Have you ever been stuck building a product that you wish to put into the market, but you don’t know if you are doing it the right way? I guess we all are. Here’s an extensive list I compiled to provide you with tips on building your application the right way.
Tips for building production-ready applications
Employ Proper Architecture
There are different architectures when it comes to building applications. They vary with different architectural designs and patterns. Choosing the best architecture makes your codebase look cleaner and even saves you the stress of debugging it.
Use a week to carry out some research before starting the project :
It’s usually advisable to use about a week to research because you get a long time to decide on what tools to use and plan the project carefully.
Learn to write tests:
Who doesn’t write tests in the 21st century?
From the onset, writing tests are a helpful way of saving you the stress of testing your application manually.
One of the best parts about writing tests is that you can test multiple components and features in one go.
Follow trends wisely:
Following trends is one thing that allows developers to change the tool they are good at to something else due to trends.
No one is saying trends are not good, but you have to set your mind and goal on a particular tool and use it throughout your project.
Avoid over complexity:
If your codebase is private, don’t make it too complex; no one reads your code. Also, if it’s open-source, do the same and make it easy to read and navigate.
Avoid logging server errors into the console:
Sometimes the users don’t need to know the type of error that happened to your application because if they find such information, they can use it to do nasty things to your application.
A handy way of keeping things safe from prying eyes is to implement simple response or status codes.
Implement Rate Limiting:
Rate limiting is a technique used by developers to limit the number of requests sent to a server. A web server that lacks rate-limiting tools is likely prone to DDOS and brute-force attacks since they can keep making countless requests to your server till it crashes.
Consider Using a multi-threaded or asynchronous stack:
Multi-threaded stacks provide a much better way to handle operations and tasks with ease. Also, asynchronous tools can be helpful in processing data with non-blocking I/O. Like I said in number 1, using the right tool matters.
Perform Beta Testing:
End-users are the people who use your product, and without them, your product is as good as dead, and urging users to try out your application before launching gives you the necessary feedback on what to change or fix.
If your app requires authentication, make use of stateless sessions :
Stateless sessions are sessions that do not require sessions. They are stateless, which means they are persistent.JWT is a typical example of stateless sessions that allow you to authenticate users without using sessions that hackers can easily hijack.
Modularize your code:
Modularization is the process of separating codes into modules that are easily accessed within the project. Modularizing code makes it easier to test your components or features independently and provides a clean codebase.
Version your API or product:
When you version your product, you’re giving your users the option to choose between your product’s old or new version. A good reason why versioning your product is effective is that some of the new features you added might not work for some computers or phones, which means users can’t use your product.
Always run tests on your NPM package:
NPM has a lot of weak and vulnerable packages that might not be safe to work with or expose your data. Running tests and fixing them is very effective in the long run because you will have that assurance that your data is safe. You can use Synk, an NPM package for running tests on your codebase, or you could run
npm audit fix to fix all the vulnerable packages.
Use cron jobs:
Cron jobs are tasks or operations meant to be carried out at a particular period. Using cron jobs helps you to perform specific tasks automatically. E.g., deactivate unverified users’ accounts after three weeks of registration. This method allows you to be flexible and do a lot of neat work without doing it manually.
Use git to track and maintain your codebase:
Git is a source control system, while GitHub is a site that uses Git. Using Git, you can track changes made to your codebase and maintain them when needed.
Think of Git as a cloud for your codebase where you can review your changes.
Separate your production branch from your development branch:
Many people, especially those just starting to use GitHub, make the mistake of pushing and deploying their codes on a single branch, usually the master branch.
Using a single branch is not advisable because you might commit a bug in your codes that is later deployed to your server and can cause severe damage to the users and application and so, different branches to aid development and production will help a lot.
Never ignore errors reported:
Errors are every developer’s nightmare. They are capable of completely shutting down your application which is bad for your users and so, it’s wise to take errors seriously and try to fix them no matter the circumstance.
Spend most of your time building a good UI and UX:
A good UI and UX attract users to your application which means spending your time building your product worth using. A bad UI and UX displeases your users and makes you lose some potential users in the future.
