Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Tips if you are trying to sell me on our web developer skills

I get a lot of calls every day from people claiming that they develop "the best quality" websites.  Most of them have no clue what this even means.  Today I had a cold call from some guy who told me his company fitser.com makes the highest quality websites ever.  He gave me his domain name to check out his portfolio.

Before I go further, this is not an attempt to shame anyone. Rather, this is a pleas for so called web developers to learn more about what their craft requires.  I do entertain hiring the odd remote contract developer however, they must pass a certain threshold.  Sadly, Fitser.com came no where near the bar.  The site loaded very slowly, had multiple browser console errors and when I ran a Google lighthouse test, the results were less than flattering.

When I informed the person on the phone, they did not seem to understand what Google Lighthouse was.  To that end, I want to help educate others.

Google recently announced that SEO rankings are being based primarily on the mobile versions of any website, not the desktop versions as have been done in the past. To me, this means responsive is your first goal as a web developer.  This makes perfect sense given the overwhelming traffic on most websites comes from mobile devices.

Web developer must therefore design websites with MOBILE FIRST in mind.  This is described in my professional blog post at Webstation's Community Blog.  This means taking the time to use aria-labels, the HTML picture element and ensuring images are sized properly and in newer formats like WEPB and JP2.

I had planned to do a blog post on how to use Google Lighthouse as a web developer, however Google's own documentation leaves nothing to be enhanced upon. It is quite complete.

For comparison, here is our Lighthouse scorecard:

The tip I want to give is before you ask me to review your work, please do it yourself.

Nuff said!