The Great Web Maintainability Survey

Published on May 14, 2017 (↻ July 8, 2023), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

The maintenance and economics of websites (and apps) is a much-neglected topic in the web development community, perhaps encouraged by both project owners, who are at times inhibited by counter-productive mindsets, perhaps supported by unhealthy abstraction through tools, frameworks, and libraries.

The cost of maintenance is high, however, manifesting itself in many a redo that should have been a redesign, and that sometimes foolishly so, given that there are many plain unnecessary changes. All changes have a price, and so if there’s one thing imperative in web development then it’s to prevent, by design, all changes that can be avoided—including things as inane as renaming style sheets.

Now, I have written about the maintenance and maintainability of websites for many years, and I deem it’s important to survey the industry again and collect, more comprehensively this time, current good (but also poor) practices around maintainability. For that reason I’ve created a brief survey which I invite you to contribute to:

Three questions but one survey.

Figure: Three questions for you.

I have nothing more to say; the survey will be open for one month (until June 14, 2017) to allow for hopefully wide participation. I’ll publish the results in the weeks after—stay updated through one of this site’s feeds or on Twitter.

Update (June 16, 2017)

The results are in, the survey is closed, and I’ve already started doing something useful with all the feedback. Thank you!

Update (January 24, 2018)

Thanks to everyone’s feedback, here is: The Compact Guide to Web Maintainability: 200 Tips and Resources.

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!