Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 50.19.34.255

Forum Moderators: phranque

Featured Home Page Discussion

What Are Your Least Favorite WebDev Activities?

What have you done to lessen the pain of those activities?

     
5:05 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 2, 2003
posts:7963
votes: 56


My least favorite activities include:

  1. Dealing with broken links, onsite and off
  2. Dealing with plugins that fail
  3. Dealing with junk traffic - bots, etc


What have I done to lessen or mitigate the PITA factor of the above?

  1. Broken links? -> Deployed broken link checker plugins, which I use and then pull down to keep the plugin itself from becoming a new headache - as it runs and re-runs and runs again
  2. Plugins that fail? -> If it's a "simple plugin" I'll pull apart the code, selecting just the essential "operative code", and embed that code in my custom functions file. If it's a plugin that is more involved I'll only employ it if it has a long history of support, wide use and a minimal a history of vulnerabilities. Sometimes I'll pay for a plugin IFF that's what's needed to assure long term support for the plugin's development.
  3. Junk traffic? -> I run my own VPS. That way I have both wider (multiple sites) and more granular (Apache Pre-Virtual includes settings, CSF settings, Mod-Security settings, etc) control


So, what are or have been your WedDev headaches, annoyances, or pains?

What have you been able to do to mitigate the PITA-factor?
5:23 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:7995
votes: 578


1. Running out of coffee.

Got a bigger pot.

Seriously, I guess most housekeeping activities are not as exciting as the rest, but they have to be done, so getting worked up is not going to make a difference.
6:14 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 2, 2003
posts:7963
votes: 56


Ya, coffee also helps keep me moving some days, so that's a solution for many of us. (My coffee brewer recently went kaput. I lived without one for a few days . . a few . . loooong . . days. lol)

Getting worked up doesn't do much to reduce the time devoted to repetitive, menial, sometimes annoying (failed plugins) tasks. Getting worked up, however, can serve as a sign of the need to make a change.

What else ya got, tangor, besides coffee . . or is that a panacea - fixes everything - for you?
8:17 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:7995
votes: 578


The only thing I sometimes run out of is Time. Haven't figured out how to get more than 25 hours into a 24 hour day ... I manage the 25, but sometimes need 26.

As for plugins, don't use 'em. Avoid JS at all costs. Produce UGLY, but responsive, sites with HTML and CSS and always use the KISS method. If there is a LESS tech-gaudy way of doing something, that's the one I will use.

Custom log reporting developed over the 20 years has paid off with short, usable one page morning reports on things that need to be addressed (or not).

Choosing better clients, getting rid of problem clients.

Keep overhead low (only as many employees as required and that minus one).

Everything inhouse. No CDN, cloud or other gizmos -- then again, the "web" that I do does not actually need any of that. HOWEVER, there are many who do and in that regard it's jake with me.

Though I burn the candle at both ends I don't worry unless it ignites in the middle, too. :)
8:48 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month

joined:May 9, 2000
posts:25035
votes: 658


Same for me: Dealing with broken links, onsite and off. It's not finding them, as that is usually easy, it's making sure a site hasn't died or been repurposed.
10:29 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from CA 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 25, 2003
posts:1107
votes: 264


The two biggest headaches are far and away first: link maintenance, and a distant second: bot defence. Both are addressed via custom DBMS and associated software.

Link maintenance requires a customised headless browser for link investigation and the most time for when an external landing page has died or changed content the link must be removed or an replacement found; often surrounding copy must be removed/replaced as well.

There has been much written about link rot, almost always in the context of backlinks. It can be almost as pervasive for links to external site landing pages and even more detrimental as at best a visitor clicks a dead link, at worst lands on a page gone malicious; a poor to catastrophic user experience. Trying to stay on top of this involves a distressing - but critically necessary - amount of human aka me maintenance time despite a good amount of automation.

Day to day the bot side requires mostly oversight via reports and adjustment decisions; 99.99% automated. It's not so much a headache due to work rather to criticality. Direct ad space sales and affiliate relationships means that having a handle on bots (blocking where possible and identifying, accounting for where not) is a critical competitive advantage greatly affecting pricing/billing/conversion and client retention/replacement.

Bot behaviour/stealth advances necessitate recognition and adaptation. Consequently I spend an interesting amount of time in dark corners, testing hypotheses, and in visitor analysis. Fortunately, this is much less boringly repetitive than link-content adjustments. Often rather fun, actually.

Note: running managed dedicated servers provides control (and buck stops here responsibility) not available to many webdevs.

Note: I drink far too much coffee. Too often too much cold coffee. On the positive side this increases get up and take stiff muscles for a groaning stretch them walk break to the cp (deliberately down hall and up stairs) and/or the wc (same but closer).
10:50 pm on Jan 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 2, 2003
posts:7963
votes: 56


Link rot . . yes . . I hear a communal sigh . .

Fortunately your post indicates you have skills (custom coding) that, as of this moment, I can only . . long for . . wish I learned.

a groaning stretch them walk break to the cp (deliberately down hall and up stairs


LOL. I KNOW exactly of what you speak. There are "get down to it days" (lately) when, but for coffee or bathroom breaks, I find myself mindlessly and healthlessly affixed to my computer monitor. From time to time, to "lessen the pain" (back pain, that is) I will roll my large green stability ball into my office and sit on that for several hours. I really DO like it . . and SHOULD deploy it a bit more often . . BUT, somewhere in the back of my mind, I keep expecting it to explode whilst I'm perched on it. lol . . sign . .
12:53 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:10627
votes: 630


Least favorite? That assumes all are favorites :)

The thing I *dislike* the most is dealing with third party APIs. Just removed one that is EoL and have to rethink all the responsive positioning & spacing.
12:57 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member brotherhood_of_lan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 30, 2002
posts:4891
votes: 17


UI design. If all Internet users could just use a command line to send their requests, that'd be nice.
3:01 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 25, 2005
posts:1655
votes: 238


Designing (logos, layouts, etc), because I'm not good enough at it to meet my own standards.
7:45 am on Feb 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Jan 29, 2018
posts: 13
votes: 0


The links and UI etc,because the information and stantard is not control.
2:02 pm on Feb 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 5, 2006
posts:3427
votes: 50


Least favourite - making a very small change to a large script that I wrote 5 or more years ago.
You can't remember how it works
You wouldn't write it like that now anyway
Any change invariably causes it to crash and burn
2:15 am on Feb 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 9, 2001
posts:5755
votes: 97


Least favorite: keeping on top of link rot.
11:35 am on Feb 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User from GB 

joined:Feb 1, 2018
posts:1
votes: 0


Least favorite activities are seo optimization.
2:27 pm on Feb 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from CA 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 2, 2017
posts:48
votes: 5


Same thing here. Designing is not my thing and sometime I have to deal with that.
8:57 pm on Feb 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2006
posts:1478
votes: 88


What I really dislike about web dev (it's design, implementation and sure: coding) multi language websites, those sites that need a changing nav interface or the clients that expect each article to lead to it's other language version... no I don't even like it with out-of-the-box solutions.