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The Best Practices for Front-End Developmentby@yantsishko
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33,418 reads

The Best Practices for Front-End Development

by Yan TsishkoDecember 23rd, 2022
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Front-end development involves creating the visual and interactive aspects of a website. Ensuring that your code is optimized, maintainable, and follows industry standards is essential for creating a seamless user experience. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when working on front-end projects.
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Front-end development involves creating the visual and interactive aspects of a website or application that users see and interact with.


Ensuring that your front-end code is optimized, maintainable, and follows industry standards is essential for creating a seamless user experience. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when working on front-end projects:


  1. Semantic HTML tags: Using semantic HTML tags helps to improve the accessibility and readability of code. For example, instead of using a div tag to represent a header, you can use the header tag. This gives more meaning to the content and makes it easier for screen readers to interpret.
<!-- Not semantic -->
<div class="header">
  <h1>Welcome to my website</h1>
</div>

<!-- Semantic -->
<header>
  <h1>Welcome to my website</h1>
</header>


  1. CSS preprocessor: CSS preprocessors, such as SASS or LESS, allow using of advanced features and techniques in CSS that are not available in vanilla CSS. For example, you can use variables, mixins, and nested rules to make styles more organized and maintainable.
/* Css */
.btn {
  color: #ffffff;
  background-color: #000000;
  font-size: 16px;
  border-radius: 5px;
}

.btn.disabled {
  background-color: #cccccc;
}

/* Sass */

/* file variables.scss */
$primary-color: #000000;
$secondary-color: #ffffff;
$font-size: 16px;
$border-radius: 5px;
$disabled-color: #cccccc;

/* file main.scss */
@import 'variables';
.btn {
  color: $secondary-color;
  background-color: $primary-color;
  font-size: $font-size;
  border-radius: $border-radius;

  &.disabled {
    background-color: $disabled-color;
  }
}


  1. Use content delivery network (CDN) for js, CSS, and images: A CDN is a network of servers that deliver content based on the geographic location of the user. Using a CDN can improve performance by reducing the distance between the user and the server. Also, it allows caching of the files.
<!-- Not using a CDN -->
<script src="/scripts/jquery.js"></script>

<!-- Using a CDN -->
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/[email protected]/dist/jquery.min.js"></script>


  1. Optimize images and other assets: Optimizing images and other assets can help to improve the performance and speed of the website. This can be done through techniques such as compressing images, using appropriate image file formats, and lazy loading images.
<img src="compressed-image.jpg" alt="A compressed image" loading="lazy">


  1. Responsive images: Responsive images are images that are scaled appropriately for different screen sizes and devices. This can be done through the use of the srcset and sizes attributes on the img tag.
<img
  srcset="image-small.jpg 500w, image-medium.jpg 1000w, image-large.jpg 1500w"
  sizes="(max-width: 500px) 500px, (max-width: 1000px) 1000px, 1500px"
  src="image-large.jpg"
  alt="An image"
>


  1. Vector graphics: Vector graphics are images that are defined by points and paths, rather than pixels, and can be scaled to any size without losing quality. This can make them more efficient to use, especially for graphics that will be displayed in different sizes.
<svg width="200" height="200">
  <circle cx="100" cy="100" r="50" fill="#000000" />
</svg>


  1. Use image sprites: An image sprite is a single image that contains multiple smaller images, which can be displayed by using the background-position property in CSS. This can reduce the number of HTTP requests needed to load the images, improving performance.
.icon1 {
  background-image: url('icons.png');
  background-position: 0 0;
}

.icon2 {
  background-image: url('icons.png');
  background-position: -20px 0;
}


Accessibility Principles

Adhering to accessibility principles helps to make your website more inclusive and easier to use for people with disabilities. This can be achieved through techniques such as providing alt text for images, using proper heading structure, and adding proper form labels.


