To switch or not to switch? If you are still reluctant to make the move to the ASP.NET MVC framework, this blog will help you by outlining how your organization can benefit from MVC. Namely, making your operations more efficient, your applications more attractive and your developers and users better off.
Change is the only constant in life. Same goes for the realm of web development, where new technologies and design best practices continuously change the perspective and paradigm of how applications are built and experienced. Once upon a time, we were fine viewing static web content, clicking shopping carts, and reading news articles online. Fast forward a decade and poof! PWAs, AMP, SPAs, AI, ML, IoT, bots and other emerging technologies are indispensable parts of web developers’ lives.
While it is crucial for decision-makers to be familiar with all these trends and buzzwords, it is no less vital to concentrate on the building blocks that facilitate staying one step ahead in the web game. Namely, speed, performance, productivity and, last but not least, user experience. Hence the need for the kind of technology that helps build better experiences and do so even faster and smarter.
Welcome MVC, also known as the industry-standard web development framework.
This blog explores how the MVC framework can bring value to your business, improve your command over your website and help your marketers and developers do what they do with greater focus and more control. We’ll flip the coin a few times and talk both about benefits in terms of technology, but no less importantly about benefits for the ones who make our business grow—our users.
A mere second delay in website loading time can cause your users to become impatient and navigate away from your site, soaring your bounce rates and lagging your page views.
How does MVC help? Simply put, MVC helps with website performance optimization. One of the key differentiators when working with MVC is that, unlike older technologies like Web Forms, you have full control over the HTML output. This ultimately means that you have clean markup without additional tags or scripts that would make pages heavy and slow. Scripts can be minified and packaged together with other frontend assets and files. Ultimately, you decide what is rendered on a page and how. Additionally, MVC is a lightweight framework that does not use View State and thus reduces the bandwidth of every request.
How does MVC translate into faster page speeds and thus better traffic and more conversions? The simple answer is that by loading just the necessary content, the MVC page results in better responsiveness AND higher Google page speed score. And that naturally leads us to the next topic: search engine optimization.
Speed may have different dimensions. Apart from having positive effect on user experience and conversions, great page load times (courtesy of MVC) also affects website ranking with search engines.
SEO, meet MVC. The clean HTML output with semantic and clear content structure means improved accessibility, including options for narrator and reading modes, faster loading times due to less HTML and script clutter. This naturally leads to better indexability and therefore higher search engine ranking, translating into brand awareness and more sales opportunities.
What’s more, MVC supports rich routing capabilities, so that site URLs are not only human-manageable and human-readable but also search engine-optimized. Once URLs actually mean something meaningful, people will understand, click and remember them. Same goes for search engines—RankBrain will know that the URL is relevant to somebody’s search and will place it higher in the search results. Talking business, this means making your site and content findable and accessible and bringing more valuable prospects to meet your marketing and demand generation KPIs and facilitate the passage of leads further in the sales funnel.
The sad truth is that sometimes standards in web development change faster than they can be utilized appropriately. While applications moved from desktop, to web, to mobile, to native apps, and then to any channel possibly imaginable, frontend developers had a hard time catching up and crafting equally modern and fluid experiences. Guess what – nobody likes outdated designs, stiff UI, limited interactivity, and not being able to access and view properly what they want on the device and channel they want.
Enter MVC. MVC represents the natural evolution of web technology to be extra dynamic and flexible, so that it can comprise better and more interactive experiences to meet user expectations. With older technologies, developers had to take care not only for the business logic but also about configuring responsive rules for pages across different screen sizes and making sure the frontend of the app will seamlessly work with both logic and rules. By contrast, MVC is by design a mobile-first, convention-based, and responsive by default, no matter which frontend framework you choose to work with, be it Bootstrap or Semantic UI, for example. And, with the fine-granularity and control over markup, developers have full control over the client-side functionality of pages, that is, interactivity and attractiveness.
What brings about productivity? Well, for one, being fast, effective and in control of what you are doing. How does MVC help? Two words: agility and nimbleness.