Process requests properly:
Sometimes, most requests sent to your server can contain malicious data capable of breaking down the system or exposing the user’s data.
Checking these requests for flaws or abnormal behavior and adequately processing them is a good way of checkmating such malicious acts.
Always sanitize and validate users input before storing them:
Validating users’ input before storing them is very crucial because they might be some irregularities that hackers could take advantage of. When you sanitize and validate users’ input, you ensure that data collected from them is safe and wouldn’t cause harm to the system in the future.
Always hash or encrypt users’ passwords before saving them:
Encrypting users’ passwords before storing them helps keep them safe and ensures they are not quickly figured out. Using this process, if a hacker gets hold of your information, they can’t access your account due to the encrypted password.
Never display error messages from your product API:
Error messages coming from the server end are meant to be hidden away from the users. A simple response can prove helpful and safe.
Ensure Performance and Speed are Adequate
Another key to a production-ready application is performance and speed. They are what make users use your product. Good performance and speed will urge users to continue to make use of your product.
Document your product
No product is ever complete without documentation. Documentation is a guideline for the users on how to get started with your product and what it entails. Proper documentation allows the user to understand how to use your product correctly.
Don’t be greedy when paying for services that could help secure your application:
Some people habitually use free services that are not usually safe or provide better security for your application.
Paying for the right services to secure your application might be worth a shot and can even give you a guarantee that you wouldn’t be facing issues with it.
Learn to use sockets efficiently:
Sockets are handy if you know how to use them effectively and dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.
Sockets are ways of passing data from one service to another in real-time and is very cool to use in enterprise application or applications that require real-time data.
Build what both you and the users love:
Before building a product, ask yourself one question:
Will the users like my application and idea?
Sometimes they don’t, but you have to make it work. When your passion for building something fails, then the purpose of it should drive you.
The users are the prominent people who keep your application intact: Value your users and customers because they are the ones using your application.
Upgrade your product when due:
Some people have the habit of not updating the service they use and their products when outdated.
Upgrading your product when it’s outdated will allow the users to ensure that the upgrade is in their interest.
Separate business logic from application logic:
Your application logic is what your app needs to do to keep it running, e.g., connecting to the database, running cron jobs, etc. On the other hand, your business logic is the logic your application is built on, e.g., creating a wallet on user registration.
Business logic should be separated from your application logic when maintaining a clean and maintainable architecture. Doing this is very effective as it helps prevent vital information from being exposed to users while also making it easy to maintain your app.
Use Proper Secret management procedures.
Storing private keys or credentials is a responsibility you as a developer should handle adequately. Such keys are meant to be stored in a safe place from prying eyes.
A suitable method of storing such keys is using .env files that are hidden from public view.
Don’t be afraid to take critiques or feedback from users:
Like I said earlier on, taking feedbacks from users doesn’t make you the lesser person. They are just ways to improve your application and prevent you from occurring a loss in the future.
The most secure and standard protocol is HTTPS. This protocol allows you to be assured that your product is running on an encrypted connection.
Exercise caution when integrating third-party APIs into your application:
Using untrusted third-party APIs is one of the ways users’ information can be easily breached. Integrating such APIs is risky and is meant to be handled with utmost caution.
A good tip is to check reviews from other people who have tried it out before doing so yourself.
Implement proper State-management techniques
State management is a method that allows you to manage the state of your application at a given period.
Sometimes, users perform operations that alter the application’s current state and emit many events. If such events are not managed properly, your application may end up being messy.
Using state management tools helps you handle states effectively.
Avoid hosting your product without SSL:
Hosting a marketable product on a free domain or unsecured sites discourages users from using your application because they feel their data is unsafe or secure. Privacy and security are some of the reasons why users use the platform they use.
Use caching when necessary:
Caching is a technique used to store data in computer memory to be retrieved later but faster. Caching is very useful but sometimes not using it well makes your application weak or not functional since it’s not getting updated data. This technique is very effective when used correctly.
Avoid hastily pushing your application to the market; run some checks on them to ensure that it is fit to be in the market and can be used by people. I’d love to hear in the comments if this article has helped you someway. Keep on building awesome stuff! 🚀