  1. The aria-label provides a label for an element that does not have a visible label. This can be useful for elements such as buttons or icons that do not have text labels.
<button aria-label="Search"><i class="search"></i></button>


  1. The aria-required provides indicate required form fields. The aria-required attribute can be used to indicate that a form field is required. This can help to alert users and assistive technologies that the field must be filled out in order to submit the form.
<label for="name">Name</label>
<input type="text" id="name" name="name" required aria-required="true">


  1. The aria-hidden attribute allows the hiding of an element from assistive technologies. This can be useful for decorative elements that do not convey important information.
<img src="decorative.jpg" alt="" aria-hidden="true">


  1. The aria-expanded allows for indicating the state of a collapsible element. The aria-expanded attribute can be used to indicate whether a collapsible element, such as a dropdown menu, is currently expanded or collapsed. This can help to alert users and assistive technologies of the current state of the element.
<button aria-expanded="false" aria-controls="menu">Menu</button>
<ul id="menu" aria-hidden="true">
  <li>Option 1</li>
  <li>Option 2</li>
  <li>Option 3</li>
</ul>


  1. The aria-live to announce updates to content. The aria-live attribute can be used to indicate that an element's content may be updated asynchronously. This can be useful for announcing updates to content, such as new messages or notifications, to assistive technologies.
<div id="notifications" aria-live="polite">
  <p>You have 1 new message</p>
</div>


  1. The aria-describedby allows for providing a description of an element. The aria-describedby attribute can be used to specify an element that provides a description for the current element. This can be useful for providing additional context or instructions for form fields or other interactive elements.
<label for="email">Email address</label>
<input type="email" id="email" name="email" aria-describedby="email-description">
<p id="email-description">Please enter your email address</p>

Optimize in JavaScript

JavaScript is a powerful and flexible programming language, but it can also be a resource-intensive one. Therefore, it is important to optimize your JavaScript code in order to ensure that it runs efficiently and doesn't impact the overall performance of your website or application.


Here are a few tips for optimizing JavaScript performance:


  • Minify your code: Removing unnecessary whitespace, comments, and other unnecessary characters can help reduce the size of your JavaScript files and improve loading times.


  • JavaScript compiler: A JavaScript compiler, such as Babel or TypeScript, can help optimize code by converting it into a more efficient format.


  • Avoid blocking the main thread: The main thread is responsible for handling user interactions and rendering the page, so it is important to avoid blocking it with long-running or resource-intensive tasks. Instead, consider using web workers or asynchronous functions to offload these tasks to other threads.


  • Code splitting allows you to split JavaScript code into smaller chunks that can be loaded on demand. This can improve performance by reducing the amount of code that needs to be loaded and parsed initially. You can use tools such as Webpack or Rollup to implement code splitting.


  • Lazy loading allows you to delay the loading of content until it is needed. This can improve performance by reducing the amount of data that needs to be loaded initially. You can use the IntersectionObserver API to implement lazy loading.

// Lazy loading with IntersectionObserver
const observer = new IntersectionObserver((entries) => {
  entries.forEach((entry) => {
    if (entry.isIntersecting) {
      // Load content
      observer.unobserve(entry.target);
    }
  });
});

document.querySelectorAll('[data-lazy]').forEach((element) => {
  observer.observe(element);
});


  • Caching allows the storing of data in the browser so that it can be reused without needing to be fetched from the server again. This can improve performance by reducing the number of network requests that need to be made. You can use the Cache API to implement caching.
if ('caches' in window) {
  caches.open('my-cache').then((cache) => {
    cache.add('/data.json').then(() => {
      console.log('Data added to cache');
    });
  });
}


  • Performance monitoring tool: A performance monitoring tool allows tracking of the performance of the website and identifying potential issues. This can help to optimize the performance of the website and improve the user experience. Some popular tools include Lighthouse and SpeedCurve.


  • Linting tool: As ESLint, checks code for errors and suggests improvements, helping to ensure that code is consistent and follows best practices.

Conclusion

Front-end development involves a wide range of practices and techniques that can help to improve the performance and user experience of a website.


Some of the best practices that you can follow include optimizing images and other assets, following accessibility principles, and JavaScript optimizing. By following these best practices, you can build high-quality and well-performing websites that provide a great user experience.