written by owen on 2004-Oct-30.
This is a down and dirty article directed mainly to PHP and ASP website programmers.
Keep the scope of your project in your head at all stages during the development projects. Try to keep everything dynamic, especially when you dealing with large amounts of data that will be difficult to change in the future. Small additions today may make it easier to add extra features in the furture. A program that is too static will make it impossible to adapt to future change. Sometimes you can keep it simple but it comes down to whether your going to save time now or save time later.
Clients can frequently cause unnescessary headaches for programmers working against a deadline. It is important to keep track of what they are doing and what they expect will be the end result. Use hand signals and charts if necessary.
Auto-Increment id for every table
Doesn't matter how small the table, how many columns or what keys your using - put a auto increment index column on the table. Do it, do it now! This will also be included in another upcoming article Good database design practices for web developers
Protect your data and validate
Worst case scenario all your data and all your tables get deleted from your database and you have no way of getting it back. Validate your user input. Create a few server-side functions so you can do it quickly and consistently across multiple websites.
Make functions for you commonly used code and keep them consistent across all the websites you develop. It'll save you time and allow you to qiuckly update and improve your websites and programming habits.
Write your own code if you can
There is simply nothing like custom code, especially if your able to write it very quickly. You should be able to access, debug, and fix errors quickly without that clueless look on your face. If you use open source code make sure it's good code and you pay respect to the copyrights owners.
If you didn't write it don't mess with it
The first sign of doom occurs when you start to change something you downloaded off the internet. One change here, another there and soon you have a rogue app on your hands. Try to make as few changes as possible, so that you can upgrade to newer versions quickly and document these changes so that people can know what you added. If you have to make extensive changes then you should have written it yourself.
Get somebody to test your application, you can't do it yourself.
Anything I missed?