Project planning is hard. When you need to plan a project, don’t do it alone. Ask your team to help you plan the project. By including them, you get buy in and a better plan.
1. Plan with your team
Schedule a time to meet with your team. Explain the project and work out how to get it done. By working with your team, you get your team interested in the project and avoid having to rework your plan.
2. Get everyone involved
Ask questions. Each person has different experience and insights into how to approach the project. Make them feel like they are part of the process.
3. Work with your team to define the tasks
Have them help you define all tasks needed to complete the project. When you have all the tasks figured out, ask them for estimates. They should be able to give you realistic estimates not guesses.
Projects get completed by teams. Start by planning with your team. Get them involved by asking questions and finding out what tasks are needed. By working with your team at the beginning, you can create buy in and enthusiasm for the project.
When you build for the web, you have to make many different choices. What am I going to build? What tools are I going to use? The number of tools, frameworks and libraries available can be overwhelming.
What is the Lean Web?
Chris gave a talk on Lean Web at WordCamp LA 2020.
The Three Lean Web Principles
Principle 1. Embrace the Platform
Use HTML over JS, CSS over JS and use the browser for what it is good at. Does that mean you shouldn’t use new tools and technologies? No. You need to decide when you should use them and why.
Principle 2. Small & Modular
Look for small, focused tools that do one thing really well. Use APIs, native browser methods or alternative tools lie Svelte or Preact. Use utility-first CSS to prevent redundancy in your stylesheets.
Principle 3. The Web is for Everyone
Not all browsers support native features. You can use a polyfill to replicate the feature. As developers, we make choices that can break the web for some people. Chris suggest using the A11Y Project to make sure that everyone who wants to use your web applications can.
You don’t want to avoid using new tools, frameworks and techniques in favor of old ways of doing things. When you are building any project, you have to make choices on what to use. Sometimes, HTML and CSS is the better choice.
Why is my website slow? It is a common question developers, designers, bloggers and even your visitors ask. No website is immune from having speed issues.
What causes website bloat?
How you designed and built the site affects its speed. Things like images, videos, CSS and code can impact your site. Even your server can affect how the site performs.
What can you do to speed up your site?
1. Optimize your images
You may be using images created in file formats that aren’t designed for the web. They may be large in file size as well. You can use an optimize tool to shrink the file size down without noticeable loss in quality. When you optimize an image, it loads faster on your site.
2. Get rid of unnecessary images
Check your web server for unused images. Unused images can affect user experience and performance of your site. If you aren’t using these images, delete them off your server. WordPress users can clean up their images using plugins or manually. If you have Windows, you can use Powershell to find and remove used images.
3. Optimize your videos and other files
Large files can slow a web site down. Files like videos or PDFs get quite large. You can optimize them before uploading. For PDFS, you can use Adobe Acrobot Pro’s PDF Optimizer to make them faster for the web. With videos, you can use a video hosting service like Vimeo or YouTube to host your videos. Then, you can embed them on your page.
4. Optimize your CSS
CSS files can get large and unruly after a while. Optimizing and managing them can be a challenge. It can be hard to find unused styles. You can use a tool like Helium CSS to find them. By getting rid of unused styles, you can reduce the size of your CSS.
Some of your styles are used more often than others. Print styles are used when a page is printed. You may want to separate them into their own file. With frequently used CSS, you may want to consider using inline styles instead. Before uploading your CSS, you can use a minifier to reduce the amount of whitespace it uses.
5. Check your code for speed issues
Are you using old code? If you are, you may need to rewrite, refactor or even replace it. Look at older code and decide if you need to keep it. If not, remove it.
6. Review the content of your page.
You may have too many items on your page. Do you have old or outdated content? If so, you can remove them. Review the rest of the items on the page to see if you can remove some content and still achieve the same goals of the page.
Preventing website bloat can be a full time job. By changing your development process to include optimization. You can prevent it from getting slow.
FlexBox is a flexible box layout model for the web. This model gives you a way to automatically rearrange responsive elements. They can adjust in size either increasing or decreasing depending on the device size. FlexBox can be a great addition to your CSS toolbox. It helps you to write adjustable and adaptive CSS.
If you need to fix a problem right away, you can use Solved By Flexbox to find a solution to common problems.
3 different ways to use it in your projects
1. Centering items on a page
Without FlexBox, it can be challenging to center items like text or images on a page. Sometimes, you have to resort to hacks to get it to look the way you want. FlexBox makes it so much easier. Use these tips to center items either horizontally or vertically.
You want to create a photo gallery that is responsive. Use this photo gallery to make one that looks like Flickr or Google Photos.
A print stylesheet allows you to print a webpage. Testing a print stylesheet can be challenging. You create print styles to manage how the page prints, but it still doesn’t look right. What do you do when you need to fix or find a problem that occurs when the page is printed?
You have two options use the Print Preview or the browser’s developer tools.
Print Preview lets you see how your web page looks on the printed page. You can see which elements to hide like navigation bars, footers or certain images. It also helps you to identify simple problems. Problems like large text, too much space between elements and extra styling that may use too much ink.
Print Styles in the browser
What do you do when you can’t find the source of a problem? Use your browser. Chrome, FireFox and Safari allow you to display print styles directly in your browser. This option is great for seeing how your design looks without print the page out. You can use the inspector to diagnose issues with your CSS. It can help you identify design issues that need a print style either created or modified.
For example, I had an app that printed a receipt. It printed on two pages instead of one. First, I used the Print Preview to find out what elements to hide when printed. After that, I saw that it was still printing on two pages. I couldn’t see what was causing the issue.
I changed the Developer Tools to show the print CSS. When I used this option to view the receipt with the print styles, I found the source of the problem. The problem was in the footer. I started to look at the styles for it. The footer had a height of 10.75 ems. I experimented by turning off the height. It changed from printing on one page instead of two. To fix this issue, I added a new print style for the footer and made the height auto. When I looked in print preview, it printed an one page.