e-Commerce Ascension Series: Custom Coding (V)
Bringing your business into the digital landscape implies a brainstorming session in which the software product manager assists the website owners in clarifying what they envision for their platform. In other words, before building a website, you should have a clear-cut vision of the website’s functionalities. In most cases, the best solution is to opt for custom coding. Mainly because you want to differentiate from your competition, and that’s a hard sell when your website has the same basic look and functionalities. Moreover, you want to bring value by bringing that game-changing idea to life.
Nevertheless, custom coding is optimal because it helps the project’s development be harmonious throughout its evolution. You are not limited by the basic templates which constrain you to what is already available.
Front-end and Back-end Development
Firstly, we have to focus on the front-end development part. This is the way the website looks and feels. Usually, this part is taken care of by a front-end developer who collaborates with a UI/UX designer to give an aesthetic look to your e-Commerce website. Secondly, we take care of the back-end development part, which is the hidden part of a website. How the wireframes are connected, and how the data is transferred, managed, and manipulated. If you want to scale your business, I recommend allocating more resources to back-end development because this is what usually breaks when an influx of orders takes place. This is where custom coding comes in handy. By having complete control over your website’s functions, you can prepare for specific scenarios that are generally a nightmare for basic template users.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
After the first three phases are complete, the developers will deliver a minimal valuable product (MVP), demonstrating how the website looks and works. Then you move on to feedback implementation, which involves a series of discussions about what can be made differently or what can be added to align the website with the client’s vision. After several iterations, the website should be according to the client’s requirements.
This green-lights the testing process. First, the developers create a script for Automated Testing (read our Solid Structure article for more info on Automated Testing). After the website passes all the tests, it is pushed over to internal Testing, where developers manually test its complex features to ensure everything works as intended, especially in abnormal scenarios. This process is repeated until the website passes all the tests and receives Quality Assurance confirmation. The website is fully functional and ready to go live once the client decides to do so.
The last part of custom coding is creating a tracking solution, and a visual user interface for the client. This way, the client can report errors directly to the developers, and the developers can pinpoint where exactly the specific error happens. In the case of custom coding, the tracking solution interface is a must-have because you need to have an open communication channel between the client and the developer. After all, custom coding is fluid in its very nature, meaning that errors can arise from unforeseen events.
But this shouldn’t scare you into downgrading to basic template coding because any innovative product has errors at the end of the day. Still, the key is to have a dedicated maintenance crew ready to step in and fix them.
If you enjoyed this article about the custom coding of a website, all the other steps of the e-Commerce Ascension™ become way more accessible. The template is not just a powerful tool to increase your e-Commerce performance. It’s a mindset that allows people like you and me to gaze through the lens of consumer behavior and successfully apply the insight gathered.