Benefits of Using Frameworks to Aid Development

In this post I explain about the benefits of using a web designer / developer who uses frameworks to kick-start the development of their projects. If you need a website, you’re probably looking for a designer/developer who can build the most efficient website in the shortest duration, so that your site can go live as soon as possible. In stark contrast to design (a step in the project process which I feel can’t really be kick-started or rushed by using existing themes/or templates, unless the client’s budget makes this a necessity), development can in fact be sped up. A solution to this problem is to ensure you choose a designer/developer who uses frameworks for web development, rather than writing one hundred percent of the code from scratch. If you don’t know what a framework is, fear not! It’s basically a readymade development structure that can assist us designers/developers in laying out the foundations or building blocks for your project. Here are my two favourites:

Skeleton

Skeleton is perfect for most web design projects. It’s got an grid system that’s easy to pick up, and it has the potential to go responsive. Don’t know about responsive design? Then I recommend you read my short post on the blog about Responsive Web Design (RWD). There’s also a lovely PSD template you can use to ensure you stick to the defined grid when you start designing in Photoshop.

Bootstrap

Bootstrap is much better suited to web application projects rather than websites. It’s takes a little bit longer to get to grips with, and it also has the ability to go responsive. What makes it different from Skeleton though is that you can easily add more complex functionality with an array of Javascript/jQuery libraries that they offer. These let you achieve many of the effects you’ll find in the most user friendly web apps – button sets, complex dropdown menus, large forms, tooltips, carousels – the list goes on.

So, you might be thinking “If my project is built using a framework, then how does that help me?”…

Cross Browser Compatibility means Quicker Delivery & Lower Costs

As a front-end developer, using a framework can be a real time-saver. If you don’t use a framework you often waste time writing code for the basic structure of the website, only to find that there are numerous bugs in various web browsers (namely Internet Explorer). These are usually easy to fix, but a bit of a pain and they take time. The beauty of frameworks such as Skeleton and Bootstrap is that they have already been rigorously cross browser tested, and because they supply a ‘grid’ for laying out blocks of content, you just don’t run across any layout bugs, allowing you to get the basic structure or framework of your site (see why they’re called ‘frameworks’ now?!) up and running much more quickly. That means for you, the client, your site can theoretically be live sooner, with cross browser testing taking much less time than if all the code was written from scratch.

Better Organization

With a framework, your website is also more organized. Because the code has to be written to comply with the particular framework being used, it ensures that consistent naming conventions are used throughout, and encourages clean, semantic code. This in turn often means that your website’s got a better chance at ranking highly in the organic search engine listings. A big win all round!

You can go ‘Responsive’ right away, or at some point in the future…

Not every client requires their site to work on mobile devices just yet. I thoroughly recommend that they do, but perhaps at the present time they are getting little to no traffic from mobile devices. Anyhow, if this is the case, no problem at all. Because the Skeleton framework has these responsive capabilities in-built, even if you don’t request a responsive site,  it can become responsive at a later date with much less effort involved than if the site had not been built on that framework. That means a happy client, because less time equals a smaller final invoice!

Frameworks are the future

In an industry where (dare I say it) “time is money”, with most freelancers and agencies charging by the hour, frameworks are allowing us developers to get our client’s sites off the ground much quicker and giving us more time to be creative and tackle all the complexities of responsive web design. Perhaps more on that in another post! If you’d like to chat about a project you have in mind then get in touch by email, or call the office on: 01747 852298

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