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It’s like running your air conditioner in your car, there is an expense …

When we talk about coding we talk about the expense associated with development and maintenance but we don’t talk about the expense of bad code …

High-quality, custom tailored code will always save money and increase sales.

What’s a Framework?

A “Framework” is nothing more than a way of doing things.

It’s a process, a pattern created by a group of people that believe this the best, quickest, easiest, or whatever reason has motivated them to code this process.

The advantages of using a framework is that you don’t need to build out any of the functionality. All you have to do is follow their instructions and tie it into their system.

And a framework doesn’t have to be complicated, you could call an style sheet a framework!

And using one without understanding the goals, reasoning, and motivations of its creators could be costly, harmful, and detrimental to the future of your business.

Why use a Framework?

Frameworks save the developers, coders, and designers time.

Most companies hire according to which frameworks you know.

When you build a website there are a lot of things you will do over and over again, so frameworks came along to save time and prevent you from having to do the same things over and over again.

And depending on the framework you're using will also depend on the cost you'll pay.

But sadly what's not being talked about is how a 1 second increase in load times, caused by bad code could be costing you millions a year.

Types and Uses of Frameworks

Professional front-end developers do not use made for the masses frameworks.

A framework is nothing more than a pattern, so having a pattern isn’t a bad thing but when you take that pattern, tweak it, stretch it, and turn it into a one size fits all ... it can’t compete with a mean, lean, coded for the project, coded for speed.

Made for the masses frameworks are normally made for beginners and require more code in addition to the already trying to be everything to everybody problem.

I guess it all comes down to the end goals but it just makes sense that if your writing code that you’ll be repeating over and over again and hope to never have to write again, you would write the code to meet all current coding standards but sadly coding standards never seem to come up when coding front end frameworks.

And something to consider is that one of the differences between an expert and an amateur is the quality of the code and one way of accessing the quality of the code is to see if it validates and with over a million users not one of the top 100 websites on Shopify has code that validates.

The internet is Constantly Changing and Evolving

Because the internet is constantly changing and evolving the frameworks are also having to twist, change, and turn to keep up with it. And many times, this means having to chunk your old theme and totally redesign, year after year to try and keep up with the Internet.

By having a website outside of these made for the masses frameworks you're able to evolve with the internet instead of looking like some kind of parasite that has attached itself to it.

And frameworks come and go.

So build your own ...

What Makes a Good Framework

If you're a coder and someone asks you what constitutes good code then you have to say the quality of the code.

The way you establish the quality of the framework is that it meets all the standards and doesn’t have any errors. The way you find errors is by validating the code and if you can’t validate the code how can the developer be sure he didn’t forget to close a tag?

A professional writes code that meets all the standards and validates so a good framework does the same.

How can you introduce a framework that doesn’t meet all the standards?

And to take it a step further how can a framework even dream that they’ve possibly covered every option a business may encounter?

And to make it worse all those options that you’ll never use weigh down your site and that weight slows it down.

And that slow down can cost you millions a year and put you at a huge competitive disadvantage.

So a good framework is one that has been custom built for your project and its code meets all the current coding standards and validates.

It’s the only way to get rid of all the code bloat.

A good framework should use all the current benefits available in all the languages you're programming in.

And if something new comes up, if there is a new way of doing something, or if a feature needs to be extended, it should be simple, quick, and easy.

It’s got to be designed around speed!

1. A Framework Should Be Custom

Everything should be precise, you don’t need the extra code needed to change, adjust, and extend because everything has been custom written for you and your site.

Every piece of code is written with a purpose, not one line, space, or mark is accidental.

Nothing is repeated and it's packed, stacked, used, and written to use as little code as possible while being as effective as possible.

The best way to build a custom framework is to start at the beginning.

You could start with a tutorial and work through into a guide, and from the guide into a bunch of different layouts and mock ups that you're able to pick and choose elements from.

Once the layout is chosen the code is rendered.

And from this point on you're able to start writing your custom code.

You're adding to a blank template versus all of the current front-end frameworks where you start with every option available to man and to speed up the site or add something they didn’t think of, you have to rewrite or remove code.

And that's even if that particular framework allows you to modify and remove the code because some frameworks don’t.

And some frameworks that do will cause you to rewrite the code you modified every-time they update. This is the reason most people don’t even try to customize their templates. Which leaves a slow, bloated, low-quality, inferior experience.

These front end frameworks come with a hidden tax that’ll put you at a disadvantage and eventually out of business.

2. Frameworks are Easy to Understand!

A good framework is built around speed and usability!

It’s organized in such a way that it is both easy to understand and easy to maintain. This means setting up and sticking with a way of laying-out and organizing things.

The code needs to be easy to understand and write.

3. Frameworks are Easy to Add Onto

The idea is to start with a lightweight frame and keep the code light, as different features are added.

You’ve got to be able to add in custom features as some sites may use a feature that is unique to that business and it’ll never or rarely ever be used and you don’t want any extra code slowing down the framework.

But it’s location and how it’ll work has to be thought of ahead of time because these added features are one of the biggest contributors to code bloat.

This means having a place for framework code and another place for non-framework code.

Building a Framework

If a framework can be as simple as a style sheet then anyone who can write CSS can build a framework.

The framework has to be ...

Your framework is your secret weapon that's hard to see and even harder to duplicate.

Quality Control

The good thing about writing quality code, is that there are a lot of tools we can use to make sure we’ve got everything right and we need to perform checks and guidelines to make sure all our code validates and meets all performance and accessibility checks.

For quality control, test:

And those checks need to be automated.

The front end design doesn’t need to be complicated. As a matter of fact it should start out as simple as possible because the less code the faster it’ll load.

You’ve really only got 2 web design styles and both can be laid out using the native browser language (CSS GRID) which makes the site cleaner and faster.

Let's look at the two layouts and how simple the code to lay them out can be.

2 Kinds of Layouts

Single column

Single column layouts with hero image layout in the content in a single, vertical column.

Visitors just scroll down to see more content.

Single column layouts are the most popular kind of websites. And mobile has helped push this kind of design because in mobile everything needs to fit to a single column to fit mobile screens perfectly.

The hero image is based on the idea that using images in design is the fastest way to sell a product. Featured images create an emotional connection with visitors — a big, bold photograph or illustration of an object makes a strong statement and creates a stunning first impression.

The code for a single website design doesn’t need to get complicated, it can be as simple as …

Let’s start with the body and inside the body I’m going to add a header. And this will be where I’ll have my logo and navbar but for now I’m just going to add a logo and I’ll make it so if you click on the logo it’ll take you back to the home page.

Fixed sidebars

Navigation is a critical part of any website — the main menu is the first thing most users look for when they want to navigate. Along with top-side horizontal navigation, it’s possible to keep menu options in sight by placing it in a fixed sidebar. The sidebar is a vertical column on the left or right part of the page. For this web layout, the sidebar stays stationary and always remains visible while the rest of page changes as users scroll the page down. This way navigation remains accessible.

There are a Lot of Ways to Code Something but Only One Best Way!

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