtered out at that job and I managed to freelance over the summer as a sound and lighting technician. In September I started working up in Ames and launched my own company. As my own company is considerably technology focused I still haven’t given up my pursuits in web development and that is actually featured as a service that I provide.

Web Developer v.s Web Designer

You will notice that throughout this post I refer to myself as a web developer. I do so primarily based on the fact that these resources edit the backend of a website. In all reality though I am a web hybrid. A mix between comprehending the maze of a backend while understanding the basic design principles of a good looking website.

Here goes:

1. Google Suite

  • Adsense. Advertisement support solutions. I haven’t made a ton off of their services but it is worth looking into if you are serious about advertising.
  • Analytics. This is a great service that provides analytics based on demographics, age and so much more. It can even calculate real time analytics.
  • Webmaster Tools. Google Search indexing and then some. This is comparable to Bing and Yahoo tools for listing your website.
  • My Business. If you are a local business than you need to be using this or need to have someone set it up for you (Sorry, I have to advertise at some point). This provides business listings on Google. So for instance if you say “Computer Repair Polk City” Google will compile a list of local places that meet the criteria.
  • PageSpeed Insights. This is a great site to determine the speed of your websites. Google will lower your search ranking for any reason including a slow website. It should also be noted that if your website isn’t mobile friendly it is another hit against your ranking.

2. CMS Plugins

Trade secrets going on right here. Instead of reinventing the wheel I will use a few a few different templates and then edit them via custom CSS and such. I have a list of about 5-7 plugins that I install automatically when I first run the installation. I don’t want to dive in to much here on my own secrets but here is just a quick run down:

  • Caching. This plugin works hand in hand with my Content Distribution Network. I will dive into that later on but with this plugin you can cache into the end users’ web browser. This makes to load just a bit easier and saves on bandwidth.
  • Security. In this period of time you have to take web security very seriously. I cannot afford to have one of my clients websites defaced by some hacker. Basic security implementation is crucial to the survival of any website.
  • Analytics. Google Analytics integration is made simpler and kept up to date with a plugin.
  • SEO Assistant. Search Engine Optimization is still weighted heavily on quality writing and keyword targeting but this plugin makes it simpler by keeping track of keyword optimization and relaying all of that data on to me.

3. Content Distribution Network

I apologize in advance as I am assuming that you already know something about web development. A quick and dirty rundown of CDN is that if your server is hosting a website in Dallas, TX your website will be faster in Dallas. If you are in England than you will have to wait simply based on distance. Now if you can have a copy saved on many servers all around the world than you don’t have to worry about your website seeming to be slow.

It can also work hand in hand with your caching plugin to allow for the most efficient caching across many platforms. I use a CDN for all of my sites that provides an added layer of security, caching and a shadow copy in event of my site going down. Once you use a CDN you will never go back.

Conclusion

There is always another another tool for any task. Part of the enjoyment I find in being a web developer is that I get to test and try out all of these tools on my own websites. I wish you the best of luck and the curiosity to learn more about your craft. I hope that you have had a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

 

May The Force Be With You

-Cody Sweeny, Owner of Iowa Technology Concepts.

Founder of:

codysweeny.com

iowa-tc.com

codysphotography.co

and many many more.

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