Top Front End Challenges & How to Solve Them

Hermione at Pangea.ai
Vojin Deronjic
Published: 21.10.2022

All web development projects face some challenges. The challenges can vary from company to company and usually depend on the complexities of the business and specific projects. Some challenges can be about the entire architecture, while others affect only the back-end or the front-end structure. In this post, we’ll look at some front-end challenges developers face and offer potential solutions for all of them.

4 Front-End Challenges & Their Solutions

While every day is unique, there are some more common challenges front-end developers run into more frequently. These challenges can usually be solved in several different ways, depending on the specific project. However, there are still some general solutions that will most likely work.

Challenge #1: Browser Compatibility

Combaility with the browser or the platform is probably one of the most common front-end challenges. Typically, it’s your responsibility as a front-end developer to ensure that the website looks good and performs well on all existing browsers and devices with different screen sizes.

The issues usually occur when dealing with legacy browsers that don’t support modern layouts and features, such as Internet Explorer. The nightmare browser doesn’t support modern JavaScript standards. It’s slow to use and incompatible with modern CSS properties. All of this resulted in Microsoft discontinuing it in June 2022.

Unfortunately, Internet Explorer wasn’t the only factor causing browser compatibility issues. Because of this, you’ll likely need to spend extra time and effort to ensure your website can work on such browsers. In practice, you’ll have to solve various challenges, including:

  • Doctype error – this is one of the basic codes that legacy browsers check before rendering a page. If the code is missing, the browsers don’t render the website correctly, which leads to bad performance. To solve the issue, simply add declaration at the beginning of your HTML document.
  • Layout difference – Different browsers can support different design layouts. Sometimes, this causes websites to render per the layout compatibility of the specific browser, which causes UX inconsistency. To solve this issue, use floats, Flexbox, and CSS grids.

Generally speaking, many browser and platform front-end challenges can be solved by not writing browser-specific native code and regularly switching between browsers when writing and testing the code.

A web developer coding a webpage on a laptop, next to a colleague.

Challenge #2: Performance

Usually, front-end developers don’t have to deal with the speed and performance of the website they’re working on. They can only focus on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, when you scratch below the surface, you’re likely to find a lot of performance issues ready to explode.

Nobody likes bad-performing websites and slow load speeds. Not dealing with these issues can cause problems for your company. We’re in a tough market, and you may only have one opportunity to persuade a client to give you their business.

To deal with this front-end challenge, you should work on optimizing different elements of your website. For example, you can optimize your code by removing unnecessary operators and declarations. You can load your CSS in the (ensuring it’s lightweight) while also keeping the JavaScript in the body. Also, you can optimize the size of your images while ensuring they’re in a high-quality format, such as JPEG or WEBP.

Fixing performance and speed issues can lead to better search engine ranking, as Google loves websites that load fast. They can even help you do a performance audit.

Challenge #3: User Experience

When working on the website's front end, you’ll need to ensure that there’s alignment between the web design and the front end. This can become a challenge if two separate teams are working on these two areas. This leads to front-end developers not having context, which, in turn, can affect the user experience (UX) of the website.

These days, there are a lot of different browsers with different screen sizes — tablets, smart TVs, mobile phones — each of them requires the developer to ensure that the user interface (UI) is working properly. And with the rise of the popularity of mobile devices, it can be challenging to ensure seamless navigation and feature responsiveness.

To solve this issue, you can use something like Twitter Bootstrap to help design the front end of your website. Twitter Bootstrap is a CSS-based framework that helps front-end developers create a mobile-first website. It includes various responsive templates and elements. The framework itself is open source, meaning anyone can use it.

You can also do component-based UI development with React.js or Angular. React offers a lot of different ready-made UI components, and Angular offers material design elements you can leverage. Keep in mind that some frameworks don’t work for all platforms.

Woman writing programming code on a laptop.

Challenge #4: Support and Maintenance

Once the website goes live, you’ll likely see a bunch of issues occurring. This is perfectly normal, as websites act differently while in production. The challenges can be with the user interface, unresponsiveness, speed, performance, and so much more.

Since the website is live and in use, it’s much more challenging to fix any issues, as ensuring zero downtime is difficult.

To solve this issue, you or someone else from your team will need to monitor the website to ensure that any and all challenges can be fixed as soon as they happen. While this is more of a back-end challenge, having a web architecture with minimal dependencies — such as microservices architecture — ensures a higher uptime during the upgrade process.

Using this type of architecture on your website ensures that different services can be upgraded individually without disturbing the existing system.

Conclusion

Today, the web development industry is vast and includes many different types of websites and web applications. The challenges that web developers face these days are also in a very broad category. Not all are limited to the front end. Also, they aren’t limited to browser compatibility, performance, user experience, support, or maintenance.

Every website and business is unique. They all have different requirements, which lead to various challenges.

One of the best ways businesses can ensure that their web developers can efficiently deal with any challenges is to sign up for a vetting platform like ours. Pangea.ai is the leading platform that helps businesses hire the top percentile of remote design and engineering companies.

Let us know what you need, and we’ll find up to five companies that fit your brief and send them through in 72 hours. Each company on our platform is verified through a 6-week organizational process of due diligence, meaning you choose only from the best web development and design companies.

FAQs:

If you’re still unsure how to deal with some front-end challenges, make sure you read on, as the following questions and answers might help you out.

Q1. What is the hardest thing about front-end development?

The hardest thing about front-end development is not having control over the environment your code is running on. You'll need to support different browsers and devices and ensure your website runs smoothly when someone with a bad connection visits it.

As a front-end developer, you'll be responsible for poly filling every browser API and transpiring the latest generation features. You'll also need to account for browsers that run different engines, according to Alex Kondov.

Q2. Why do people enjoy front-end development?

People enjoy front-end development for various reasons – some say it satisfies their need for creativity, while others say it's because of the vast community and technology.

People on Quora have also said that front-end development is one of the ways they can impact the lives of other people or that it challenges them to improve themselves.

Q3. What are front-end development interviews like?

Front-end interviews are usually difficult – you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of computer science and be familiar with web performance and systems.

However, the interviews usually have less emphasis on algorithms. Instead, they have more intricate knowledge and domain expertise questions; such as questions about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, according to Yangshun Tay's Front End Interview Handbook.

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