With its separation-of-concerns-architecture, MVC offers support for rapid and parallel development on design and functionality. Frontend developers can freely create and style the app and modify the design or HTML output without the need to wait on or have the knowledge to change the backend business logic. This gives more freedom and control to both developers and designers, and makes the development process discernibly more efficient. Modifying any part of the pages happens without the hassle of having to rebuild the whole project and changing a piece of code (no need to change the whole thing) is no more a bottleneck.
That’s not all. Once you have your presentation layer or business logic configured, you can reuse the components across other projects and apps and combine them whichever way suits your requirements without having to implement these components from scratch. Which, ultimately, means fast, lean, and agile development – both on the frontend and backend. This advantage is especially valuable for developing web applications which need to be supported by large teams of developers and for web designers who want greater control over the application behavior.
You know what else is fast? Learning how to create and style apps with MVC. You do not need the underlying technical knowledge of a proprietary technology, such as .NET, to get a hold of the HTML markup. The MVC pattern is a great architecture no matter the language you are using for the development. Learning curve, goodbye.
Undoubtedly, fast development and low code translate into lower costs. Rapid development, facilitated by MVC, means faster time to market. Lesser expenditure and lower learning curve, even more so.
Going back to operational efficiency, saving time is saving money. The rapid development because of separation of concerns and high testability mean simultaneously speed and excellence. Reusability across multiple projects, on the other hand, speaks volumes about less volume of repetitive work and of continuous efficiency. Frontend developers can easily maintain, rebrand, and restyle the CSS and presentation layer in a matter of changing a few variables in the Bootstrap 4 file, for example.
Time is of no less importance for your users, so having a speedy and swift site that they can easily find and interact with plays an immense role for healthier KPI performance, lower bounce rates, and, ultimately – higher conversions and improved bottom line.
What is so tightly knit to web development that one cannot thrive without the other? The answer is simple – web content management. And what web content management system enables you to leverage MVC to build complex, high-performing, responsive and scalable websites, while having full control of your markup and keeping your code organized, reusable and easy to test? The answer is even simpler – Sitefinity CMS. OK, let’s break it down and go through how Sitefinity builds on top of the MVC advantages we are already familiar with.
With MVC and Sitefinity, you take full control over the way pages are generated, which scripts are rendered, the size and bandwidth of pages and what the HTML output is. As a result, pages get highest score for search engine crawlers and performance benchmarking tools such as Google Lighthouse. While on the topic of search engines, why not mention SEO bonuses, as well. Let’s talk about OpenGraph metatags flexibility – you can tweak indexing and ranking positively by adding metatags not only on widget level, says for any News widget, but go way more granular and optimize preview, rankings, and visits on page and content item level, for example, for a particular piece of breaking news. SEO fields and descriptions are added on the go by content editors and marketers, without the need of IT assistance, making content findable and worthwhile.
Content editing experience is fast, responsive, and intuitive out-of-the-box in Sitefinity user-friendly backend UI. Whether marketers need to quickly place an online form to capture leads, a banner, a targeted call-to-action, or any other personalized or not content on the page, they can do it effectively with the out-of-the-box MVC widgets without having to rely on developers to make small changes.
On the other hand, developers can easily scaffold MVC widgets and templates with VSIX and directly register them in the toolbox to enable parallel, test-driven development. They can easily manage the complexity of large-scale projects as they work on individual components to accelerate development, testing and deployment, and get to market faster and reuse components multiple times. Thanks to the publicly available source for all MVC widgets and with the help of MVC samples, developers can learn quickly, reuse, customize code to their own requirements.
Now that Sitefinity offers so much built-in MVC building blocks, your developers are able to do all of the performance, SEO, and accessibility optimizations as part of their day to day activities not sacrificing any bits of productivity. They can leverage the Bootstrap 4 resource package to crate beautiful and responsive mobile-first websites and modify templates with minimum coding thanks to the Sitefinity asset conventions.
Want to keep up with the latest standards and requirements within the fast-moving CMS technology industry? Sitefinity and it’s MVC framework got you covered by providing you with:
It is just that the precise control over the markup and the business logic that allow you to keep up with the pace of ever-changing customer requirements and the current trends for highly optimized user experience on all devices.
Petra Lazarova was part of the Sitefinity Product Marketing team.
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