5 Ethical Principles Every Web Developer Should Follow

Ethics might seem like a heady topic to discuss alongside web development. However, what we mean by ethics in web development is not some theoretical intellectual exercise but simply what is right and wrong when it comes to creating incredible websites for clients.

There are lots of ways to go about building an online presence, but some strategies are better than others. Here are five principles that we here at Sequential Tech believe are fundamental to good website development.

Ethics in web development have to include high quality work.

Web development is a financial investment on the part of our clients. For some, such as many small businesses, the money they invest in creating a website is a significant chunk of the resources they have available for putting back into their company.

What they deserve for their investment is an online presence that is an accurate, compelling representation of their brand. In other words, they deserve to build something great with their financial investment.

Unfortunately, many web developers ignore this fact and create sloppy code, use outdated strategies, or rush jobs. That is why, when it comes to ethics in web development, we believe one of the first principles is high quality work. We owe our clients excellent work in return for their investment, which is why, here at Sequential Tech, we give every client our full attention and most creative efforts in order to build a website that meets their business needs.

Ethics in web development must include transparency.

Many clients see web development as a mysterious practice. That is an unfortunate perspective, because it puts a barrier between the client and the web developer that does not, and, in fact, should not exist. While the strategies and technical aspects of web development do require professional implementation, they should not be hidden from the client.

Instead, ethics in web development requires transparency between the web developer and the client. For example, does the client know what the web developer’s plan is for their site, and why they want to pursue certain strategies? Is the client’s desires and vision being implemented through the technical coding and building of the site? And can the client see the impact that the web development is having on their site and their analytics?

Truly ethical web development is a partnership between the developer and the client, whereby the client’s needs and vision are integrated using the developer’s tools, through a process that the client has access to at all times.

Ethics in web development must include equal commitment to every customer.

Every customer wants to feel as if their web developer is committed to and invested in their project. Too often, however, the amount of money spent on the project, the size of the business, or the size of the project dictate how much loyalty and attention the customer receives.

Ethics in web development, however, requires that every customer receive equal commitment from the web developer. For example, a small coding update should receive the same attentive professionalism as does building a website from scratch.

The amount of time spent on each project may differ, but the ethical web developer should bring the same level of attention to the project in order to deliver high quality products to every customer, every time. In other words, no project should be too small.

Ethics in web development requires projects that are accessible and maintainable by others.

Once a web developer has a client, it can be tempting to hang onto that client for as long as possible, at any cost. Unfortunately, that may drive a web developer to build elements into a website that require their expertise to maintain over the long term. For example, using non standard procedures, inaccessible code, or other strategies may leave customers without full access to their sites and dependent upon the web developer to secure and maintain their site over the long term.

Ethics in web development, however, requires the web developer to create projects that can be accessed and maintained by others, if the client wishes. For example, say you build a website for a business. That client may then choose to take over the maintenance of their site themselves, or hand it over to another company.

By providing standard procedures, clear documentation of the processes you used, accessible code, and more, you ensure that they can choose whomever they want to maintain their site.

Ethics in web development requires integrating security into projects.

In a digital age that is too often marked by hacking and security breaches, ethical web development must include the integration of security into every project. While this does not mean that the web developer is responsible for any security breaches that occur, it does mean that the developer needs to take care to ensure that the client’s data is kept private and safe.

For example, an ethical web developer should understand and respect a client’s user tracking preferences. They should integrate features that protect user data. They should clearly explain how user data is used, and they should make sure they understand and respect their client’s security needs, no matter how demanding those needs may be.

Ethical web development is not only possible but necessary. While it encompasses many principles and goals, some of the primary ones are ensuring the quality of the work, creating a transparent process and partnership, demonstrating equal commitment to every customer, creating projects that are accessible and maintainable by others, and integrating security into every project.

Here at Sequential Tech, ethical web development is one of our primary goals. By demonstrating honesty, integrity, commitment, and quality in all of our projects, we help you build something great for your business. Find out more by reaching out to us today.

 

Sources:

https://medium.com/shakuro/how-to-retain-ethics-in-web-development-and-not-sell-out-aae1abc6527c

https://ethicalweb.org

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/03/using-ethics-in-web-design/

https://www.expertmarket.co.uk/web-design/ethical-responsibilities-web-developers-have

 

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