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Techniques for Documenting Your Web Projects

Nov 24, 2022

One in all the neat points of constructing web sites is that, eventually, you’ll face the identical challenge greater than once. Which means you’ll know exactly what to do the subsequent time around. That’s in the event you remember where and whenever you’d seen the difficulty before.

How again and again have you ever needed to perform something and realized that you simply’ve written a bit of code that might be an ideal fit? Then, how often was that very same snippet almost unattainable to search out?

It is a common challenge for web designers. That’s why writing some basic project documentation can prove to be helpful. By putting such a system in place, you’ll have a straightforward technique to go and find that time-saving snippet.

Whether you’re working on a recent project or searching through some past ones, listed here are some suggestions for documenting what you’ve done.

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Comment Your Code

This one seems a bit obvious, nevertheless it’s no less vital. As we write code, it is smart so as to add appropriate comments about exactly what it does.

Common practice includes writing a brief narrative above each recent function to clarify its purpose and relevance. Beyond that, adding notes at other key places inside those functions allow us (and others reviewing our code) to achieve a greater understanding of how the whole lot is put together.

And this practice isn’t only for complex languages like PHP or JavaScript. It’s also perfect for CSS. Stating specific styles and where they’re getting used is great for locating exactly what you would like.

It often seems like half of the battle is just remembering why each line is there and what it’s imagined to do. Commenting can take lots of that ambiguity away.

Create a Journal for Each Project

Depending in your personality, the mention of the word “journal” could also be either incredibly scary or oddly comforting. Either way, there’s great value within the practice.

On this case, we’re talking a couple of document that serves as a future project resource. Should the web site break or require a recent feature, this may be a spot which you can reference for details on how things were configured.

Open up a word processing document or go all out and create a Wiki in your local install. It could actually be as detailed (or not) as you want. There are not any hard and fast rules here.

For instance, our design and development techniques are likely to evolve. The approach you took a number of years ago may not resemble what you’re doing today. Thus, it’s vital to place various elements of the method into writing.

Plus, even when using common systems and libraries, each website is a separate entity. Undecided where to begin? Have a look at what makes the positioning different from others.

Make note of special templates you created, specific code snippets, or styles. Should you arrange a novel server configuration, that’s also an awesome thing to document.

Keeping a project journal will help you recall the little details.

Maintain a Code Snippet Library

There’s no must reinvent the wheel in relation to code. Much of what we write is infinitely reusable. Even when it doesn’t fully slot in with the needs of your recent project, the proper snippet can function a solid place to begin for further customization.

Organizing disparate bits of code, nonetheless, generally is a challenge. You can just copy and paste useful pieces right into a document and retrieve them as needed. But for individuals who write lots of code, this might get out of hand relatively quickly.

A GitHub repository might be an affordable solution. It will will let you categorize things and establish version control. You may even sync a repository with one other service so which you can use or access it in alternative ways.

No matter how you place a snippet library together, you’ll need to develop some type of system for tagging, categorizing, or otherwise labeling each snippet. As an example, it is advisable to add things just like the coding language used, purpose, relevant application (resembling WordPress), or library (React, Vue, Bootstrap). This can make finding what you would like a much smoother process.

A repository of code snippets allows you to easily find commonly-used items.

An Encyclopedia of Your Work

Web designers love to construct portfolios to point out off their work. But keeping track of projects internally can also be a worthwhile endeavor. It could actually provide help to troubleshoot and construct upon existing web sites while providing solutions for brand spanking new ones as well.

You need to use any or the entire above techniques to get things organized. The very best part is which you can customize things the best way you see fit. Whether that’s through voracious notetaking or easy reminders, it can provide help to higher understand the what, where, when, and why of your web projects.