Buggy Web Applications—Avoiding Problems

There are several common mistakes that web developers make—mistakes that can usually be avoided. When it comes to deploying web applications, the most common mistake by far is not testing enough. Developing apps can be a fun process, and people are often eager to see their creations come to fruition, but one of the problems with that is that they often skip important steps just because their excitement gets the best of them.

While on the surface this might not necessarily seem like a bad thing, it can actually be disastrous for your web application, and harming to your site’s reputation. One thing that you need to understand is that users really have low tolerance for buggy web apps that don’t work well. Think about this for a moment: if you go to a site to play a video and the video player doesn’t work, how long will it be before you leave and search for the video on another site? Probably not long, that’s for sure! If you want to make sure that your users are happy, you need to go ahead and be thorough with your testing phase because it can really eliminate a number of problems.

On top of that, you need to be diligent about responding to bug reports once your web app is live. This way you can narrow down and fix some problems that aren’t apparent in the pre-release phase (and not all problems will be). The reason for this is because there just aren’t enough users (usually) in the pre-release testing phase to encounter every possible problem with your app. However, once your web app is live and anyone can use it, the sheer volume of users interacting with your app increases the likelihood that all possible problems that can arise, actually will. This isn’t to say that you won’t have some problems that don’t come out later, but in general, most of the big problems with any web app will be brought to light once it’s available to the public.

Obviously it’s a good idea to adhere to a schedule and not get too stuck in pre-release (or post release) testing, but you need to balance that with the fact that if you don’t have a web app that works properly, no one is going to use it. As long as you take that into consideration, and are diligent about the time you spend in both development and testing, you should be able to create a web application that’s both usable and enjoyable for everyone who visits your site. One final thing to consider is that if you aren’t monitoring what’s happening with your web applications after their release, then you’ll have no way of knowing whether or not they are even online. By making sure that you have a policy to manually check your sites and combining that with web application monitoring (which is available from a number of third-party vendors), you can be sure that you that you’re keeping tabs on the things that need to be watched. That way, when (not if) there’s a problem with one of your applications, you won’t have to hear about it from an angry user.